What Kind of Lawyers are Needed for Auto Accidents?
Auto accidents can be devastating. Even minor accidents can cause injuries, but in the most severe collisions, the injuries can be life-changing.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, it’s important to consult with a lawyer to determine the best course of action to take.
What type of lawyer should you hire? The answer may seem obvious, but many people simply work with the first lawyer recommended to them regardless of their specialization.
Before we discuss what type of lawyer you should hire, let’s determine whether you need an attorney.
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case?
Whether or not you hire a lawyer is a personal decision, but if there are no injuries sustained, a lawyer usually isn’t needed. Your insurance company should walk you through the process of filing a claim.
If the accident caused an injury, you may want to consider at least consulting with an attorney. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, so there is no harm in finding out whether you have a case and what options you have.
Injuries that result in less than $1,000 in medical bills can often be negotiated with a claims adjuster – provided you have educated yourself on the process. Hiring a lawyer may wind up costing you more than the claim is worth.
For more serious injuries that result in thousands of dollars in medical bills, an attorney is likely your best option. An attorney will help ensure that you walk away with a fair amount of money from your insurance company. If the insurance company doesn’t want to budge, an attorney’s threat to file a lawsuit may change their minds.
It may also be beneficial to hire a lawyer if your accident involved any of the following:
- Permanent injury
- A defective part on the vehicle
- A drunk driver
- A bicyclist or pedestrian
- An 18-wheeler
- Road construction
- Head-on collision
- Missed work or income
- Not enough coverage for your damages or injuries
- Uninsured motorist
- Motorcycle accident
When to Hire an Injury Lawyer
If you feel that you can benefit from hiring a lawyer, you may be wondering when to hire one. The answer is simple: right away.
In cases of serious injury or catastrophic accidents, you don’t want to wait to hire an attorney, and you don’t want to negotiate with your insurance company. Having a dialogue with the insurance company and giving them access to your medical records will only help them build a case against you.
Consult with an attorney as soon as you can. Otherwise, you may be unknowingly waiving your rights or limiting your options in recouping damages.
Lawyers for Auto Accidents – What You Need to Know
If you’ve been in a car crash and sustained an injury, it’s important to work with a lawyer who has experience with cases similar to yours. This means hiring a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accident cases.
Hiring a general lawyer – or jack of all trades – is generally not a good idea. You need someone with experience and extensive knowledge of laws related to personal injury and traffic laws.
An auto accident attorney will know exactly what to do to either defend your case or get you the compensation you deserve.
Choosing a lawyer who specializes in car accidents is a step in the right direction, but you may also want to consider taking this theory further and choosing someone who also has experience with your injury or accident type.
If you know the extent of your injuries and you’ve yet to hire a lawyer, you can take things a step further by choosing a lawyer who not only specializes in auto accidents, but also specializes in the type of injury you’ve sustained.
Some lawyers also specialize in:
If you’ve incurred a catastrophic injury, consider working with an attorney who specializes in your injury. A lawyer who has handled spinal injuries in the past will understand the nuances and caveats of your case and how to argue your case.
If you were going in for brain surgery, would you want a brain surgeon, or a heart surgeon? Both are trained surgeons, but one focuses specifically on the brain and understands exactly how to perform the procedure with precision.
The same theory applies to choosing a lawyer. You want someone who has dealt with cases involving your type of injury so that the same precision and experience can be applied to give you the outcome you want.
What to Look for When Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Making the decision to hire an attorney is the first step. The second step is choosing an attorney. Finding the right attorney can be a challenge, and this is not a decision you want to take lightly.
Take advantage of free consultations and meet with attorneys in your area to find out which one is the right choice for you.
Friend and Family Recommendations
When choosing an attorney, you might consider asking friends and family for recommendations. If someone you know and trust has been in an accident and had a favorable outcome with their attorney, you may want to consider meeting with that attorney.
Consider the Attorney’s Experience
You already know that you should hire an attorney who specializes in car accidents, but you also need to consider experience and the results of past cases.
An attorney with the right level of experience will know how to build your case, how to calculate damages properly, and how to fight to get you the highest payout possible.
Ideally, you want a lawyer with years of experience. Attorneys who are highly experienced and have a track record of success will often post the results of their cases on their website.
Research the Attorney Online
Do your research online to learn more about the attorney and the attorney’s practice. Those who had a negative experience will likely share the details of what happened and why they were displeased with the service or the outcome.
The same can be said for those who had a good experience with the attorney.
If a lawyer has consistently poor reviews online, remove that firm from your list.
Schedule an Appointment
After you’ve done your research and narrowed your list down to a few attorneys, you can start scheduling meetings with them. Most attorneys will meet with new clients for free to discuss their cases.
A one-on-one meeting will give you a chance to see whether you get along with the attorney, and you can ask more questions about services, your case and any other concerns you might have. You may want to find out if you even have a case or what the potential outcome might be if you pursued a claim.
Many people will argue that experience trumps personality when choosing a lawyer, but this may not necessarily be true. If you don’t like your attorney or you don’t get along well, it may be difficult to work closely together.
When it comes to car accidents, a lawyer may or may not be necessary. But if you do need one, make sure that you choose the right professional for the job. That means hiring a car accident attorney who has experience with your type of case and injury.
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