​How to Find a Lawyer For a Car Accident

The aftermath of a car accident is very chaotic, and you will face many legal troubles. Additionally, you suffer an injury that causes you to be in the hospital for an extended time and requires further medical treatment. While car accident victims focus on their recovery, the insurance company will bombard them with questions.

The insurance company wants to settle the claim for the least amount. Once you decide you need a local car accident attorney, you will be left wondering how to find an attorney. You cannot pick a name out of a hat and expect your claim to be successful.

Hiring the right attorney will be essential to getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. When victims hire the wrong attorney, they are often left worse for wear. It is a big decision which firm and attorney you bring on your team. You cannot conform with an attorney with little experience with your case. You need someone who specializes in these cases and knows all the ins and outs. The goal of your attorney is to win the case and get you the justice and compensatory damages you require.

There are several ways you can find an attorney, whether through word of mouth, advertisements, online searches, etc. You will need to do more than call the first attorney you see on a billboard. Do not hire an attorney solely because you saw them on a billboard. While they can be a reasonable attorney for your case, you must ask questions and do some research. Doing your research will extend your time without legal representation, but it will be worth it in the end.

Three ways you can find an attorney include:

  • Word of mouth: After an accident, many victims will inform their family and friends they were in an accident. Through these conversations, you will learn that one of your friends knows an attorney that can take your case. Remember, when taking advice from your friends and coworkers, make sure they have directly worked with the attorney in the past. Accident victims make the mistake of reaching out to a lawyer who worked with a friend or a friend. You will want a first-hand account of their work.
  • Referrals: You might already know a lawyer, but they do not work in the personal injury realm. You can ask them for a referral. The attorney network is vast, and most attorneys know each other in different fields. Whether due to their stellar reputation or working together on complex cases, chances are the attorney you know can refer you to a local car accident attorney.
  • Online searches: While you can do an internet search and have a variety of attorneys show up, you can use other legal sources. There are many legal databases that you can use to find lawyers who focus on your type of case. Avvo and Martindale-Hubbell are excellent sources. You can narrow your search by location, practice area, reviews, and even disciplinary records. You can narrow down your search and pick your top three.

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What Are the Steps to Hiring a Lawyer?

Suppose you have never hired a local car accident lawyer before. You may be unaware of the steps you need to take. Here are some crucial steps you must take before you make your decision. The first step will, of course, be to find a lawyer.

Once you narrow your options, you will need to schedule an initial consultation with your top choices. During the initial consultation, you will need to discuss the details of your case and ask as many questions as possible. When you are happy with the attorney you find, you will then sign several documents hiring them, addressing the fee structure and other provisions of your attorney-client relationship.

While you should always consider their credentials and experience, it is crucial to trust your gut. Always discuss upfront costs. Make sure you bring all of the documentation you have for your car accident to the initial meeting. Ensure you review your service contract before signing and are comfortable with the fee structure.

After you take all the necessary steps to hire a lawyer, you must put on your patient pants. The settlement process can take some time, especially with severe injuries. Some cases will resolve in a couple of months, while others can take years.

Do not stay out of touch. While your attorney will be hard at work, you must be available, communicative, and professional. Stay professional and go to any appointments your attorney schedules. While your attorney will appear in court on your behalf, you may need to appear at some point. When you appear in court, your attorney will give you instructions on what to do, and you must follow them.

What Should I Ask an Attorney?

During the initial consultation phase of your search, there are some vital questions you need to ask to gauge whether the firm and the lawyer are the right ones for you. Do not be afraid to ask questions; you are hiring them for a service, and you will need to ensure you are legally protected and are getting your money’s worth.

Here are some sample questions:

  • How much legal experience do you have with these injuries?
  • How involved will you be through the process?
  • How much of the firm focuses on car accident claims?
  • In cases similar to mine, what is the average settlement you obtain?
  • Which expenses will I need to pay?
  • How do fees work?

When working with a big firm, it is essential to ask how much time they will dedicate to your case. You need personal attention and cannot be just another case number for the firm. You can also ask about the firm culture and processes to feel more comfortable.

Ask the car accident attorney in your area as many questions as you need during the initial consultation. No question is too simple. Remember, you are not familiar with the law, but your attorney is, and they should answer these questions effectively.

What to Look For in a Lawyer

Once You narrow down your options and schedule your consultation, there are some traits you should look for before making a decision. You need to find a local injury attorney who understands the premise of your case and has experience with similar circumstances.

You will also need a lawyer who communicates effectively throughout the claim. The lines of communication need to be open because you will have questions, and they will have status updates. You must both be comfortable working together. Victims can lose lawsuits based on a lack of communication, so that must be a vital trait to address.

What Should I Tell My attorney?

The attorney-client relationship will be crucial to your case. Without trust between the two parties, you can set yourself up for failure. Before an initial consultation, you will need to gather some documents so that the attorney you meet with can get a complete picture of your circumstances. While you are interviewing them, they are also assessing whether the case will garner favorable results and if they can effectively represent you.

Even if you meet with several attorneys, you will need to provide the following information to each of them before hiring any of them:

  • Financial losses thus far
  • Injuries and medical treatment
  • Accident report if it is within your possession
  • Your insurance policy
  • Driver information exchanged at the scene
  • Witness information

Many initial consultations for car accident claims are free. You can gauge how helpful the attorney is before you hire them. If they are unwilling to offer you information or answer your questions, it might be a sign that they will not do an excellent job handling your claim.

The attorney will also have some criteria they will look at before they take a case, such as:

  • The amount of evidence
  • Proof of fault
  • Severity of injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • The potential for lifestyle changes

Do not feel pressure to hire the first attorney you meet with. Take your time and weigh out your options. Once you find a lawyer you are comfortable with, you can meet with them again to sign the necessary paperwork and begin your claim.

How Do Fees Work?

Personal injury cases will work on a contingency fee basis. Essentially the pay structure is you do not pay your attorney any money upfront, but they take a cut from the backend. When they win your case, they will take out a predetermined percentage before you get your final award.

The percentage they take will depend on your case and whether it resolves in pre-litigation or litigation. While attorneys can make their fees, there are state caps they cannot exceed. Remember, some out-of-pocket expenses you will need to pay are not part of the attorney fees. You will need to ask about the fee structure and out-of-pocket expenses upfront so you can prepare.

Why Do You Need a Local Car Accident Lawyer?

There is a lot of reluctance among car accident victims to hire a local personal injury attorney. In cases where there are minor injuries, it is especially prevalent. When a person suffers a minor injury, they do not think they need an attorney or that it will cost them too much. Sadly, the failure to hire an attorney will hurt the compensation you obtain.

A study by the Insurance Research Council shows that accident victims who hire an attorney receive over three times more in their settlement than those who do not. Even if you are unsure of the seriousness of your accident, you should still consult with a car accident attorney in your area.

You will better understand your legal options and if it is worth hiring a lawyer. While accidents that result in extensive damages to your property or person require an attorney, more minor accidents are not always the same.

How Will an Attorney Help Your Claim?

The primary role of a nearby car accident lawyer is to get the compensation you need for your injuries after an accident. While there will be different compensatory damages available depending on the circumstances of your incident, you will likely garner compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.

An attorney will:

  • Explain your rights: Many laws regarding personal injury lawsuits and settlements exist. Individual cases will also have different complexities that apply. The personal injury attorney in your area can explain your rights and how these laws will affect your claim. Specific deadlines can delay your claim, and your attorney must be aware of how these deadlines jeopardize your case. Communication is a crucial benefit of hiring an attorney.
  • Advise you: You will see many insurance tactics and minefields to get through. An attorney can provide crucial advice on what you can do next. A layperson will have difficulty navigating the legal field, and it is essential to have an attorney in your area who can advise you on the legal steps you need to take. Some advice they will provide is not to make statements about the case or to obtain specific medical attention.
  • Represent you: You will need someone to represent your best interest throughout the life of your claim. That is the sole purpose of an injury attorney. The litigation process will require several legal appearances by your attorney, and they will attend every single one on your behalf. Having an attorney with trial experience is crucial because you never know when you will need it. While most cases will settle pre-litigation, you need someone ready for every possibility.
  • Investigate your accident: While you may think the circumstances of your case are cut and dry, a professional investigation is necessary. The firm will hire professionals to investigate the scene and find crucial evidence for your claim that you were unaware of.
  • Work with your medical team: You will undergo several medical treatments, especially in a severe accident. A local personal injury attorney can work with these professionals to ensure you get the best treatment and care possible for your needs.
  • Assess your damages: While you may think your losses are minor, an attorney will delve into your current and future expected losses. Many victims only look at the current damage and do not look at the long-term. Your attorney will look at all outcomes.

Finding the right lawyer for your claim is essential to get the representation and justice you deserve. Contact a lawyer in your area today to assess your case.

July 7, 2022
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