If you’ve recently suffered property damage or been injured in a car wreck, you may already be searching for lawyers for auto accidents. With so many options available, finding a law firm located where you live isn’t hard, but the results can be a bit overwhelming. The challenge is figuring out which lawyer you should contact for help.
Here are five recommended steps you can take to streamline your search and find an attorney whose approach and experience fits your needs.
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Step One: Narrow Your Search Terms
Not every attorney handles car accident cases. Some specialize in estate planning, family law, or business contracts to name a few practice areas. That’s why you’ll want to narrow your search first by setting aside any firms that don’t practice “personal injury law.” This is the subsection of civil law devoted to protecting the rights of injury victims.
You’ll also want to make sure that any personal injury firm you’re interested in specifically handles car accident cases. Some personal injury firms focus their attention exclusively on other personal injury matters like medical malpractice cases, which would not be to your benefit.
You’ll also want to think carefully about how far you’re willing to travel to meet with an attorney. If you need to drop off documents at the end of your workday, how far are you willing and able to drive? If an attorney’s office is located outside of those geographical limits, set those search results aside.
Step Two: Consider Any Special Circumstances
If special circumstances apply to your case, you may want to work with lawyers for auto accidents who also practice other legal specialties. Here are some examples:
- If you were intoxicated or otherwise impaired at the time of your crash, you should consider a law firm that also practices criminal defense.
- If you’re navigating a divorce or child custody matter and your kids were involved in the accident, you should consider a law firm that also practices family law.
- If you suspect that your brakes, airbag, or other auto part malfunctioned during your crash, you should consider a law firm that also handles product defect law.
- If your crash occurred while you were engaging in work-related activities, you should consider a law firm that also handles workers’ compensation claims.
- If you’re struggling financially and your car was severely damaged in the crash, you should consider a law firm that also practices bankruptcy law.
If your special circumstances make it hard for you to research your options thoroughly due to your injuries or lack of available time, seek a resource that will match you with a lawyer in your area whose practice focus meets your needs. Often, state or local bar associations provide lawyer referral services at low, or no, cost.
Step Three: Research Local Lawyers For Auto Accidents
To start your online search, begin by looking for “personal injury attorneys” in “(your city or town).” As you begin visiting the websites listed in your search results, consider the following information that should be listed on each site:
- How many lawyers work for the firm?
- How long have the lawyers at this firm been practicing law?
- Do their case results indicate that they have a successful track record of representing clients in cases like yours?
- Have the lawyers at the firm won any awards?
In addition, you’ll want to ask yourself if you appreciate the way that a firm’s site makes you feel. If you’re instantly turned off by the unprofessional way that a firm presents itself, for example, you may not want to consider that firm any further. You’ll want to identify roughly five or six firms that you’d like to learn more about, with the idea of narrowing that list down to two or three after the next step in your research process.
Step Four: Complete Opposition Research
Once you have a list of firms that interest you and practice the area(s) of law related to your case, it’s time to do opposition research. Opposition research doesn’t highlight a lawyer’s accomplishments. It allows you to know if there is something wrong with the way they practice law. By actively trying to figure out if the lawyers for auto accidents with whom you’re interested in working have a negative reputation, you may save yourself the hassle of engaging with subpar legal representation.
Begin by typing the name of the lawyer or law firm that you’re researching into Google. What are their “Google Review” search results? Are their ratings generally positive? As you scroll down your search results, does anything stand out to you? Are the results associated with their name associated with awards and praise or negative press? Keep in mind that every professional and every business gets negative reviews sometimes. Weigh whether the results you’re scrolling are generally favorable or unfavorable.
Next, you’ll want to see if the lawyers for auto accidents in question have been formally disciplined for misconduct. The following resources may be helpful to you as you engage in this phase of opposition research:
Step Five: Schedule Consultations With Your Top Choices
Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential lawyers for auto accidents in your area down to two to three top choices, schedule consultations with the contenders. Most personal injury lawyers offer consultations for free. This opportunity will allow you to interview your top choices to see if you feel comfortable with them and with their approach to representation.
Know that just as a criminal defense lawyer will meet you if you call for assistance from jail, a personal injury attorney will usually meet you in the hospital if you’ve been severely injured and won’t be heading home any time soon. You shouldn’t have to wait to receive legal advice simply because you’re stuck at the hospital for now.
Ready To Find Lawyers For Auto Accidents Like Yours?
If you’re too busy or injured to compare and contrast the lawyers in your area, you can take advantage of a free matching service. After submitting basic information about your case, you can schedule a free case evaluation with a local law firm in minutes.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.