Getting in a car accident can trigger a frenzy of activity and emotion. You may be dealing with mild or severe injuries and property damage, and you are definitely dealing with a “what do I do next?” cloud over your head. Friends and family have probably said you should talk to a car accident attorney – but how do you find the most appropriate match?
Get referrals. For instance, obtain recommendations from a lawyer you used in the past or from a family member or friend. Ask specifically for an attorney who has handled car accident cases successfully.
Search Online for an Oakland Car Accident Attorney
If you cannot get a referral, search online for car accident attorneys in the area. You can also check the state board of attorneys for options.
Survey Prospective Attorneys’ Websites
Once you’ve obtained names and references, do sleuthing on the web. Examine the attorneys’ websites thoroughly. They should be up to date and easy to navigate. Most likely, the sites will have a page (or many pages) about car accidents and personal injury law to help you better understand the process.
Examine Credentials, Licenses, and Testimonials
Examine each attorney’s credentials and certifications. You may find these on the “About Us” page. Otherwise, you can look up credentials on websites like Avvo.com and Nolo.com. Read reviews and client testimonials to get a sense for the attorney’s clientele and how the firm handles cases.
Schedule a Consultation
Most car accident attorneys offer free initial consultations; use these to your advantage. During these meetings, the attorneys will want to know exactly how the accident happened, and they may ask you to describe your experience. The consultations offer you a chance to ask any questions you might have about how personal injury law works.
Ask Good Questions and Write Down the Answers You Get
Ask about the attorney’s experience and qualifications. Also ask the “why” question. Why does the lawyer come to work every day? What values does he or she bring to the office and live by? In addition, ask practical questions — for instance, does the attorney have the skills and resources to go to trial if necessary? How you will pay for legal services? How quickly will he or she respond to your calls or emails? Get a sense for the attorney’s confidence and likely involvement in your case.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
Use your intuition. If you sense that a particular attorney is not right for you, look elsewhere. There are hundreds of options; you should feel like your case matters. Think about your choices, and do not feel pressured to decide.