If you were in a car accident, you may need a car accident lawyer to help you recover compensation for your injuries. But how do you know which lawyer you should choose? Below are five things to consider when you are deciding whether to hire a car accident attorney.
1. Negotiation Skills in Nevada Car Accident Cases
Since Nevada is a “fault” auto insurance state, drivers must carry bodily injury liability insurance. Consequently, your car accident lawyer will probably seek compensation by pursuing a settlement agreement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators; your lawyer must be as capable as the adjuster to win maximum compensation.
If your claim is sizable, the opposing party will try to use Nevada’s modified comparative fault statute to blame the accident at least partly on you to reduce their liability. If they can blame you for at least 51% of the accident, their payout will be zero. Your lawyer should know how to resist this kind of pressure.
2. Successful Trial Experience
Although most claims never make it to trial, only a court can force the defendant to pay. Why should the defendant even bother negotiating with you if your lawyer cannot win in court? Ironically, the best way to stay out of court is to prove to the other side that you can win there. Research the Internet and ask about the lawyer’s trial experience at your consultation.
3. Communication Skills
If your lawyer cannot communicate with you, how will they communicate with a jury or insurance adjuster? Communication skills are essential for a car accident attorney. Your lawyer should be eager for you to understand what is going on, and they should have a talent for simplifying complex legal issues so that anyone they talk to can understand what’s going on. Both spoken and written communication skills are critical.
4. The Auto Accident Lawyer’s Fee Structure
- The initial consultation is free;
- You pay nothing upfront;
- If the lawyer doesn’t win your case, you don’t owe any attorney fees;;
- If the lawyer wins compensation for you (either in or out of court), your lawyer will deduct a pre-agreed percentage, plus any costs, from your compensation and transfer the rest to you.
This fee structure puts you and your lawyer on the same side because they don’t win unless you win. Furthermore, you can hire a top-tier lawyer without worrying about affordability. Carefully read your fee agreement before you sign, and be suspicious of any lawyer who refuses to agree to a contingency fee.
5. Your Intuition
Sometimes you simply need to trust your feelings. Do you feel comfortable interacting with this lawyer? Would you feel comfortable contacting them to ask a question? Does the lawyer seem to care about you and your case? Are they empathetic with your plight?
It might be a good idea to meet your lawyer face to face before making the final hiring decision because sometimes non-verbal cues tell the whole story about how well you and this particular lawyer will work together.
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Make All the Difference in Your Case
No lawyer will give you a guarantee concerning the outcome of any particular case. Nevertheless, the Insurance Research Council estimates that claimants who hire lawyers receive an average of 3.5 times as much compensation as unrepresented claimants. This difference is much more than enough to pay your legal fees. At the very least, schedule a free initial consultation to get an idea of how much your claim is worth.
Justin Watkins is the Managing Partner and Main Attorney at Battle Born Injury Lawyers, a top-rated personal injury law firm serving throughout Nevada with offices in Las Vegas, NV and Reno, NV. With over 85 years of combined experience, their accident and injury attorneys have recovered more than $100 million in fair compensation for their clients. Contact them today for a free initial consultation if you are an accident victim.