“How can I find a car accident lawyer near me?” If you’re trying to navigate the car accident settlement process, this is a very important question. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to make sure you receive the full compensation you deserve. While it is important that you choose and start working with a good car accident lawyer quickly, it is also important that you make an informed decision. Your choice of legal representation matters; and, if your lawyer is not capable of handling your claim effectively, you might not recover full compensation for your accident-related losses.
When choosing a lawyer for your car accident settlement negotiation, there are several factors you should consider, and there are some questions you will want to ask during your free initial consultation.
In this guide to, “How do I choose a car accident lawyer near me?”, we cover:
- 10 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Accident Lawyer
- Two Factors You Should Not Have to Consider
- 10 Questions to Ask During Your Free Initial Consultation
- More Resources for Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident
- How Can I Find an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?
- Speak to a Car Accident Attorney
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10 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer
When you have a car accident insurance claim, there are several ways a lawyer can help you. While any good lawyer will be able to help you, you still want to make an informed decision, and this means considering factors such as:
1. Does the Lawyer’s Practice Focus on Auto Accident Claims?
A car accident claim is a type of personal injury claim. While it is not necessary to choose a lawyer who only handles car accident claims, this should at least be one of the main focuses of his or her practice. As a general rule, the more a lawyer focuses on these cases, the more experience he or she will have handling car accident insurance claims, and the better able he or she will be to help you recover just compensation.
2. Does the Lawyer Have Experience Representing Car Accident Victims?
Car accident claims are by far the most-common type of claim that most personal injury lawyers handle. Even so, it is worth checking to make sure that the lawyer you choose has specific experience representing car accident victims like you. For example, some injury attorneys specialize in negotiating truck accident settlements, handling aviation accidents or defective products. There are several unique aspects to recovering financial compensation after a car accident, and you will want to be sure that your accident lawyer knows what it takes to recover the compensation you deserve.
3. Does the Lawyer Have Good Testimonials or Client Reviews?
One of the best ways to determine if you are likely to have a good experience is to read a lawyer’s testimonials and client reviews. If a lawyer has lots of testimonials and a four or five-star rating, this is generally a good sign. However, you should still make your own decision and not base your choice solely on other people’s opinions. Standard review sites like google and yelp are helpful, and there are a number of attorney specific review sites and rating systems online.
4. Does the Lawyer Have a Strong Track Record of Verdicts and Settlements?
In most states, accident lawyers can post their prior case results on their website (some states consider it unethical to post sample settlements and verdicts, since past results are not indicative of future success). If a lawyer has past case results posted online, it can be informative to review these results to get an idea of what you might be able to expect if your claim is successful. However, your losses (or “damages”) are entirely unique to you, and you will need to meet with a lawyer to determine how much you may be able to recover.
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- How Much Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?
5. Does the Lawyer Work Alone or in a Larger Firm?
Larger law firms generally have more resources and have more paralegals and administrators available to help handle clients’ car accident claims. On the other hand, solo practitioners will often work more closely with their clients, and they will often take on less clients in order to devote more time and effort to each individual claim. However, these are just generalizations, and there are upsides to both options. It will just be important to think about which option seems most well-suited to your personal preferences.
6. Does the Lawyer Have Enough Time to Handle Your Claim?
Most accident lawyers are very busy, and this is not necessarily a bad thing (in many cases, it simply means that they have more experience and more knowledge and insights to offer). However, if a lawyer is too busy, then this can lead to unnecessary delays, and it can potentially result in less time being devoted to your claim. As we discuss below, during your free initial consultation, you should feel free to ask whether the lawyer is prepared to give your case the time and attention it demands.
7. How Easy Is It to Schedule a Free Consultation?
When you need to get a fair car accident settlement after an accident, scheduling a free initial consultation is the first step on your road to financial recovery. This should be very easy, and you should be able to speak with a lawyer promptly—the same day you inquire in many cases. If you find it difficult to get an appointment scheduled, this could potentially be a sign that you will face similar struggles and delays during your claim.
8. How Often Will You Hear from Your Lawyer?
When seeking to maximize your financial compensation after a car accident, it is important to be able to communicate openly and regularly with your lawyer. While you can – and should – ask about communication during your free initial consultation, you may be able to get an idea of what you can expect from the law firm’s website as well. Is the firm committed to a client-first approach? What do past clients say? These are just two examples of important pieces of information that you should be able to gather from the firm’s website.
9. What is the Lawyer’s Background?
In addition to considering a lawyer’s practice focus (i.e. a focus on personal injury claims), it is important to consider his or her background as well. In other words, how long has the lawyer focused his or her practice on personal injury representation? Successfully pursuing a car accident insurance claim is not easy, and you will want to choose a lawyer who can rely on years or decades of experience to help you recover just compensation.
10. Is the Lawyer Familiar with Your Local Area?
When it comes to the question of, “How do I choose car accident lawyer near me?”, it is important to choose someone who is familiar with your local area. If your lawyer is familiar with the location where your accident occurred, this will allow him or her to hit the ground running—and he or she may have even handled claims involving accidents in the same location. Since some claims involve road defects and other road-related issues (in addition to driver negligence), this can be an important factor to consider when choosing an accident lawyer in to represent you.
Two Factors You Should Not Have to Consider
So, those are 10 important factors to consider when answering the question, “How do I choose a car accident lawyer near me?” While many other sites discuss the following as factors to consider as well, the truth is that these are generally non-factors, as they are the same at virtually all personal injury law firms:
1. Your Initial Consultation Should Be Free and Without Pressure
When you schedule an initial consultation to discuss your car accident insurance claim, this consultation should always be free. Personal injury law firms generally do not charge consultation fees; and, if you happen to find a firm that does charge a consultation fee, you will most likely want to choose another law firm.
If you request a consultation through CarAccidentSource.com, you can be confident that you will receive a free initial consultation. Your initial consultation should also be a no-pressure experience; and, if you are not confident in a lawyer’s capabilities for any reason, you should not hesitate to contact another law firm.
2. Your Lawyer Should Handle Your Accident Claim on a Contingency-Fee Basis
Just as virtually all personal injury law firms offer free initial consultations, virtually all personal injury law firms also represent their clients on a contingency-fee basis. With contingency fees, you do not pay anything out of pocket while your claim is pending, and you do not pay anything at all if your claim is unsuccessful.
If you receive a settlement or verdict for your accident claim, your lawyer’s legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of the amount of your recovery. Before you decide whether to accept a settlement offer, your lawyer will be able to give you a breakdown of your fees and expenses so that you will know exactly how much you will take home.
10 Questions to Ask During Your Free Initial Consultation
So, now you know what factors to consider regarding the question, “How do I choose a car accident lawyer near me?”, and you are ready to schedule a free initial consultation. In addition to gathering your accident-related records, you will also want to prepare a list of questions to ask your attorney for car accidents. You can print this list to take to your appointment with you:
- How long have you been handling car accident insurance claims?
- How many car accident insurance claims have you handled?
- How often do your clients’ cases settle?
- Do you take cases to trial when the insurance companies won’t offer a fair settlement?
- How can I get in touch with you during my claim?
- How often can I expect to hear from you during my claim?
- Do you have client references who I can contact?
- Will I work directly with you, or with other lawyers or legal professionals?
- Do you have enough time available to give my claim the attention it deserves?
- What are your contingency fees?
- What’s my car accident settlement worth?
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