Not all lawyers are created the same. Just like doctors, car models, and food products. If you’ve never had to hire a lawyer, then it’s pretty likely you won’t know what to look for. Here are the top 5 mistakes we see people make when they go to hire a car accident lawyer. Try to avoid these if you can!
Big Firms with Big Ads
Just the other day I was speaking with a friend whose neighbor needed an attorney. It was an area of law I don’t practice, but it’s instructive. He said he had spoken with a firm that had over 100 attorneys. He came away extremely impressed with that number. But that doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. Large defense firms and corporations don’t care if the firm they’re going against has 100 lawyers. They’re not all going to work on the case at the same time, so it’s not intimidating to them.
In the car accident lawyer world, these large firms are called “mills.” They will bring clients in and the day they’re signed up, immediately send the case to a paralegal or associate with limited experience. A firm with more lawyers can lead to a feeling that you’re just one of many faces. If you’re looking for a more personal touch, look for smaller law firms that pride themselves on the attention they’re able to provide every client.
Hiring a Lawyer Referred by Friends or Family
It’s easy to turn to a friend or family and ask if they know a lawyer. Even though it’s being done as a favor, it can be really harmful to your case. If an attorney is experienced in personal injury law and works in that area, that’s one thing. But many people searching for an attorney for the first time don’t know what to look for. If you’re referred to someone by a friend or relative, make sure they have experience (more than just a couple cases) in personal injury cases or car accidents before accepting them to represent you.
Hiring a General Practitioner
Similar to number 2 above, a general practitioner is someone who doesn’t specialize in an area of law. While they may have years of experience, it may not be specific to personal injury. This can cause grave harm to a case. If the right experts aren’t hired, knowing how to read medical records, conducting depositions properly. There are many different things that can hurt a case if not done properly. A general practitioner may be just fine for smaller injuries, but for something that is more complex and serious, you’ll want someone who focuses solely on personal injury.
Hiring a Settlement Lawyer or Firm
This one is similar to the larger firms. These lawyers or firms won’t even try to negotiate after the first offer. I was appalled when I had an adjuster tell me last week “you wouldn’t be surprised how many just accept the first offer.” Don’t be fooled by a lawyer or a firm’s size who can guarantee a “quick settlement.” If they do, it’s likely because you’re not going to get top dollar.
Not Doing Research on the Lawyer or Firm
In today’s day and age, you should at least be able to find something on the lawyer you’re thinking about hiring. But beyond that, look at the website, watch videos if they have them. Do you feel informed? Do you feel like you could work with this person or firm? Do they feel like the right fit? The fact is that not every lawyer is the right fit for every case. If you do some research, you can make sure you find yourself the right car accident lawyer.
My name is Daniel Hanecak and I am a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer. I know from personal experience how stressful and time consuming a car accident can be. When you call Hanecak Law Inc., you will speak with me directly. It is my aim to provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me today at (858) 206-4326 for a free case evaluation.