How Do I Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer for My Case? – 2020 Guide
The litigation proceedings following an auto collision take quite a bit of work, especially for victims. To prove that the other driver was at-fault and demonstrate your precise needs for compensation, you must collect a substantial amount of evidence. This is quite a challenging task to accomplish on your own, as you do not have the legal authority to request expert testimonies or secure footage from traffic cameras, for example.
However, a lawyer can fulfill this work for you and improve your chances of securing compensation for your injuries and other damages. Knowing these potential benefits is only the first step to securing the legal representation you need to resolve your car accident case. The very knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Reyes Law in Texas have provided a clear guide in choosing the perfect attorney for your specific circumstances.
Checking the Lawyer’s Background
Understand that, when you hire a car accident lawyer, you are searching for someone to fulfill a critical purpose for you. You are entrusting several aspects of your life to the legal team you choose to hire, namely, your driving record (in the case of possible shared liability) and your finances. Your lawyer’s duty is to represent you as best they can to protect all these facets of your life and identity while empowering you to recover from the crash with as little hassle as possible.
You must be able to trust your potential lawyer accordingly. To appropriately vet lawyers for your case, follow the steps listed here:
1. Read the firm’s past reviews. Past client feedback is critical to your decisions when seeking a lawyer for your case. Their insights will provide you a direct window into how this lawyer works, the clarity and effectiveness of their communication, as well as their rate of success. You might also get some information on their investigative process, which can help you decide on whether they’d be the right choice for your case. Unfortunately, not all reviews are genuine, so you’ll need to know how to filter those out by watching out for these telltale signs:
- The firm only has five-star reviews. Even the best law firms will be hard-pressed to receive exclusively five-star reviews. This could be a sign of manipulated or false feedback.
- The firm is only a few years old but has more reviews than older, more established legal teams. Too many reviews relative to the age of the firm could be a sign that they collected (perhaps, even paid for) superficial, inauthentic feedback to suggest that they have more experience than they do.
- Reviews with no added text. When people hire car accident lawyers, they hire them to get out of a tremendously difficult, possibly life-changing situation. It is highly unlikely that someone will have no feelings or thoughts to express when leaving feedback for a legal team that either succeeded or failed to win their case.
2. Their lawsuit and trial history. Law firms with a sparse history of lawsuits and consequential trials are likely to inspire a lowball settlement from the defendant’s legal defense. This is because the opposing representation does not take them seriously, as their history shows that they are unlikely to pursue the case any further than an initial settlement. For this reason, it’s best to avoid lawyers with little to no trial history. (If they file lawsuits 50-60% of the time, they could be a suitable lawyer for you.)
3. Request References. This goes hand-in-hand with past client reviews, but is much more direct and can yield more details concerning the lawyer’s services and process. If the lawyer is hesitant to provide references, you might want to move onto another firm.
Critical Questions to Ask
When you’ve found a few lawyers that you believe are best suited to your case, you’ll want to progress the search by interviewing each of them and determining how exactly they can support you. While you do this, pay attention to which lawyers are essentially interviewing you in return. (An experienced, reliable lawyer will not take on a case that they do not believe they can win, or that does not fall in line with their expertise. Your ideal lawyer will need to ask you questions in return to learn as much about your case as possible before moving forward.)
The most important questions you must ask your prospective car accident lawyers include:
- How long have you been in practice? (Your ideal lawyer should have several years of experience in their field.)
- Do you specialize in car accident cases? What other areas of expertise do you have?
- What are your preferred methods of communication (i.e., email, phone, text)?
- Will I be working directly with you, or will others in your firm be managing my case instead?
- What are your fees? (You can also request an itemized bill.)
- Do you work on contingency, or will I have to pay upfront? Are there options for a payment plan?
Selecting Your Lawyer
Every exchange between you and your potential lawyer should be exceedingly clear – do not leave any gray area in your communications, as this may cost you if the accident case does not go your way. The last thing you want is for your lawyer to be just as confusing and uncooperative as the defendant’s legal representation.
If you have established that your lawyer prioritizes your best interests concerning the outcome of your case and that they have the resources and expertise to represent you as necessary, it is time to move forward with a retainer agreement. Read the document carefully, and be sure to relay any questions you might have to the lawyer to ensure you are both on the same page as you resolve your case.
Take your time and do as much research as you can when selecting a lawyer to help resolve your car accident. Follow this guide when you’re ready to begin reaching out to your preferred firms, and you can be confident that you will find a distinguished professional who can ensure your success in securing compensation after the crash.