After a car accident that results in you or a loved one being injured, your first instinct is likely to turn to a car accident attorney to protect your interests and seek compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other financial damages.
You’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of car accident attorneys to choose from in Orange County, so this guide aims to help you narrow your search and find an ideal match to represent you in a car accident case.
Why Choosing the Right Car Accident Attorney is Important
You want someone who is experienced but is also respectful and compassionate about your situation and needs.
Given that it can take anywhere from two months to two years to settle a car crash case, having an attorney with whom you can have a healthy working relationship with who also has a successful track record in personal injury cases is essential.
Key Factors to Look for in a Car Accident Attorney
There is no perfect lawyer for every case, and the best choice is often based on several factors, including concrete qualifications and finding a law firm that’s a good “fit.”
We recommend considering the following qualifications from the list below.
While experience isn’t everything, it’s one of the most relevant when evaluating whether an attorney is competent to handle a claim.
Whenever seeking any professional service, it’s natural to inquire whether the person you’re entrusting with your future has experience in that area. Here, you will want to ask if the attorney has previously handled cases with car accident injuries and the outcome of those cases.
You can ask about the volume of cases the firm has handled and what the typical settlement offer range is.
The number of years of experience an attorney has is also relevant, including the types of cases the lawyer handles. For example, an attorney that primarily works in family law or criminal law will have less experience in a car accident case than an attorney who only handles personal injury cases.
In today’s digital world, it’s relatively easy to find out if an attorney’s clients have positive things to say about them and whether an attorney has been successful in previous cases.
One of the first places to learn more about an attorney’s reputation is by checking reviews published on the law firm’s website. You can also check the firm’s social media pages and review sites, including:
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
In addition to reading online reviews, you can consult with friends and family to see if anyone you know has had a favorable experience with a car accident attorney in the past.
It’s vital to find a car accident attorney that you can trust, and that typically means finding someone that is available and accessible when you need them most. While you won’t necessarily be able to reach someone 24/7, at a minimum, you want to be able to get ahold of someone during business hours.
It’s also important that you can speak to a human. Further, if personal communication with the attorney handling your case is a priority for you, inquire about the frequency of correspondence you can expect and who your primary point person will be.
If you speak another language besides English and you feel more comfortable conversing in that language, you might also want to seek out a law firm that has someone on staff who also speaks that language.
The legal landscape is complicated, and there’s a lot of terminology and jargon that you might encounter while settling or litigating a case. The right attorney will understand that you do not encounter car accident cases every day, and you need an attorney who can speak to you at your level while maintaining respect and compassion.
Depending on your situation, you may also have a lot of questions about your rights, the next steps, and how to deal with insurance companies, doctors, etc. When you have an attorney that keeps you informed, communicates well, and patiently answers your question, it can make the entire experience more comfortable.
How a law firm negotiates with insurance companies can be a major differentiating factor because the success of these negotiations can determine whether all of your medical bills are paid and how much compensation you get overall.
Your attorney should make you feel comfortable in strategy discussions and value your input. While an attorney’s experience will likely equip them with the ability to recommend settlement ranges and strategies, you can learn a lot about how an attorney works by inquiring about how they plan on negotiating on your behalf.
Pricing and Fees
How much an attorney charges is relevant, but it shouldn’t be the only consideration. In car accident cases, most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorney is paid based on a percentage of your successful settlement.
Attorneys are ethically bound to keep fees “reasonable,” but there is no clear rule about what reasonable is. It’s a good idea to compare the percentages that an attorney will collect upon a successful outcome of your case.
We also recommend inquiring about how the costs of litigation will be calculated. For example, will these costs be deducted separately, or are they included in the attorney’s percentage? Will the attorney collect any fees upfront?
Above all, make sure you understand all aspects of the fee arrangement and get a copy of the agreement in writing before agreeing to representation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Khalil Law Group
You do not necessarily have to choose the first attorney you meet with. Because most personal injury attorneys provide free case reviews, we recommend scheduling multiple consultations as you seek to find the best fit for your car accident case. At Khalil Law Group, we have a successful track record of helping Orange Country car accident victims collect fair settlements, and we are compassionate, caring, and communicative. To learn more about how the car accident lawyers at Khalil Law Group can help, contact us at (714) 617-7870 for a free consultation.