One of the major dilemmas people have after a car accident is whether or not they should hire an attorney or let their insurance company deal with the negotiations. Several research findings have established that hiring an attorney increases the settlement over leaving the settlement up to your insurance provider. In general, it’s important to hire an attorney who is familiar with Austin’s car insurance laws. Several tips should guide you in making the right choice.
Why you need a car accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, the car accident rate in Austin is high, and one can never know when he or she will be involved in an accident. Insurance companies claim that most injury claims are as a result of accidents involving cars, trucks or other types of motor vehicles. Many accidents only result in minor damages and can generally be handled alone by contacting your insurance company. However, fatal accidents that involve personal injury or other significant damages may warrant the experience and expertise of a car accident lawyer.
Another important reason you should have an attorney immediately after an accident is that establishing negligence can be difficult. Whenever liability is contested after a car accident, investigations become necessary to establish negligence. A car accident attorney will know how and where to look for evidence to support your case.
There are also cases where you may inadvertently admit fault, possibly while under pressure from insurance company adjusters. Adjusters are trained to minimize client payouts so a lawyer who is experienced with car accident claims can help you to avoid any problems by handling all negotiations with adjusters.
What to look for in an Austin car accident lawyer
An auto accident can be a very intimidating experience, especially if you have been injured. Not so long after, medical bills start to pile up, your injuries may start causing severe pain and in some cases, you have to change your lifestyle. While there is no compensation that can reduce the impact of a car accident, it is only just to get fair compensation for your trouble.
With so many auto accident attorneys in Austin, Texas it’s hard to decide who you can trust. You want to hire a lawyer who will have your best interests at heart. A few tips should help you to decide who you should hire to ensure you get the best legal representation for your case.
Hire an attorney who specializes in car accident claims. The legal professional is not only vast but also complicated. A good Austin car accident lawyer will specialize in a particular field and understand every detail of that sector or industry. Be wary of lawyers who say they can help with everything from child custody cases and divorce to bankruptcies and personal injury claims.
Personal Injury vs. Criminal Defense
If your accident was a regular situation where one person simply injured another or caused damage to another’s property, you’ll want to contact a personal injury attorney. If a crime was committed and the police are involved (someone was arrested, charged with a crime, issued a summons, etc), a criminal attorney will be the specialist to contact.
Check out reviews
Personal referrals are a great way of finding highly rated car accident attorneys. You can also read through online reviews to find out what people are saying about the lawyer you plan to hire. A good lawyer will have a large number of positive reviews.
Lawyer fees will vary from one attorney to another. The range of fees may also vary depending on the facts of your case and the location. You want to make sure you clearly understand the pricing strategy before hiring any lawyer. Expect the contingency fee to be about 30 to 35 percent of your final settlement after all expenses. However, the rate may even rise if you go to trial.
Read the fine print and make sure all details of your engagement are in writing. Compare average rates and identify a lawyer who is mostly likely to offer the best value for money. Sometimes you can even negotiate fees but if the deal seems too good to be true, keep on searching.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the lawyer
Take your time to vet potential candidates before making your choice. Don’t be pressured or intimidated into working with any individual or law firm. The lawyer you choose should be compassionate and empathetic rather than just out to get your money. If you have any reason to doubt the intentions of your attorney of choice or have doubts about their capabilities, it’s probably best that you don’t work with them.
Review recent settlements
Before choosing a particular attorney, take a look at recent cases they’ve handled. Take note of the type of cases they’ve been winning and the average settlement amounts. Even when it comes to personal injury claims, there are various specialties such as motorcycle accidents, car accidents, trucking accidents, among others. Make sure the cases they’ve recently settled apply to your situation. If you were involved in a car accident, you would be in better hands with an attorney who has recently settled car accident cases as compared to one who has mainly settled boat accident claims.
Trying to take the legal system by yourself can be very intimidating. While there are many good car accident lawyers in Austin, there are just as many incompetent lawyers out there. The secret is to take your time to do proper research before making any commitments or signing any contract.