How to hire the best car accident attorney for your case
This is ‘Part 2: Choosing the best car accident attorney for your case’ of our series. Throughout this series we are covering everything you need to know and say following a car or truck accident. Check out the links at the bottom of this article to jump ahead or back in the series.
As you may have gathered by now, the legal process is complicated and frustrating. Most people you interact with are disinterested in your recovery and wellbeing. To make matters worse, some people you interact with are fighting against you. Insurance adjusters and insurance companies are a great example. You need someone to fight for you during the legal process. And the attorney or personal injury firm you choose to represent you will have the biggest impact on the success of your case.
So, how do you choose the lawyer to represent you?
The following are things you should look for to insure you hire the best personal injury attorney for your case.
Table of Contents
- Make sure you are speaking with an attorney
- Expertise in laws specific to car accidents
- The best attorneys know how the defendant’s lawyer thinks
- Provides honest, clear answers
- Easy to get along with
- Avoids legal jargon
- Easy to get in contact with
- Same lawyer throughout your case
- Shows good ethics
- Specializes in your case type
- Learn More
Make sure you are speaking with an attorney
When you have your initial call to the personal injury firm, make sure you are speaking with an attorney. This may seem obvious. However, most of the large Atlanta law firms rely on case managers to evaluate new case calls. Case managers lack the experience of attorneys and may miss critical details of your case.
Expertise in laws specific to car accidents
Does the lawyer you’ve chosen focus his or her practice primarily on car accident cases? If not, you should think twice about using his or her services.
The days of being a jack of all trades are gone and for good reason. Laws have grown so complex that it is impossible for a lawyer to be an expert in all areas of personal injury law.
The best attorneys know how the defendant’s lawyer thinks
Did the lawyer tell you anything negative about your case? A great lawyer will think like the defense. If your lawyer only tells you positive aspects of your case, they might be missing critical issues the defense counsel and insurance companies will spot.
For this reason, HPS employs lawyers who previously worked for large insurance carriers. We know how the defense thinks because we were on the defendants side at one point.
If your lawyer cannot think like a defendant, he or she cannot provide you with a good strategy. Ultimately, the best attorneys are proactive. Your lawyer should work to minimize or eliminate issues before the insurance company gets the chance to exploit.
Provides honest, clear answers
Was your lawyer honest with you? The best car accident attorneys respond to direct questions with direct and simple answers. If you talk with a lawyer and end up with more questions than answers when you are done talking, that is a red flag. But understand that there will be unknowns during an initial consultation. For example, I cannot typically tell a person what their case is worth during an initial consultation.
That said, the correct answer to “what’s my case worth” is “it depends” and “here’s what I’ll do to find that answer”.
Easy to get along with
Do you like the lawyer? The legal process is long, complicated, and can be emotionally draining. You will be talking to your lawyer frequently. Contrary to what you may have heard on television, the process is not as simple as one call. There will be many calls, emails, and meeting with your lawyer—assuming you do not hire a case manager to handle your case, so it’s important to hire a lawyer that you like.
You should never feel like you are being rushed by your lawyer. This is a difficult time in your life and you deserve patience and consideration.
While I was working at a very large Atlanta law firm, I once heard a lawyer say that his clients kept interrupting his work. I quickly told him that clients don’t interrupt your work; clients are your work!
At HPS Law, we love helping people. That’s why we practice personal injury law.
Avoids legal jargon
Does the lawyer make things easy for you to understand? Legal jargon has its place. It belongs in documents filed with courts, not in conversations with your lawyer. For example, I could tell you that we must exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant in the county in which he resides. Or I could let you know that we must file your case in the county where the person that caused the crash lives. Your lawyer should keep things simple and speak in plain English.
Easy to get in contact with
Is the lawyer available? At HPS Law, we don’t take every case. We are selective because we want to provide the best level of service for our clients. Most people don’t realize that some large personal injury law firms in Atlanta overwork lawyers and force lawyers to handle caseloads as high as 400 to 500 cases.
We frequently receive calls from unhappy clients of these firms. Their chief complaint is usually that their lawyer doesn’t return calls or is never available to take their call. This is a sign your attorney is overworked and will not provide you with the level of attention your case requires.
The best attorneys return calls within 24 hours—typically much sooner. Personally, I believe in giving my clients my personal cell phone number. It is vital to their case that I am accessible to them.
Same lawyer throughout your case
Is the lawyer experienced? Make sure the lawyer you hire has substantial experience handling personal injury cases. If the lawyer does, take it one step further. Clarify that the lawyer you spoke with will be handling your case, not his associate attorney (often a new attorney with little firsthand experience). At HPS Law, our lawyers have practiced personal injury law for decades. Throughout your case, you will work one on one with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Shows good ethics
Did you call the lawyer? If a lawyer calls you, this is a major red flag. It is unethical and illegal for any lawyer to cold call you. If a lawyer is willing to violate the law and ethical standards to get your business, imagine what other kinds of unethical or illegal things the lawyer may do if he or she represents you. At HPS Law, we rely on our good reputation, referrals from other clients, and referrals from lawyers that know us well.
Specializes in your case type
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial motor vehicle, does the lawyer know how to handle trucking cases? There is a big difference between a car accident case and a truck accident case.
If you want to know more, check out the rest of our series below. Of course, you can always reach us by calling us directly at 404-400-1175.
- Part 1: What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
- Part 2: How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer
- Part 3: Car Accident Injury Claims Process – Medical Care and Gathering Evidence
- Part 4: Car Accident Injury Settlement vs Litigation
- Part 5: Car Accident Trial Process – Litigation and Trial