Do you like planning? Most people prefer staying one step ahead of everything, but life is unpredictable. You can be happily enjoying a long-drive and get hit by another car the next moment. The staggering accident rates worldwide are no secret to anyone, as approximately 30 million people suffer non-fatal injuries from road accidents. Unsurprisingly, being in a car crash is a stressful experience. From expensive car repairs, time away from work, to endless doctor visits, there is a lot on the victim’s plate.
Therefore, whether you have encountered a car accident or not, consider hiring an accident attorney. It might be the furthest thing from your mind, but accident lawyers act as angels in tough times. Alongside alleviating the burden from accidents, they try to compensate for all the damages. Similarly, they play hardball with insurance companies, encouraging them to cover expenses as soon as possible.
People are unaware of their rights and negotiation practices. These lawyers work in your best interest, familiarizing you with all the laws while protecting you legally. Do you want to hire an accident lawyer? There are thousands of lawyers in the country, which means picking a competent one won’t be straightforward. If you are ready to start the search, have a look below. Here are six tips for finding a skilled accident lawyer.
1. GET REFERRALS
Whether it is making a purchase or trying a new restaurant, everyone seeks suggestions from friends. How about you follow the same theory when hiring a lawyer? Although people don’t have any legal engagements, it has a significant impact on their lives. Referrals from friends, colleagues, and family can significantly help find reliable lawyers. It can validate your hiring decision and ease credibility concerns, but what if you can’t find referrals?
Feel free to turn to an online search engine to find the best car accident lawyer for yourself in this digital world. Start searching for reviews, but don’t fall in the trap of paid ones. Likewise, check out reviews on social media and feel free to ask about the lawyers on groups. Sometimes, recommendations coming from strangers can be equally useful and credible. Go through multiple sites for ratings and take a dig at client testimonials to see if they are genuine or not.
2. ANALYZE YOUR BUDGET
Every person wants to hire a top-notch lawyer in the industry. Unfortunately, such lawyers come with hefty price tags, creating holes in your pocket if you don’t have an upscale budget. Therefore, understand the legal fees, penalties, and other fees you have to pay before hiring a lawyer. Some lawyers charge a percentage from a successful settlement package as compensation for their legal fees. The ratio can range from 25%-40%, depending on the amount of settlement.
In contrast, others charge an hourly service fee, meaning they will charge you for the time spent working on your case. Despite negotiable hourly rates, it poses a potential risk to both client and attorney. If the accident has profound implications or exposure to liability is high, the hourly fee will be greater. Instead of rushing over any decision, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, and see which legal fees will readily fit under your budget.
3. ASSESS COMMUNICATION SKILLS
People prefer frictionless interactions in this modern world, which means email and phone calls won’t do the trick. You have to pick a lawyer who is available on social media or WhatsApp. Although lawyers are busy professionals, they should take your calls and respond to messages within a reasonable time frame. For instance, if the accident confines you to a hospital bed, you can’t accompany the lawyer to settlement meetings with the other party.
Hence, the lawyer has to keep you updated with all the discussions of the meeting. If the attorney doesn’t answer the call, hides information, or takes ages to respond, he/she might not be the ideal person to handle your case. You can assess these skills during your first few meetings and make the right decision.
4. DETERMINE RESOURCEFULNESS
In the legal world, connections play a crucial role. When searching for an attorney, you have to determine if he/she has useful judicial links. Find out whether they participate in the local bar association and contribute to campaigns. Likewise, your attorney should be an active member of state and national trail groups. It gives them exposure to challenging environments where negligent parties are using dirty tactics to win the case.
Alongside personal expertise, you have to make sure they have enough resources to take your case seriously. Does the lawyer has access to funds for preparing case? Are they working for any law firm? Preparing accident cases can be expensive sometimes. They have to make up for personal injuries – hospital charges and car damages. Therefore, your lawyer should have enough resources to play with the big boys.
5. HIRE SOMEONE WHO IS COURT READY
Some lawyers follow the footsteps of Harvey Spector. Despite their years of experience, they prefer settling the cases outside the courtroom. Most accident cases settle before trial, but sometimes, the negligent party doesn’t agree on an adequate settlement amount. If you know the other party has a lot to lose, the case should go to the trial. And this becomes possible if your attorney is not afraid of the courtroom.
If an attorney is unwilling to put up the case before a jury, the negligent party would know. It can significantly hurt your case as the other party learns about your weakness. You have to look for a lawyer ready to go all-in, face the judge and jury while ensuring you get rightful compensation.
6. EXPERIENCE MATTERS
Whether you had a small accident or a significant one, getting a lawyer who has a knack of this field is always beneficial. Look out for attorneys who have experience and success, dealing with a similar situation to yours. You can either gather information from referrals or ask the lawyer directly. Inquire about how many million-dollar verdicts or settlements he/she has won. Similarly, take a dig at their success rate to determine how likely they are to win your case.
After all, an experienced lawyer knows all the ins and outs of the law and norms of negotiating, helping you get the best deal. However, when it comes to experience, it is not mandatory to opt for big firms. Instead, focus on lawyers who have an excellent reputation and who specialize in car accidents.
Life can put you into overwhelming situations, out of which car accident is the worst one. It leads to personal injuries that disrupt your health, while car damages result in financial crunches. The only way is to make the negligent party pay, which doesn’t become possible without an attorney. They help you recover mentally and physically. Therefore, choose the best one who knows how to turn the odds in your favor.