Every year, over 20 million people are injured in car accidents. The odds are that you will experience a car accident in your life if you haven’t experienced one already. If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident, you may need a lawyer, particularly if the other driver was at fault.
If you need to hire a lawyer, you’ll want to make sure to find the best car accident lawyer out there so they can get a fair outcome for you. You want one who is experienced, effective, effectively communicates, and will look out for your best interests.
Keep reading to learn exactly what you should be looking for.
Finding the Best Car Accident Lawyer: Start Here
The first thing you should do is determine if your case warrants a lawyer. Not all car accident cases need an attorney, but if any of the following apply to you, it’s probably in your best interest to speak to a lawyer:
- You sustain an injury in the accident
- The insurance company does not want to give you a fair settlement
- The other party involved is uninsured
- You weren’t at fault
If any of these apply to you, it’s wise to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. In some cases, you might even want to speak to an attorney before you call your insurance company.
What to Look For
Now that you’ve made the decision to seek an attorney, there are some things you should look for (and some things that you should avoid). Here is what you should be on the lookout for as you consider a car accident attorney:
1. One Who Specializes in Car Accident Cases
Rather than choosing a lawyer who has experience in many different kinds of cases, you should choose one who specializes in car accidents. The laws are complex and an attorney who works with car accident cases day in and day out will have more experience than one who occasionally takes on these cases.
Further, make sure that the entire firm you specializes in personal injury and accident cases. You’ll also want to choose a lawyer who represents victims only and doesn’t represent insurance companies.
2. Quick Communication
As a client, you want a lawyer who will be prompt with their communication. When you are considering them, call or email them and see how long it takes for them to follow up with you.
If it takes longer than a day, its usually a sign that communication will be difficult throughout the case. Make sure they return your initial call or email the same day or first thing the next morning.
3. Referrals and Good Reviews
You probably read reviews before you buy anything, right? Would you purchase a $30 shirt without reading the reviews? Probably not.
A car accident lawyer should be no exception. Don’t put your case in their hands unless you’ve read reviews online and talked to past clients or others who recommend them.
Reviews on Google are a good way to get an accurate idea of their effectiveness, as these reviews are independent of the law firm and can’t be influenced or edited by those being reviewed.
4. Successful Settlements
An experienced attorney should have a history of successful settlements and make this information available to you if it’s not listed on their website. You should choose one who has experience and has consistently negotiated fair settlements for their clients.
5. Trial Experience
In the event that the insurance company is not providing you with what you think is a fair settlement, you may wish to take your case to trial. Although this might not happen, you’ll want to ensure that the attorney you choose has trial experience so that if it comes to this, he or she will be able to handle your case.
6. A Connection with the Attorney
If you meet with an attorney and don’t have a good feeling about them or simply don’t click with them, go with your gut. You’ll be working closely with this person for what could be a significant length of time, so if you don’t think you’ll work well with them, move on to the next person on your list.
7. Honesty About Your Case
Sure, we’d all like to hear that our case is a slam-dunk that will result in a large settlement, but this isn’t realistic. You want an attorney who is honest about your case, its potential success, and what you can reasonably expect.
An honest attorney won’t make you promises that they can’t keep just to sign you as a client. A good attorney will tell you honestly how strong your case is and what the best way to proceed is.
8. An Attorney Without Any Bar Complaints
Every state has a bar association where you can check to see if any complaints have been filed about a potential attorney. Do your research ahead of time to see if they have ever had their license suspended or revoked or has been subject to any disciplinary actions.
Hire a Lawyer With Confidence
The information here should get you on the right track to choosing the best car accident lawyer who will effectively represent you to get a fair outcome for your case. Once you settle with an insurance company, the case is over, so you need to make sure the attorney you choose has your best interests in mind.