6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Car Accident Lawyers

Choosing Car Accident Lawyers

choosing car accident lawyers

Are you looking to hire a car accident lawyer? Choosing car accident lawyers is an important decision. The right legal team will have a combination of experience, empathy, and the ability to persuasively argue your case. As such, you should know how to identify the right attorneys for your case.

However, there are common mistakes people often make when looking for car accident lawyers. Here are the top six pitfalls to avoid.


1. Little to No Courtroom Experience

Most car accident cases settle out of court. Instead of going to trial, legal teams negotiate with one another until they come to a satisfactory deal. Therefore, you will most likely be able to get the compensation you need without having to worry about going before a judge and jury.

However, in the event your case does go to trial, each side’s attorney will make present their arguments. Then, the judge will issue a verdict which both sides must abide by. 

If they have been in practice for some time, most car accident attorneys have been to trial at some point in their careers. However, because it is more common for cases to settle outside of court, some haven’t been to trial as often as others. 

Therefore, you want someone who can argue your case both in and out of court. Additionally, if an attorney has garnered a reputation for inadequate courtroom experience, the opposing party may feed off of this.

Insurance companies will research and find out if a lawyer has a reputation for not wanting to go to trial. As a result, they might offer lower settlements, hoping the attorney will encourage you to settle and avoid going to court.


2. Not Preparing for the Consultation

This initial consultation allows you to meet your potential attorney, get acquainted with their office, and share details about your case.

Before meeting, ask if their case assessment is free. Also, confirm if there is an obligation to sign with their law firm after they assess your accident. It’s important to know that these lawyers do not have to take on your case, and you do not have to hire them.

The attorney will come prepared to ask you questions about the accident, so you should be prepared to share your story. In addition, prep for the meeting by compiling a list of your own questions to ask. By doing so, the responses you get will determine whether or not you want this lawyer to represent your case. 

At the consultation, you should also pay attention to the rapport you establish with the attorney. Consider if this is someone you genuinely like or can see yourself working with for a period of time. Do they inspire confidence, and did you get the impression they cared about your case?

Developing a good working relationship with one another will make the process easier. 


3. Waiting Too Long to Look for a Lawyer

time for statute of limitations

Occasionally, victims of accidents do not file a claim until some time has passed. This is fine. However, do not wait too long. 

It’s best to start building your case as soon as possible. First, the statutes of limitations restrict how long someone can pursue a personal injury claim. In California, the statute of limitations is two years, meaning that after the two-year mark you are no longer eligible to file a lawsuit. 

Second, if you look for a lawyer right away, you’ll know what kind of information you need to collect to strengthen your case. This includes doctor’s bills, pictures of your injuries and property damage, as well as other relevant evidence. It’s easier to keep these things on hand as they become available versus running the risk of missed opportunities. 


4. Not Shopping Around for Options

Some people hire the first attorney they schedule a consultation with. This person might be the right attorney for the job. However, you won’t know if they’re the best option unless you meet with more than one candidate. 

Therefore, make sure you’re familiarizing yourself with the different law offices in your area. Research “car accident lawyer near me” online. Then, contact the law firms that appear to be the most promising. 

During the consultation, pay attention to how each attorney answers your questions. Ask them how they would handle your case, and compare their answers. 

In addition, search for online reviews and testimonials to get an idea of other clients’ experiences. 


5. Hiring Someone Who Guarantees You’ll Win

Lawyers don’t usually take on car accident cases unless they think they can win them. Often, these attorneys will even advertise how much they’ve won in settlements for previous clients in the past. An attorney who wins the majority of their cases probably has the ability to help you win yours.

However, nothing is guaranteed. As such, an honest lawyer won’t promise you they will win your case. Instead, they’ll talk with you about the likelihood you’ll get the outcome you want. Transparency is important. Be wary of a law firm that is overpromising results.


6. Fee Structure is Not Clear

personal injury lawyer contract

During your consultation, ask your potential lawyer about the fees involved with your lawsuit. 

How do they bill–by the hour, on contingency, for a flat rate? What percentage of your settlement do they collect for their services? Do they charge even if they lose your case?

Every law firm is different. Oftentimes, they take a portion of their winnings if the client wins the case. This motivates the attorney to work hard for you and keeps their services affordable until you can afford to pay them.

However, how much a lawyer collects from your winnings can vary in a significant way. Therefore, you and your lawyer should agree on the percentage they’ll take before you sign a contract. Focus on choosing car accident lawyers who are willing to be upfront with you.


Southern California’s Top Personal Injury Lawyer

Choosing car accident lawyers is a crucial part of your lawsuit. When you hire the right representatives, you’ll increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.

At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, we have the experience and accolades to represent you for your personal injury case.  Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more. Contact us today to get started.