You've just been involved in an auto accident. You're scared, terrified, and hurting. The police report, calling a tow-truck for your vehicle, filing an insurance claim – it's all a blur. The last thing you want to be thinking about is the daunting task of finding a personal injury attorney.
But it could mean the difference in thousands of dollars in settlement money – money to assist you in your recovery and compensate you for your hardship. Here are some tips on what to look for when searching for a car accident lawyer.
1. Find an attorney who specializes in car accidents. Personal injury law is a huge industry. There are personal injury lawyers everywhere, but not all of them specialize in auto accidents. Finding a lawyer who specializes in car accidents will not only help you obtain a proper settlement but will also ensure you're receiving the proper medical care during your recovery.
2. Do not go with the attorney who face is plastered all over billboards and television commercials. Sure, you'll be going with a well-known firm, but nine times out of ten, it will not be the attorney that's representing your case.
3. Find an attorney who is accessible and available. Large firms are often times difficult to reach. You want to be sure you're speaking directly to your attorney whenever possible, not a clerk. Communication is key to ensure everything is correctly documented and no corners are cut. This also means finding someone who is local.
4. Find an attorney with proven experience in helping car accident victims. Ask prospective advocates for references, if available. Ask around. References are far more valuable to you as a potential client than commercials and billboards.
5. Do not know anyone who has worked with a personal injury lawyer? Check Google Reviews, as well as reviews on Facebook. Social media can be a valuable tool in finding reputable places, but also be weary of former employees who may badmouth a law firm or phony reviews.
6. Familiarize yourself with the laws pertinent to your state. Florida, for example, is a no-fault state, which changes the landscape of filing claims. These means it's imperative you find an attorney who practices personal injury law in your state.
7. Find a lawyer who is compassionate to the nature of your situation and who will work with you. This means someone who will explain the process of filing a claim and also operates transparently so you understand every step of the process.
8. Contact an actual lawyer, not a lawyer referral service. Your fees will likely be higher and you will not need to get the quality representation you need.