Screening A Car Accident Attorney Before Hiring Them
Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience that burdens the victim with injuries and damages. On top of the pain and disruption to your life, you now have to find an attorney to entrust with your case. It can be overwhelming to think about filing a personal injury claim and dealing with the insurance company. That’s what a car accident attorney is for – they talk to the insurance company for you, advise the experienced car accident attorneys at the McCallister Law Firm, P.C.
The internet has changed how people find lawyers since decades ago. Almost all law firms have a website where you can read testimonials, their educational background, and any awards or recognition they have received. You can read other content on their website to learn more about car accidents and compensation.
The McCallister Law Firm, P.C. also states that most personal injury firms offer new clients a free consultation so they can meet in person and discuss the accident. An attorney can advise you of your rights under your state laws. During your consultation, you will want to ask about their track record, availability to take your case and what their fee structure is.
Ask For Referrals
Many law firms are built on referrals from satisfied clients who recommend them to others. To choose an attorney, many people start out by asking their friends, families, coworkers or other networks for referrals. You can ask them questions about their experience working with that attorney, such as:
- Were you satisfied with the level of communication you received?
- Were you satisfied with the outcome of your case?
- Did you feel heard and respected?
There are many ways to search for car accident attorneys online. Your local or state bar association probably has a lawyer referral service in your area that you can contact. You can also search Google with the following keywords: “car accident attorney” + “your city name.” Another option is to search reputable databases like Avvo and Martindale Hubbell to find legal professionals in your area. You can then create a list and narrow it down to three or four attorneys that you’d like to research more and eventually contact.
Most likely, the attorneys you are interested in have a website where you can learn more about them. If they have a blog or a YouTube channel, then check out their content. There is other key information you should look out for.
Experience With Your Type Of Case
You will need to speak to a personal injury attorney if you suffered damages after a car accident, but not every personal injury attorney handles the same types of cases. Personal injury includes a range of practice areas like medical malpractice, premises liability, and Worker’s Compensation. Their website should list their experience with motor vehicle accidents.
An experienced attorney has probably dealt with many complex cases in their years of practice and has acquired specific knowledge and skills that have helped them maintain their firm this long. Attorneys are constantly expanding their networks and developing professional relationships with different types of expert witnesses who can provide useful testimony and withstand rigorous cross-examination.
Awards And Selective Memberships
Top attorneys are highly regarded by their peers and esteemed organizations. If an attorney is a member of or recognized by any of the following organizations, then they are considered a venerable firm:
- The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
- The American Association for Justice (AAJ)
- The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings
- The American Bar Association
It’s more than an honor to be invited to join these organizations. They also offer their members professional development. Laws change, and new laws are passed all the time. Decisions in other cases can also affect how attorneys practice law. By attending conferences and reading publications for lawyers, an attorney can learn a lot from leaders in their practice area.
Their Tone or Mission
It matters greatly that your attorney is compassionate and fights hard for justice. Navigate each attorney’s website to get a sense of their tone from their blogs, videos, and other web content. They may have an About Our Law Firm section on their website where you can learn more about their background and sometimes even their community involvement. If you get a good sense that the attorneys at that firm are caring and will leave no stone unturned when investigating your case, then you should call right away to schedule your consultation.
Suggested Questions To Ask During Your Free Consultation
It’s hard to know what to expect or to ask when you need to hire a car accident attorney. This list is a start to help you:
- Do you have any fees upfront or out-of-pocket fees?
- How many years have you been practicing law? What is your track record?
- Do you see anything with my case that will make it more challenging?
- What responsibility do I have for the success of my case?
- Do you have law clerks working on my case? When I call to get an update on my case, will I be able to speak to my attorney?
- Do you have experience going to trial?
- What strategy would you use in my case?
You should prepare for your consultation so that your attorney can give you more personalized advice and so that they can have a clearer understanding of what happened, where it happened, and when. You should bring a copy of the police report, photos and videos from the scene of the accident, the names and contact information of any witnesses, and copies of your medical bills.
Finally, assess how you feel during and after your consultation. Did you feel heard? Did the attorney seem knowledgeable? After gathering all of their background information, your final choice will be up to how much you trust your attorney to guide you through the legal process of getting the compensation you deserve for your damages.A co founding member of the Circle of Legal Trust, Los Angeles car accident lawyer Mike Ehline of Ehline Law, says: “With Google clogging up the front page with paid ads, many lawyers are losing their shirts on Pay Per Click.