It’s important to know what to look for when evaluating a Sacramento car accident lawyer. When you’ve been in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, one of your first challenges will be finding a personal injury lawyer to represent you. The period after a traumatic accident can drain you emotionally already. Read on to find some tips about discovering a legal team with the best reputation, as well as evaluating if they’re the right fit for you and your case.
Look for a Reliable Sacramento Accident Lawyer
In this article:
- Research the Lawyer’s Reputation
- Look for Someone Who Understands Your State’s Laws
- Look for Someone Who’s the Right “Fit”
- Interviewing a Lawyer
- Ed Smith, Reliable and Experienced Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
Research the Lawyer’s Reputation
Did you refuse to seek #medical attention following a #car accident that you were in? If so, it's possible your insurance company with reject your #personalinjury claim for the accident. Here's a closer look – https://t.co/xNDdFCywrv #AvvoStories
— Avvo (@Avvo) January 12, 2018
The first thing you want to do is hire a personal injury attorney with a good reputation. Of course, this assurance gives you peace of mind about how your case will be handled. But just as importantly, you’ll know that the courts also consider the attorney both knowledgeable and ethical.
Consider a personal recommendation from someone you trust the “gold standard” of assessment. But perhaps, you don’t know someone else who sought damages after an auto accident. In those circumstances, locate personal injury lawyers specializing in auto accidents through thorough research.
Visit the local bar association as a start. Verify the membership and good standing of the lawyer you want from there. The association also files any registered complaints against him. (Of course, even great lawyers can have disgruntled former clients. Pay close attention as to whether those complaints resulted in disciplinary action, as opposed to being dismissed.)
In addition, check out online review sites such as Avvo. There, you’ll find testimonials and critiques from former clients of the lawyers you’re researching. (Look at more than one site, if possible. Both vindictive or suspiciously enthusiastic reviews can skew the results in either direction on individual sites.)
You can access Edward A. Smith’s history online. He rated a perfect 10.0 score from Avvo, which has a large peer review component. He also has 5-star ratings, the highest rating, from the Yelp community, as well as thousands of fans on his Facebook page.
Look for Someone Who Understands Your State’s Laws
If you hire a legal team with a large coverage area they may not understand all of the regulations and intricacies of your state’s laws. A Sacramento car accident lawyer should know what the deadlines for filing personal injury claims in California are. He should also be well-versed in state regulations for insurance companies.
Your potential attorney should also understand national and state transportation laws in order to argue your case more persuasively. Did your accident involve a bus, hauler, or other commercial vehicles? A good legal team will be able to verify if the driver or his employer might have been violating any state regulations in terms of consecutive hours spent on the road, vehicle maintenance, and so forth.
Just as importantly, some states are more restrictive than others when it comes to what damages an accident victim can seek. Make sure the lawyer you consult understands whether you can pursue damages when a loved one gets seriously injured or killed, for example.
Ed Smith has been handling California personal injury cases exclusively since 1982. He has been in the same Sacramento office, at 1900 Point West Way, for decades. When you’re counting on a lawyer who understands California state law, local transportation regulations, and insurance companies policies, contact Ed Smith right away.
Look for Someone Who’s the Right “Fit”
Just as there are co-workers with whom we just don’t get along with, sometimes an attorney might be great for someone else — but not for you. You may feel that he seems skeptical of what you say or that he flusters you by talking too quickly. Or you might have the sense of being brushed off every time you call the office for an update. What might not bother another potential client might bother you — and that’s OK.
A personal injury claim after a car accident can be an emotional time. You relive the trauma of the incident, while also undergoing a potentially stressful legal proceeding. You deserve to have someone who offers the kind of professional support who will see you through the process.
If you prefer an attorney who cultivates the personal approach in his office, Ed Smith and his dedicated team may be the perfect fit. Ed describes his approach as “holistic.” This means that not just the nuts and bolts of your auto accident will be taken into account, but also your specific goals. How will your background and your dreams play into shaping the case?
Ed Smith and his team also give you tips on getting the best medical care and for finding stress relief as you recover. Are you seeking sharp legal minds, depth and breadth of experience, emotional support, and a commitment to extensive communication with their clients? If so, consider contacting Ed Smith at AutoAccident.com for a free consultation.
Interviewing a Lawyer
A free consultation with an attorney can be overwhelming. To get the best out of it, it helps to bring some information, as well as a list of questions.
What Should You Bring?
There’s no need to be nervous about meeting with a personal injury lawyer. After all, he or she will be on your side — not interrogating you. But, it does help to have some material on hand to make the consultation more informative for you. If you have them available, bring along the police report on the accident. Your medical records, if you were injured, will also be helpful. Your auto insurance policy (the declarations page) and information you gathered from the other people involved in the accident (including their insurance information) should also be shared if you have it.
If you can think of any reasons why your case may be challenged in court, show the lawyer information that will help him prepare. The defendant might argue that you already had injuries prior to the accident. Bring along your complete medical history to show your attorney.
What Should You Ask?
Make sure that a working relationship between an attorney and client will be a good fit. This includes making sure he has experience with cases like yours.
When you need a Sacramento car accident lawyer, for example, it’s important to determine the attorney’s experience in that specific area of personal injury law. Ask how much of his practice he devoted to handling car accident cases.
It’s also helpful to get specific about the kind of injury you have. Has the attorney represented clients with similar injuries? If so, he will be better equipped to prove how the auto accident caused those injuries — and why they are so difficult to live with.
Know the Cost
The financial aspects of your potential lawsuit will naturally be uppermost in your mind. Many people who deserve compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages never pursue them because of potential upfront costs. Ask how much, if anything, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the personal injury attorney to represent you.
Knowing how the fees are structured is important. In many cases, you will only need to pay if the case goes in your favor. But, you don’t want any nasty surprises by assuming that’s not the case. Ask about the difference between fees and costs. You may not have to pay any fees if the case doesn’t go your way, but you may have to cover expenses. It’s important to nail down those differences.
Make sure you feel comfortable that the attorney understands what the risks and rewards will be in pursuing your case. Can you get a clear answer from him about the average settlement? If he gives a vague answer, this might be a red flag. It could mean the attorney either hands off the cases to inexperienced staffers or he could be giving you empty promises.
Finally, ask about any misconduct incidents that you might have turned up in your research. He should feel comfortable discussing them and explain the circumstances. If the lawyer seems defensive or evasive, consider that another red flag.
Ed Smith, Reliable and Experienced Sacramento Lawyer
Ed Smith can bring an encyclopedic knowledge about California law, especially regarding personal injury from motor vehicle accidents. He authored The Ultimate California Auto Injury Handbook, as well as The California Motorcycle Accident Handbook. He also hosted a popular cable show, “Ask a Lawyer.”
In addition, Ed Smith belongs to of Consumer Attorneys of California, Capital City Trial Lawyers Association, The Brain Injury Association of California, and The Million Dollar Advocates.
Find out why these clients chose Ed Smith’s law firm to handle their auto accident cases.
Looking for a Sacramento car accident lawyer doesn’t have to be stressful. Ed Smith would be happy to give you a free, pressure-free consultation, to give you the opportunity to decide if you’re a good fit. Contact him at 916.921.6400. You can also use the online contact tool to set up a no-obligation, no-cost consultation.
What qualities do you look for in your Sacramento car accident lawyer? Let us know in the comments section below.