You’ve been in a car accident. Your car is totaled, you have injuries, and the other driver’s insurance company is giving you a hard time.
What should you do? Hiring one of the top car accident lawyers in your area may be your best option for getting the compensation you deserve. But with so many options to choose from, how do you find the right car accident attorney for your situation?
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to choose the best legal representation after being in a car crash.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
After a collision, you’ll likely be contacted by insurance adjusters who want to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. They may try to get you to accept an unreasonably low settlement before you’ve even had a chance to fully assess the damage and what you’re owed.
An experienced car accident attorney in Houston levels the playing field and makes sure you get fairly compensated. They know how to maximize the value of your injury claim and won’t let insurance companies take advantage of you. A good lawyer also takes all the stress out of dealing with insurance companies and negotiations so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Here are some of the key benefits of hiring a car accident attorney:
- They determine what your claim is really worth. A qualified lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case, calculate damages like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
- They handle negotiations for you. Your attorney will deal with persistent insurance adjusters so you don’t have to. They know all the tactics adjusters use to minimize claims and won’t back down.
- They are trial-tested. Insurance companies know that the top accident lawyers are not afraid to take a case to court if necessary. This makes them more likely to offer a fair settlement.
- They work on a contingency fee basis. The best car accident lawyers work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay unless they recover compensation for you.
Having an excellent car accident attorney in your corner can make all the difference in getting maximum compensation in the shortest amount of time.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you’ve decided to hire a car accident lawyer, how do you select the best one for your case? Here are the most important factors to consider:
Focus on Car Accident Cases
Look for a lawyer who specializes specifically in car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, rideshare, and other auto accident injury cases. Handling these cases day in and day out gives them unparalleled expertise in pertinent laws and dealing with insurance companies. Avoid attorneys who practice in a wide variety of legal areas. You want someone laser-focused on car accident cases.
Experience Litigating Cases
Make sure any lawyer you consider has extensive experience taking auto accident cases to court and trying them before juries if necessary. Insurance companies know which attorneys simply settle and which ones are willing to go to trial. A litigation background means your lawyer won’t hesitate to fight for you in court if that’s what it takes to get fair compensation.
Resources to Take on Your Case
Find out what resources the attorney has to devote to your case in terms of staff, expert witnesses, and investigative capabilities. Successfully litigating or preparing a car accident case takes substantial time and resources. Look for a well-equipped law firm that has the staffing and connections to thoroughly work up your case.
Strong Negotiation Skills
Since the majority of car accident claims are settled out of court, strong negotiation abilities are key. Find an attorney with a proven record of obtaining excellent settlements for clients. They should be aggressive, yet strategic negotiators who know when to stand firm and when to compromise.
Excellent Client Communication
The right car accident lawyer will treat you with respect, be responsive to your calls and questions, and keep you informed throughout the process. Look for an attorney who is organized and has systems in place to handle client communication efficiently.
By keeping these criteria in mind as you evaluate lawyers, you can feel confident you’ll choose someone who will fight hard on your behalf. Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to your car accident injury claim.
Finding the Best Car Accident Lawyers in Your Area
Once you know what to look for in top car accident representation, how do you go about finding the best attorneys in your location? Here are effective ways to track down the leading lawyers in your area:
Search Online Legal Directories
Online legal directories like Avvo, Lawyers.com, and Nolo are helpful resources for researching experienced auto accident attorneys in any state. You can browse profiles and see ratings and reviews from past clients. Look for lawyers that focus exclusively on auto accident cases and have top ratings.
Check State Bar Association Referrals
Most state bar associations offer referral services to connect consumers with qualified lawyers. They typically provide basic background on lawyers along with contact information. Give them details on your accident and location and they will suggest experienced local car accident attorneys.
Consult Auto Accident Focus Lists
National legal organizations like U.S. News & World Report and Super Lawyers compile annual lists of top attorneys throughout the U.S. who concentrate specifically on car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases. These are reliable guides to the leading accident lawyers in each state.
Ask for Referrals from Known Lawyers
Speaking with attorneys you trust is one of the best ways to find reputable car accident representation in your area. For example, if you have a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer that you trust, you should ask them who they might hire if they were in an auto collision themselves or needed to refer a friend or family member.
Utilize Peer Review Websites
Check peer review sites like Martindale-Hubbell where qualified auto accident attorneys can receive ratings from other top lawyers based on ethics, professionalism, and qualifications. This can help narrow options to the most respected car accident lawyers near you.
By tapping into these resources, you can compile a list of excellent car accident lawyers who meet your criteria and are taking new clients. Set up consultations with a few of your top choices to make a final hiring decision.
Questions to Ask During a Consultation
The initial consultation with a prospective car accident attorney is your opportunity to understand their experience and get key questions answered. Here are important things to ask:
- How many years have you been practicing personal injury law?
- What percentage of your caseload focuses specifically on auto accidents?
- How many car accident cases have you taken to trial?
- What are some recent results you’ve obtained for clients?
- What will your involvement be versus that of associates or paralegals?
- What are all the potential costs if I hire you?
- If my case goes to trial versus settles, what are the differences in compensation I might expect?
- Do you see any challenges or weaknesses in my case that I should be aware of?
- How responsive will you be to my calls and questions during my case?
The lawyer’s answers will help you better understand their background, get a gut check on their level of experience, and set clear expectations. Be sure to give details on your accident and injuries and get their opinion on how liability may be determined, who might be at fault, and what your claim could be worth.
Warning Signs of a Bad Car Accident Attorney
When meeting with auto accident lawyers, be on the lookout for any red flags that indicate they might not provide strong enough representation:
- They take on too many practice areas. Quality car accident attorneys specialize almost exclusively in injury law and don’t dabble in lots of unrelated fields.
- They let paralegals and new associates do most of the work. You want an experienced car accident lawyer completely engaged in your case.
- They don’t discuss litigation experience. The best lawyers have a track record of going to court and getting results before juries when necessary.
- They use high-pressure sales tactics. Quality auto accident attorneys let their experience and results speak for themselves.
- They make blanket promises to get certain results. Ethical lawyers won’t guarantee anything without learning the details of your case.
- They don’t discuss fees upfront. Reputable accident attorneys clearly explain their fee structure during a consultation.
- They have a disorganized office and a lack of staff. Successfully litigating car accident cases takes substantial resources.
Go with your instincts. If any lawyer shows these warning signs or you just don’t feel confident in them, keep looking for someone better.
Hire the Right Car Accident Lawyer for You
Suffering injuries in a car collision can completely disrupt your life. On top of dealing with pain and lost income, you also have to fight with insurance companies. Having an experienced car accident attorney helps level the playing field and ensures you are fully compensated so you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track.
Use the advice in this guide to choose the best possible lawyer for your particular accident and injuries. Find an attorney who is totally dedicated to representing auto accident victims, has extensive litigation experience, strong negotiation skills, and the resources to fully develop your case.
Take your time, do thorough research, ask the right questions, and trust your gut during consultations. This allows you to hire a lawyer you can be confident will provide aggressive representation. With top-notch legal counsel by your side, you can rest assured your rights will be protected and you will receive maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, get in touch with our skilled and experienced attorneys for a free consultation. With over 25 years of fighting for injury victims, our car accident lawyers have a proven track record of success. Call us today at (713) 804-8149.