While they are less common than traditional car accidents, truck accidents can be devastating. When a truck accident results in a fatality, 97% of the time, the person who does not survive is in the passenger vehicle. Injury statistics are similarly weighted toward people in passenger vehicles.
Thus, if you are involved in a truck accident, the odds are high that you will be seriously injured and require significant medical care. In this situation, you need a good truck accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills.
But where can you find a good truck accident lawyer? And how do you know if a truck accident lawyer is experienced? The answers to these questions could mean the difference between a quick recovery and a lifetime of financial hardship.
Where to Look for a Truck Accident Lawyer
Many people have never needed a lawyer for any significant matters. Perhaps you might have spoken to a lawyer to deal with financial issues or to write a will. But you probably haven’t needed a lawyer to litigate against another party.
Therefore, you may not even know where to start in your search for a truck accident lawyer. You might begin by talking to family and friends that have previously needed an attorney. While they may not have specifically needed a truck accident lawyer, they may be able to connect you with an attorney who will, in turn, recommend someone else.
Typically, lawyers give the best referrals. Even if an attorney handles different types of cases, they can probably direct you to qualified local truck accident lawyers.
Additionally, you can try searching online for truck accident lawyers in your area. If you cannot find one in your area, try reaching out to a personal injury attorney, who may handle truck accident cases.
What to Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer
A testimonial page is a good place to start. While testimonials that give general praises like, “This law firm was great,” are helpful, make sure to also look for specifics. When past clients take the time to write about details, it usually means they were well-served, and you can learn a lot.
Furthermore, you can try consulting reviews on aggregator websites or Google. Clients may be more likely to leave reviews on these platforms, so it can be easier to find a higher quantity of reviews to check.
As with testimonials, note any specifics the clients mention, especially if you think they could relate to your case.
How to Read Results
It is trickier to understand results because all numbers look big once they get high enough. Is a $200,000 settlement for a truck accident a high value? The answer depends on the circumstances. For example, a $5 million settlement might be low if the client was injured badly enough.
When looking at results from past cases, compare the values you find to industry averages. You should be able to find those averages by doing a quick search.
Alternatively, if you have already been injured, you probably have a good sense of how much money you will need to pay for your current and future medical bills. If the value of the past results for an attorney is equal to or higher than what you expect to need, the lawyer probably has the qualifications to handle your case.
How to Choose a Truck Accident Attorney
After you’ve done your research, it’s time to choose a lawyer. Based on your research, you probably have narrowed your choices down to a few options. The wrong choice could cost you hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. How do you make the final decision?
Schedule a Consultation
The first step to making your final decision is having an in-person consultation with each of your choices. Even if you only spend a few minutes talking to an attorney, this time could be enough to help you make up your mind.
Consider Your Interactions
One of the things that matter when choosing a truck accident attorney is finding someone who you get along with. This individual will be representing you for weeks, months, or even years. If you don’t enjoy interacting with them, that entire time will be unpleasant. This isn’t something you should sign up for when you are already injured.
Keep Communication and Trust in Mind
Additionally, use this meeting to decide whether you trust the lawyer. Admittedly, trust is earned over time. But there are factors that can immediately point to how reliable an attorney is. Do they communicate well? Do they answer your questions with patience? Are they willing to keep you updated throughout the progress of your case?
Ask About Your Case’s Value
Another factor you should ask about during the consultation is approximately how much the truck accident attorney thinks your case is worth. This number won’t mean much to you during your first consultation. But after you have consulted with multiple lawyers, you should have a good idea of what the consensus value is.
Consider whether a lawyer provides you with an estimate that is much lower or much higher than the consensus. An estimate on either end of the spectrum could mean different things. For example, a low estimate could mean that the lawyer is realistic, while a high estimate could mean the lawyer sees an angle others may have missed.
In either case, make sure to ask why the lawyer has valued your case at these numbers. You may be able to offer additional details that could alter this estimate.
Ask About Your Legal Options
Finally, ask every truck accident attorney to explain your legal options. Typically, you will receive a lot of similar answers. But some lawyers might offer unexpected options, and others might leave some out. Even if you don’t ultimately choose a specific lawyer, the options they offer you might help you decide how to proceed with your case.
No single answer is likely to make up your mind. But when you combine your research with these consultations, you should be able to determine which truck accident lawyer is best for your case.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney at Schiff & Associates Today
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you need an attorney to protect your rights and get you compensation for your injuries. The dedicated team at Schiff & Associates has served Central Ohio residents for over 40 years. Contact us today to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer.