So you’ve been injured in a car accident. The thing that usually happens to other people has happened to you.
You are probably dazed and confused and wondering how to proceed. If you are injured, you may be worried about your medical bills and when you will be well enough to get back to work so that you can start chipping away at them. You may also be wondering about injuries that may surface later—such as whiplash—and how they will affect you. You are likely concerned about your car and the costs of getting it fixed. If you think you have a legal case against the other driver, you may be unsure of how to file a claim and get their insurance to compensate you.
Fortunately, car accident attorneys are trained to help you work through all of these challenges. They can assist you with the following:
- Make complicated legal processes understandable to you
- Point you to the best medical specialists
- Help you understand the full range of damages that you can recover
- Help you get your car repaired by a competent auto shop with repairs covered by insurance
- Build a compelling legal case on your behalf
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident so that you don’t have to
A good attorney can make all of the difference in the success of your car accident case and the amount of compensation that you ultimately receive. The challenge, however, is finding the best attorney to represent your case. If you live in Las Vegas, you have likely seen all kinds of advertisements for car accident attorneys, ranging from pop-up internet ads to billboards. The law firms may all sound professional and qualified, but not all of them are created equally.
As you seek to vet potential attorney candidates, here are some tips to help you find the best of the best.
- Get recommendations. Perhaps the highest praise for a law firm is a word-of-mouth referral from previous clients. Ask as many trusted sources as you can think of for attorney recommendations. Even if they haven’t been in a car wreck, they may know someone who has and can pass their attorney recommendation on to you.
- Find a specialist. Jacks-of-all-trades may make great car and home repair specialists, but not necessarily lawyers. You want someone who specializes in car accidents and knows the ins and outs of the laws that govern these accidents. You also want someone who has had years of experience defending car crash victims. If an attorney has only dabbled in the field, move on, and find an expert in car accident injury law.
- Inquire about their property damage resolution. If you have been involved in a car accident, some legal firms will leave you on your own to repair the damages. However, a top-notch attorney will work with auto shops and insurance companies to get your car repaired and paid for.
- Look for someone you like. Car accident cases can take a long time to resolve, so make sure that your attorney is someone you enjoy working with. If they are fake, abrasive, egotistical, etc., you might find yourself dreading interactions with them. A car accident case is stressful enough without a personality clash to boot.
- Ask about communication policies. If you can’t get through to your attorney when you need to talk to him or her, you’re going to be banging your head against the wall as you work through your case. Ask how long they typically take to return calls and emails. How will they inform you about updates or changes to your case? Will you have access to your attorney directly? Or will they assign you to a paralegal or other professional? If a firm seems like they’ve grown too big to ensure consistent and personal communication with their clients, you may want to keep looking.
- Prioritize toughness. Insurance companies have one main thing on their minds: their own bottom line. As a result, they could unleash a firestorm of tactics to get you to accept a lowball settlement. A tough attorney can call their bluff and negotiate tirelessly to get you all of the benefits that you deserve.
- Beware of credentials. While it’s good to inquire about an attorney’s education and check their standing with the State Bar of Nevada, watch out for flashy awards (“Best of Las Vegas,” etc.) that might be fake or overstated.
- Ask about fees. While the most expensive attorney in the business may not be for you, searching for bargain basement prices might yield bargain basement quality. Weigh cost against other factors, and consider working with an attorney who works on contingency fees. This means that they won’t get paid unless you win your case.
Check with several attorneys before committing so you can get a good feel for your options. Though a car accident can inject stress and difficulty into your life, there are better days ahead. A good attorney will stand by your side and help you get back on firm footing as soon as possible.