How to Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?

May 8, 2024 | Jarrett Blakeley
How to Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?

Finding the best car accident lawyer from many options in your area might seem like a daunting undertaking. Before performing your search, you need to know what to look for and what makes a lawyer the best at what they do.

If you truly want to find a car accident attorney who will work hard to get you the best possible outcome, you must also understand what questions to ask a prospective attorney and what to consider when choosing legal counsel.

 

What Makes a Car Accident Lawyer the Best?

With so many car accident attorneys offering their services in every city and town across the United States, what makes one lawyer stand out as the best in their field?

The Law Firm’s Reputation

Auto Accident Lawyer

A law firm’s reputation within the community and the legal field is a major indicator of its reliability and the quality of its services. A reputable firm likely has established a record of professionalism, ethical practice, and successful outcomes for their clients. Remember: a reputable firm will likely have the resources and network to handle your case successfully.

Tip: When looking for a lawyer, research the law firm’s standing in the legal community and its presence in the media. Awards, recognitions, and professional memberships can serve as good indicators of a firm’s reputation.

Former Clients’ Reviews

Testimonials and reviews from previous clients can offer valuable information about the lawyer’s effectiveness and ability to achieve satisfactory settlements or verdicts.

Positive feedback, especially regarding personal attention and commitment to the case, can strongly indicate the quality of service among lawyers.

Tip: Look beyond the testimonials featured on the lawyer’s website. Check independent review platforms and social media to understand what previous clients have to say about their experience.

While one or two negative reviews are not uncommon, too many bad reviews should raise a red flag.

The Lawyer’s Track Record of Success

A track record in handling car accident cases is a tangible measure of a lawyer’s experience and ability to deliver on their promises. Look for specific details such as settlement amounts, verdicts won, and the cases they successfully handled. The more extensive and successful the track record, the more confidence you can have in your attorney’s abilities.

Tip: If you cannot find the lawyer’s results on the website, inquire about their track record of success during your conversations. A lawyer with a strong track record will not hesitate to share their successes and explain how they have achieved positive client outcomes.

The Car Accident Lawyer’s Trial Experience

While around 97 percent of all tort claims settle out of court, a lawyer’s willingness and ability to take a case to trial if necessary will give you more confidence.

A lawyer with substantial trial experience will demonstrate readiness to fight for the best possible outcome through all available means rather than accepting a lower settlement to avoid court.

Tip: Do not be afraid to ask direct questions about a lawyer’s trial experience and results during a consultation, as this information may not always be available on their website.

Transparency in the Fee Structure

Clarity and transparency regarding fees foster a positive relationship between the lawyer and the client.

The best lawyers are willing to explain their fee structure, including any contingency fees, retainer fees, and additional costs that may be incurred throughout the case. This transparency ensures no surprises and builds trust between the client and the lawyer.

Tip: Before agreeing to hire a lawyer, ensure a transparent agreement clearly outlines any percentages or expenses that your lawyer might deduct from your settlement.

Availability

The best lawyers make themselves accessible and responsive. A car accident is a major event in your life, and having a lawyer available to answer your questions, update you on the progress of your case, and provide support through challenging times is invaluable. A lawyer too busy to take your case seriously may not be the best fit.

Tip: Discuss how the lawyer communicates with clients and their policy on returning calls or emails. You deserve to know what to expect communication-wise before you hire a lawyer.

Finding the Best Car Accident Attorney Near You

Finding a lawyer after a car accident is a task that goes beyond calling the first number you find on the Internet. After all, you want the best lawyer to represent you.

If that’s the case, you might want to:

  • Ask your friends and family for referrals. Think about who of your friends or family members was ever involved in a car accident or knows someone who was. If those people hired a lawyer who did an excellent job, ask for referrals. Working with a lawyer who has helped someone you trust can give you a sense of reliability.
  • Ask other attorneys you have worked with on different matters. People need legal counsel not only when they get into car accidents but also in other areas of life. For example, you may need a lawyer when creating an estate plan, going through a divorce, or setting up a business. If you have previously worked with an attorney on other legal matters, ask them for a referral. Legal professionals often have a network of colleagues specializing in different areas of law and can direct you to a reputable car accident lawyer.
  • Check the lawyer’s website. A lawyer’s website can offer a wealth of information about their experience and approach to cases. Read the testimonials and look for details about their past results in similar car accident cases.
  • Read reviews online. Online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and legal directories can provide real-world feedback on a lawyer’s experience and success in securing client settlements. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews for a balanced view.
  • Google the lawyer. Doing a simple Google search of the lawyer’s name or law firm can reveal news articles, press releases, and other publications that showcase their legal work, community involvement, or any awards and recognitions they have received.
  • Shortlist the best candidates before conducting interviews. After your research, create a shortlist of potential lawyers who appear to meet your needs. This list will make it easier to focus your efforts on interviewing and evaluating the most promising candidates.
  • Go with your gut. When conducting interviews, go with your gut feeling. Choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable, listens to your concerns, and seems genuinely interested in helping you. A good rapport makes the process much smoother and more enjoyable.

Fortunately, many lawyers representing clients in car accident cases provide free consultations. This means you can consult multiple lawyers before moving forward with a particular one.

Questions to Ask a Car Accident Lawyer

During your initial phone consultation or first meeting with a lawyer (whatever works best for you or is more appropriate in your case), you will have an opportunity to learn more about the lawyer and how they can help.

Before your conversation with the lawyer, prepare to ask the right questions. That way, you can get all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding the choice of legal counsel.

How large of a caseload does your firm have?

A law firm’s caseload size speaks to their competence and efficiency. When posed with this question, a competent lawyer will be transparent about their capacity. Align yourself with a firm with the bandwidth to give your case the attention it deserves.

Why it matters:

  • A firm with a light caseload may lack experience or struggle with client retention.
  • Conversely, a clearly overburdened firm might not prioritize your case or dedicate the time and resources necessary for a favorable outcome.

What challenges or weaknesses do you see in my case?

An attorney who avoids discussing potential setbacks may not be completely forthright with you. A lawyer’s ability to foresee challenges shows a depth of understanding of the legal process and the specifics of your situation.

For example, if you ask this question a year after the date of the accident, the lawyer may warn you that you are running out of time because of the statute of limitations.

In Florida, for example, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the accident date (Fla. Stat. § 95.11).

Why it matters:

  • Knowing the hurdles that can be ahead gives you realistic expectations and a more well-rounded view of your legal options.
  • Discussing the weaknesses from the get-go helps in strategy planning for a stronger case.

Would you be willing to go to trial or only work for a settlement?

It’s important to know your lawyer’s stance on the potential trajectory of your case and how far they are willing to go with it. Will they only settle out of court, or are they prepared to go the distance?

Why it matters:

  • If your lawyer has a reputation for taking cases to trial, insurance companies are more likely to make realistic settlement offers.
  • A lawyer’s willingness to go to trial also serves as a deterrent to insurance companies who may attempt to lowball you.

What do you believe is the potential value of my case?

While an experienced lawyer will generally have a clear idea of your case’s potential worth, you need to keep in mind that no attorney can guarantee an exact amount.

The average cost of an “evident” injury resulting from a car accident is several ens of thousands of dollars. If your economic damages from the accident are in this range, you can expect to seek this amount plus compensation for your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Why it matters:

  • It helps set realistic expectations for the compensation you may be entitled to and gives you a starting point for your financial planning.
  • Understanding the potential value also informs your decision-making when accepting or negotiating a settlement.

Will you actually handle my case?

In some instances, high-profile firms might assign your case to a less experienced lawyer or even a paralegal. This question helps ensure that the lawyer you speak with initially will handle your case.

Why it matters:

  • Working with the lawyer directly means you benefit from their experience and experience.
  • It fosters a more personal and accountable attorney-client relationship.
  • It prevents you from feeling misled or disappointed if you expect to work with a specific lawyer within the firm.

Are there any upfront costs or fees I should be aware of?

Legal fees and costs are an essential part of hiring an attorney. A reputable lawyer should tell you their fee structure and any expenses you might need to pay, whether you win the case or not.

Why it matters:

  • It helps you determine the financial implications of moving forward with your case.
  • A lawyer’s fee transparency indicates their professionalism and respect for you as a client.
  • It ensures there are no surprises down the road so you can plan your finances accordingly.

Can you provide references or testimonials from some of your past clients?

Reviews and referrals are important parts of any business, including law practices. Testimonials can provide invaluable insight into an attorney’s track record, credibility, and how previous clients have experienced the legal process with that lawyer.

Why it matters:

  • It offers social proof of the attorney’s competence.
  • Reading or hearing about first-hand experiences might put you at ease or raise concerns you hadn’t considered.
  • It gives you a sense of the client-attorney relationship and the level of satisfaction you might expect.

The questions you ask a potential lawyer are important because their answers will affect your decision on whether to hire them or not. That is why you should take this part of the interview very seriously.

Case evaluations are free and allow you to choose the best personal injury attorney for your car accident case. Reach out to local law firms for your free claim evaluations today.

Jarrett Blakeley

Firm founder Jarrett Blakeley fights to get maximum compensation for all of Blakeley Law Firm’s clients. He has been practicing law since 2006 and takes great pride in representing the rights of injured individuals against the insurance companies and the law firms that represent them. He has successfully represented thousands of clients and recovered tens of millions of dollars on their behalf. Mr. Blakeley strives to give all of his clients personal attention and maximum effort and seeks to instill a firm culture that prioritizes customer service and compassion for the injured over all else. Fighting for the injured is Jarrett Blakeley’s greatest passion and he looks forward to fighting for the injured for the rest of his career.

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