If you’ve ever been in an auto accident, then you know how serious car accidents can be, both to your own health and finances. The last thing you want when dealing with an auto accident is to find yourself confused or frustrated by your options as you try to get back on your feet financially and make sure that you’re able to heal properly from your injuries.
This guide will help you understand how to spot a good auto accident attorney so that you don’t end up getting taken advantage of when trying to figure out the details of your case after an auto accident.
1) They tell you how to proceed.
Most lawyers will be eager to help you recover from your accident as quickly and efficiently as possible. If a lawyer balks at helping you make decisions about your case, he or she may not be fully invested in representing you and may give short shrift to your situation. Finding an attorney who is willing to work with you on a timeline that makes sense for your specific needs can save time and money later down the road.
2) They are friendly and knowledgeable
We want an attorney who is not only friendly but knowledgeable about all aspects of our case. After all, no one wants to end up in a situation where they are unsure about what their lawyer is doing or how things will turn out.
The best auto accident attorneys pride themselves on being able to explain everything clearly and thoroughly to their clients so that they feel secure in knowing exactly what’s going on with their case at any given time.
3) They ask you open-ended questions
Before you even make an appointment, ask how your potential attorney plans to help you. Do they want to hear your story first? Are they asking questions like how do you think things went wrong, or are they asking for details about your accident? Open-ended questions—ones that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no—are best.
4) They focus on your needs and goals, rather than their own needs.
When choosing an attorney, talk to them about your goals, and not their own. If they’re trying to upsell you on services that don’t make sense for your needs, it might be time to move on. Similarly, if they seem willing to take clients with different types of cases (for example, personal injury and criminal defense), you may want to question their expertise.
5) They will take some of your fees as a retainer.
Attorneys generally bill their clients on an hourly basis. But what happens if you’re in an accident, have medical bills piling up, and need to be at work? You won’t be able to stay focused on your recovery if you are worried about paying your legal fees.
That’s why many attorneys take a retainer from clients — it acts as protection in case of a lawsuit and covers most of their legal fees.
6) There’s no pressure to sign up then and there.
It’s important that you feel comfortable with your lawyer. Make sure to get a few different quotes for your case, which will help you know whether or not your quote is fair. Once you have a few options, go in for consultations.
7) They have experience with your type of claim.
Do you need a car accident attorney for an injury claim? Maybe you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. In cases like these, it helps to know that you’re working with an attorney who understands how to handle these types of claims.
When looking for a personal injury lawyer, do some research into whether they’ve handled many similar cases before.
8) Their office is professional, yet warm and inviting.
One of my biggest pet peeves with attorneys is when they look like complete slobs. You’re going to spend a lot of time with your attorney, so it should be easy to talk to them, and easy for them to answer any questions you may have in a professional manner.