Expecting the Unexpected
What does your typical day look like? Most of us drive to work or school, thinking about our to-do lists and daydreaming about the weekend. Generally, we don’t stop to think about the unexpected, like being involved in a car accident. But being hurt in a car accident often causes life to grind to a halt, presenting you with difficulties and questions you may have never imagined:
- Who should I contact after my accident?
- When should I see a doctor?
- Will my insurance cover my injuries?
- What should I do if the other driver isn’t insured?
- Should I call an attorney?
It’s Important to Think Clearly After Your Automobile Accident
Unfortunately, stressful and disruptive life events like car accidents don’t give us advanced warning. They happen when we’re least expecting them, and become all the more difficult to handle because they’re unpredictable and leave us with many unanswered questions.
Feeling scared and having a million questions after an automobile accident is normal, but it’s also important to think clearly in the aftermath of an automobile accident, because the actions you take can have long-term implications for your financial, physical and emotional well-being.
Tips for Finding the Right Attorney After Your Automobile Accident
Get a Referral: Whether you’re considering a new neighborhood, looking for an experienced doctor, or simply need a great hair stylist, instinct tells us to rely on the experience and opinions of our inner circle. But you’d be surprised how many people neglect this all-important impulse when choosing an attorney.
When looking for an attorney after your car accident, start with the opinions of friends, family and coworkers. Don’t assume they can’t help because they’ve never been involved in an auto accident or worked directly with a personal injury attorney.
Chances are many of your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers have relationships with attorneys they trust. Even if their attorney doesn’t specialize in personal injury, it’s likely they know someone who does and will be more than happy to make a referral.
Do Your Research: Referrals are a great place to start your search for a qualified personal injury attorney. But don’t stop there! Thoroughly research potential personal injury attorneys online and in person. Call their office and ask to set up a consultation. Note how the staff treats you, and whether the attorney responded in a timely fashion.
When you’re researching, look for honest reviews and testimonials from current and former clients on the firm’s social media accounts and their website. Note the positive reviews, and explore how the firm handles negative reviews. Do they answer complaints or ignore them?
Few firms have 100% positive reviews, so don’t rule an attorney out based on a handful of bad reviews. Instead, examine their response to any negative reviews. Do they respond to dissatisfied clients in a timely and helpful fashion? Choose a firm with positive reviews, but keep an eye on their track record and overall customer service. How firms respond to happy and not-so-happy clients speaks volumes about how they’ll treat you.
Schedule a Consultation: When you speak to a potential attorney, remember that you’re making a hiring decision. An interview with an attorney should be free and with no strings attached. It shouldn’t make you feel pressured or hurried, and you should walk away from your meeting feeling confident, with your questions fully answered.
Choosing the Best Lawyer for Your Case
When you’ve found a personal injury attorney (whether it’s through your personal network or by referral from another attorney), keep the following in mind:
Expertise: Does the firm you’ve chosen have a successful track record in personal injury? Handling an automobile accident lawsuit isn’t cut and dry, so don’t choose an attorney who knows nothing about the field. Does your attorney have trial experience? If your accident case goes to trial, you’ll want to have an experienced trial lawyer on your side.
Reputation: Successful personal injury attorneys should not only have a track record of success; they should be upstanding members of your community. If a potential attorney has no reviews, doesn’t update their website and has no visibility in the community, keep looking!
Communication: The best personal injury attorneys have more than just experience; they are passionate about the law and protecting their clients’ rights. Choose a personal injury firm with a clear record of client-focused communication and dedication to customer service. Your attorney should be willing to listen, answer questions, and above all, treat you with respect.
Selecting the right personal injury attorney isn’t as easy as a quick Google search. After an accident, gather the information you need to make an informed decision. Get referrals from people you know and trust. Then, use your best judgement and trust yourself, and you’ll end up hiring an attorney who’s the very best fit for both you and your case.
Been injured in an automobile accident? Call us!