Car accidents happen every day. Distracted drivers cause thousands of accidents every year. More than 3,000 people were killed in accidents with distracted drivers in 2013. That same year, more than 420,000 people were injured in all auto accidents. At any given moment, there are about 660,000 people using smart phones or other mobile devices while driving. The statistics for people who drive under the influence are just as frightening. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol costs the American economy $199 billion every year. Despite the fact that every day nearly 300,000 drivers take to the road while drunk, only 4,000 are arrested. If you have been in an accident with a drunk or distracted driver, you may have a suit to file and should seek advice from an auto accident attorney.
Tips for Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney:
- Not everyone has a claim. If you think you have a valid reason for filing a personal injury claim, you should talk to an auto accident attorney. Not every car accident that results in an injury can be the basis for a successful lawsuit. Even if no one has been hurt, there may be a case for a lawsuit if blame and negligence can be determined and proved. The best way to tell if your case rises to the standard is to talk to a personal injury lawyer. They can evaluate the facts of your case and determine if you should file a lawsuit. If you are on the fence, just call a lawyer and get their opinion. Most law firms will provide free consultations, so you can see what your chances in court will be.
- Get referrals from friends and relatives. Ask around. There is a pretty good chance that you know someone who has some experience with personal injury litigators or other kinds of lawyers. Ask what they thought of their lawyer and how they found them. You can do some online searches in your area for the kind of lawyer you are looking for. Remember that people are much more likely to complain than compliment, so keep that in mind when looking at online reviews, especially when they are posted anonymously.
- Ask for references. Many law firms have testimonials on their website from current and former clients about how the firm handled their cases. Look for online reviews as well. Most law firms that have been around awhile should have a track record that you can look up.
- Evaluate the firm’s experience. Make sure that the firm you hire has experience fighting your type of case. For instance, if you’re in need of a personal injury lawyer, you want an auto accident attorney. Make sure that the firm is experienced with auto accidents and that the lawyer who is working on your case has at least some experience with this kind of situation. Ask about their track record and what the average settlement is. Make them explain the process and how long they expect it to take. If they are not willing to answer your questions before you are a client, do not expect them to take a lot of time after you hire them.
- Talk to several law firms. This is a very personal decision you are making. You have to be able to really communicate with the person who will argue your case on your behalf. That means that you need to be completely open and honest with this person, and that may be very uncomfortable. Make sure you can be as open as possible about the pain and suffering caused by your accident. This is not the time to put on a brave face or deny how badly you may feel.
Hiring an auto accident attorney can be the best thing you do for yourself after a car crash. They know the system and process and can weed out the information they need to win your case from what they do not. They can also take care of the legal issues while you focus on your recovery, which is where your attention and energies are best spent during this time.