If you have been in an accident involving motor vehicles that was not your fault, you are not alone. Aggressive, distracted and drunk driving cause tens of thousands of accidents around the United States. When the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index was released in 2008, it showed that more than three-quarters of their members said that aggressive driving is a serious problem. By some estimates, one person is injured every two minutes by a drunk driver. Meanwhile, during the daytime, there are about 660,000 people driving around while playing with their stereo or mobile device. If you have been in a car accident, you may need to get the services of an auto injury lawyer but that may seem like a very daunting task. These tips may help you find the right auto injury lawyer for your needs:
- Talk to the people in your life. Given the sheer volume of car and truck accidents in the United States every day, the chances are good that you know someone who has been in an accident and has had to hire a personal injury attorney. You may have to ask them because not everyone likes to talk about this sort of thing. The best way to get any kind of product or service is to get a personal recommendation and this is no different. You may not go with the same person but this can get you started.
- Talk to lawyers you know. While it is true that the medical malpractice lawyer who was so helpful to you with one issue may not be able to help you after you have been in a drunk driving accident, like medical professionals, lawyers specialize. They may, however, be able to give you a list of auto injury lawyers they know and may be good for your case It is worth it to ask, at the very least.
- Look online. The American Bar Association and NOLO both have great databases of lawyers. You can check with your state bar association as well. Of course, you can also do a simple search engine search on Google to see if there are lawyers in your area who can help you with these cases. You should check out different personal injury law firms and see what their former clients have to say about working with them.
- Interview several law firms. Do not hire the first auto injury attorney you talk to. A lot of people find an auto accident lawyer they like and think they should stop their search. While you may end up going with the first people you talk to, unless you have taken the time to talk to a few law firms, you will not know if you are getting the best deal for your case.
- Bring in your questions and get them answered. It is important to go with an auto injury lawyer who listens to you and will answer your questions. If they are not going to spend the time to talk to you when you are looking to hire a law firm, you can be sure they are not going to do that afterward. Here are some questions you need to have answered:
- What is your billing process and rate? Many personal injury law firms will not charge a fee if they do not win but there are other costs that you may be responsible for. Make sure you understand what you will be responsible for paying before you sign anything.
- How long have you worked in this field? Most of these cases are not tried in a courtroom but are decided in negotiations. It has been estimated that about 97% of all personal injury cases are decided without going to court so you need someone with a lot of experience with this.
- What percentage of your practice is spent on this kind of law? Most law firms handle a variety of cases so you want a lawyer who deals with auto accidents for a decent part of their time.
If you have been in a bad car accident, you need to spend your time on your recovery. A good auto accident lawyer can make a real difference.