Approximately 4.8 million people were seriously injured in car accidents in 2020. The estimated total cost of car crashes was $474 billion.
Everyone knows how important it is to be safe on the road, but this doesn’t make auto accidents any less common. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable. Hopefully, if you’ve been in one, you’ve at least not gotten injured.
Even if you weren’t injured in your accident, you may have a case, especially if your car was damaged. To find out more, you must hire a lawyer.
Before you start googling “non injury car accident lawyer near me”, there are some things you should know.
Read below to get started.
Look For Extensive Experience
You want to choose a car accident lawyer that has extensive experience in cases that are similar to yours.
Lawyers often take on and have experience dealing with many different types of cases, from wrongful death lawsuits to divorce to real estate transactions. While it’s good to be well-rounded, you want to ensure that you hire a car accident lawyer who specializes in auto accidents, preferably in non-injury cases.
Within their experience, they should have at least two cases similar to yours that went to court. Most auto accident cases do not make it to trial, but if they do, you want to ensure your lawyer is confident and has enough experience to win your case.
Your lawyer should also be prepared to fight for your best outcome so you get what you deserve. Insurance adjusters are trained to try to settle auto accident claims for as little as possible and as quickly as possible.
Usually, the amount offered is way less than what you would deserve. Your lawyer should have experience dealing with insurance companies, negotiating on your behalf until what they offer is fair.
From their previous cases, they should know all the ins and outs of insurance companies, so they can explain everything to you along the way.
Research Their Track Record
Beyond the number of cases your accident lawyer has taken on, you also want to learn about their track record.
How many of those cases did they win? How many were taken to trial?
Almost all law firms have websites with details about each lawyer on the team. Browse through their specialties, and make a list of four or five to research further.
You can also visit your state Bar Association’s website to search for lawyers that specifically specialize in auto accidents.
Take down their contact information, and then do some googling. Search for past client testimonials. Look to see if you can find information on past cases.
You may also be able to schedule a free consultation to ask about their experience. Here, you should ask about past cases, and if they have ever dealt with something similar to yours. What was the outcome?
They will most likely not offer legal advice during this consultation, but you can explain your case to them and they will tell you if you have something worth pursuing or not, and if they would be willing to take it on.
Choose a Firm That Specializes in Auto Accidents
Instead of going with an individual lawyer who specializes in auto accidents, but works in a firm that may not, consider choosing a firm that is completely devoted to auto accident cases.
They can offer you more resources that can be dedicated to your case than any one individual could. For example, an auto accident firm would most likely have more investigators on staff that are trained in interpreting police reports.
This could help you win a case, especially if it gets tricky when trying to prove who was at fault. If something contributed to the crash, having these resources will make it more likely to be discovered.
Along with this, car accident firms have a ton of experience dealing with insurance companies. While one individual can know a lot, an entire firm will most likely have more knowledge and experience to help you get the best settlement offer possible.
Find a Reputable Firm
When you choose a car accident lawyer, you assume that they have your best interests in mind. But this is not always the case, so it’s essential that you research not just the lawyer but the entire firm before making any decisions.
Some firms have a reputation for making quick settlements. This is not the type of firm you want to work with. You want your lawyer to take their time on your case, no matter how long that might be.
Not every case will demand a lengthy amount of time, and not every case needs to go beyond the insurance settlement offer. Your lawyer should be able to advise what is fair compensation based on your situation.
While a quick settlement sounds appealing, it’s not usually the best-case scenario. Hold out for a firm that will really work to win your case for you.
Examine Office Appearance
An excellent sign that you have hired the best car accident lawyer is an organized, productive office. Your lawyer needs to have the tools and resources to win your case, and their office should reflect that.
Even if you meet with a lawyer that has all the right things to say, if their office is a mess or they are constantly looking for things, they probably aren’t the right fit.
Professionalism and hard work go hand in hand, and nothing says unprofessional like a messy, lazy office.
Ask for References
One of the best ways to find any type of professional help is by asking friends and family, or other people that you trust. Car accidents are much more common than they should be, which means you probably know someone that has hired a car accident lawyer before.
Ask them how they came to hire them, what their experience was like, and if they would hire them again. This can not only help you find a great lawyer, but it can also help you avoid choosing one that has caused negative experiences.
If you do get a referral, make sure to do your own research before going based on what a friend or family member said. Knowing their personal honest account can give you a better start, but you want to ensure you have all information possible.
Consider Legal Fees
When starting the legal process, you should have a number in mind for how much you’re willing and able to spend.
Many lawyers work on contingency, which means you don’t have to pay anything until you win your settlement. This is important, especially if you have had to miss work due to issues with your vehicle or other problems.
There are lawyers who say that they won’t charge you anything unless you get your compensation. This is an attractive offer, but be aware that almost all auto accident cases result in some type of settlement. These law firms may just be in it for quick money, so be wary of this claim.
Typically, auto accident lawyers will take about a third of your settlement. This can increase if the case is taken to court.
While you want to be mindful of lawyer fees, you also don’t want to go too cheap. A more expensive lawyer is expensive for a reason, probably due to their track record, so keep that in mind as you browse your options.
Pay Attention to Communication
When you sit down with your lawyer, you should feel comfortable asking them any questions that you have. When they answer them, they should do so in a way that ensures you understand what they are saying.
If you feel as if your lawyer is dismissing you or is not taking your case seriously, they aren’t the one for you.
On the flip side, if your lawyer seems to schedule one too many meetings with you, they may be trying to bill you for extra hours. This is rare, but happens.
As long as you stay aware and feel comfortable communicating with them, they should work out for you.
Choosing a Non Injury Car Accident Lawyer Near Me: Your Guide
If you’ve been googling “non injury car accident lawyer near me”, you know it’s not as easy to choose one as you’d probably like. There are a lot of options out there, and you certainly shouldn’t just go with the first one you see.
Now you know exactly what to look for, so you can begin and hopefully win your auto accident case.
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