December 22, 2019
Avoiding the Five Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing an
Avoiding the Five Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing an Auto Accident Lawyer
When you are involved in an auto accident, your world can be flipped upside down in a matter of seconds. With added stress, injuries and other sorting out to do, it’s not exactly the simplest choice when you’re suddenly presented with the task of choosing a lawyer. To help make your search a bit easier, here are the five biggest mistakes to avoid when selecting an auto accident lawyer.
Selecting a Lawyer That’s Too Big: Many people think that the biggest law firms are the best, so they go to the first one they find. What you may not know is that you get better service when you go with a mid-sized or small-sized firm because you wont be passed around from person to person and can develop a more personal relationship with your lawyer.
Assuming Cost is the Most Important Factor: Dont fall into the trap of choosing a lawyer based on the cost of services they charge. While it can be tempting to go with the less expensive option, you are more likely to have a successful outcome if you go with a lawyer who has higher fees but specializes in auto accident cases.
Believing All Lawyers are the Same: While it may be easy to assume that all lawyers are the same, that’s not the case. Its important to interview different lawyers to find out how they handle cases, their trial experience and how they will be approaching your particular case.
Not Doing Your Research: Dont just rely on the reviews you find online, as you should also ask questions and pay close attention to the kinds of answers you get. Ask friends, family and other people you trust for referrals. Remember that any lawyer you choose should be well versed in the subject of auto accidents and have dealt with similar cases previously.
Not Knowing Your Rights: Its important to know the law and your rights in an auto accident, as thats the back bone on which your case will be built. Hire a lawyer with extensive knowledge in the area, as they will know how to file the correct paperwork, navigate the court system and present your case in a way that will ensure maximum compensation for you.
Not Knowing What to Ask: When interviewing lawyers, have a list of questions that help you to assess their qualifications as well as their ability to communicate and if theyll be willing to actively represent you in court. Do not forget to ask about their experience in civil cases and if theyve ever gone to jury trial.
Failing to Make a Connection: Find a lawyer who can relate to you, take the time to explain procedures and make sure you know whats going on. If you feel like youre not being heard or that you dont have an emotional connection to the lawyer, then its probably not the right fit.
Beware of Initial Consultations: Too often, car accident lawyers offer free consultations, but then try to get the client to sign some sort of retainer agreement, even before discussing the case in full detail. Be sure to tell the lawyer that youre only looking for information and that youre not ready to sign any paperwork yet.
Not Getting Advice from Others: Its also a good idea to get a second opinion from an experienced attorney. Even if you decide to stick with the first lawyer you met, it can help to get other expert opinions to give your case an extra layer of protection.
Avoiding Fixed-Fee Arrangements: Fixed-fee arrangements can be tempting, but you should never agree to a fee without knowing what is included in the retainer agreement. Its important to get all the details so that you have a clear picture of the cost of your case and exactly what services are being provided.
Delaying the Process: Time is of the essence when selecting a lawyer, as many states have a statute of limitations on filing auto accident claims, allowing only a certain amount of time to pass before you cant move forward. Make sure to select a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you dont miss a key filing deadline.
Not Checking for Conflict of Interest: Before signing any paperwork, make sure to ask the lawyer if there is any conflict of interest regarding your case. This is to ensure your lawyer isnt currently representing any third parties or individuals who are related to your case in any way.
Not Understanding the Process: Choosing a lawyer isnt the only part of the process. Its also important to understand how medical claims, negotiations and the courtroom process all work, so youre prepared for active participation.
Not Hiring a Local Attorney: Hire a lawyer who is familiar with local court proceedings and state laws, as this can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. A good lawyer will be able to navigate the property damage, medical treatments, billing and other issues.
Not Asking Specific Questions: Dont be afraid to ask questions that pertain specifically to your auto accident case. Ask about strategies theyve used in the past, their opinion on certain litigation options, and how long theyve been practicing in this area. Make sure to get references from fellow attorneys and former clients, as well.
Not Making Sure a Contract is in Place: Make sure to get all the information in writing. This should include a detailed agreement that outlines services, fees and other relevant information. Dont be afraid to ask questions and be clear on your expectations in order to understand the details of the services you will receive.
Not Verifying Insurance Coverage: Make sure the lawyer you choose is certified and has current insurance coverage in place. A good lawyer will have malpractice and professional liability insurance so that youre fully protected in the event that something goes wrong.
These are some of the most important mistakes to avoid when selecting an auto accident lawyer. Taking the time to compare costs, research backgrounds and gain references are vital next steps for choosing the best lawyer for your case. Keep these points in mind to make sure you receive the best legal representation.