Accident Lawyer

Life is full of surprises and unfortunately, not all of these are pleasant.  Many of us will sooner or later become involved with some type of car accident.  Whether referring to a minor fender bender to a more serious situation, the chances are high that we will need the help of a lawyer along the way.  This can be a bit of a confusing process, so we will break it down into three steps.  Let's first look at the basics to take into account when filing a claim.  We will then list some of the hallmarks of a good lawyer before highlighting what many consider to be the best car accident firms in the country.

The Accident Itself: What You Need to Know When Filing a Claim

One of the most common mistakes that drivers will make is failing to file a claim in the proper manner.  This can cause a number of problems.  First, not having all of the correct information may result in a very lengthy legal process.  We should also keep in mind that a lack of details could actually cause damages to be rewarded to the other party.  There are a few key steps which should ALWAYS take place immediately following an accident.  These are:

  • Determining the extent of damages or injuries.
  • Speaking with the other driver(s) involved and exchanging information such as names, addresses and the insurance policy number of the other party.  If possible, take a picture of their insurance card; this document is legally required in most states.
  • Contact your insurance provider so that they can send a representative to the scene.  He or she will collect additional information that is important to future proceedings.
  • Collect names and statement from any witnesses before they leave the scene. They are legally obliged to aid in the investigation.

Once all of these steps have been completed, the claims process itself will begin.  Keep in mind that while some cases can be settled within a short period of time and without the need of a court judgment, more serious accidents could take weeks, months or even years to resolve.  Your lawyer will generally provide you with an estimate in regards to how long the claim will take.

Choosing the Best Car Accident Lawyer

Now that we have a basic understanding of the claims process, we need to examine some of the traits which signify a good car accident attorney.  The first thing to examine is the reputation of the firm in question.  Perform an online search and see what others may have said (such as past clients).  If you are unable to find such details, contact the lawyer in question and ask to see previous testimonials.  Any respectable firm will be happy to supply such information.

As to see their accreditation and make sure that it is up to date.  Most lawyers are licensed within a single state although larger firms could be able to provide services throughout the country.  Determine whether or not they are valid members of the American Bar Association (ABA). 

It is also wise to choose a lawyer who ONLY specializes in car accident claims.  There are some firms which provide a “one size fits all” service.  Although this may appear to be convenient, the fact of the matter is that such a broad approach could be associated with a lack of expertise within certain areas.  Would you choose a general carpenter to provide detailed restoration work of an antique?  This same concept should be taken into account when choosing the best lawyer for the job.

Finally, ask yourself how comfortable you feel communicating with the potential lawyer.  Do you feel that you are able to convey your concerns?  Do they appear interested in your case and its final outcome?  Interpersonal rapport is extremely important. 

The Top Nationwide Car Accident Law Firms

We first need to mention that the term “best” here can be a bit misleading.  The quality of a firm will rely upon several factors as opposed to a discrete ranking system.  In terms of sheer size and the ability to take on cases throughout the country, the leading firms are:

  • Latham & Watkins
  • Baker McKenzie
  • DLA Piper

Others could be located within a specific region such as Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys (Las Vegas) or Hensley Legal Group, PC (Indiana). 

The bottom line is that you have to perform a good deal of research before making a final decision.  Talk to friends and family to see if they have any recommendations.  Look online for the best lawyers in your area.  Car accidents are always serious situations and having the right lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure an agreeable outcome.