We all hope that we never get involved in a car accident and face the ramifications that can come with a crash, such as injuries to ourselves or our vehicles or others, having to deal with insurance and police paperwork, buying a new car or fixing up our old one, and so on.
The reality is, though, that many of us will be involved in an accident at some point in our driving life. Car accidents are common and can arise from many different causes, many of which we can’t control, such as other people being drunk, distracted, speeding, etc.
What you can control, though, is who you hire to represent you if you get injured and need a lawyer to help you get compensation for medical costs, the inability to work, or other issues. Here are some top considerations for hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car accident.
Complete Extensive Research
Firstly, do your research. Don’t just pick the first lawyer you find when you do an online search, look in a phone book, drive by a legal practice, etc. Instead, check out a variety of attorneys who represent personal injury cases in your broad area. For instance, look for a Clearwater car accident lawyer or a personal injury lawyer in Seattle, and so on. See if people you know can refer you to someone they’ve used in the past, where possible, and look elsewhere for names, too.
Sift through search listings, social media pages, ads, blog mentions, and other places to get recommendations and read reviews for people to put on your shortlist. Once you have a list of people and practices to investigate further, read up on each and check that they’re all suitably qualified, currently licensed, and have no huge red flags of concern to worry about.
Know the Outcomes You Hope to Achieve
Knowing what specific outcomes you hope to achieve by hiring a lawyer is also vital. Getting clarity on your goals will help you know the type of professional you need to find, as different people can have different achievements in mind, and not all lawyers will be able to deliver these. For instance, you might want a car accident lawyer to help you get compensation for all your medical costs after you were involved in a crash that another party caused.
Or, you may want to find a lawyer who handles nationwide or state-wide cases against car manufacturers or service repairers, etc., who may have sold faulty vehicles or done negligent work. Sometimes, you might want to recover costs from not being able to work for a period or simply to get your vehicle fixed for no out-of-pocket expenses for yourself, etc. Knowing what you want to achieve from hiring a lawyer can guide you in finding the appropriate person for your needs.
Look for a Personal Injury Legal Specialist
In particular, be sure to hire a specialist in personal injury and related law. Many lawyers might work on a few areas of law, such as personal injury, along with labor law and corporate law, perhaps, but they’re not specialists when they do so. It’s best to hire someone who knows all the ins and outs of the area you need them to excel in.
They will have a more thorough knowledge of relevant precedents and any new regulations or regulation changes and thus can advise you better or represent you more effectively in proceedings.
Ask Lawyers on Your Shortlist to Answer Some Questions for You
Finally, once you’ve satisfied the above factors, it’s time to ask for an introductory meeting with your top three or so candidates. Chatting with people in person will give you a feel for how they operate and if you’ll be comfortable having them represent you. When you meet with lawyers, it helps to have questions written down to ask them so you don’t forget anything.
For example, you might ask about their average success rate, the best and worst results they’ve had during their career, and who will work on your case if you hire them and their firm (that is, will you be dealing with other staff members in the organization and could anyone else fill in during negotiations, court dates, etc.).
Also, learn what their suggestions are for how you should move forward with your case. Plus, don’t be afraid to ask if you can speak with some of their former clients, too, to get some feedback directly from those who have used the lawyer’s services in the past.
By concentrating on checking all the boxes mentioned here, you can feel safer that you’re hiring someone you can put your trust in. Take your time choosing the right person since the outcomes depend greatly on how well they do their job.