If you or your loved one ever got injured in an auto accident, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit to claim compensation to cover your medical bills and other expenses resulting from lost wages.
Once you make up your mind to seek redress, the next thing is to look for a competent personal injury lawyer with vast experience in auto accident cases to represent you. But how can you be sure you’re choosing the best auto accident attorney?
This post explains what you should consider when hiring an attorney to defend you.
What Does A Personal Injury Attorney Do?
A personal injury attorney helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. The recovered funds are typically used to pay for medical treatment and make up for other damages like lost wages, pain and suffering.
A personal injury lawyer is an expert in tort law, which covers all civil litigation for injuries or wrongdoings resulting from negligent or intentional conduct of someone else.
The ultimate objective of injury lawyers is to make their clients (the injured plaintiffs) whole again by negotiating the highest possible compensation for the injuries suffered.
The basic roles of a personal injury lawyer include, but not limited to:
- Explain your rights
- Provide legal advice on your options
- Represent you in court (in case the case goes into trial)
- Complete a professional investigation or collaborate with independent investigators to document the scene of an accident, interview witnesses and prove liability
- Connect you with healthcare providers
- Represent and defend you all through the period of your case
How To Choose The Best Personal Injury Lawyer
The following are factors to consider when looking to hire a vehicle accident lawyer in your area or county:
- The first thing you want to confirm before engaging the service of a lawyer is if they actually specialize in personal injury law with extensive experience in auto accident cases. There are many lawyers out there who handle a variety of cases like wills, bankruptcies, divorces or trusts. Most of these lawyers are only jack of all trades and master of none.
- To boost your chances of recovering the highest settlement, you should hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. Why? Personal injury law is intricate and complex. Sometimes, cases snowball into something more complicated than anyone would ever imagine. Thus, you need an experienced lawyer on your side for quality representation.
Track record of taking cases to trial
Although 95% personal injury cases are settled without trial, yours can fall within the range of the remaining 5% that end up in the courtroom. To be on a safer side, make sure you hire an attorney with a history of taking cases to trial if necessary. Find An Auto Accident Lawyer
Why’s this important? The liable party – responsible driver and their insurer – will do their best to offer you a pittance. Worse, if they realized your lawyer doesn’t go to trial, they will take advantage of this, and pressure you to take low compensation or even deny your claim outright because they can tell that your lawyer is afraid of taking them on in the courtroom.
Ability to negotiate
- High negotiation skill is an important quality that your personal injury attorney must possess. Insurance companies are very aggressive, and would do anything possible to minimize your compensation. Thus, you need a lawyer with outstanding legal experience to effectively negotiate with the responsible party for the highest settlement in case the case doesn’t go to trial.
History of favorable verdicts and settlements
- Before hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you, find out the highest volume of verdicts and settlements they’ve recovered in the past. This is particularly important especially if you have a large case involving injuries.
- Serious vehicle accidents result in life-altering injuries or sometimes death. In such a situation, you don’t want to hire an inexperienced lawyer with no track record of delivering large settlements. Doing so may hurt your chance of recovering the highest possible compensation to cover all expenses associated with your
Reviews from their past clients
It is possible for a lawyer to aggrandize their wealth of experience or overrate their expertise. To find out the truth, read the reviews of their past clients especially on independent review sites such as Yelp or Yahoo Local.
While reviews are important, you want to be sure that the lawyer has had prior experience handling cases similar to yours in your area, county or state. Different states in the U.S. have different laws pertaining to the statutes of limitations or how comparative negligence affects a case. Therefore, the lawyer should be familiar with the personal injury law that operates in your state.
Deep connection with state and national trial lawyer groups
- When looking for a personal injury lawyer to hire, prioritize the one with active membership of state and national trial lawyer groups. These are platforms for lawyers to collaborate with, and learn from other outstanding personal injury attorneys. Insurance companies use different tactics and tricks to make the injured look bad, and make attempts to minimize their compensation. Being a member of such professional groups helps serious personal injury lawyers to glean ideas and learn from the success stories of leading legal practitioners in the field.
History of disciplinary sanction for professional misconduct
- Integrity is very key in the practice of law as in any human endeavor. History of professional sanction could be a red flag not to hire a particular lawyer. Before contacting the lawyer, make sure you find out if they have ever been censured or disciplined by any legal or ethics committees in the past for professional or ethical misconduct.
You can go with an auto accident attorney lawyer that ticks all the boxes of attributes mentioned above. Hiring the best personal injury lawyer to represent you can make the difference between recovering the highest compensation, and being pressured to settle for a pittance. With the right legal team on your side, you can concentrate on your recovery from the injury while your lawyer takes on the responsible party and their insurer on your behalf.