According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 42,939 people died in motor vehicle accidents on U.S. roadways in 2021 — the largest number of traffic-related fatalities since 2005, and a 10% increase over the previous year. The number of people injured in car crashes also increased from 2.28 million to 2.5 million. Alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving were the primary culprits.
These accidents not only threaten lives but can also leave survivors with serious or catastrophic injuries requiring extensive medical treatment. Medical bills can add up quickly, especially if the injured person is unable to work and earn a living. An entire family can feel the emotional and financial impact of serious car accidents. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Lincoln, Omaha, or Council Bluffs due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. By retaining legal representation from a reputed car accident lawyer, you may improve your chances of getting maximum compensation. But where do you begin?
There are some important factors to consider, so the legal team at Berry Law compiled this guide to the best way to you narrow your search and find the right attorney for your car accident case.
Why is Choosing the Right Lawyer Important?
You need an attorney who will take your case seriously, investigate your accident thoroughly, and get you compensation for all the damages the accident caused you and your family. You need a legal professional you can trust to handle your car accident case throughout the legal process, someone who isn’t afraid to stand up to at-fault parties and their insurance companies to fight for justice on your behalf. The lawyer you hire can have a significant impact on the success of your car accident claim. To find the right one for your case, you must do a little research.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer Near Me?
Hiring a lawyer from your own city or community offers many advantages. First, a lawyer near you will understand the local legal landscape. They are well-versed in local and state laws that may affect your case. They will have access to sources in your area, such as professionals who can provide opinions or expert testimony to strengthen your case and back up your claim for compensation.
Best Tips for Finding a Car Accident Lawyer Near You
Here are some things to consider when researching local car accident lawyers.
Narrow Your Search
There are roughly 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, of which about 9,200 are licensed to practice in Nebraska. Here are some ways you can narrow your search:
- Ask friends, relatives, or business associates for recommendations
- Lawyer referral services through state or local bar associations
- Online lawyer directories
- Google search
Experience in Your Type of Accident
Once you’ve narrowed your search to those nearby, you’ll want to consider their experience. Most law firms have websites that list the practice areas or cases they take. Lawyers with experience handling car accident claims understand the laws that impact these cases, the types of injuries involved, the extent and duration of medical treatment, and how car accidents can impact an entire family. This information is crucial to valuing your claim to ensure you are compensated for all the losses you and your family suffered due to the accident.
A Strong Track Record
Experience is important, but you also want your lawyer to have a good track record of securing verdicts, judgments, and settlements. To do this, a lawyer must be skilled at negotiating settlements with insurance companies as well as litigating in front of a judge and jury. You can review a law firm’s track record and ability to deliver on its promise of recovering damages on your behalf by reviewing the firm’s case results.
Evaluate their Reputation
Reviews are not just helpful for customers shopping for retail products. They are also beneficial for people in search of good legal representation for their car accident case. Many law firms are fortunate to have client testimonials on their websites that give those seeking more information about the firm insight into how they serve clients. You can also learn more about the awards and accolades the firm and its lawyers have earned, as well as the community involvement projects they take pride in. This information helps you understand the law firm’s mission and the dedication of its lawyers and legal staff.
Interview Your Top Choices
Once you have narrowed your list of local car accident lawyers, you should schedule a meeting with each to discuss your case. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations during which they will ask you questions to evaluate the strengths and challenges of your case and to discuss your legal options. This is also your opportunity to interview them, ask them questions, and determine if they are the right fit for you.
How to Prepare for a Case Consultation
Preparing for an initial consultation with a car accident attorney is crucial to ensure that you make the most of your meeting and gather the necessary information for your case. Here are the steps you can take to prepare effectively:
- Gather relevant documents, such as:
- Police reports
- Medical records and bills
- Insurance policies and correspondence
- Photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage
- Witness statements and contact information
- Any communication with the other driver or their insurance company
- Write down a detailed timeline of the events leading up to, during, and after the accident. Include information like where the accident happened, weather conditions, traffic conditions, and any actions you took immediately after the accident.
- Bring a notebook and pen to take notes and jot down important points.
- Outline your concerns and goals. Have a clear understanding of your concerns and goals for the case. Are you seeking compensation for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, or all of the above? This will help the attorney understand your priorities.
- Prepare a List of questions to ask the attorney during the consultation.
Questions to Ask a Lawyer During a Case Consultation
During the initial consultation with a car accident attorney, asking the right questions will help you gather important information about the attorney’s experience, approach, and how they can help with your case. Here are some key questions to consider asking:
- Based on the information I’ve provided, how strong do you think my case is?
- What challenges or potential issues do you foresee in my case?
- How do you typically negotiate with insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident?
- How often and through what means will you update me about the progress of my case?
- Can I reach you directly if I have questions or concerns?
- What is your fee structure? Is it contingent on winning the case?
- Are there any upfront costs or fees I should be aware of?
- Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the case?
- What types of compensation can I seek in my car accident case?
- How do you determine the value of my claim?
- How long do you estimate it will take to resolve my case? Are there factors that could impact this timeline?
- What are my legal options and potential outcomes?
- What will be my role and responsibilities throughout the case?
- What are the immediate next steps if I decide to work with you?
Make an Informed Decision
Once you’ve researched and interviewed your potential lawyers and listened to their assessment of your case and their legal advice, you can choose which attorney you’re most comfortable handling your car accident claim. You’ll want to feel confident in their ability to guide your case through the legal process and trust their judgment when it comes to accepting a settlement offer or taking the case to court. Having peace of mind in your decision is paramount so that you and your family can focus your time and energy on healing from the accident. There may be several qualified candidates on your list of lawyers. Your research will help guide you to the best car accident lawyer for your case.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Berry Law
Car accidents can happen in an instant and change your and your family’s lives forever. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a car accident in Lincoln, Omaha, or Council Bluffs due to another person’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.
Obtaining compensation in your case won’t heal your injuries, but it can offer you and your family peace of mind during this difficult time. Call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation and hear how we can help.