Did you know that semi-truck accidents are becoming more common on American roads? An estimated 130,000 people are now injured in accidents involving semi-trucks each year.
If you were injured in a semi-truck accident that you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a personal injury lawsuit on your hands. To get the best results, you’re going to need to hire a semi-truck accident lawyer.
How can you make sure that you find a good lawyer that will work hard to secure the settlement you deserve? We’re glad you asked.
Read on for seven tips that will make hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer easier.
1. Look for an Actual Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
If you think that you have grounds to file a semi-truck accident lawsuit, you need to hire a legitimate semi truck accident attorney. Remember, even if all lawyers completed law school and passed the Bar exam, they aren’t all bringing the same areas of expertise to the table.
Personal injury claims like semi-truck accident claims require a certain set of evidence. As the plaintiff, you will have the burden of proof and must establish that there is more than a 50% chance that your injury resulted from the defendant’s negligence. You want to work with a lawyer who has experience with cases just like yours and knows what evidence to gather and how to frame the argument to produce results.
2. Look at Online Reviews and References
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to accident lawyers, it’s time to get a better sense of their overall track records. What are their previous clients saying about them? Were they professional, trustworthy, and successful?
Keep in mind that few attorneys will have a 100% success rate only because this isn’t realistic. As you go over reviews and references, look for more satisfied clients than unsatisfied clients and pay close attention to what they’re saying about the overall process, not just the end results.
3. Schedule a Consultation
Many accident lawyers will allow you to schedule a free consultation. During that time, you have the opportunity to tell them about your injury and ask if they believe that you have a case. This is also your opportunity to ask questions of your own.
If a lawyer is willing to take you on as a client without a consultation, don’t take them up on their offer. Saying yes without knowing anything about the case suggests that lawyers care less about your success and more about opportunities to charge fees.
4. Ask About Scheduling and Communication
Yes, it is true that most accident claims don’t make their way to the courtroom. Even still, the settlement process can take months to complete, especially when your lawyer is willing to fight hard for a higher settlement. What that means is that you’re going to need to stay in touch with them for quite some time.
During your consultation, ask about their scheduling and communication methods.
Do they schedule in-person and phone meetings? Do they call on a regular basis to update you or do you need to reach out to them to find out what’s going on? If you can’t reach your lawyer because they’re busy working on another case, will you be able to get in touch with their legal team?
You should never have to chase your lawyer down to get answers. Make sure to hire someone who makes their availability known and if they take on a lot of clients, make sure that they have a legal team that you can consult when they’re busy.
5. Ask About Fees
Most lawyers who work on personal injury claims like semi-truck wreck lawsuits charge something called contingency fees. A contingency fee is a percentage that comes out of your final settlement. If you don’t receive any money in your claim, these lawyers won’t charge anything–which is why many of them will say that if you don’t get paid, they don’t get paid.
Ideally, you want to find someone who only charges a contingency. If that isn’t an option, make sure that your lawyer is at least willing to tell you exactly what they’re going to charge you. Ask about upfront fees, fees for individual services, and contingency percentages.
6. Look for a Disciplinary Record
Do some research to check for a disciplinary record. When complaints are made about an attorney, the state tends to keep those complaints private until they decide what to do about them. If they ultimately decide that the complaint warrants discipline, that lawyer will develop a public disciplinary record.
Never hire a lawyer with a long disciplinary record. This tends to indicate that they’re doing sloppy work or breaking ethical (and legal) codes in order to produce results. Keep in mind that if your lawyer lies to get you a higher settlement, you are the one who will get charged with insurance fraud.
7. Choose Someone That You Feel Good About
As you go through this checklist, think about how the lawyers you speak with make you feel. Do you feel confident after speaking with them or do you feel frustrated and on edge?
A good lawyer doesn’t make false promises but does express an optimistic attitude about your case. After all, they shouldn’t take a case they don’t think that they have a chance of winning.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve
If you’re looking for a semi-truck accident lawyer, use this guide as a frame of reference. Make sure that you find someone who has the experience and positive track record for the job. Hiring an attorney can be a stressful business, but this guide will make it much easier to make a choice that you feel good about.
Looking for more ways to navigate legal matters? Take a look around for guides like this one.