Knowing how to find the right truck accident attorney can help you get fair compensation without the hassles and disappointments of working on the case yourself. Seeking recommendations from your close circle of friends and family is instrumental when searching for the best attorney for your unique situation. Performing in-depth research allows you to learn more about attorneys in your area and create a shortlist of qualified candidates.
You can then take advantage of a free initial consultation that most truck accident attorneys offer to conduct interviews before settling on one attorney. Be sure to ask about experience, resources, success rate, caseload, and payment arrangement during the initial consultation. Also, gauge communication abilities, compatibility, and reviews or testimonials from previous clients to increase your odds of getting a good attorney.
Finding the Right Truck Accident Attorney
Time is of the essence when pursuing a truck accident claim. You need to find the right attorney in time to help you navigate the process of recovering compensation from the at-fault party (or parties). Still, it is crucial to do your due diligence and ask the right questions to find the best attorney for your unique situation. The following steps will help you do that:
Examine Your Legal Needs and Expected Outcomes
Start by assessing your case and the result you expect to obtain out of it. Generally, there are two options to recover damages in an accident caused by a truck driver. These options include:
- accepting an insurance settlement
- filing a personal injury lawsuit
Nevada is a fault state. This implies that you have a right to hold a negligent truck driver or trucking company financially accountable for your injuries, damages, and other losses. You may want to get a reasonable payout within the shortest time possible. If so, engaging the truck driver’s insurer in settlement negotiations will be the better option.
You may also be ready to take your case to court, especially if you believe you have a strong claim. If so, work with a lawyer who will not hesitate to move to court to represent your best interest. Ensure you voice these expectations from the onset to stand a better chance of finding the right attorney for your unique legal needs.
Seek recommendations from your close circle of friends and family. They might have partnered with a competent truck accident attorney or know someone who has. Inquire from your friends or relatives about details of their case and whether they were satisfied with how the lawyer handled it. Also, ensure you discuss with them the qualities you expect your prospective truck accident lawyer to have.
Perform Online Research
Doing in-depth online research is an effective way to find reputable Las Vegas truck accident attorneys and learn more about their backgrounds. You can perform a state-wide search to expand your options. Alternatively, you can restrict the search to your specific city or town to avoid the travel costs of hiring lawyers from far-off cities within your state.
Besides search engines like Google, online directories are another resource for finding the best truck accident lawyer. Some online directories lack proper procedures for vetting and listing attorneys on their databases. As such, you need to do additional research before hiring any lawyer you find in online directories.
Ask About Experience
Personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial consultations in most cases. These consultations can happen through phone call, video chat, or in person. Use the free session with your potential attorney to ask about his or her experience. Find out how many years the attorney has handled commercial truck accidents.
Inquire about the number of cases settled and won at trial. The answers you will get will help you determine if the attorney has the necessary negotiation and litigation skills. These skills are essential in securing the best outcome in any personal injury case.
Ask About Resources
Evidence gathering and determining liability in truck accidents are usually resource-intensive processes. An accomplished attorney should have staff members to perform tasks necessary for the case’s success, including completing paperwork and conducting witness interviews.
The attorney should also have built meaningful relationships with experts, including road engineers, reconstructionists, medical practitioners, vocational officers, and economists. Hiring these professionals to help develop a solid case using the available evidence costs money. So, you need to determine if your lawyer has sufficient financial resources to hire the best professionals.
Inquire About the Success Rate
The number of cases a lawyer has successfully resolved through the insurance settlement or lawsuit process determines his or her success rate. A lawyer with an excellent success rate increases your chance of getting a fair amount of money from the liable truck driver. Working with such a lawyer assures you that your case is in the hands of someone skilled and capable of meeting or exceeding your expectations.
Inquire About Caseload
A caseload is the number of cases a lawyer handles at a specific moment. Asking about caseload during an initial consultation can help you choose the right truck accident attorney for your unique needs. Attorneys with a huge caseload might not dedicate enough time and resources to your case.
Ensure you go for someone with a manageable workload. Such an attorney will dedicate enough time, financial resources, and manpower to resolve your case. Your lawyer’s caseload becomes even more crucial if your case proceeds to trial. The reason is that winning a case in court requires adequate preparation, time, and resources.
Inquire About the Payment Plan
You will face high medical bills, loss of wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses after getting injured in a serious truck accident. Alternatively, you might be grappling with funeral costs and the loss of your loved one’s financial support if your loved one got killed in a car accident. Whatever the case, you need to familiarize yourself with the payment plan of your would-be attorney. Doing that ensures you are on the same page with your attorney from the onset and helps you avoid surprise fees.
Contingency fee structures are the most common payment plans used by personal injury attorneys. In this payment plan, the lawyer does not get paid an upfront hourly rate. Instead, the lawyer deducts a specific portion of the money you get through a settlement or trial.
Contingency fees are usually 1/3 (or 33%) of the total amount recovered. You will not pay any legal fees if settlement negotiations fail and you lose the case at trial. Ensure you enter into a written agreement with your attorney before he or she begins working on your case.
Assess Communication Abilities
Consider how your prospective attorney talks to you during the initial consultation. If the attorney uses complex legal jargon and language, then that attorney may not be the right fit for you. The best option is to book another session with the next lawyer or law firm on your shortlist.
Inquire about how often you will get information regarding your case progress. Is it daily, weekly, or monthly? Many attorneys have paralegals, legal assistants, and junior attorneys who help them complete routine tasks of the case, such as gathering documents and completing paperwork. So, you might work with different professionals at different stages of your case. A good attorney should inform you of any office staff or professionals working on your case.
Your truck accident attorney should be compassionate, supportive, and committed to representing your best interests. You need to feel at ease when asking questions and seeking clarifications from your lawyer. Getting updates on your case progress becomes easier when you are working with an approachable and respectful attorney.
Examine Reviews or Testimonials from Previous Clients
Visit your prospective attorney’s website to check previous client reviews or testimonials. These reviews will help you understand if the attorney offers client-centered legal services. Note that the review or testimonial page of most attorneys’ websites generally displays positive comments and stories. So, ensure you check out third-party sites and forums to get a more impartial view of your prospective lawyer.
You can also check out the law firm’s or individual lawyer’s official social media pages. If there are unaddressed negative comments, then that can be a sign of a lawyer who is not committed to client satisfaction.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help You?
A truck accident attorney offers legal support and representation at every step of your truck accident claim or lawsuit. The attorney guides you on what to do after a truck accident, gathers and organizes evidence, interviews several witnesses, consults with expert witnesses, and determines the liable party (or parties). After gathering compelling evidence, the attorney starts negotiating with the liable truck driver’s insurance company. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the attorney moves the case to trial and skillfully fights for a favorable outcome on your behalf.