Abingdon, Bristol and Johnson City
The immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident can be a very stressful time. You are likely to be sore or worse, if you sustained any injuries in the wreck. You are trying to assess the damage done to your vehicle. If serious, how will you continue to get to work? How will your children get to school?
This stress can lead to hasty decisions that can cost you financially and impede your ability to recover. If you have been in an accident, it is important to obtain the services of an experienced accident lawyer who will represent your interests in whatever lies ahead. It is also important to avoid some common potential pitfalls in the process of hiring the right attorney for their case.
Here are five of the most common mistakes people make when hiring an accident lawyer, and how you can avoid them.
- Relying on a personal connection: Do you have a friend, or a friend of a friend, who is a practicing attorney? This personal connection may seem like the most convenient way to obtain legal representation, but that does not mean it is the best choice. Instead of relying on personal relations, choose an accident attorney based on their knowledge of personal injury law in your state and their familiarity with working with insurance companies on crash claims.
- Steak, not sizzle: Some attorneys get the bulk of their business because of flashy ads on TV or large billboards. Self-promotion and a marketing budget do not make for a qualified personal injury attorney. Also, firms that use this splashy approach might employ less experienced lawyers—rather than the seasoned, more renowned attorneys you see in the advertising. Experience, not flash, is the most important factor—especially if you have sustained serious injuries in a crash.
- Do your homework: The Internet has become the great equalizer when hiring the services of a professional in any field. Each state has its own ethical board that oversees and reviews complaints filed against attorneys. These boards also maintain databases of the attorneys licensed to practice in each state. Any public disciplinary actions also should be noted in such databases. Make sure the attorney you are considering is in good standing. Also, make use of online review sources such as Google to get firsthand feedback from former clients. Many attorneys also post testimonials from clients on their websites as well.
- Don’t settle for a settler: Many attorneys actually spend very little time in a courtroom because they settle cases before they go to trial. Sometimes, coming to a pre-trial settlement is the best choice. However, certain attorneys and firms in personal injury law employ quick settlements as a tactic to stay profitable by taking on an exorbitant number of cases. No two vehicle accident claims are alike. Find an attorney or firm that will identify your specific needs and fight for your unique interests.
- Beware of these buzzwords: Your initial consultation with an attorney is the best opportunity to gather information. If your attorney avoids the topic of fees or promises a certain amount of financial compensation, then look elsewhere. An accident lawyer may be able to provide an estimate of potential damages or a range of potential compensation figures, but the immediate aftermath of an accident is too soon to know what the total damages may be. That figure only can be determined after obtaining all the facts from the accident report and any investigation that needs to be completed, and also going through any medical appointments necessary to determine the extent of your injuries.
If you need a seasoned, knowledgeable accident lawyer who will fight for you, then consider the Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., which has more than three decades of experience in the field. Call us at (276) 451-2056 to schedule a free consultation at our office.
The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., are proud to serve clients in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, TN, as well as Bristol, VA.