About 4.4 million Americans per year experience injuries that require medical attention as the result of auto accidents. Even if serious injuries are not sustained, victims are forced to spend a lot of money repairing the damage. Auto accidents are expensive, and too often, the victim is left covering the costs This is why hiring an auto accident attorney is so important.
They’ll be able to help you get the damages that you deserve. Here are seven helpful tips to find the best car accident attorney in Huntington Beach.
1. Ask for Auto Accident Attorney Reccomendations
This is the first step when you’re looking for a good car accident attorney. Before you take your search to the internet (which is an important step), ask your friends, family members, and other peers for advice.
It’s possible that someone you know either was involved in a car accident or knows someone who was. If that is the case, then they may have worked with an auto accident attorney. Often, people will be more than willing to share if they had a good experience.
The people in your life are more likely to be reliable because they want you to have a good outcome. You don’t have to take their opinions as gospel, but those opinions will give you a solid starting point that will help you during your search.
2. Look for Reviews
Once you’ve got some tips from the people in your life, start looking for reviews of local car accident attorneys in Huntington Beach. You can easily find reviews by researching terms, like “car accident attorneys near me” or “best personal injury attorney near me.”
When you have a list of attorneys, go into the “maps” section of your search. This will bring each one’s “Google My Business” page up and you’ll be able to see a list of reviews at the bottom, as well as the law firm’s star rating.
You want to choose a law firm that has a good star rating, somewhere around the 4 to 5-star range. This means that, overall, people have been satisfied with their experience with the lawyers at the firm.
Once you narrow your options down to higher star ratings, read individual reviews. It’s a good idea to look for reviews that apply directly to your situation. For example, if you’re looking specifically for car accident attorneys, look for information about car accident cases.
Keep in mind that some poor reviews may not be the result of a lawyer’s wrongdoing. They could be from jilted people on the other side of the case or from people who would never have had a successful case in the first place.
3. Check Specialties
Not all personal injury attorneys are capable of handling car accident cases. “Personal injury” law covers a broad spectrum, so you must ensure that your selected attorney specializes in car accidents.
The right auto accident attorney will have plenty of experience with cases just like yours. Picking someone who specializes in auto accident cases will mean that you’re getting a seasoned professional who understands the complicated ins and outs of the legal system.
Also, they know how auto insurance companies try to manipulate victims and get them to agree to low settlements. However, experienced attorneys are ready to fight for you and defend your rights. They know what kind of tactics to look out for when it comes to the insurance company.
A lawyer who doesn’t specialize in auto accident cases won’t have enough experience to advocate for you, even if they’re competent in their own specialties.
4. Ask About Trial Experience
Many personal injury cases never make it to trial, and by choice. Instead, the cases get settled out of court. While this can make the case shorter and easier on all parties, every case is unique, and some will require a trial.
Therefore, your car accident attorney should have plenty of experience in the courtroom, and they should be ready to advocate for you in the event a fair settlement is not reached.
Insurance companies know that many people don’t understand how the legal process works. They rely on that lack of understanding to offer low settlements. However, an auto accident attorney with trial experience will earn you a full and fair settlement.
During the trial stage, your lawyer will present evidence and witnesses to bolster your case. The defendant will also be able to present their side. Therefore, you need a lawyer who will aggressively combat the defense and point out the flaws in their argument.
The courtroom is a high-pressure environment, and many inexperienced lawyers choose not to go to court for that reason. You need someone who will fight on your behalf despite the pressure.
5. Ask for References
Once you start narrowing down individual attorneys you’re interested in working with, ask each attorney for references. Any good attorney will be able to give you examples of satisfied former clients.
You can ask the people you were referred to questions about their experience with the law firm. This will help you determine whether or not the car accident lawyer is right for you. Also, ask about how much time the lawyer dedicated to their case. Did that attorney appear to be sincerely invested?
In addition, inquire if the case went to court. If so, ask about the lawyer’s demeanor in the courtroom. If the case never went to trial, ask why. It’s possible that the lawyer was able to get an agreeable settlement.
6. Ask About Fees
When it comes to affordability, you will first have to establish how much your case is realistically worth. Then, determine whether or not you believe that paying for legal representation is worth that anticipated monetary reward.
Another important factor to consider is how the auto accident attorney bills. Some lawyers charge hourly rates. While hourly rates may appear high, attorneys who have been in practice for years charge by the hour with the expectation of closing the case at an expedited rate. Therefore, the total cost may not end up being too costly.
Some auto accident attorneys prefer to work on a contingency basis. Instead of charging hourly, this form of billing establishes a percentage of fees from the start, ranging from 25% to 40%. Ultimately, depending on how much the attorney is able to recover on the client’s behalf, the legal fees will consist of an agreed-upon percentage of the total amount that was recovered.
A perk to a lawyer working on contingency is that they do not charge clients unless they are able to win their case. Therefore, if the case is not won, clients do not have to pay any legal fees.
7. Go to Consultations
Weighing your options is great. Similarly, lawyers want to make sure you’re a good fit for them, as well. They don’t want to waste their time or yours.
A good lawyer understands that not all cases require legal representation or qualify for a personal injury claim to be filed. Other factors like having a heavy workload or thinking that the case is better suited to another local lawyer can arise during the consultation.
During your consultation, be prepared to discuss your accident, and bring any evidence you possess, like photos from the accident scene, police reports, and medical reports. Also, prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney you’re meeting with. All of your concerns should be addressed during this initial meeting.
Find the Right Auto Accident Attorney for Your Case
Choose a lawyer that’s ready and willing to advocate for you both in and out of the courtroom. You can get the compensation you deserve if you work with the right auto accident attorney.
Coast Car Accident Lawyers in Huntington Beach is ready to help you with your case. We offer complimentary consultations so you can decide if we’re the right fit. Contact us to get started today.