If you have been injured in an automobile accident, finding the right automobile accident lawyer for you is essential. For some people, however, retaining a lawyer for their accident case may mean taking money out of their pockets, especially if the case appears to be a simple matter with clear liability on the other party.
Studies have consistently shown that retaining an automobile accident lawyer will result in greater compensation to you, even taking into account the attorney’s fees, which are typically one-third of the gross settlement unless the injured party was a minor. For this reason alone, you should not hesitate to find an attorney for your claim.
Before retaining any potential attorney, it is best to meet him or her in-person and see if you are comfortable with his or her personality, credentials, and professional attitude.
If you have used an attorney for a real estate matter, business transaction, will, divorce, or for any other reason, it is best to ask that attorney for a referral for an automobile accident lawyer. The majority of attorneys are acquainted with attorneys in other specialties and regularly refer past and current clients to them. If the attorney does not do a satisfactory job, the referring attorney will usually hear about it so you can be reasonably assured that you will be consulting with someone who has a proven reputation.
Friends and Family
It is very possible that a friend or family member has been involved in an accident and used a personal injury attorney. He or she will advise if that attorney handled their case satisfactorily or not. If so, you have a potential attorney that you can interview and see if he or she is the best fit for you.
Another resource is your local Bar association. Each county has a local branch of your state’s Bar and a referral service. You can call the branch or go online for a list of attorneys who practice automobile or personal injury law. Since the majority of injury claims are auto-related, any personal injury lawyer will have experience handling these types of cases. Also, the referral service will list the attorney’s educational background, publications, memberships in legal societies, and any achievements.
One overlooked source for finding any attorney is to research the Martindale-Hubbell reference guide. This publication, which can be found online, will list nearly all attorneys admitted in each state. Each listing will indicate the attorney’s education, law firm, area of specialization, and if he or she is AV-rated. An AV rating indicates that the attorney has been reviewed by his or her peers based upon legal knowledge, experience, ability to communicate, judgment on cases handled, and analytical capability. A rating from 3.0 to 5.0 denotes an attorney who stands out.
Internet, Yellow Pages, Television and Radio
The internet or yellow pages are the most frequently consulted areas to find an automobile accident lawyer, although you need to do some research on the firm or particular attorney. If you find a potential attorney online or in the yellow pages, consult his or her listing in Martindale-Hubbell for a their biography.
Seeing an attorney on television or hearing them on radio is no guarantee of their competency, although it may mean they certainly have the resources or funds. Taking the time to do more research on them can be the difference between a great lawyer and an ordinary one who just happens to have a large advertising budget.
Having the right attorney for you can mean the difference between a satisfactory resolution of your case or years of regret for not having done the proper research. Taking the time to find the proper automobile accident lawyer for you should result in getting the compensation you deserve.