There are over one million lawyers in the United States. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you need a dedicated advocate who can effectively protect both your interests and your finances. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s important to speak to more than one car accident lawyer and ask questions about each attorney’s background, experience, and philosophy. Along the way, you’ll want to make sure you keep these 5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer:
1. Handles Car Accident Claims Often and Effectively
There is no special certification that an attorney must obtain to handle a car accident claim. Any person who graduated law school and is licensed by a state bar can technically accept a car accident claim and represent an injury victim. Not all lawyers will be able to pursue that claim effectively, however.
Being able to legally represent plaintiffs in car collision cases is not the same as being able to represent victims competently. The latter ability is acquired only by handling many car accident claims successfully. Therefore, knowing how often a lawyer or law firm handles car accident claims is a key factor in deciding whether this lawyer is the best choice for you.
Ensure you not only look at the number of cases a car accident lawyer has handled but also consider the outcomes they have obtained for their clients. Having fewer previous cases but with a higher success rate is typically preferable to handling many cases that have not been resolved as favorably for clients.
2. Listens To You and Your Story
The car accident lawyer you hire represents your interests and works to achieve justice on your behalf. It’s difficult for any attorney to know what that sort of outcome looks like if they do not talk with you and get to know you. Beyond getting to know the facts of your case, you want an attorney who seeks to understand how your injuries have impacted you.
It’s a good sign if an attorney asks about your bills, the time you have missed from work, and the emotional impact of your accident. A lawyer who is interested in understanding your needs will be better able to represent you at the negotiating table and in court.
Additionally, you are also more likely to be pleased with the outcome of your case because it will seek to address your personal needs.
3. Is Comfortable in Court and During Negotiations
Most personal injury and car accident lawsuits are resolved through the settlement process. Reaching an appropriate settlement agreement that adequately addresses your losses takes negotiation skills that not all lawyers prioritize developing. Without these skills, you risk being presented with a settlement that is too low and leaves you responsible for too many expenses.
Another essential negotiation skill for a car accident lawyer is knowing when to walk away from the negotiation table if a suitable deal cannot be reached. You may be stuck with an unsatisfactory settlement offer if your attorney is not confident about taking a case to trial when the offered resolution does not serve your interests.
Look for a car accident lawyer whose experience reflects both settlements reached and verdicts obtained for clients. Discuss with an attorney before you hire them how they generally seek to resolve claims and when they know to walk away from settlement discussions.
You want to hire a lawyer who is looking to get you the compensation you need as quickly as possible — but at a value that properly addresses your needs.
4. Has the Resources To Take on Your Case
The 5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer s are unfortunately common — with one crash occurring every 57 seconds in Texas alone — these cases can take some time and effort to resolve.
Your attorney will need to investigate your claim to be in the best position to negotiate a settlement. There are also deadlines that must be complied with, or your opportunity to receive compensation can be jeopardized.
Consider the resources available that the firm could devote to your case. For example, does the attorney have access to expert witnesses, if need be? Does the attorney have the necessary connections to thoroughly investigate the details of your case?
The firm’s size should not be the determining factor in your decision to hire a particular attorney. Instead, it should be one factor among several that you consider, as a small firm may have extensive contacts despite a smaller number of attorneys. The more resources a firm has available, the easier it generally is for that firm to keep your case moving toward a resolution.
5. Is Someone You Feel You Can Trust
It’s also vital that you can trust what your attorney says and believe they have your best interests in mind. This can lower your stress during the claims process and allow you to focus on your recovery. When you trust your attorney, you are comfortable allowing them to exercise their skills to achieve your desired result.
Trust is formed over time, but you should pay attention if you feel uneasy after meeting with a particular attorney for the first time. Make sure to look for an attorney who makes you feel at ease and is willing to give you both the good and bad news about your claim.
An attorney who is honest with you is one you can trust, and you will be more satisfied with the claims experience as a result.
Take Your Time Selecting the Right Car Accident Attorney
The attorney you hire to represent you can significantly impact the ultimate outcome of your claim. While it’s critical to act promptly, try not to rush selecting the right lawyer for your case. By keeping these 5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer key considerations in mind, you can effectively take on the task of choosing an attorney after a car accident.