Being involved in an accident is a life-changing experience. What you do after the incident will determine how your life will be for years to come. One of the most important things you need to do after an auto accident is to hire a lawyer. Here are the steps you need to take to get the right one.
Ask for Recommendations
Your friends, family members and workmates are great resources when you need to make that choice. Ask only those who have had an experience with an accident lawyer. Someone who had a good experience will usually be willing to refer you to the lawyer they worked with.
Research Lawyer Candidates
Once you have a recommendation, do further research on him or her. Just because your friend or relative had a positive experience does not guarantee you will also have the same. You can search the local bar association’s website or use Google to get good lawyers near you. To do a Google search, use as many relevant keywords as possible. Try looking at the potential lawyer’s website and see what he does. The website will usually have some background information on his areas of practice, the level of experience and examples of successes.
Look for an attorney with at least five years of experience in personal injury. Make sure they specialize in personal injury cases. Lawyers who do personal injury on a part-time basis may not be able to give your case the attention it deserves. They should also have a good record in settling personal injury cases. You can check VAtrials.com to see what it takes for a lawyer to get enough experience.
The reputation of a lawyer determines whether he can be trusted or not. You should hire a reputable personal injury lawyer with no previous cases of misconduct. You can check reputation online or through the state’s bar association. There are several online platforms that allow clients to review lawyers. If you don’t trust online reviews, call the state’s bar to get more information. The bar association will provide you with a comprehensive report, including past disciplinary records, years of practice and professional awards.
Make a list of those you think are most suited for the job and schedule interviews with each of them. Prepare a list of questions to ask. This may include how they plan to handle your case, how long he has been practising and the number of cases successfully taken to trial. You also want to know whether the lawyer will work on the case himself or pass it off to someone else.
Before you leave, you could ask for a list of past clients who would be willing to talk to you. Reach out to these clients and ask them how they felt working with the lawyer. Ask them how much was deducted from their compensation as contingency fees.
Nothing is perfect, but up-front preparation usually pays off in the long run.