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Which Car Accident Lawyer Do I Choose?

As if getting into a car accident and dealing with insurance companies wasn't stressful enough, searching for an accident attorney can sometimes be opaque. When you Google "car accident attorney near me," how are you supposed to tell whether the attorneys those search results provide will be dependable? Below, we review essential points to consider when you're searching for a car accident attorney that will put your needs first.

Qualities to Look for When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer

When searching for a car accident attorney, you'll want to remember three essential categories. No lawyer may be perfect in all these areas, but good marks in all categories are a solid sign of a reliable car accident lawyer.

Experience as a Lawyer in Car Accidents

Suppose you've decided you need a lawyer to help you deal with insurance companies after an accident. In that case, it's because you know you can benefit from a lawyer's expertise. Discover what you must do to ensure your lawyer can handle your specific case.

  • Education: To legally practice law, lawyers must have received a law degree (a Juris Doctor or J.D.) and passed the bar exam in the state where they practice. Before hiring car accident attorneys, be sure they have a law degree and are licensed to practice in your state.
  • Background: Researching an attorney's background can also be helpful before hiring one. To determine whether the individual will be a reliable car accident lawyer, check employment history at law firms specializing in personal injury, accident, and wrongful death cases.
  • Legal Knowledge: Lawyers generally specialize in niche areas of law. When looking for car accident or injury lawyers, ensure they have the legal knowledge to support your case. Experience with torts law, medical malpractice, or civil lawsuits are subjects injury lawyers should handle.

Lawyer's Fees 

Everyone knows lawyers can be expensive, but it's also true that the winningest lawyers are typically the most expensive. You should consider fees when looking for a car accident attorney, but know that, in the end, a lawyer who can win is more than worth the fees.

  • Fee Agreements: First and foremost, you need to read your lawyer's fee agreement carefully and understand what the fee agreement includes.
  • Contingency Fees: With car accidents, finding an attorney to work on contingency is best. That means an attorney will only get paid after you receive your settlement.
  • Award Percentage: Award percentages are related to contingency fees. Once you have recovered money for your losses, your lawyer will receive a portion. In many cases, lawyers will ask for one-third of your settlement. However, this percentage can be higher, especially when you take your case to court.
  • Other Fees: Other fees can apply when working with an accident attorney, such as expert witness and filing fees. You will likely have to pay these fees out of pocket but always read your attorney's fee agreement carefully.

Lawyer's Reputation

Even if lawyers aced the LSAT and have experience, they may have a poor reputation. Learn which factors to focus on when assessing the reputation of your lawyer.

  • References: When hiring a lawyer, you hire someone to complete a job. And most reputable people seeking jobs have references they can share with potential employers. Ask your prospective lawyer to provide you with theirs or do some of your research into the individual's track record.
  • Clear Communication: Dealing with legal issues is inevitably stressful. Ensure your lawyer establishes clear communication with you. Ask yourself, "Who is a good car accident attorney near me that can provide clear communication?" Be sure to assess how well the attorney communicates with you before hiring.
  • Professionalism: This goes along with communication which can affect lawyers' reputations. But professionalism includes factors like their organizational skills, whether they remain up-to-date in their field of practice, how they dress, and whether they have a professional website (or are listed on their firm's website).

If you need help connecting with an experienced, reputable, and professional car accident lawyer, CityWide Injury & Accident can connect you with its extensive network of car accident and personal injury lawyers, as well as chiropractic services to help you heal from your accident.