After experiencing a traumatic car accident that left you physically and emotionally injured, unable to fully manage work and family obligations, and a car that is in shambles–finding the right car accident lawyer is essential. A car accident is a significant event as it could imprint your life hardships such as long-term injuries, financial troubles from being out of work and medical bills piling up, and PTSD.
Know that in these tough times that are not your fault, you deserve the best car accident lawyer on your side to hold the responsible party accountable.
Ensuring you have qualified legal representation as you seek justice and recompense for your losses can make all the difference.
Statistics show that, on average, people who work with attorneys are paid 3.5x more in their personal injury cases than those without legal representation.
Here are the things to look for to hire the right car accident lawyer
- Look past the glitz. Any lawyer can buy a TV ad or roadside billboard that says they are amazing. Marketing isn’t regulated and it has nothing to do with a lawyer’s experience, resources, and desire to help you be fully compensated for the devastating accident.
- Be cautious about solicitation mailings. Some car accident lawyers hire people to acquire traffic accident reports prepared by police officers. They will give addresses to the lawyer so they can send a letter to the accident victim stating they are ready to take on the case. Most of the time, these are “high volume, quick turnover” types of lawyers that have to rely on sending out thousands of letters. Many states are trying to make this practice illegal.
- Focus on clear and engaged communication. A lawyer should respond to your request in a very short timeframe and set up a meeting. The meeting should educate you about your legal rights, cover whether you may be entitled to financial compensation, and go over what they can do to help you through the personal injury claim process and toward a full recovery of your damages. The lawyer should also be straightforward in explaining their fees and procedures. In the initial conversation, ask as many detailed questions as you want. It will indicate how the lawyer will communicate throughout the entire process and their effort to bring justice to your case.
- Ask about their resources. The lawyer you choose should have the resources to hire investigators and experts and cover all legal fees from start to finish. A lawyer who lacks resources and isn’t connected with a team of experts may result in obtaining less compensation than what you deserve.
- Understand their fee structure. Almost all car accident/personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingent fee basis. As mentioned in point 4, it is usually around 30-35% of the compensation secured for the client. However, some lawyers are not clear about fees you will owe if they lose the case. Almost every case will entail some “expenses” to properly prepare. These include expert witness fees, charges for medical records, filing fees, court reporter fees, printing costs, and many other expenses that could go into a lawsuit. These fees will be paid back to the lawyer if they win, but what if they lose? Make sure to get a clear answer on this before signing a contract with a lawyer.
- Inquire about their jury trial experience. Surprisingly many personal injury lawyers have little or no jury trial experience. Insurance companies know which lawyers have court experience, and if your lawyer doesn’t, it could result in a much lower compensation package. Don’t hire a lawyer that a powerful insurance company could walk all over.
- Review awards and previous cases. Look for proof of awards and previous results on the lawyer’s website. These should be clearly listed for transparency. Some things to look out for: Are they highly rated on Super Lawyers®, on the board of International Academy of Trial Lawyers that is limited to the top 500 trial lawyers in the US, or part of The Inner Circle of Advocates - 100 of the best plaintiff lawyers in the US? Also, review recent case results and feel free to ask questions about each one.
About Bostwick & Peterson
At Bostwick & Peterson, we don’t just fiercely fight for victims of car accidents. We specialize and work with teams of experts in specific types of accidents such as driver distraction, drunk driver, head-on accidents, rear-end accidents, and uninsured motorist accidents.
Our proven record of success has led the firm to recover more than $1,000,000,000 in verdicts and settlements and has secured record-setting personal injury results in multiple states. Take a look at our proven record of success and why we have been included in the “Best Lawyers in America”© list since our inception in 1983.
Start a free evaluation of your car accident case.
We can help you understand your legal rights, whether you may be entitled to financial compensation, and what we can do to help you through the personal injury claim process and toward a full recovery of your damages.
Give us a call at 888-831-8448 or fill out our online form.