You can go a long time without ever seeing a car accident. You may not spend much time on the road, so when accidents do happen, you aren’t around to see them. This lack of visibility may make it seem like accidents are rare and aren’t likely to happen to you.
But when there are around 6.75 million car accidents per year, that isn’t the case. You need to prepare for the eventuality that a crash happens to you and what to do if you need help managing a legal case.
Are you wondering what to look at when picking a car accident attorney? Consider the 10 factors below to find the best attorney for your car accident case.
1. Start Your Search Local
The first thing to remember when looking at your options for attorneys is their location. Accident law can change based on where you live. Rules that apply in one location may not be the same as the ones a few miles away.
That makes it vital to work with an attorney with experience in your local area. Someone needs to understand your local rules if you want them to offer you the best service.
Of course, someone from out of your area may be able to learn how to handle cases in your area. But at the same time, it will take much less time for an attorney with local experience.
You can do this by looking on Google for local attorneys. You’ll find your options close to you and can start your search there.
2. Verify Car Accident Experience
There are countless rules out there for the different types of accidents. Different factors play into who’s responsible in each situation, which can change significantly based on the type of case.
You don’t want to work with an attorney who doesn’t have experience with your specific type of case. Although a general accident attorney may be able to help you with the basics, you want someone who has experience with car accidents to handle the heavy lifting.
Ask the attorneys you interview how many car accident cases they have taken on before. They should be able to demonstrate a work history and tell you what their success rate is like. Ideally, hire an attorney who has had a lot of wins in the past.
Continue reading here to learn more about experienced car accident experts.
3. Look for Good Pricing Options
Paying for lawyers is one of the most stressful parts of getting legal help. It doesn’t often happen when you find a lawyer offering their services cheaply. If you hire someone hourly or on a service basis to fill out a few forms, you’ll pay a good amount for the service.
Because of this, you may hesitate about hiring an attorney if you expect your case to last a while. After all, you may spend all your cash on hiring legal help before you get a settlement for your crash.
Make sure you look at all the payment options available. Many attorneys offer contingency payment, meaning you won’t pay any attorney fees upfront. Instead, you’ll pay your lawyer if they win with a portion of your settlement.
Explore all your pricing options and find one that you’re comfortable with.
4. Check an Attorney’s Caseload
Some attorneys take on more work than they can handle. They don’t want to turn away clients, so they take on more work than they have time for to try and make as much as possible.
The problem when this happens is that your attorney won’t be able to give your case the attention it deserves. They may rush the process and make minor mistakes that negatively impact your car accident case.
Ask an attorney if they have enough time to handle your case before you hire them. Get a time estimate for the expected hours required for the case and ask about the resources they have for the work.
It’s fine if an attorney has a lot of work. They just need the extra resources and help to handle the load.
5. Learn Your Requirements
In some cases, you won’t just hand your case to an attorney and let them handle the entire thing. There is a lot that goes into accident cases, and there may be some situations that require your attention.
On top of that, some attorneys prefer their clients to be more involved with their cases. They will regularly reach out to their clients for input and direction during the process.
On the other hand, some attorneys are fine with clients being hands-off. This may be important if you were injured and are dealing with recovery.
Ask an attorney how much they expect you to stay involved in the case and determine if it’s the right choice for you.
6. Find a Great Communicator
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident injury can be one of the most stressful times of your life. You’re dealing with countless issues, including insurance company problems, medical issues, and car damage.
The last thing you want is to never hear from the attorney you hire about the status of your case.
It’s vital to work with an attorney that communicates well. Unfortunately, not all professionals work in this matter. They will work in the background without letting their clients know what’s happening.
Learn how an attorney communicates before hiring them. Ensure you get regular reports about their progress and what they do each day.
It’s also essential to get speedy responses to your questions. You may not find an attorney that always calls back immediately. However, you should get a response in under 24 hours.
7. Look for Trial Experience
The majority of car accident claims won’t need to head to trial. It’s normally in the best interest of everyone to settle out of court. Each party normally gets the best deal in this situation.
But there may be times when you need to go to court. It can be because of an uncooperative insurance company, an uninsured driver, or another reason. The last thing you want is an attorney without trial experience when this happens.
Try to find an attorney who has taken a car accident case to court and won. If an attorney hesitates to go to the courtroom, they may try to get you to agree to a deal that isn’t in your best interest.
An experienced trial lawyer may also make the other party think twice about dragging your claim out.
8. Find the Attorney You’ll Work With
In some cases, the attorney you speak to at a law firm won’t be the one who handles the bulk of your case. Since the firm is so large, more prominent attorneys handle client interviews to sell them on the firm and its abilities.
But once your case gets assigned to the firm, it gets passed to another associate.
The thing to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with this happening. If an attorney claims their firm should be able to handle your case, it probably can.
However, you should know who will handle your case before you sign with a firm. Try to talk with the person who will do the actual work so you can vet them along with the firm.
9. Look for a Bad Record
The last thing you want when hiring an attorney is hiring someone who doesn’t follow the rules. Unfortunately, this does happen at times, and if it does, it will hurt your chance of winning your case.
Verify an attorney’s conduct before hiring them for the job. Check your state bar association’s website to see what someone’s record is like.
You should be able to see if someone has disciplinary action on their record. If so, see what the problems were and if they are a red flag that makes you think twice about hiring an attorney.
10. Get Client Feedback
You don’t have to search for a car accident attorney alone. You aren’t the first person to get into an accident. You can lean on the experience of others to get help making your choice.
Check Google for your attorney options to read the reviews other people leave. People can freely leave reviews on Google and other locations. Check them to ensure the firms you’re considering have a good reputation.
Contact your network if you know someone who has been in an accident before. If they hired an attorney, they can point you in the right location.
Picking a Car Accident Attorney Takes Work
Things can get hectic after a car accident. In some cases, what if car insurance doesn’t pay enough to cover your expenses after an accident? You must deal with insurance companies, get treated for injuries, and find somewhere to fix your car. It would be no surprise if you get overwhelmed and not able to handle everything you need to do.
That’s why finding a car accident attorney is so vital. Make sure you do your research when picking a car accident attorney to ensure you find the perfect candidate for the job.
Did you find this guide helpful and want to learn more tips for navigating other common situations? Read more articles on the website to learn more.