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After a car accident, you may not know which way to turn. According to statistics, in 2019, the average cost of injury-free car accidents was approximately $12,500. That jumps to $98,400 for car accidents resulting in disabling injuries. Even with insurance, car accidents take time and effort to settle fairly. If you need a car accident lawyer’s help, you may not know how to find the right professional. Starting your search with the right tips may reduce the time it takes to find the right person and maximize your chances of recovering a fair settlement.
The first step to finding the right legal representative is to narrow your search to lawyers who focus on car accidents. You deserve some who understands how these unique personal injury cases work and how to gather proper evidence. Even if you find a representative with decades of experience, that may not do you much good if that experience is with navigating corporate law. After all, you wouldn’t see a medical professional who specializes in the heart if you have a problem with your joints.
You can start your search for a lawyer with experience handling car accident cases by asking family, friends and acquaintances. Ask if they were in an accident similar to yours and the injuries they suffered. While gathering recommendations, remember that you may have a different opinion about a lawyer from someone else. For instance, a coworker may feel her lawyer was too aggressive, but you may think the same lawyer showed determination and unwavering dedication to protecting your rights.
Do you already have legal practitioners in your life? Perhaps a friend practices law or knows someone who practices law. Either way, your car accident lawyer could be closer than you think. Even if you already know legal professionals, ask what area of the law they focus on. Even if the person does not focus on car accidents, she or he could refer you to someone.
You can run an online search to find car accident legal representatives in your area. Most law firm sites let you submit online forms or have chatbots to help you. Usually, you need only enter a few facts about your car accident to start the process.
Say you find a lawyer whom you feel good about. Even then, she or he may not take your case. Most legal representatives work on a contingency basis. That means they base legal fees on their client’s settlement. If a lawyer does not feel a case amounts to much, they may pass on it. It costs money to operate a law office, so legal professionals must consider the cases they devote themselves to carefully. Some lawyers work by the hour, which could help you understand more about your case.
Another reason a lawyer may not accept your case is because of low odds of success. Serious harm and the potential for high compensation do not always equal a slam-dunk case. Perhaps not enough evidence exists to prove fault, or evidence may show you bear much of the blame for the accident. Sometimes, responsible parties do not have insurance to cover damages, or they do not have enough coverage for all resulting harm.
Finally, while you may have a great feeling about a specific lawyer, she or he may not feel the same about you. Legal representatives and their clients should operate on the same page. When either person feels disharmony or that something feels off about the relationship, it could benefit both parties (and the case) if they do not work together.
You may have preconceived notions about the difference a law firm’s size makes in your case. For instance, larger law firms have the resources to strong-arm insurance companies to make a fair deal, right? The truth is, a smaller law firm may put more focus on your personal injury case than a large firm. You may also feel a smaller law firm pays more attention to you. Alternatively, you may not mind the amount of attention you receive from a larger firm. You must consider your desires when thinking about law firm size.
Your choice of lawyer also depends on how large of a settlement you want to receive. After meeting with a legal representative and sharing the facts of your case, you may not feel satisfied with the lawyer’s estimate of your case’s worth. Perhaps she or he doubts the insurance company would agree to the amount you want. If so, the two of you may discuss a different way of navigating your case. For example, you may agree to your case taking longer if it means maximizing your settlement. Or, you may not mind adjusting your settlement range as long as you endure as few obstacles as possible.
One vital fact to mention is that legal cases may change. A legal approach that works at the beginning of a case may lose footing as the situation develops. Either the lawyer or the client could want to change course.
As of 2021, the U.S. has about 1.3 million lawyers. That means you have plenty of options to explore in your state alone. Understanding which professional attributes to look for could help you narrow your choices.
When you meet with a legal representative for the first time, pay close attention to how she or he pays attention to you. You deserve someone who focuses on you during meetings and makes you feel listened to and heard. Signs of an attentive lawyer include asking for facts about your case, solid non-verbal communication and asking about the outcome you desire.
Monitor how a legal representative communicates with you during your initial meeting. Does she or he break things down in terms and concepts that make sense to you? Did you leave the meeting with more questions or confusion than you had when you first sat down? How well did she or he explain the firm’s legal fee structure? How you feel during and after the initial meeting could set the stage for how you feel for the rest of the case.
Ask for recent references from potential lawyers. The right representative offers references willingly and without hesitation. When you speak to clients, ask how they enjoyed working with the lawyer and whether they felt satisfied with their case outcome. Think twice about working with lawyers who either do not provide references or do not want to offer references. That person could have something to hide.
Ask has how much experience a legal representative has with car accident cases like yours. In case the at-fault party or insurance company does not cooperate during negotiations, you may feel more comfortable turning your case over to someone with plenty of trial experience.
After a car accident, no matter how major or minor, you deserve clarity regarding your rights and your claim. Fielding Law has injury attorneys you can trust. To explore your claim, contact a representative by calling 877-880-4090. If you prefer, submit an online form.