What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine the leading cause of death? Most people picture heart disease or the flu. The answer may surprise you: car crashes.
The problem is, a car accident is incredibly complex, legally speaking. It’s a tricky game of juggling traffic violations with user error and poor road conditions. Determining who is at faultand who should payis often less straightforward than it would seem.
That’s where an accident attorney comes in. With their help, the plaintiff has the maximum chance of success when taking things to court. Keep reading as we discuss what qualities you should look for when you hire an attorney.
An Accident Attorney With Specialization in Your Needs
Car accidents come in all shapes and sizes. You have fender benders, multi-car pileups, hit-and-runs, and even road rage. Some of these are run-of-the-mill for any lawyer, while others require them to have a certain specialty.
For example, road rage and aggression could quickly evolve into a case of attempted murder. A multi-car pile-up could point to a manufacturing error that results in a recall. So the question is, what sort of case did you get involved in?
An injury lawyer will be able to help you pursue compensation for accident-related injuries. But a corporate law lawyer may be required in instances of manufacturing malfunctions.
Long story short, make sure to hire a lawyer that can handle your sort of case. And while we’re on that topic…
Having Good Experience
Take a look at any high-profile case in recent years. You will undoubtedly find a skilled team of lawyers behind it.
Take, for example, the Johnny Depp defamation trial. The lead lawyer on the case was 38 years old, well into her legal career. If celebrities only hire seasoned lawyers, that’s a good indication that one thing matters most: experience.
It only makes sense why experience matters so much in the field of lawas it does in any field. Law is perhaps the most complex career on earth. It requires understanding an incredibly dense and tricky minefield of legislation and precedent.
Making Solid Arguments
It’s not just knowing the law and how it functions. It’s knowing how to argue around it. At the end of the day, a lawyer’s job is all about making good arguments.
So, head straight to a lawyer’s testimonial page. Peruse their education and their work history. The more years they have in this field, the better.
Take note of the big cases that they have handled and the ultimate verdict. If they have a long string of success, you know you’re looking at the right person.
Being Charismatic, Friendly, and Compassionate
Too often, people see lawyers just as legal aid and nothing more. This is a mistake. A lawyer is more akin to a business partner and a friend.
After all, a lawyer is tied to the success of your case. They often work on contingency, which means that they only get paid if they win your case. If they fail to convince the judge that you’re right, that means no payday for them.
In a sense, you and your lawyer have the same goal at the end of the day. This means that over the course of your case, they’re your best friend and number-one fan.
The Strain on Relationships During a Case
When your friends, co-workers, and familial relationships fail you, a lawyer should step in. They keep you motivated to keep pushing; to keep fighting until you get the verdict that you deserve.
If the interaction with your lawyer makes you feel like just a number on a spreadsheet, keep looking. Stop when you’ve found someone that makes you feel like you’re at home.
Giving You The Time of Day
A lawyer may seem like a charismatic chap who is capable of doing what you need. However, another problem may manifest itself: the lawyer doesn’t have the manpower. Their firm is taking on a lot of cases at once, leaving them with little room for more.
Take note of how much attention they dedicate to your case. Are they leaving you with long periods without correspondence? This may be a sign that they are unable to handle your case on top of their current workload.
In other words, prioritize lawyers that give you the time of day. The sort that makes you feel like you’re the only clienteven when you probably aren’t.
Remember, a lawyer is a businessman at heart. Their job is to provide exceptional customer service. If they fail to rise to the task, the market will deprive them of further business.
Serving in Your Local Area
Many firms will serve an entire city or multiple cities. There may even be a chain of firms that span an entire state, or multiple states. Like big companies, these firms suffer from one problem: a lack of personalization.
Big companies simply cannot provide the same level of bespoke customer service as smaller firms. It’s almost a law of physics at this point. Instead, trust those with some stake in your local community.
Find a lawyer that has helped on cases around your city or township. Find more on alphaaccidentlawyers.com.
It’s hard to find a lawyer who’s trustworthy these days. Their reputation tends to remain in lockstep with politicians. If there’s a joke about rolling a school bus full of people off a cliff, lawyers are usually the butt of it.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t good lawyers; it’s just hard to identify them. So, make the process a bit easier for yourself. Ask their previous customers.
Check Out Their Testimonials
Testimonials are an excellent place to start. Sure, they can occasionally be cherry-picked. On the whole, though, nobody says something positive about a company unless the service was really good.
Check out the firm’s website to see what others are saying about the lawyer in question. Take note of common threads. Look for testimonials that praise thoroughness, attention to detail, and positive interactions.
A lack of testimonials is definitely a red flag.
Having Good Reviews
Of course, testimonials tend to be hand-selected by a firm from their favorite clients. It’s natural to be suspicious of them. For all you know, they could well be entirely fake.
So, remove trust from the equation. Reviews are an excellent way to find out the truth of a firm. A lawyer has no control over Yelp or Googlenor what people say there about them.
You can find reviews on dozens of websites, all with highly useful information. You see the best and the worst. Particularly the latter.
Someone who has had a bad experience won’t pull any punches. If they’ve gotten the short end of the stick, they will tell you in gory detail. A poor job is something a lawyer won’t be able to bury, not with a negative review out there about it.
Reviews From Friends
Drive down any American highway, and you will spot hundreds of billboards advertising lawyers. Drive down any town square, and you will see firm after firm lined up like crackers in a box. The point is simple: you have a lot to choose from.
There are plenty of ways to narrow down your options, but none is better than asking friends. Word of mouth continues to be one of the most important factors for marketing firms. They understand that a personal recommendation is worth more than a thousand ad impressions.
An Honest Review
With your friends, you have somebody you trust who has worked with that lawyer. They know all of their idiosyncrasies, their weaknesses, and their disadvantages. If there are issues, they won’t spare you the bloody details.
Likewise, they will sing high praises for a lawyer who got the job done. A recommendation from a friend is bulletproof. You can’t go wrong if you hire a lawyer according to their recommendations.
Handling All the Documentation
There is a ton of documentation work when it comes to being a lawyer. In all honesty, that’s what they spend 90% of their days doing. They read for long hours over legal contracts, legislation, and prior case law.
Of course, this documentation can be daunting for the layman, such as yourself. It will be full of legalese that’s impenetrable for the average person. Could you, on the spot, provide the definition of Chevron Deference without looking it up?
Freeing Up Your Schedule
It’s not just your lack of knowledge that’s the issue. You don’t have the time to be rifling through old bits of parchment. Your efforts are better spent doing what you do best: living life.
Look for a lawyer who is up to the task of dealing with all the fine print and terms and conditions.
Too many people believe the old myth that witness testimony is the most important part of the case. Testimony can be a valuable part of the case, sure. But far more important is physical evidence.
Evidence for a car accident comes in a wide variety of forms. You have dash cam recordings, traffic light recordings, pictures of the vehicles, insurance policies, and so much more. Even one of these things can have a monumental effect on a case’s outcome.
It’s a lawyer’s job to gather all of this evidence. They need to speak to the insurance companies and obtain dashcam evidence from witnesses. If they aren’t able to gather evidence in whatever form it takes, your case suffers.
So, make sure that your lawyer is able to do all of the necessary groundwork. Otherwise, consider patronizing their competition.
You aren’t made of money. If you were, you wouldn’t be shopping around for the best lawyer on a budget. You’d pay for Johnny Depp’s team.
Alas, you are probably in over your head with medical bills and a new car payment. There’s not enough left over for a Starbucks coffee, let alone legal fees.
Fortunately, as we mentioned, you have a contingency fee. The lawyer only takes their cut once they have won the case for you. If they fail to do so, you don’t pay a single penny.
You can also look at lawyers that charge a flat fee. If you anticipate that this will be a long case, then you can save yourself some money. A flat fee means that no matter what happens, the fees you pay stay the same.
Make sure you choose a lawyer that is fully open about all of their costs. They should explain to you, in detail, what every sundry charge and add-on means. Avoid those that slap on surprise fees at the eleventh hour.
Finally, remember that you get what you pay for. Going cheap may end up being more expensive in the end. Find a balance between lawyers that make it affordable without being suspiciously cheap.
Explaining It Like You’re Five
ELI-5, or explain it to you like you’re five, is a simple concept. It’s about unpacking complex topics in a way that a child could understand them. As intelligent and knowledgeable as lawyers may be, those qualities are worthless unless they can distill what they’re thinking.
Find a lawyer that is able to dumb complex things down so they make sense to you. They shouldn’t be bludgeoning you over the head with legalese. It’s their job to make sure everything is comprehensible.
So, take care and find lawyers that will keep you in the loop!
Find a Lawyer Today
An accident attorney is an indispensable tool when dealing with a car accident case. That said, don’t just choose the first one that appears in the yellow books. Keep the above things in mind as you search for the right injury lawyer for you.