After a car accident, you want to make sure that you hire the right lawyer to represent you. Finding a good New York car accident lawyer can be the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve for damages and injuries and not receiving any of it. It can also protect you from having to pay damages that you should not be responsible for.
But how do you find a good car accident lawyer? Keep the following priorities in mind as you consider options.
The first step in your search for a car accident lawyer is to look for options. The best source will be recommendations. Start by asking family, friends, and coworkers. As you do so, make sure to confirm that they have worked with the lawyer they suggest. Simply knowing a lawyer is not enough.
You can also ask any lawyers you know for recommendations. Of course, if you know a lawyer who specializes in car accidents, then you may want to consider them. If you know a lawyer with another specialty, they likely know one who specializes in your situation.
Just because you get a recommendation for a lawyer, don’t assume that they will be the best choice. You still want to consider the other advice on this list.
Confirm Their Experience
One of the first things to ask any potential lawyer about is their experience level. You want to look at their overall experience as a lawyer and focus on their expertise with your specific situation. The closer their area of expertise matches your particular situation, the better. A good question is what percentage of the lawyer’s practice they dedicate to car accident cases.
When considering experience, don’t just look at how many relevant cases they have handled. You also want to look at the results they typically get. What kind of settlements or verdicts do their clients typically receive? You would also want to know what they would expect from your case.
Ask About Fees
Before hiring any lawyer, you should always ask them about fees. Clarify how much you will have to pay and what situations you have to pay in. Most New York car accident lawyers will charge a percentage of the amount recovered on your case by settlement or verdict.
To ensure you are clear, make sure that you ask about any upfront or out-of-pocket costs. This can vary by the law firm.
Check Their Reputation (and That of Their Firm)
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential lawyers, take some time to research them online. You want to confirm that they have a good reputation for winning cases. This is your chance to verify the information that they told you.
Be sure to look at the firm as a whole as well. Is the lawyer the only attorney in their firm? If there is more than one lawyer, who will handle your case? This is also when you should check what type of support system the lawyer has. How many paralegals or assistants do they have? Having more is not necessarily better; you want to confirm that their team is large enough to handle their caseload.
You should also look at reviews from past clients. This is extremely important and easy to do with the internet. You can look at online reviews and examine the firm’s website. Confirm that the website seems professional and updated.
Confirm Their Involvement in Your Case
Although we touched on this in the previous point, you want to make sure you know who will handle your case. If you are talking to a specific lawyer and find good online reviews, confirm that they will be in charge of it.
This goes beyond checking which lawyer will be in charge of your case. It would be best if you also asked how much of the process they handle themselves and how much they delegate to paralegals or junior lawyers in their firm.
Meet With the Lawyer
Once you think you found the right lawyer to handle your car accident case, make an appointment with them. You can learn a lot about the lawyer based on their office and how they interact with you.
You want to see a well-organized office that is clean and shows professionalism. You also want to pay attention to the conversation you have with the lawyer. Make sure you feel comfortable talking to them. After all, you will be working with them regularly and need to provide them with a great deal of detail.
Pay attention to how the lawyer answers your questions. Do you understand their response? Do they use terms you can understand yet demonstrate their knowledge and skill? Confirm you don’t feel like they are talking down to you during the conversation.
You should also pay attention to the questions that the lawyer asks you. Do they seem like they care about you and the specifics of your case? An engaged lawyer will ask for more information and ask about your goals.
Pay Attention to Communications
When you gather information about the lawyer and set up your appointment, you will have plenty of opportunities to communicate with them. Pay attention to those communications. Are they prompt? Do they seem professional? You want both of those answers to be yes. If so, you will be well on your way to finding a good car accident lawyer.