No one plans on being injured in an automobile accident, but car accidents affect many people from all walks of life. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report indicated there were nearly 18,500 car accidents per day in the U.S during a recent 12-month period. These crashes resulted in the tragic death of more than 33,600 people and injury to 1,894,000 more people using roadways throughout the country. When disaster strikes, you will be faced with a multitude of tasks, such as seeking medical assistance, focusing on your physical and mental recovery, repairing your vehicle, and dealing with the financial hardships that accompany crash-related injuries and property damage.
Retaining an experienced and knowledgeable auto accident lawyer constitutes one of the most important of these tasks. When considering the importance of obtaining legal representation for your car accident injury claim, insurance industry research provides helpful guidance. While every case is unique, a report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), entitled “Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims,” found that injury victims that were represented by attorneys received 3.5 times more than claimants without an attorney … AFTER deducting attorney fees from the settlement. Maximizing this advantage involves retaining an attorney well-suited to handling your case. We have provided a few suggestions for screening potential car accident lawyers.
Does the attorney limit his practice primarily to personal injury claims?
Although the law firm might have multiple attorneys, the best choice for your personal attorney is someone who handles personal injury claims almost exclusively. The level of experience and expertise of your lawyer will be greater if he or she handles mostly vehicle injury claims.
Does the attorney have experience with similar cases?
While the best option is to hire a personal injury attorney with a significant percentage of his cases being vehicle accident claims, you should probe the attorney’s experience further. If you were rear-ended in an intersection, you might want to see if the attorney has handled cases with similar facts. The lawyer’s experience with similar injuries also could make the attorney a good fit. Although no two cases are exactly alike, you can benefit from the experience your attorney has with similar injuries and accidents. Many of the same types of crashes like rear impact crashes, head-on collisions, intersection accidents, road departure accidents, sideswipe accidents, and more occur frequently, so attorneys with extensive experience handling vehicle accident claims tend to see similar types of accident cases.
How does the office handle communication and updates?
The most common complaint about law firms involves their failure to communicate effectively and keep clients updated regarding the status of their case. What you might not know is that attorneys have an ethical duty to keep their clients informed regarding significant developments and the progress in their case. Sometimes attorneys can respond to text messages or emails faster and more efficiently than phone calls, but you should make sure that you are comfortable with the attorney’s approach to letting you know the status of your case.
Does the attorney have certifications of specialization?
Depending on the jurisdiction, the attorney might have certifications of specialization based on a combination of factors that could include specialization seminars, practical experience, and even academic testing. While many excellent vehicle accident attorneys might not have taken this step, certification indicates the attorney has satisfied a set of objective standards to award specialization status. If the attorney has been handling vehicle accident claims for many years, however, the lack of certification might not be that important.
How do you mesh with the attorney’s style of communication and personality?
While you might not think the attorney’s personality matters, you will be spending significant time going through the claims and litigation process. Your case could take many months to several years to settle, so you want to make sure you are dealing with someone with whom you are comfortable talking to and communicating.
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Were you or a loved one harmed by reckless driver? Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by dangerous drivers. For your free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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