Being in a car accident is bad enough, but making the mistake with hiring a bad lawyer is worse. When you want to pursue a lawsuit for your car accident, you need to hire a lawyer with excellent qualifications. How do you know what those qualifications are if this is the first time you have ever hired a car accident attorney? Well, there are some dead giveaways in terms of what you should be looking for.
A lawyer that’s only been defending clients for a year may not have enough experience to defend your case. That’s not to say that a green lawyer wouldn’t do a great job defending you, but he or she might not know how to pivot in court when evidence is presented that might turn the case against you. Since a lot of car accident cases are often settled outside of court, there’s also the possibility that such an inexperienced lawyer might not get you enough compensation. The more experience a lawyer has, the better the outcome (potentially) for you.
Lawyers work very hard to have an excellent track record. It’s not impressive to take losing cases that lose. Only a track record with a nearly perfect winning streak is something lawyers want to show potential clients. Clients are impressed when they know they are hiring a lawyer that can win. This requirement comes in two parts. First, make sure you hire a lawyer with an excellent wins record. Second, if more than one lawyer say you don’t have a case, it’s possible that you don’t, or that your evidence isn’t strong enough to argue in your favor. Pay attention to what the lawyers tell you during your consult.
Specific Types of Car Accident Cases
It behooves you to hire an attorney that focuses on cases similar to your own. If a lawyer only takes cases where one party is a semi truck driver and the other party is a passenger vehicle driver, and your case is a DUI case, it’s not likely to go well. Hire the right accident lawyer for your case. If you were the victim, hire the lawyer that defends the victims of these cases. If you are the one someone else is suing, then you need a car accident defense attorney. Ask lawyers the right questions regarding the types of accident cases they usually take and defend.
A Lawyer That Listens
Some lawyers do not listen to their clients. That’s unfortunate when you consider how much money lawyers are paid. Spend some time in face to face situations with each lawyer you are considering for hire to see which ones are the best listeners. If a lawyer takes the time to listen to you when he or she isn’t even your hired lawyer yet, that’s the right lawyer to hire.
Excellent Communication Skills
Lawyers roll along doing this and that behind the scenes for your case. If the lawyer isn’t communicating with you and preparing you for a hearing or telling you what the settlement looks like, that’s not a good lawyer. You are the client. You want a lawyer who clues you in, keeps you in the loop, and gives you regular updates regarding your case. You will see in emails, texts, and even in person if a lawyer can be effective in communicating with you.
Financing or the Means to Help You Pay
Lawyers can’t defend cases for free. It would be nice if they could, but they need to eat and pay bills too. A good lawyer understands that a car accident can devastate your finances and will try to work with you to make this business arrangement work. Sometimes that means that the lawyer has in-house financing or payment plans for clients. At other times it means that the lawyer takes personal injury cases on contingency and works hard to win your case so he or she gets paid. Choose the option and the lawyer offering it based on your needs and ability to pay.
An Excellent Grasp of the Law in Your State
You can’t hire a lawyer that is only licensed in another state. They can’t help you. You have to hire a lawyer in your own state, or at the very least, a lawyer that is licensed in your state and one or more other states. The lawyer should have an excellent grasp of the law, right down to unusual precedents in cases of a similar nature. Once you find a lawyer that fits all of the above guidelines, hire that one.