May 19, 2022 Social Share
Chain | Cohn | Clark Has the Car Accident Lawyers for You
How to Choose the Best Car Accident Lawyer or Law Firm
Car accident lawyers can help you recover maximum compensation for losses you’ve faced as the result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Our California attorneys here at Chain | Cohn | Clark offer our clients the benefit of past experience while still treating each case like the unique situation that it is. This is true whether your case is likely to be settled out of court or won through litigation.
In this article, we want to help you better understand how a great lawyer—such as one from our team—can benefit you. A great lawyer brings more than transparency, professionalism, communication, and trust to the table. They also focus on the finer details, including a willingness to listen, a clean workspace, and an understanding of the importance of providing references.
Do You Need the Best Car Accident Lawyer?
One specific type of personal injury attorney is a car accident attorney. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you are likely experiencing a great deal of stress. But you shouldn’t let the sheer number of attorneys—or their marketing tactics—further overwhelm you.
If you ask an attorney the right questions, you can quickly determine what they truly have to offer their clients. It’s also important to check their credentials to help narrow your search. Listed below are a series of questions you should consider asking. Any reputable attorney should have no problem answering these types of questions.
What Is Their Experience?
Most personal injury attorneys focus on one type of case. Many work with compensation cases. Some focus on class action lawsuits. Others focus on anything vehicle related, which is the type of attorney you should be working with following a car accident.
You also want to make sure they have gone all the way to trial before—and won. You should pick someone who has a winning track record of securing fair settlements against insurance companies.
What Are the Fees?
You should be looking for an attorney who works on contingency and doesn’t take any fees up front. Most injury lawyers will take about 1/3 of any final financial compensation you receive. If the case goes to trial, they may take even more, as it is often the case that you will also have to pay filing fees and for expert witnesses to analyze your case. A higher fee may be intimidating, but if you believe in the attorney, they could prove worth it in the end.
Are They Able to Communicate Clearly?
Whether your accident happened today or weeks ago, you’re going to have a lot of questions. And you want to work with an attorney who can handle all of those questions—and answer them in a way that you understand. Some lawyers might try impressing you with fancy legal jargon, but you’re going to want to work with a lawyer that makes things as clear as possible.
Are They Respected by Their Peers?
The internet is often your best tool for getting a sense of whether or not your potential attorney is respected within the legal community. Ask your attorney how much of their business comes from referrals. The higher the number, the more they should be trusted. Referrals mean other attorneys respect their experience in their area of expertise. Good attorneys can offer you references who can confirm this expertise.
When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
There are many reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney after a car accident. Below are some of the key factors to consider.
If Serious Injuries Are Involved
Consult an attorney if you’ve received severe injuries from a car accident that was caused by another party’s negligence. And remember, catastrophic injuries like blows to the head aren’t always recognizable immediately following the accident. Headaches and confusion may not begin for days—or sometimes longer—after the incident.
Additionally, herniated discs and other spinal cord injuries may feel minor at first, but they can severely worsen over time if left untreated. And common injuries, such as burns and cuts, may also lead to infection.
In other words, always seek care from a medical provider after an accident. They can provide medical care in the present, document your injuries, and help you monitor for future and/or long-term injuries.
Your lawyer can use this medical documentation to help calculate a full and fair compensation amount for your case.
If You Are Working Within the Statue of Limitations
The earlier you have an attorney file a claim, the better off your case will be. It is always best to file within your state’s statute of limitations, which tends to be two years from the date of the accident.
Hiring an attorney can seem intimidating, but the more your bills add up, the harder it is to sort through the details of the accident itself.
If an Insurance Company Contacts You
Your insurance company—or the at-fault party’s insurance company—may ask you to sign a release. Do not sign and contact a car accident attorney immediately. We are familiar with the laws and what it means for you if you sign. We can review the contract with the insurance company, including coverage, exclusions, and restrictions. This is all done to ensure you receive the greatest compensation possible.
Key Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing the Best Auto Accident Lawyer
It’s important to review your lawyer’s credentials. Your attorney should have passion, professionalism, and knowledge of the ins and outs of insurance laws. They also need to know common auto accident injury laws. Most importantly, they should have a winning track record in court, as your case could end up in front of a judge. Listed below are a series of questions you should ask your lawyer when you speak with them for the first time.
How Long Has the Lawyer/Law Firm Been in Service?
Experience is an important credential when it comes to hiring a car accident attorney. The more years a lawyer has been practicing and the more personal injury cases they have successfully handled, the more you should trust their ability to handle your case.
Practice truly does make a difference. This is the number one reason to hire an attorney with years of experience. A lawyer fresh out of law school may have good energy, drive, and passion. But they might not have the experience your case needs to succeed.
Are They Connected to the Local Legal Community?
A lawyer’s—and their law firm’s—reputation in the community matters. Like all professions, your lawyer’s reputation truly precedes them. Their confidence can help them negotiate and give them the upper hand in any situation.
If you lawyer is perceived as weak, insurance companies are much more likely to take advantage of them, meaning your compensation will be much lower than you desire, need, and were expecting.
Beyond looking at your lawyer’s reputation in the community and among other attorneys, you should search online for reviews from past—and hopefully happy—clients. Maybe your potential lawyer has won awards, volunteered in the community, and/or led or spoken at conferences. You also want to make sure they are a member of local bar associations or any other affiliated organizations.
Finally, make sure your potential lawyer and law firm aren’t facing any disciplinary actions or charges of unethical conduct. If something like this shows up in your online search, you should avoid them at all costs, even if they have low fees. You want to have no ethical concerns when working with a car accident lawyer.
Has This Lawyer/Law Firm Taken This Issue on Before?
An automobile accident that caused serious injury is still very difficult to take to court. In addition, it can be an incredibly expensive undertaking because even the tiniest of details needed for the evidence “to stick” can require the knowledge of reconstruction, trucking, and safety experts.
This why researching your potential attorney is so crucial. The experts attorneys and their law firms work with have the power to shape your case. The success of your case is often built on expert witnesses’ knowledge and the language they use to convey that knowledge.
Do You Know Which Attorney Will Actually Work the Case?
You may share your entire case history with an attorney over several weeks, only to then learn that another attorney will actually be representing you. From day one, you should make sure this will not happen to you. Always ensure the attorney you are communicating with the most will be the one representing you.
Does This Lawyer Have a Professional Office?
Always hire an attorney who has the resources to pursue your case. This includes capable staff that know how to investigate a case and address any related issues. You will likely not just be interacting with your lawyer during the case, but also with team members who have different expertise and who will collect and analyze evidence.
An organized office tends to mean an organized business. It’s hard to trust an attorney that is flipping through files pretending they remember the details of your case. If they don’t have you at the top of their mind, you probably don’t want to work with them.
Choose the Best Car Accident Lawyer When Working With Insurance Companies
It’s worth repeating that when choosing an attorney who will work with insurance companies on your behalf, you want:
- Clear communication: A good lawyer will help you understand everything they’re saying. They don’t speak in complex jargon to impress you.
- Engaged conversation: A good lawyer should demonstrate a clear interest in the details of your case.
- References: A good lawyer should have a list of references at hand who can speak to their reputation. You don’t necessarily have to contact everyone on the list. Sometimes knowing the references exist is enough.
- An organized office: A good lawyer will be well organized. An organized office means organized staff, which means your case will be well organized.
- A lawyer with experience: A good car accident lawyer has plenty of experience handing car accident cases. They also have experience with courtroom litigation.
How Is the Attorney at Negotiating With Insurance Companies?
Asking this question gives your potential lawyer the opportunity to expand upon their past cases and lets them provide details so you can feel confident that you will be working with a team of legal professionals who have successfully handled similar cases.
Hire the Best Car Accident Lawyers Today
Were you recently injured in a car accident? If so, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and/or overwhelmed. Or, even worse, you may have lost a loved in the accident. Our attorneys are here to support you from the beginning to the end of your journey to full and fair compensation.
We have the experience, expertise, knowledge, and skills to maximize your case. Contact an attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark. Our lawyers can get you the information you need and we won’t take a dime unless you successfully settle or win your case.
Call (661) 323-4000 to schedule an appointment today. Be sure to ask for references, reviews, and referrals. We want to earn your trust.