When you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you want to hire the best attorney you can afford to make sure justice is served. Following these tips can help you find the best car accident lawyer serving Springfield, MO.
6 Tips for Finding the Best Car Accident Lawyer Serving Springfield, MO
Choose a Lawyer Who Specializes in Car Accident Law
Not all attorneys are the same, which is why you want to find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law, and more specifically, in car accident injury law. The reason for this is that an attorney who doesn’t spend all their time practicing in this complex area of law won’t know the procedures, arguments, or paperwork that are a part of personal injury law. They won’t be able to provide the solid service you deserve.
There are also specialties within the personal injury field, so make sure the attorney you select has adequate experience in handling car accident injury claims. This area of law is very different from other types of injury law, such as medical malpractice or product liability. Even though your attorney may have experience in these other fields, ensure they also have significant experience with your type of case as well so that you know your claim is in good hands.
Hire an Attorney With Courtroom Experience
Some personal injury attorneys only have experience in settling car accident cases and never actually spend time in court arguing cases. You never know if your case is going to be settled or if you’re going to have to prove your position in front of a judge and jury, and an attorney should never guarantee you’ll settle. Instead, you want a lawyer who prepares your case as if it’s going to end up in the courtroom right from the start.
This doesn’t mean your case will absolutely go to trial, but on the off chance yours can’t be settled, you’ll need an attorney who’s been preparing their argument to support your case all along. This way, your attorney won’t have to scramble at the last minute to put your case together. It just won’t be very strong, and the possibilities will be good that you’ll lose or end up with a smaller monetary award than you deserve.
Research the Attorney’s Track Record
One of the questions you should ask any attorney you’re thinking about hiring is how many large settlements they’ve had. This is a critical question because you want a lawyer who can deliver the highest settlement possible in your case. Of course, no two personal injury cases are exactly alike, but your attorney should be able to point to cases that are similar to yours and demonstrate they know how to negotiate large settlements in personal injury situations.
You should also ask for references from the attorney to contact former clients personally. The law office is probably only going to give you names of happy clients, but it’s still important for you to hear how the attorney advocated for them and negotiated their settlement. Asking the client to give you that information is more authentic than hearing from the attorney. If they don’t want to give references, that should be a red flag to avoid that attorney.
Find Out if the Attorney Belongs to National Organizations
Belonging to national or local legal organizations is vital for accidental injury attorneys to stay current on personal injury law and other relevant information. For example, insurance companies may lobby for new laws that would affect personal injury claim negotiations. If your attorney isn’t aware of these efforts, they may not be able to adjust their strategy to get you the most compensation possible. Legal organizations provide attorneys with publications to stay up-to-date on laws that could affect your case.
Moreover, if your case proves to be tricky, your attorney can turn to these organizations to collaborate with other lawyers who may have suggestions on how to approach your situation to ensure you get the justice you deserve. In almost all instances, multiple heads are better than one, especially when it comes to arguing a legal case that has a major impact on someone’s life. You’ll benefit from your attorney’s association with these groups.
Ask About the Resources Your Attorney Has to Assist Your Case
A main reason you’re probably considering a personal injury attorney is that you don’t have the resources or ability to negotiate your own settlement, so you need to make sure your lawyer has those resources available. They should have access to professionals like investigators, medical witnesses, financial experts, and accident reconstructionists to provide the evidence and support your claim will require to get maximum compensation. If your case goes to court, these professionals will be critical to your argument.
Most accidental injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay for these resources unless and until your attorney negotiates a settlement or recovers an award on your behalf. This means you can relax and focus on your recovery rather than trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for your case. Your attorney will take care of getting and preserving the evidence to prove your position in court or to the insurance company.
Meet With the Attorney in Person
No matter how you find your attorney, whether it’s through a referral, the Internet, or the local bar association, you need to meet with the attorney in person before you make your final decision on who you’re going to hire. This is because you need to feel comfortable with your decision, and you can’t do that over the phone or by email. You need to get an idea of how you’re going to interact with the attorney during your case.
Bring a list of questions to ask the lawyers you interview so you can compare their answers side by side and choose the one who provides the most satisfactory answers for your needs. Some questions you should consider asking each attorney you interview are the following.
- How many car accident cases have you handled?
- How many of those cases settled and how many went to trial?
- What are some of the largest settlements you’ve negotiated?
- What local and national organizations do you belong to?
- What resources do you have?
- What is your fee arrangement?
- What is your communication style (how often will you communicate case updates)?
- Do you have references from prior clients?
- How much time will you devote to this case?
- Will you handle this case personally?
- What do you think this case is worth?
- How long do you think this case will take?
These questions will give you an idea of how the attorney plans to tackle your case and how much you’ll be expected to participate in the process. Evaluate the answers against your own expectations so you can determine which attorney is going to handle your case the way you want it handled. You also need to listen to your intuition, which will help you choose the attorney who’s going to treat you like a member of their own family.
You never want to be in the position of needing a personal injury attorney, but if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve the best representation available to make sure you get the compensation you need to properly recover. Contact Potts Law Firm today to learn how we’ll fight for you with the insurance companies and in court.