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How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer?

car accident

Car accidents are traumatic enough, especially if you sustain injuries. But dealing with insurance companies alone just adds to the trauma you have already suffered. A Car accident Lawyer are personal injury lawyers who specialize in automobile accidents and insurance laws and regulations.

While is not a requirement to hire an attorney for your case, your chances of obtaining appropriate compensation will be greatly reduced without legal representation. Instead, the insurance company will most likely offer the minimum payout. Auto accident attorneys are seasoned in handling insurance companies and their tactics to avoid payouts, even in cases with serious injuries.

Consulting an attorney is crucial if you sustained injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence. Serious injuries can result in lifelong complications or disabilities with skyrocketing medical costs and loss of income for you and your family.

You can hire an attorney at any point during your case before the settlement, but it is best if you consult an attorney as soon as possible following the accident, especially if there are injuries. They are skilled in handling insurance companies and having legal representation to speak for you prevents you from unknowingly stating something to the insurance company that could damage your case and the settlement offer.

What Should I Consider When Looking for an Attorney?

When choosing an attorney to represent you, there are many important factors to consider. In order to find a lawyer, you feel most comfortable and confident about, you will need to do a little upfront research and interview potential candidates during your initial consultation. Consider the following when searching for the best attorney for your case:

  • Experience: There are a few different specialties under the umbrella of personal injury attorneys, such as workers’ compensation, class action suits, and car accidents. For your case, focus on those who specialize in car accidents with a breadth of experience, who have taken cases all the way to trial, and who have a successful track record of winning settlements and judgements for their clients.
  • Cost: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid until your case is won and you receive a settlement. Carefully review the fee agreement to understand the structure and what costs you will be expected to cover.
  • Communication: This will be obvious when you speak with potential attorneys on the phone or during the initial consultation. Does the attorney speak with you using easy-to-understand terms and explanations, or legal jargon that you find confusing? You will likely be working with the attorney you choose for many weeks, months, or longer, and you need to be able to communicate clearly and freely with them. Additionally, ask how the attorney prefers to communicate when not in-person, such as phone calls or emails.
  • Reputation: Lawyers and law firms are built on reputation and the legal community and insurance companies are well aware of those with proven track records of success, as well as those who don’t. You want a lawyer and law firm experienced in negotiation and litigation with insurance companies, as an attorney with a substandard record can negatively impact the amount of compensation you may receive, especially if the insurance company is aware of the lawyer’s weak points. Research online, question friends or acquaintances who hired the firm, customer reviews, awards won, bar association memberships, and related news stories featuring the lawyer or firm. Research what other attorneys say about them and the percentage of referrals they receive – the higher the better.
  • Professional team: Car accident lawsuits can be complex and involve investigations, witness interviews, expert witnesses, accident scene reconstruction, and more. You will want to hire an attorney who has the staff and resources to adequately handle your case and assist and communicate with you.
  • Representation: Be sure to confirm who will be representing you. It is not uncommon that new clients may be passed on to another attorney to ultimately represent you, not the one you are speaking with during the initial consultation, especially if the firm is large. Ask who will be representing you and, if you feel comfortable with the attorney you are speaking with, request for them to specifically represent you.

One of the biggest challenges in selecting the right attorney is narrowing the field, particularly in high population areas with thousands of lawyers. Websites such as Nolo.com and AllLaw.com are great resources that offer free legal information and directories of attorneys to help you compile a list.

Once you have compiled a list of potential candidates, make a list of questions to ask during the initial consultation and bring copies of all relevant documents, such as the police report, medical records and bills, pay stubs for proof of income, and any communication you have received from your insurance company and the other driver’s. If you plan to meet with several attorneys, make multiple copies of this information so each can retain a copy to review after the consultation to determine if they will take your case.

Does the Lawyer Have to Take My Case?

One key element to remember when selecting an attorney or firm is that they must also agree to take your case. As previously mentioned, most personal injury lawyers work on contingency and receive a percentage of the damages you recover. If the settlement you are likely to receive is low, most attorneys will not accept the case.

The cost of operating a law firm and the potential resources involved in car accident cases are high, it is not economically sound for an attorney to take a low-paying case. Though some attorneys who forgo working on the entire claim may be willing to advise you on parts of the claim and you would pay their hourly rate for those services.

A low settlement is not the only reason an attorney may decline to represent you. Even in cases involving serious injuries and the potential for higher compensation, the attorney may pass if he feels your chances of winning the full compensation amount is low. This is typical in situations where you may be partially or largely responsible for the accident, proving fault is difficult, or the at-fault defendant has little or no insurance.

Sometimes an attorney is just not a “good fit.” While you are interviewing the attorney to find the one you are most comfortable with, they are doing the same. If the attorney feels your personalities seem to clash, they may choose to decline the case, even if you do not feel the same. Personal injury cases take a long time to complete; you want to work with an attorney you get along with and one who also wants to work with you.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Clients Injured in Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident by a negligent driver, our experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. are available to help you recover compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware. We represent clients in Dover, New Castle County, Sussex County, and throughout Delaware.