Have you been involved in a car accident and now need to hire a personal injury lawyer? It can be daunting to choose the right one, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. You want someone who knows the law and has experience with cases like yours, but how do you find the right one?
The key is to research your options thoroughly and ask questions before signing any representation agreements. In this article, we will discuss tips to help you find the best car accident lawyer for your case.
Research Your Potential Lawyer’s Background and Experience
When selecting a personal injury attorney, research plays an essential role in making sure that you have the best representation for your case. Knowing that your potential lawyer has enough experience and training in dealing with car accident cases will give you the peace of mind they will handle your case with care and diligence. A good lawyer should also be able to provide references from past clients who have had similar experiences as yours so that you can get an idea of how successful their representation was in these situations.
How To Research Your Potential Lawyer and Law Firm
The internet is always a great place to start looking into any potential lawyers or law firms. Check out their online reviews and ratings, this will give you an idea of what kind of service they offer, as well as an understanding of how satisfied their previous clients were with their work. Make sure that they have experience in car accident cases specifically, as this ensures that they have extensive knowledge in this particular field.
Call to Discuss Your Case and See How You’re Treated
Reputable personal injury law firms offer free consultations. Feel free to call several to get a feel of how they answer your call and interact with you. After all, first impressions do matter. Does the receptionist or case analyst answer your call politely? Do they listen to you and show compassion? If not, this may be an indication of how you’ll be treated as a client.
Make Sure the Lawyer is Licensed to Practice in Your State
Before signing on the dotted line, make certain your chosen car accident lawyer is licensed to practice in your state.
Check with the California Bar Association
Determining if an attorney is licensed is easy. Check the California state bar association’s website. The bar association lists all lawyers currently licensed to practice law in the state and provides a straightforward way to verify your chosen lawyer is indeed licensed.
Consider Fees and Payment Options Before Signing any Contract With a Car Accident Lawyer
It’s important to discuss all fees with potential lawyers before signing any representation agreement. They should answer all of your questions regarding their payment process and provide complete transparency on the topic.
Before signing any agreement, make sure you understand all payment policies and procedures so there are no surprises down the road.
It is also important to find out about the medical network the law firm you hire uses, if they use one at all. This is especially important if you didn’t have medical insurance at the time of your car crash. Ask if you are responsible for any medical costs. If they are a trustworthy law firm, you shouldn’t have to pay for any medical costs out-of-pocket, they should be subtracted from your settlement or verdict amount. And that information should be included in your representation agreement.
Contingency Fee Basis
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a lawyer is their ability to handle your case on a contingency fee basis.
What Are Contingency Attorney Fees?
Contingency attorney fees are when lawyers work on cases with no up-front cost to the client. Instead, they will get paid only if they win or settle the case. This type of arrangement is beneficial for those who find themselves in difficult financial situations due to an unexpected accident. Since there is no risk to the client, it allows them to get legal representation without having to worry about paying any costs upfront.
Why Are Contingency Attorney Fees Beneficial For Car Accident Victims?
When you’ve been in a car accident, it can be difficult to focus on anything other than recovering from your injuries and getting back on your feet. Having a lawyer who works on a contingency basis can help alleviate some of this stress since there won’t be any up-front costs or bills that need to be paid right away.
Another benefit is that lawyers who work on contingency fees have an incentive to win the case since they will only get paid if the victim wins compensation from their lawsuit. This means that they will make sure all aspects of the claim are properly handled and that no stone is left unturned when it comes to gathering evidence and filing paperwork correctly with the court system.
Contingency fees also ensure that car accident victims don’t end up paying more than necessary for legal services as attorneys usually take a percentage of whatever amount is awarded in damages from the lawsuit. Make sure you understand the percentages. Generally speaking, it varies. There is one percentage if the case settles before going to trial, which most car accidents do. However, if the case does go to trial, most personal injury law firms take a slightly higher percentage because of the cost involved in taking a case before a judge and jury. Don’t be afraid to ask about the firm’s percentages before signing on.
Review Past Cases Similar to Yours to See How They Might Handle Your Case
When selecting a lawyer, they must have experience and credentials in car accident cases similar to yours. Ask potential lawyers about their experience with similar cases and review their past successes. Ask for references from clients who have used their services or talk to friends or family members who may have worked with them before.
A good lawyer should also be able to provide you with evidence of their experience and credibility, such as certifications or awards received from professional organizations or peer reviews from other lawyers. Reputable personal injury law firms usually have an Awards and Honors page on their websites. Take a look at those. Are the awards recent? Are they from recognized organizations? That can give insight into the firm and the attorney who work there.
Review Past Case Successes
When researching potential lawyers, it’s important to review past cases that are similar to yours to gain more insight into how they might handle yours. Many law firms publish their top results on their websites so prospective clients can get an idea of what types of claims they specialize in and how successful they have been with them. It will give you a better understanding of what kind of settlement could be expected if they were to take your case on as well as provide peace of mind knowing that they have successfully handled similar cases before.
Maintain Communication Throughout the Process So You Know What’s Going on at all Times
When you hire a car accident lawyer, they will be working hard on your behalf to ensure that you receive full compensation for damages and losses related to your car accident. Larger firms have the resources needed to assign case managers to each client. These case managers assist the attorney working on the case and also communicate with the client as needed.
Maintaining open communication with your case manager and attorney allows you to keep up-to-date on any changes in the status of your case, such as any settlement offers from the insurance company. Your attorney will advise you whether you should accept the offer or not, but ultimately, the final decision is yours.
It also allows you to ask questions about any aspect of your case and understand what happens next before it occurs. This way, there won’t be any surprises down the road because you will already know exactly where things stand and what comes next.
Finding the right car accident lawyer for your case is essential to ensure you are represented fairly and receive all the compensation you deserve. Taking the time to research potential lawyers, ask questions about their strategies, review past cases, and understand the client representation agreement before signing it can help make sure you hire someone who will fight hard for your rights.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding an experienced car accident lawyer who understands how best to represent your interests.
My experience was good. They made sure to kept me in the loop and made sure to let me know what was going on the whole time. My mom has used other attorneys and this experience was beyond better. I would definitely recommend them!
— Ashley Magana
The attorneys were always available and answered my questions. I would recommend them to anyone. Zoe is the best!
— Janet Salazar
My experience with The Dominguez Firm and the attorneys was really good. They were very informative and always returned my calls.
— Jocelyn Gonzalez