An accident can occur in a second. One inattentive driver or one wrong turn can result in a devastating collision. Unfortunately, that’s not hypothetical.
In the state of Texas, a car crash occurs every 58 seconds. One person gets injured in a crash every two minutes, totaling nearly 250,000 injuries a year. One person dies every two hours.
After an accident, you may have a lot on your mind. Hiring an Austin accident lawyer may be the last thing you consider. But when you’re faced with huge hospital bills, it’s essential that you talk to one.
Knowing what to ask before hiring a car accident attorney will make your life easier. Here is a quick guide.
Before you talk to an attorney, you should do some research online. Learn how to find an auto accident lawyer in the first place. Google “accident lawyers near me” and talk to your social circle about lawyers they’ve worked with.
When you start your search, there are a few tips you can follow. Read reviews on Facebook and Google. These are sites that don’t allow firms to remove negative remarks, so you’ll get real answers.
Visit sites like Avvo and Justia. They feature customer reviews and attorney endorsements from local lawyers. Avvo also provides the resume of attorneys, letting you see in detail what their experience is.
Justia functions as a legal education website. You can read about personal injury and auto accident law. Their articles link to prominent attorneys in your area, letting you find the ones you need.
Talking About Experience
Lawyers like to talk about how experienced they are. Their websites often say how long they’ve been in business. They list important cases with huge settlements that they landed.
It is important to know how long a person has been an Austin auto accident lawyer. But experience is more than that.
Ask where the lawyer went to school. Get information about their undergraduate degree. Someone with a pre-law major has more knowledge than someone without one.
Talk about professional organizations that the lawyer belongs to. Include organizations that are outside the law. A lawyer may provide legal or financial advice to a charity or faith group.
Break down how much trial experience they have. Many cases never go to trial. Talk about how the attorney handles pre-trial procedures and then proceeds into the courtroom.
Personal injury law is not a monolith. There are a few different specializations that a person can pursue, including traffic collisions.
A lawyer can specialize in medical malpractice. They can also specialize in product liability, pursuing lawsuits against a manufacturer whose products injure a person.
Malpractice and product liability are not completely different from traffic collision law, but they are distinct. Select a lawyer who focuses on traffic accidents in particular.
It is fine to pick a lawyer who is an all-around personal injury attorney. But a lawyer with a specialty will know the nuances of collision law more than someone without one. They can provide specific information to juries, making their cases stronger.
Before you meet with your attorney, bring your records with you. Make sure you have the accident report, medical records, and bills. Hand them over.
Give the attorney time to look over things, and then ask them questions. You should talk about whether the case could be successful. Assess whether the case should go to trial or result in a pre-trial settlement.
But you want to assess how this attorney breaks things down. Ask them about what works in your case’s favor. Then assess what works against you.
Ask them about the timeline for your case. Touch upon how the lawyer will conduct further research and investigation.
Ask this attorney how they delegate responsibilities within their team. What do paralegals and associates do? Everyone should know what their roles are and who they should take concerns to.
If you have free time, you can ask them about what you can do to win the case. They will need your testimony and personal information. But you can help them find witnesses or consult with other attorneys.
Don’t talk about payments for too long, but you can touch upon it. Assess how the lawyer is paid for their services. If their payments exceed how much your case is worth, don’t carry forward with them.
Knowing the Local Area
There are more than 12,000 lawyers in the Austin metropolitan area. One easy way to distinguish one from another is their knowledge of the area.
In general, you should select a lawyer who has been in Austin for a long period of time. But the sheer number of years is not enough of an indicator.
A good lawyer associates with other attorneys. They trade referrals and consult on cases with them.
A good lawyer also associates with local judges. They know the styles of arguments they like and how they arrange court proceedings.
Talk to your Austin car accident lawyer about how much they know the local area. Get names of other lawyers and judges that they know personally. Do your research to make sure that’s true.
Hire an Austin Accident Lawyer Today
You don’t have to go bankrupt paying your medical bills. Hiring an Austin accident lawyer will get you the compensation you deserve.
Go online and read customer reviews first. Then touch base with an attorney on their experience. Go into how they specialize in auto accident cases.
Assess their strategy, including your role. Ask about how they know the local area and connect with judges.
You want an attorney with experience and boldness. McMinn Law Firm has been serving Central Texans for more than 15 years. Schedule a free case evaluation today.