When you’re injured in a car accident, the most important decision you may make is who to hire as a car accident lawyer.
The reality is that not all lawyers are personal injury lawyers. Not all personal injury lawyers are car accident lawyers. And not all car accident lawyers are made the same or have the same skill, experience, and knowledge.
That’s why finding a good car accident lawyer can be difficult. Simply put, there is no shortage of lawyers who advertise for car accident injury cases and will gladly take those cases. The question is thus: how do I find the best car accident lawyer for me?
Here are 5 things to look for in a good car accident lawyer.
1. Experience And Results
Perhaps the most important factor to investigate when hiring a car accident lawyer is their experience and their results.
Think about it. Car accidents often result in very serious injuries. When these occur, medical and other bills can quickly pile up, and the loss of income from an inability to work can be devastating. You need an experienced car accident lawyer that has a history of proven results to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Experience matters. Results matter.
What Kind Of Experience Is Important?
The best car accident lawyers have decades of experience under their belt. They’ve successfully handled car accident cases involving many different types of accidents, including rear-end accidents, T-bone accidents, and more. They’ve also successfully handled a variety of different types of accident injuries, everything from whiplash to brain injuries.
A good car accident lawyer will also have handled all phases of a car accident lawsuit—from pre-lawsuit settlement negotiations to trial. Though the vast majority of car accident lawsuits settle without the need for a trial, the best car accident lawyers prepare each claim as if it will go to trial. The defense lawyers working for insurance companies know which lawyers will go to trial and which lawyers try to avoid going to trial. That’s why it’s important that the car accident lawyer you choose has trial experience.
What Kind Of Case Results Are Important?
Look on any car accident lawyer’s website. You’ll likely find case result after case result of settlements or judgments in excess of $1,000,000. Our firm’s results are no different. However, just because a settlement or judgment has a big number in it doesn’t mean that it was a good result. If your case is worth $3,000,000 and your attorney settles for $1,000,000, few would think that is a good result.
Without being a lawyer yourself and reviewing the case file, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether a car accident lawyer’s results are actually good results. That’s why asking questions is so important. Ask a lawyer how they obtained the results they did. Was it through the attorney’s hard work and good lawyering or was it simply because the insurance company knew they did not have a defense to a big money case?
Again, the question is not whether the result of a car accident case settlement is a big number. The question is whether that big number is a good result for that particular client taking into consideration all circumstances of the case. Don’t be afraid to ask!
2. An Accident Firm With Resources To Win Your Case
Car accident lawsuits can be expensive to pursue. When you factor in the normal costs associated with the filing of a lawsuit with the need to hire expert witnesses to prove your case, it’s easy to see how the expenses can add up.
The good news is that most car accident lawyers, like those at GKT, will advance litigation costs and expenses for their clients. That means there are no out-of-pocket expenses for the client, and the client is only responsible for repaying litigation costs if and when there is a settlement or judgment in their favor.
That’s one reason why it’s so important to make sure your car accident lawyer has the resources to handle your injury lawsuit. If they don’t have the resources to aggressively litigate your case, you may be asked to pay your own expenses without knowing whether you will ultimately win compensation.
The truth is that most lawyers will have some resources to litigate your car accident lawsuit. The real question is: do they have enough? Again, car accident cases can be extremely expensive to pursue. Will the car accident lawyers hire a needed expert or try to do without to save some money? Will they hire the most qualified and more expensive expert or try to find someone less qualified and less expensive to save costs?
Of course, no lawyer is going to let anyone see their firm’s balance sheets. That being said, a good clue as to whether an attorney has the ability and willingness to advance litigation costs is whether they’ve successfully litigated complex, high expense cases in the past. If they have, it’s a great indication that they have the resources available to win your case.
The best car accident lawyers are able and willing to spend their own resources to win their client’s case. However, they also do everything they can to keep expenses as low as reasonably possible.
3. A Car Accident Lawyer Who Knows The Importance Of Communication
When a person is injured in a car accident, they’re perhaps going through the most difficult experience of their life. They may have painful and debilitating injuries or be suffering from anxiety or PTSD. They’re likely to be out of work for days or longer and suffer a loss of income. Not only are they trying to figure out how to deal with the insurance companies, they’re sometimes trying to figure out how they’re going to pay the electric bill. To say that recovering from a car accident can be stressful is an understatement.
Experienced car accident lawyers understand this and know that the best way to combat this stress is through constant and reassuring communication. That means keeping their client updated through all stages of the case and checking in from time to time even though it’s not essential to the case. That also means promptly responding to client calls, emails, and other communications. Simply put, communication is key.
So how do you know a prospective car accident lawyer will understand the importance of communication? The initial consultation—which should be free—will almost uncertainly give you good insight. Is the lawyer interested in you as a person and helping you recover or are they just interested in “getting the facts?” Is the lawyer taking the time to hear your questions and concerns or are they more interested in getting a fee agreement signed? Also, take notice as to how the lawyer interacts with the paralegal and other staff and vice versa.
4. A Lawyer That Is Passionate About Seeking Justice For You
Passion is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Let’s face it, almost all car accident lawyers are motivated by securing compensation for their clients and a paycheck for themselves. And that’s not a bad thing. The more money a car accident lawyer obtains for their client, the more they typically make as a fee. It’s a win-win situation.
However, the best car accident lawyers also have a passion for seeking justice for their clients that motivates them above and beyond. Take drunk driving accidents for example. When a person is injured in a drunk driving accident, they’re obviously seeking compensation to put their lives back together again, but that’s not all. They’re also looking to hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions.
An experienced car accident lawyer knows this and will fight to obtain the justice their clients deserve.
5. A Law Firm That Is Reviewed And Recommended
Everything is reviewed these days. From five-star restaurants to your local mom-and-pop hardware store, no business can escape being reviewed. Law firms and lawyers are no different, and that’s 100% a good thing. Who’s going to give you a better idea of what it’s like to be a certain lawyer’s client than a former client?
That’s why it’s important to seek out reviews of a law firm or lawyer’s services. Fortunately, that’s easy. A simple Google search of the law firm or lawyer should yield their Google reviews. Searching for the law firm on Facebook should show their Facebook reviews. But don’t just look at the rating—read the actual reviews. If it was a good review, what stood out for the client? If it’s a bad review, what was the reason behind it, and was it the fault of the law firm or lawyer?
There is no shortage of lawyers who will take a car accident injury case. Thus, finding a lawyer likely won’t be an issue. The issue is finding a knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer that is right for you.
While that may take some groundwork on your end, deciding who your car accident lawyer will be is perhaps the most important decision you will make. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and above all else, take the time to make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your family.
GKT has been helping those injured in car accidents obtain the compensation they deserve for well over 40 years. Our car accident lawyers check all the boxes. Whether you’ve been injured in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, GKT’s car accident lawyers are able to offer immediate help, 24 hours per day. Our consultations are always free, and we don’t charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Contact GKT today 24 hours a day by texting (304) 845-9750 or by using our Live Chat or online form at GKT.com.