Truck crashes are more frequent these days. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, around 5,000 truck accidents happen in the US yearly. Besides, truck accidents can be scary. The injuries from such incidents could take months or even years to recover from.
Suppose you or someone you know is a victim of this type of crash. In that case, an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you handle the situation. A lawyer with experience in helping clients suffering from commercial truck crashes knows how to ensure you get fully compensated for your losses.
In addition, commercial truck crashes involve multiple liable parties. An attorney can help you manage every aspect of your claim and act in your best interest. However, due diligence is crucial when hiring a personal injury lawyer. You need someone who can handle complex negotiations, find all liable parties, and provide appropriate legal strategy. It’s essential to check the attorney’s track record and what type of fees they charge.
Here are 7 top qualities to look for in a personal injury lawyer:
- A Track Record of Successful Cases
When you interview a truck accident attorney, ask about their track record of past cases. In addition, a little online research is necessary. Depending on the type of case you’re pursuing, it’s crucial to research lawyers with experience in that area of litigation. Online search engines can play a significant role in directing you to some of the available options.
You may want to research based on the city you are to determine the legal team available in your area that can handle your case. Another way to get the best attorney is through word of mouth. The best truck accident lawyers get referrals thanks to their reputation. Check testimonials from previous clients to determine the capabilities of a lawyer and where their strength lies within personal injury litigation. Do they have a history of success in related cases to yours? Are they the right rep for you in court?
- Credentials and Certifications
It would be best to have experienced truck accident attorneys with whom you can build a transparent attorney-client relationship. Every lawyer should have a license in the state where they’re operating. In addition, they should be members of the state’s bar association. It’s, therefore, essential to confirm through the bar association if they possess an active license.
You could even take advantage of the information provided to check if the law firm or lawyer has been involved in any attorney discipline due to misconduct. The state bar keeps an updated record of any ethical violations by lawyers.
- Experience and Availability
The type of experience is crucial. You want an attorney who focuses on their law practice on truck accident cases. The laws related to drunk driving differ from those related to workplace accidents. Therefore, always remember to verify how much experience the attorney has with cases involving facts and circumstances similar to your injury claim.
Most accident claim cases are settled out of court. As such, personal injury attorneys must be skilled negotiators. And if the claim results in a trial, the lawyer must be an aggressive trial lawyer. Suppose your lawyer has a history of setting 100% of their cases without a lawsuit. In that case, they might not have the trial experience needed to handle your claim in court. In addition, does the lawyer have a high success rate in getting settlement amounts within the range of the claim’s initial value calculated by the attorneys?
- The Fees They Charge
Technically, you don’t need to pay to hire a truck accident lawyer upfront. But you may incur some basic expenses. Factors such as your attorney’s level of experience, whether your case goes to trial, and the difficulty of the case, may determine your fees. You should also factor in travel expenses, settlement negotiations, and time spent gathering evidence.
An attorney might accept your case on a contingency basis. In that case, you won’t have to pay legal fees until you receive a settlement. Your lawyer will deduct a pre-agreed percentage from the payment after deducting any expenses, depending on your agreement.
- Investigative Skills
Despite your attorney’s track records, the law is sometimes not on your side. As such, a lack of substantial evidence may limit a personal injury lawyer’s ability to litigate claims–even those that are valid. That’s why it’s crucial that your attorney can investigate and request reports on your behalf. Even during the initial interview, the type of questions they ask about the case should reveal their inquisitiveness. They must investigate on your behalf and gather information before confirming the pursuance.
Your attorney must check:
- The police report of the accident
- Witness statements
- Hospital records
- Ambulance records
- Your insurance file
- Income statements and tax returns
As an injured claimant, you rely on claim settlements to pay medical bills, replace lost wages, and cover future medical. As such, it is unethical for attorneys to make big claims about the possible outcomes of the case. Your lawyer should be as forthright as possible in the assessment– only after proper investigation. Don’t settle for a lawyer who only tells you what you want to hear.
They should be honest about the following:
- The timeframe of the litigation
- Chances of settlement
- The laws applicable to the case
- Limitations of a financial payout.
- Professionalism and Sense of Organization
A competent truck accident lawyer should always be on time for appointments. You don’t want an attorney that misses deadlines, loses paperwork, and the office is disorganized and unkempt.
Watch out for these red flags:
- Postponing or brushing your meeting requests
- Failure to reply to emails or return phone calls
- Lack of proper communication
The demanding nature of a truck accident lawyer’s job mandates them to ask questions or interrogate and extract the truth behind the accident. Truck accident attorneys must have excellent problem-solving skills and be flexible, open-minded, and reliable.
Now you know what to look for when hiring truck accident attorneys. The qualities highlighted above are crucial for anyone choosing an attorney who will legally represent them. By doing a bit of research, asking for word-of-mouth referrals, and assessing their track records, you can hire a lawyer to handle your litigation effectively.