If you were involved in an car accident, you’re probably deciding whether you need to hire an car accident lawyer. If you do hire a lawyer, you want the best lawyer you can find.
This article will help you decide whether you need an auto accident lawyer’s help with your car accident claim and things you should consider when hiring a lawyer. When all is said and done, you want an experienced lawyer that puts your interests above everything else.
Every case is different, however, it’s never a bad idea to give a car accident lawyer a call to see if he or she can help you. It won’t cost you a dime, and you can get a lot of your questions answered.
Feel free to use and share this checklist tool to find the best car accident lawyer:
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In most cases, you are better off hiring a lawyer for your car accident. On average, accident lawyers will get you 3.5 times more than you can get on your own. That means that, even if the lawyer is charging you 33%, you will still end up with more money in your pocket. Not to mention, your personal injury lawyer will help you with getting the right medical treatment, coordinating medical bills, dealing with the insurance companies and collections agencies, and numerous other services. Read this prior post for a detailed summary of all the services we perform for our clients. So, if you are injured in an auto accident, you should certainly call an auto accident lawyer.
However, you don’t always need a car accident lawyer. If you are involved in a minor automobile accident, with very little or no property damage, and received no injuries, then you do not need an attorney. You are better off handling the property damage claims yourself, rather than paying an attorney to do this for you. In most instances, property damage claims are usually straightforward and are resolved without too much difficulty.
Not all lawyers are created equally when it comes to handling your auto accident claim. You want to choose a lawyer that has handled at least several hundred auto accident claims. There are many lawyers out there claiming to be “personal injury” lawyers or “auto accident” lawyers; however, many of them have very little experience handling these types of claims. Be sure you don’t hire a lawyer that is trying to figure it out as he goes.
If you want a chance at choosing the best car accident lawyer, choose one that does only personal injury.
Interview the lawyer before you hire him or her. For example, ask the lawyer how many clients he’s helped with their auto accident claim, whether he has experience litigating an auto case, whether he’s negotiated auto accident cases before, his experience with the insurance companies involved in your case, and his familiarity with the type of injury that you received in the accident.
Check review sites, such as Avvo.com, Facebook, and Google to see what others are saying about the auto accident lawyer or law firm. If most clients or reviewers are satisfied with their experience, then you are probably going to have a good experience. There will always be a few clients that are unhappy no matter the outcome, so look at what most clients are saying about the lawyer or law firm.
Be sure to read the actual reviews. Unfortunately, some law firms may pay their clients to leave a review, or even worse, pay non-clients to leave a review.
Just like when going to see a doctor, you want to choose the right legal specialist. When having a baby, you go see a gynecologist, not an optometrist. If you are having heart problems, you’re better off seeing a cardiologist than an orthopedist. While all doctors can help their sick patients to some extent, there will come a point where the right medical specialist is needed to make sure the patient is properly cared for.
The legal field is no different; you want to hire the right legal specialist. For a divorce case, you should hire a divorce attorney who handles divorce cases on a regular basis. If you are filing bankruptcy, you will have better success with a bankruptcy attorney that knows the latest bankruptcy law and ways to protect you best during bankruptcy. For your auto accident case, it’s usually better to stay away from general practice lawyers or those that do not usually handle auto accident cases. Instead, hire an attorney that mostly handles car accident cases.
Look at what the lawyer has been able to accomplish for his clients. Many law firms have a “Results” page that highlight some of their settlements, verdicts, and awards. Go to these pages and read the results. It’s not easy to get multiple 7 or 8-figure result. Those that have are experienced and know how to win. This gives you a better chance at succeeding with the right car accident lawyer.
For an example of a Results page, check out some Parker & McConkie’s lawyer’s results here.
Keep in mind that there’s more to the process than just getting you money. You need emotional support, good communication, direction on financial planning, and a moral victory. The best car accident or personal injury lawyer looks past the money. He or she will focus on making the client whole again financially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Once you’ve found the best car accident lawyer, all you need to do is hire him or her. This is the easy part.
Before a lawyer can help you, you have to sign a lawyer-client agreement. The lawyer is required to have a written attorney-client agreement or contract before working on your case. The main purpose of the agreement is to describe the contingency fee that the lawyer will charge you. The contingency fee is the amount of money that goes to your attorney if you receive money from your case. Most car accident lawyers charge around 1/3 of the settlement. If, however, you do not receive any money, then you won’t owe your lawyer a dime no matter how much time the lawyer has spent on your case.
Once signed, you are giving the lawyer permission to act on your behalf to move your case forward. You can, however, terminate the agreement any time you wish. If the lawyer does not live up to his or her agreement or promises, you can part ways. Even if you fire your auto accident lawyer, you are not obligated to pay the lawyer any money out of your pocket for fees or expenses. In rare cases, the fired-lawyer will seek reimbursement for fees when your second lawyer settles your case. But your new lawyer will work this out with no detriment to you.
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