Selecting Truck Accident Lawyers
The number of fatalities caused by accidents involving large trucks has been higher since 2016 than in previous years. It’s always been dangerous to share the road with oversized vehicles, but this recent increase is cause for alarm.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident and sustained serious or long-term injuries, it’s time to seek financial justice. To do so, you’re going to need a prepared and determined attorney on your side.
Selecting truck accident lawyers isn’t something you want to do lightly. We’re here to walk you through the considerations to make and questions to ask before hiring your lawyer.
Referrals and Reviews
Gathering personal referrals can help you narrow down your search. If you know anyone in your local area who has recently filed a personal injury claim after a truck or car accident, talk to them. Ask about the legal representation they used and if they would recommend that same law firm and why.
If you can’t gather referrals, turn to online reviews. Reading online reviews on websites like Google Reviews and Yelp can help you determine if clients had a good experience. You may also be able to glean whether they received a fair amount of compensation, and would recommend their lawyer to others.
Use the California State Bar database to guarantee that your truck accident lawyer is currently licensed. This is also how you can ensure that they have no prior complaints registered against them.
Truck Accident Case Experience
Finding a lawyer with years of local experience trying cases can improve the outcome of your case. Experienced local lawyers will understand the laws and procedures that apply to truck accident cases in your region. They may also have local connections to expert witnesses who can assist in building the evidence of your case.
Next, consider each lawyer’s area of expertise. Personal injury lawyers can specialize in a variety of cases, including, but not limited to, auto-accident cases. If they handle a wide range of personal injury cases, they might not have the know-how relevant to your needs.
Truck accidents are unique because, unlike typical car accidents, it’s not always clear who will have to pay out. An experienced attorney will recognize when to file a claim with the truck driver’s insurance and when to file a claim with the truck driver’s company. Knowing who to sue will make or break your case. During your preliminary consultation, ask each lawyer how many truck accident cases they’ve handled in the past year.
A Strong Track Record
There is no official way to find out about a lawyer’s success rate. This is, in part, because legal cases, including civil cases, can’t be measured by something as simple as wins and losses. So, what does a strong track record as a truck accident lawyer look like?
It is a truck accident lawyer’s job to determine whether their clients have a strong case for a personal injury claim. Then, it is their job to quantify their damages in dollars. From there, they must establish the evidence provided by their client in a way that is compelling and secures financial compensation.
A good track record includes a majority of cases that resulted in reasonable compensation and financial security for the client. You may be able to glean some information about a truck accident lawyer’s track record from the referrals and reviews you consider. Additionally, ask lawyers that you meet with during your preliminary consultation to describe their track record and what approach they would take to help you win reasonable compensation.
Ask each lawyer what courtroom experience they have. Keep in mind that most personal injury claims are settled outside of court, but a small number do slip through. Lawyers who have minimal courtroom experience may struggle to present the facts of a case in front of a judge.
The Right Payment Structure for Your Needs
An important step that many clients overlook is comparing lawyer costs. You expect to receive compensation for your injuries and other damages. Lawyers, too, expect to receive compensation for their legal expertise.
Some law firms may rely on payment structures that are better suited to your circumstances than others. During your preliminary consultation, ask about how each lawyer receives payment. Some may ask for upfront payments or fees, while others will operate on contingency fees.
For clients who are in a tough financial situation, hiring a lawyer who operates on contingency fees is a great plan. These lawyers receive payment only when you receive compensation. That payment comes directly out of the compensation you receive at a set percentage, averaging out at about 32%.
Communication Methods and Caseloads
Make sure to ask about each lawyer’s communication methods and caseloads during your consultation. When you’re filing a personal injury claim and reaching a settlement, it is important that you can reach your lawyer or their legal team easily.
If your lawyer has a large caseload, find out how they intend to focus on your case. If they have a legal team working in their law firm, you shouldn’t have a problem getting your questions answered in a timely manner.
For strong preferences, you may also want to find out how they tend to keep in touch with clients. Do they prefer email or phone conversations? Do they offer virtual options for appointments or in-person meetings, only?
Start Selecting Truck Accident Lawyers for Your Case Today
Selecting truck accident lawyers is the first step toward getting the financial compensation you deserve. With our guide, you can ensure that you review multiple options for lawyers and find the best one for your case.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Bakersfield, Horizon Accident Attorneys are here to help. To get started on a consultation, contact us today.