Are you currently looking for a car accident lawyer to represent your case or your loved one’s car accident claim? Did you know that there are some things you should look out for before you consider hiring an attorney to represent your case?
Like you, thousands of people suffer from injuries when they get into a car accident and need help navigating the complex auto claims world to get the compensation they need.
If you need help with your car accident case and need help understanding what to expect when working with a Phoenix car accident lawyer, please continue reading below! This brief car accident lawyer guide will cover all you need to know about what to expect when working with a car accident lawyer and who you can speak with for more information.
1. Car Accident Lawyer Dedication
When choosing car accident attorneys in Phoenix, you want to be sure that you partner with a lawyer who can dedicate time to your case. Some attorneys take on cases without having the capacity to even handle them. When they can’t handle their caseload, they sometimes hand their cases over to a more junior-level attorney to take care of.
Although this does not sound like a bad thing, it can affect your case. For example, if you have questions about your case, but your main attorney doesn’t know, you may find yourself chasing down a junior associate to try to understand what is happening. Instead, it is best to partner with an attorney who can take on your case and help you whenever you need help.
2. Free Consultation
Did you know that most reputable Phoenix car accident attorneys offer their clients free consultations? This means that you won’t have to pay a fee to learn more about your legal options.
Unfortunately, some attorneys charge for their consultation. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a waste of money and time if you decide you don’t want to work with that lawyer after you speak with them.
When you talk to your lawyer during the free consultation, don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have. You want to ensure you’re comfortable with the lawyer before paying them for their services.
3. Convenient Location
After you sustain injuries in an accident, the last thing you want to do is drive a distance to meet with your attorney about your case. Sure, you can always call them, but there are some instances where you may need to meet with your attorney so they can discuss your case in person and provide you with details.
When choosing the right attorney for your car accident, you want to ensure your car accident lawyer is in a convenient location. Even more so, you want to work with an attorney who can at least meet you halfway to provide you with what you need.
Remember that attorney-client privileges prevent your lawyer from speaking about your case, especially in a public place where others may be able to hear you. If you need to meet in person outside of their office, make sure you pick a quiet place where you can both speak openly.
4. Size of the Law Firm
The size of the law firm you choose plays a huge factor in your case. Some law firms are smaller but don’t have many resources to help move the claim along.
At the same time, there are larger firms that have the resources but mainly depend on their paralegals and other team members to handle the casework. Some pros and cons come with different sizes of a firm, so it is best to pick your Phoenix car accident attorney based on what works best for you.
Make sure you speak with the lawyer and ask them how they delegate their tasks or what their caseload looks like. As mentioned earlier, you want to work with a team of reputable car accident lawyers who can dedicate their time and resources, so you get the compensation you need.
5. What Type of Cases Does the Attorney Handle?
Just like you would go to an optometrist to take care of your eye health, you should want to go to a car accident lawyer to handle your car accident situation. There are several different branches of law that an attorney can practice, such as family law, criminal law, and tax law. You want to ensure you find an attorney who handles cases dealing with personal injury caused by auto accidents.
6. Experience With Cases Like Yours
In addition to choosing an attorney who handles car accident cases, you want to ensure they have a lot of experience doing so. For example, if you partner with an attorney who only handles a few car accident claims a year, they may not be the right choice for you.
It is best to partner with an attorney with years of experience handling car accident claims. This is because those attorneys who practice car accident cases often are up to date on the latest laws and changes in the auto insurance industry.
7. Hiring an Attorney vs. Representing Yourself
Did you know that you can represent yourself for your auto insurance claim? Even more so, you could represent yourself in court if your case goes to trial. The main question is, should you?
Although you don’t need an attorney to handle your auto insurance claim, it is best to speak with one so you can learn more about your legal options. When you first speak with a car accident lawyer, they will review your case’s facts and let you know its strengths and weaknesses.
If the lawyer believes that you can just take the settlement offered by the insurance adjuster because you have minor injuries, you can do that. If the attorney believes that there is a chance you may be able to win more with their services, they will let you know.
At the end of the day, it is best to leave the negotiating and claim-handling process to the professionals. When you hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim, they will ensure they take care of all aspects of the claim, including negotiating on your behalf and getting you the settlement that is best for you and your needs.
8. Know How To Choose the Right Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer
Finding the right Phoenix car accident lawyer can be challenging, especially if you aren’t sure what else to look for. In addition to practicing personal injury law or handling car accident cases, there are a few lawyer traits you should look out for.
There are some traits a lawyer has that indicate they are dedicated and experienced, such as their attentiveness and genuine concern for your needs. The right attorney will want to make sure you are comfortable, and you understand what is going on.
Other positive traits of a good personal injury lawyer:
- Excellent written and verbal communication
On the other hand, there are some negative traits you should keep an eye out for as well. For example, if the attorney isn’t as flexible as they should be or they have no patience, you may seek counsel elsewhere.
As mentioned earlier, you can schedule a free consultation with an attorney to get a better feel for them. You must ask questions about who will work on your case and who you can speak with if and when you have questions.
9. When Should I Hire an Attorney?
Auto accident claims are very time-sensitive, which means you only have a specific window when you can claim your injuries and damages. For example, most states have a statute of limitation that only provides you two years from the date of injury to create a claim.
It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as you can to learn more about your legal options so your attorney can start gathering the evidence needed to build your case. The sooner you create a claim, the better your chances are of receiving the compensation you deserve.
It is also an excellent idea to speak with an attorney as soon as possible so they can start their investigation. Waiting too long to start a claim can damage available evidence.
For example, if there are witness statements that your claim needs, it is best to speak with those witnesses soon after the incident. If you wait months to start a claim, they may not remember key details about what happened in the accident.
10. Check the Attorneys Background
When looking for the right attorney to represent you, you should make the extra effort to look into their background. This includes taking a look at their education and experience. State bar associations keep records of the attorney’s proceedings and any complaints made by their clients.
As mentioned earlier, some attorneys practice different types of law, and some focus on other types of personal injury. For example, suppose you come across an attorney that mainly deals with slip and falls personal injuries instead of car accident claims. In that case, you may want to find an attorney with more experience in car accident cases.
11. Understand Your Payment Agreement
Last but certainly not least, make sure you go over your payment arrangement with the attorney. Many people are afraid to ask about the attorney’s fees, but there is no need to fear.
Many attorneys offer their services on a contingency fee which means you don’t pay anything out of pocket unless you win your case. Other attorneys have payment schedules where you pay them a certain amount upfront and the rest of the course of your case.
Before you sign any contracts with any lawyers, please make sure you look over your payment schedule with the attorney and ask any questions or concerns you may have.
How Often Should I Expect Attorney Communication?
Another thing to expect when working with an attorney is an open wave of communication. Unless you have extensive familiarity with the law, you may have questions about your case and what next steps to take.
Of course, it is best to ask your attorney your questions during a time that works best for both of you. Your attorney may have other meetings or cases they’re handling while working on your case as well, so it is best to respect the lawyer’s time.
Don’t call them six times a day for answers, but instead, schedule some time with them to go over the facts of your case. If you have your attorney’s email, send them an email request to schedule time or leave them one voicemail requesting a callback or to schedule some time to meet about your case.
Partner With the Best Car Accident Lawyer
Sustaining injuries in a car accident is an awful experience no one should have to deal with on their own. Calling the auto insurance companies and seeking treatment at the same time is exhausting and time-consuming.
Instead, you can rely on a reputable attorney to help take care of that on your behalf. Looking for the right attorney does not need to be a complicated task, especially when you know what to expect and what to look out for.
If you need to hire an attorney to handle your car accident case, contact us. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your attorney’s expectations and how we can best assist you.