It’s not always easy to find a lawyer who specialises in accidents. You may not know where to start, or you might assume a lawyer specialising in car accidents is just as good if someone is hurt at work or on the sidewalk. However, these mistakes can cost you dearly and make it difficult to recover from your injuries.
Top 14 mistakes to avoid
To help you avoid these mistakes, here are the top 12 mistakes people make when finding an accident lawyer. The Rawlins Firm has attorneys that are experienced in a range of accident and personal injury claims.
1. Not taking into account the attorney’s experience
When searching for an attorney after an accident, you must ensure that the lawyer is experienced with your type of case. Don’t assume a lawyer specialising in car accidents will also help with a slip-and-fall or work injury. Research the firm and talk to your doctor or someone else who has experience with personal injury claims before deciding on a lawyer.
Not approaching friends or family members for recommendations is another common mistake when finding an accident lawyer.
2. Failing to find the right balance of aggressiveness and compassion
Not all lawyers are aggressive to the same degree, and you must ensure you find the right balance for your needs. Communicating what you want in a lawyer is essential, as well as meeting with several attorneys to gauge how they will handle your case. You must know what to look for during the initial consultation if you are looking for an aggressive attorney who will fight hard on your behalf.
3. Believing a big firm has better attorneys
Some assume a big law firm has better attorneys than a smaller one. That’s not necessarily true. You must research the experience of all lawyers working at the law firm and find a highly recommended attorney.
4. Not understanding how to use liability insurance
Before you talk to anyone about your case, you must ask about insurance. Your insurance coverage might be different than you think and will be important in determining whether you get any damages. You might also want to ensure that your auto insurance policy covers accidents and injuries.
5. Not having a plan for when you get your settlement
Allowing emotions to control your actions and decisions isn’t a good idea after you get a settlement. You should make an informed decision about how you will use the money, including saving for the future or spending it on bills or medical care. You will likely be nervous about how much money you want to ask for, but this is important information that will help your lawyer determine whether it’s worth taking your case.
6. Forgetting to take insurance information
Not getting insurance information from the person who hurt you, most personal injury claims arise when one party doesn’t have insurance or enough of it to cover injuries. This information will be essential for recovering compensation and you should ask for it right away.
7. Neglecting to hire a lawyer before receiving a settlement offer
While pursuing a settlement on your own can be tempting, that is not always the best option. Talk with an attorney about your options and ask for a proposal covering your expenses. You need to know if the offer is fair before accepting it.
8. Not understanding what to expect at trial
A trial is when the judge and jury hear both sides of the case and determine who was at fault in your accident. You must understand what to expect from each side, such as whether you can use photographs, videos, or expert testimony. A lawyer who knows how to use these types of evidence will be able to have a stronger case in court.
9. Making too many concessions
When negotiating with the other party’s insurance company, you should make concessions you think are necessary. However, you need to limit what you’re willing to give up if you want to collect any money from the other party later.
10. Failing to understand how court cases are decided
A trial is much like a negotiation, but with more lawyers and pressure on both sides. With any case, your lawyer needs to be able to use legal terminology and understand a judge’s decision-making process if you want your case to be successful.
11. Failing to find the right lawyer for your case
Most people know how to find a reasonable attorney, but it isn’t always clear which lawyer will be best for them. You need to do your research to find an accident lawyer with experience in the type of case you have.
12. Failing to warn about hidden costs
Don’t make this mistake. Sometimes insurance companies will try to charge late fees or other fees after your settlement is finalized to make up for the lost money. These fees could cost you everything or cause additional stress when trying to collect the amount given to you by the insurance company, which may not have shared these costs with you.
13. Undervaluing your injuries
Not all injuries are evident, including soft tissue damage that is not apparent but impacts your day-to-day life. You should trust your attorney to understand the extent of your injuries, even if they aren’t severe. It’s common to underestimate the value of your case, and you could end up with less compensation than you need or deserve.
14. Not asking plenty of questions when choosing a lawyer
You should always communicate with your lawyer about expected costs, including how they will receive payment from insurance companies. You should ask what you can expect at each phase of the case, how they will handle negotiations and a trial, and whether you have the option to settle. Be clear about what is included in your fee, including out-of-pocket expenses.
In conclusion, when looking for an accident lawyer or any other type of personal injury lawyer, it is vital to research and find a lawyer specializing in your type of case. Not only will you be able to protect yourself better, but you can also save money on legal fees by eliminating the risk of having to hire a different lawyer if the case falls through.
You mustn’t just pick the first lawyer you find. Consider how long they have been practicing, their experience, and how well they can handle your case. This will help you find the best attorney for your case.