The US Department of Transportation estimates that every year, there are 500,000 accidents involving trucks and nearly 5,000 deaths. Even if there aren’t any fatalities, there’s a high chance that there’ll be some traumatic injuries. If you’ve been hit by a commercial truck, before you take action, you need to choose a good truck wreck lawyer. Here’s how.
When you’re looking for an appropriate lawyer, you should be asking these questions:
- What is Their Track Record?
- Do They Have Experience in Handling Truck Accident Cases and How Much?
- Do They Actually Try in Court?
- Do They Have the Financial and Staffing Resources to Take on Your Case?
- What is Their Fee Structure?
- What Percentage of Their Cases Are Referrals From Other Lawyers?
Do They Have Experience in Handling Truck Accident Cases and How Much?
Some lawyers are “general practitioners” and handle a number of different legal cases. While this might mean they have widespread knowledge on a variety of topics, it’s much better to choose a personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accident cases. Law is highly complex and with so many topics, it’s nearly impossible for any general practice lawyer to stay on top of all the new developments.
It’s important that you find out how much experience the lawyer has in handling your specific type of case (in this scenario, truck accidents). The more experienced a lawyer is in handling truck accident lawsuits, the more likely you are to win and the better they can represent your interests.
What is Their Track Record?
Finding a lawyer who’s got the qualifications and the experience is important, but they also need to have a good track record - both professionally and personally.
On a professional level, the lawyer should obviously have a good success rate. But watch out for lawyers who say that they’ve never lost a case. Even the very best personal injury lawyers lose cases from time to time.
Instead of just looking for how many cases they’ve won, you should look for:
- Sources that rate personal injury lawyers based on what their colleagues say about them. Professionals in any field often know which of their peers are good at what they do and which aren’t. This can also allow you to get a grasp of what the lawyer is like as a person as well as a professional.
- Whether the lawyer teaches other lawyers. Lawyers who lecture at legal education talks and seminars (also known as continuing legal education or CLE) are respected by their professional colleagues. These are the professionals who are usually experts in their field and are asked to speak at legal seminars because other lawyers want to hear what they have to say.
- The law firm’s website. The best attorneys and firms will have well-developed websites and blogs providing plenty of useful information. The website will also usually publish biographies of the lawyers, allowing you to get to know them professionally and personally.
- Whether the lawyer is a member of legal organizations that specialize in representing injured citizens. There are state and national organizations made up of lawyers who work to represent injury cases. While it’s perfectly acceptable to find a lawyer who isn’t a member of these groups, a lawyer who is can be much more dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve for your serious injury.
- Whether the lawyer is a board-certified civil trial lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). Like the medical profession, the legal system also has a board certification process to identify attorneys who have expertise in a particular area of law. Again, it’s not necessary to find a lawyer who is board-certified, but your case will stand a much better chance if you do.
Do They Actually Try in Court?
Most laypeople believe that all lawyers go to court and try cases on a regular basis. On the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are many lawyers who actually have little or no trial experience and this can obviously impact the success of your lawsuit - especially if they go up against a seasoned court lawyer.
So, it’s not just how much experience your lawyer has on the topic. How much experience they have in court can also make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
There’s a chance that your case might not actually go to court, but your lawyer should always be willing and ready to do so - just in case. That’s why you need to ask whether your chosen lawyer tries cases in court and if so, how often.
Do They Have the Financial and Staffing Resources to Take on Your Case?
Lawsuits involving serious injuries can be extremely expensive. For instance, the recent hernia mesh lawsuits have cost the responsible manufacturers billions of dollars and the figure is still rising. This is because the cases have involved patients suffering from irreversible pain and impacted their quality of life.
Similarly, a truck accident can have a devastating effect on a victim’s life - physically, mentally and financially. In addition, a law firm will need to hire accident reconstruction and safety experts as well as obtaining medical records (among other documents) in order to support this case. If they lack the resources to properly fund the case, corners might be cut at your expense. Alternatively, you might be pressured to accept a lower settlement.
The point is, it pays to have a lawyer who has the financial resources to properly handle a case, from start to finish.
What is Their Fee Structure?
A good lawyer will have a clear, honest and appropriate fee structure. For starters, the fees need to be appropriate for your case. For example, smaller cases don’t need the most expensive legal services. On the other hand, larger lawsuits, like truck accidents, do warrant the seasoned, more expensive lawyers for the best success rates.
You also need to find out if your lawyer bills by the hour or charges a flat fee. If they charge a very low, flat fee, there may be additional hidden costs involved - such as court filing or admin fees - so ensure that you’re not caught out.
What Percentage of Their Cases Are Referrals From Other Lawyers?
In any field or professional, the people who work in them usually know who’s good and who’s not. That’s why if you want to know who the top personal injury lawyers are in your local community, you only need to ask the lawyers who practice there. It’s a good idea to find out how much of a lawyer’s caseload comes from referrals from other lawyers.
If you have any friends who are attorneys or have needed law advice in the past, they might be able to help you. Or, they might be able to pass you onto colleagues who are familiar with personal injury cases and are well-known in the community for being the best in their field. After all, it’s a small world.
Where Can I Find a Qualified and Experienced Truck Wreck Lawyer For My Case?
Finding a good attorney to represent you is arguably one of the most important steps you need to take if you want to win your lawsuit. It’s not as difficult a task as you might expect, but it does require some time and research.
It’s important that you find a lawyer who specializes in and has experience in handling your specific legal issue (in this case, truck accidents). They should also be someone who you can get on with and trust. No matter how time-consuming it might be, finding the right lawyer is vital because they’re more likely to be invested in helping you win your case.
At Coxwell & Associates, our expert team of qualified lawyers have been representing Mississippians for over 35 years. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or download our free guide which offers you all the information you need to start your claim.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.