Steps to Finding a Good Car Accident Lawyer
Here are some recommendations to follow if you are looking for the right lawyer for your car accident claim. Keep in mind that anyone can pay to make your website design sophisticated and professional, for this reason, it is essential that you take some extra steps to ensure that your lawyer is fully able to provide guidance and Representation you need.
Search Online for Lawyers
While you have some personal references, conducting an online search is never too much. There are many directories or other online services that can help you filter the millions of results that will appear when you enter the search for the words “car accident lawyer.” These directories usually provide specific information about the lawyer or firm as references from their clients. These recommendations can tell a lot about the service and give you an idea of what to expect from your experience with a particular lawyer.
Among some of the resources we recommend using are:
- “Find a Lawyer” function in the State Bar
- Super Lawyers
If you wish to narrow your search further, you can explore a legal directory that focuses solely on personal injury lawyers. This category will be the one you will need after a car accident. Some of these directories are:
- National Academy of Personal Injury Lawyers
- Find a Car Accident Attorney
- Find a Personal Injury Attorney
- Personal Injury Warriors
These can be very useful resources when creating a shortlist of lawyers in which you may be interested. Be sure to take into account the experience of the legal profession and verify the references of your clients in the directories.
Check with your family and friends
Despite the rise of the internet, word of mouth recommendations in your community is also a good way to find professional information and services of any category, and lawyers are no exception. If you know someone who knows and trusts a lawyer who has represented you at some time, this will be a good place to start your survey, however, it is not a guarantee that this is the lawyer that suits your case.
With so many lawyers promoting themselves online, advertising posters and television, the norms related to the ethics of advertising have become more carefree and flexible in many states. If you do not know what ads you can trust, it is totally valid, and having the opinion of a friend or family member can help you at least filter your options.
If you still don’t have anyone close in mind who has gone through a car accident claim before, consider asking your acquaintances as co-workers, neighbors or medical professionals. If you prefer a lawyer who speaks Spanish or another language, contact those who speak this and see if any of them can recommend someone.
Word of mouth information can help you in two ways: let you know who had a positive experience with a certain lawyer and who had a refusal to recommend him. However, keep in mind that despite these well-intentioned suggestions, you should never receive one of them with eyes closed. Some may have a friend or family member whom they would recommend, even if this legal professional does not have enough experience to work on your case.
You may also receive recommendations from lawyers who do not work much in these types of car accident and personal injury cases, which means that you are not the best person to hire. While it is good to start with the personal recommendations you receive, it is important that you be strategic when interviewing and choosing your legal representative.
Take Your Phone
Once you have made a list of at least three potential candidates, it is time to contact them directly. Today, most legal firms have an online form in case you want to get more information. While this may seem like a convenient option for many, calling directly can give you a better idea of how the company works. For example, by having a phone call with the firm’s staff, you can learn if it focuses one hundred percent on providing limited service in your business or if you serve your customers in a more personal and friendly way. Did you feel that your call was well-received? If not, you may feel that contacting staff is not to your liking, despite being a potential customer.
On the other hand, calling the firm can also provide you with a faster response to your questions, which leads to our next suggestion: always have a list of questions on hand before contacting the firm. It is very easy to forget about the issues to be addressed or what you were going to ask during the call, so having a list of your doubts and writing the answers can be a sensible idea, as this will help you decide once you have contacted to all potential firms.
Here are some important questions you can ask your candidate lawyers for your car accident claim.
Have you had clients in the past who have provided feedback on your service? A lawyer who has exercised his profession for a long period should have an extensive list of clients (ideally satisfied clients). Be sure to ask about the history of this legal professional and seek opinions about your work.
How familiar are you with this jurisdiction? The fact that a lawyer is licensed in a state does not mean that he is fully familiar with the courts and with the civil justice system in his area. For this reason, if your car accident occurred near your home in Houston, you need a car accident lawyer who has handled claims or lawsuits in the Harris County District Courts. If you are near Dallas, then your legal representative must have experience in the Dallas County District Courts. This applies to all states and each of their areas. Similarly, if you go to a national law firm like ours, make sure that the lawyer has allies with whom to work in each of the jurisdictions in order to ensure that your representation is ideal.
Each court in the respective jurisdictions will have its own processes in addition to state and nation regulations. The judges of each court have their own ways of handling the cases, and this is of great help when your lawyer has connections and meets the staff of a particular court. This helps your case progress efficiently, without difficulties or delays.
Who will take care of my case? When you are asking the questions, you will want to hear relevant and detailed answers from the person who will be in charge of your case. Normally, the person who answers your call is not your lawyer, however, you should have knowledge of the practices and experience of your representative. It is also important to try to have a licensed lawyer assigned to your case and that the firm does not rely solely on support staff for every aspect of your claim.
What is your experience with this type of case? How many car accident claims have this lawyer managed in your area? Have you previously worked with the insurer to whom the claim should be filed? What types of agreements have you managed to obtain for your clients? Will you be willing to file a lawsuit and go to court on your behalf?
Can I get a review of the firm? It is important to know the trajectory and size of your legal representative or law firm, the resources at your disposal for car accident cases, your community of doctors and experts, and any other relevant information. Has the firm received any distinction for their work or leadership in car accidents and personal injury cases?
Having knowledge of the reputation and the way in which a certain firm works can help you determine whether or not you should trust it to work on your claim.
How do you bill your costs and fees? Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, however, these agreements may vary depending on the firm. What percentage of the claim does the firm take? Do the expenses have to be paid as they are filed or deducted from their compensation? Do the fees increase if your case goes to court? It is important to discuss the particularity of expenses and fees with the firm in order to have a clear understanding of its obligations before reaching an agreement and sign it.
What is your way of communicating with customers? Does the lawyer communicate constantly with his clients to tell him about the news of the case? Is he communicating through emails, calls or text messages? At the time of your initial telephone interview, try to perceive your communication style, do you listen carefully to what they say? Do they answer your questions in detail until you are satisfied? Do they make you feel comfortable talking openly? about personal matters in your case? Communication is an essential component of the lawyer-client relationship.
Have you had any problems with your clients or with the Bar Association? Before calling any firm, do your own investigation at the State Bar in order to determine if the lawyer has had any suspension or disciplinary problems in the past and also to make sure that he or she has a positive reputation. Nor is it too much if you ask the lawyer directly (or the person who receives your phone call) about your history.
How long do you think my case will take? Although a lawyer or firm cannot give you an exact estimated time for your car accident claim, it can tell you how much you think the case will take approximately. Ask if they currently have many pending cases that require immediate attention, and if this is the case, it probably means that they will not be able to devote the necessary time to their case to ensure a prompt solution.
What will be my role in the case? Every lawyer has his way of involving his clients in the claim process. Try to clarify how you are expected to participate in this, especially if you are recovering from serious injuries.
Trust Your Instinct
Although you receive a good lawyer’s recommendation and he answers your questions as expected, in some cases you may feel something negative towards the firm. Your friend may not have liked the lawyer’s attitude and you may have connected positively during the phone call. After all, this is YOUR choice and you should trust your intuition.
Take care of those lawyers who are only interested in the financial outcome of your claim. Point to a representative who cares about your well-being and not just the money that both you and he will receive. On the other hand, if the lawyer only mentions the strengths of your case, it is because you are probably missing something important. Every case has weaknesses, and it is essential that your representative be honest about both the negative and positive aspects.
Having to deal with the stress of your injuries from the car accident is enough, so you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your lawyer has your welfare as a priority.
How Can a Talented Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
If you were seriously injured from a car accident, contact an expert lawyer in this area as soon as you can. The right legal representative will know how to deal with insurance companies that only work for their finances, and how to obtain the compensation that each client deserves. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable agreement, make sure that your lawyer will not hesitate to take your case to court in order to obtain the compensation that corresponds to you under the law.