One question I am often asked is, “How do I make sure I select the best car accident attorney?” When choosing a car accident attorney, my answer is often one word: experience. An experienced personal injury trial attorney is best suited to assist you in your claim. An experienced attorney will know how to package the case the right way, and it is an experienced attorney best suited to handle your case in large part because they have handled similar cases.
Choosing a Car Accident Attorney
By hiring an experienced litigation attorney, you will discover that these attorneys are experienced in litigating claims and speak the language of insurance companies. When a case is ready for trial is when a case is best positioned to ensure the best possible settlement.
Dealing with insurance companies
Another question I am often asked is, “Is it a good idea to speak to the insurance company after you have been involved in an incident or have suffered an injury?” My answer is always no. The reason you hire an attorney is because that attorney, in many ways, becomes your voice to advocate for the insurance company and, if it goes that far, before a jury of your peers.
It is never a good idea to speak to the insurance company unless necessary. We have found that any statement made before, or even after, the retention of an attorney can often be twisted and can be used to discuss things you never wanted to say in the first place.
Choosing Your Car Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a car accident? Are you considering a lawsuit to get compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses? Nothing will make more difference in the outcome of that lawsuit than your choice of attorney. Here is a process to consider when choosing your car accident attorney.
Start looking for a car accident attorney by asking for recommendations from friends, family, and others. Auto accidents and auto accident claims are common enough that you probably know someone who has been involved in an accident and claimed compensation with a lawsuit. When you receive a recommendation from someone, try to get details about your claim and your attorney.
Did the attorney show or use any specific knowledge, such as experience in a text messaging and driving case or a case involving a defective vehicle? Did the attorney help you cope with the expenses by reducing the amounts owed to the doctors, or recommending ways to maximize their performance in a settlement? How was the lawyer going to work?
In addition to friends and family, don’t forget to ask for references from professionals. If you have a family attorney, talk to them about who you would recommend. If you are undergoing physical therapy, talk to your therapist. Chances are they are helping other accident victims who, if they have a good one, might have mentioned their lawyer.
Do your research
Then go online to start researching your potential attorney. You should research both the attorneys they have recommended and others. Start with the attorney’s website and see what’s on the site. Find out first if they seem to really handle the type of case you have. Then read a little of what is said to see if your legal philosophy seems to reflect what you want in a lawyer. Then review your list of verdicts and settlements. This cannot promise that you will get the kind of results you have had in the past, but you want to work with an attorney who has a proven track record of results.
Also look at the attorney’s credentials. See which attorneys have been recognized by their peers and independent rating agencies as leaders in their profession. This is where AccidentAttorneys.org can help: All of our attorneys have been recognized in this way.
Then try to find independent reviews of the attorney. Don’t be swayed by a single good or bad review, try to gauge the overall tone of the reviews. And don’t just pay attention to the number of stars, look in the reviews for details on how a lawyer handles a case.
Interview potential car accident attorneys
Once you’ve found a list of 3-5 attorneys that you think might be good to work with, schedule appointments with them. Talk to them about your case and try to confirm what you have read on their website or in reviews. You want to make sure that the person you are really considering is the person described on the website. If there was anything particularly compelling or problematic about what you read in the reviews, believe it and see what the lawyer has to say.
Don’t be surprised if you feel like the lawyer is interviewing you, too. A good lawyer does not have to take any case that comes off the street, you can choose the cases that are most likely to be successful, and part of that is making sure you are a good client.
Make your decision, or don’t!
Once you have interviewed several attorneys, it is time to choose one. Choose an attorney who gives you full confidence that your case will be handled in a professional and capable manner. You should also choose a lawyer that you can work with. Your case can take months or even years to resolve, so you should feel like you can work with this person.
Don’t you feel completely safe about any of the lawyers you interviewed? Start again. Your car accident claim is too important for a lawyer who does not give you full confidence to handle. The only caveat here is: you must know the statute of limitations for your case. Generally, a case must be filed two years after the date of the accident, or you cannot get compensation.