How to Find an Accident Attorney Near Me
If you have been a victim of an accident that has caused you harm or injury, you should contact a state-licensed personal injury attorney who specializes in handling accident cases such as yours. Your first step is to answer the question, “How do I find the best accident attorney near me.”
Suffering from one or more injuries can have a negative long-term impact on your career, as well as cost you a considerable amount of money in medical bills. One of the most important responsibilities of an accident lawyer is to help their clients recover as much money as possible from an insurance company and therefore giving them the means that they require to move on with their lives. Your attorney also might decide to file a civil lawsuit that gets you just compensation for the negligence of a person or business.
What Are the Most Common Types of Accidents?
Accidents that cause personal injuries come in many forms. Let’s take a look at the most common types of accidents.
Each year in the United States, millions of people suffer injuries that are caused by motor vehicle accidents. If you have been in a motor vehicle accident as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you might be eligible to receive financial assistance for your injuries.
Healthcare workers that commit acts of negligence can often cause serious injuries. They do not intentionally want to harm patients, but carelessness leads to issues such as misdiagnosis, improper treatment, surgical errors, and incorrect medication prescriptions.
An accident caused by a dangerous condition on someone else’s land is called premise liability. This type of accident includes fallen objects, slip and falls, tripping over an obstacle, and exposure to harmful chemicals.
Also a type of accident that is caused by careless behavior, wrongful death cases often involve medical malpractice, construction accidents, motor vehicle crashes, and neglect at nursing homes. A wrongful death lawsuit allows for the recovery of damages that are unique compared to the damages awarded in non-fatal accident cases.
Defective products and a lack of warning labels can lead to a product liability lawsuit. Dangerous foods, drugs, and consumer goods lead the list of products that are a part of product liability claims and lawsuits.
How to Choose the Best Accident Lawyer Near You
Choosing the right personal injury attorney requires research, but you want to act as quickly as possible to expedite an insurance claim and file a lawsuit if recommended by your legal counsel. Answering the question, “How do I find an accident attorney near me” starts with considering the experience of an attorney.
Does the Attorney Have a Proven Record of Success?
Although you want to work with an attorney who has compiled a record that covers several years, you want the lawyer to demonstrate that the experience has led to the successful end of personal injury cases. Most personal injury lawyers mention experience on their websites, but when you sit down with a personal injury attorney, you want to ask the following questions.
- How long have you been in practice
- How long have you handled this type of accident case?
- What percentage of your practice involves managing personal injury cases?
- What is your record for winning civil lawsuits?
- Do you mostly represent plaintiffs or defendants?
- Do you have experience dealing with the insurance company that is involved in this case?
Knowing whether an attorney has a record of representing plaintiffs or defendants is an important question to answer. You want to hire a personal injury lawyer who has represented defendants and not plaintiffs such as businesses and insurance companies. An attorney who has established a professional relationship with the insurance company or even a specific insurance adjuster is a significant benefit.
What is the Fee Arrangement?
You can cross any personal injury attorney off your list of candidates if the lawyer charges for an initial consultation. If you sit down for a free initial consultation, ask the legal counsel about the fee arrangement. Paying by the hour can quickly rack up legal fees that run thousands of dollars. An attorney who charges on a contingency basis receives a percentage of the financial award given by an insurance company or the compensation ordered by a judge in a civil lawsuit. A contingency fee arrangement is also a good idea because your attorney will work as hard as necessary to get you a favorable lawsuit and/or insurance company ruling.
Who Will Represent You?
If you decide to hire a law firm to handle your accident claim, you can expect two or more attorneys to work together. Less experienced lawyers and paralegals take care of routine cases. You want to know which attorney is going to represent you when the time comes to file a claim with an insurance company and/or file a civil lawsuit. You want to work with a senior partner of a law firm that has built an impressive record that spans many years of successfully representing personal injury clients.
How Does a Lawyer Communicate?
Communication is one of the most important factors for establishing a strong relationship with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney who waits 24 hours to return an email or a phone call might not be the right fit for you. Timing is important for personal injury cases, as many types of accident claims need to be filed soon after the accident.
You should ask the following questions to determine how an attorney communicates.
- Does the lawyer listen to your concerns?
- Does the lawyer listen to your input?
- Do you receive prompt callbacks and responses to email messages?
- How well does a lawyer explain legal concepts?
- Do you feel like an attorney will keep you informed every step of the way?
You do not want to hire a personal injury attorney who tells you what you want to hear instead of laying out every possible scenario, good or bad, that pertains to your case. Finding legal counsel that has strong communication skills can make the entire accident claim and/or lawsuit process much less stressful.
Reading the online reviews posted about an attorney can provide you with confirmation for the research that you have already conducted. Sites such as Yelp and Google allow former clients to write summaries of their experiences working with a particular personal injury lawyer. A lawyer’s Facebook page can also provide you with insight into the litigation skills of a personal injury attorney near you. Another source of information comes from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Although the BBB addresses complaints filed by clients, the consumer advocacy agency also rates each attorney that is in its database.
You want to work with a personal injury lawyer who has earned an A+ rating from the BBB.
What is Your Settlement Goal?
As we arrive at the end of the criteria used to answer the question, “How to find an accident attorney near me,” working with legal counsel that pursues your settlement goal is an important factor to consider. Whether you refuse to budge on a dollar amount or you are willing to negotiate a settlement to the hassle of filing a civil lawsuit, your lawyer must be on board for you to achieve your settlement goal.
Why is Networking Important for Finding the Best Attorney?
There are no shortcuts for finding a qualified personal injury lawyer who handles your type of accident case. However, there is a quicker way to find the best legal representation.
It is called networking.
Friends and Family Members
Trusted friends and family members recommend products and services that range from buying a new car to having a new roof installed on your home. Searching for the right legal representation is like shopping for an attorney. Ask trusted friends and family members if they know an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can also ask trusted friends and family members to reach out to an attorney who does not practice personal injury law to provide a reference for an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.
Contact Lawyers That You Know
From a college roommate to a member of your recreational basketball team, you might know a lawyer who practices personal injury law or knows someone who does. Going straight to the source can save you time and the stress of having to vet a list of candidates. Just make sure any personal injury attorney that you speak with possesses the credentials that we talked about earlier in this article.
State Bar Association
Your state bar association should have a large database of attorneys listed by area of expertise. Visit the state bar association’s website, and then click the link that takes you to the personal injury lawyer page. You get a detailed description of every personal injury lawyer who is licensed to work in the state where you reside. Your state bar association website should also offer plenty of resources that help you answer the question, “How to find an accident attorney near me.”
The Bottom Line
The moment of truth for when you decide on hiring a personal injury attorney might happen during the free initial consultation. Typically an hour-long, the initial consultation allows you to ask several questions that provide you with the answer you need to make the right choice for a personal injury lawyer.
Making a personal connection with a personal injury attorney can be the icing on the cake that verifies you have made the right choice for legal representation. Remember that a personal injury case is just that: personal. Making a personal connection with an attorney can be the difference between you choosing a lawyer or moving on to other candidates.
Learn more about how to select the best personal injury lawyer near you by scheduling a free consultation with an attorney at Morgan & Morgan.