How To Find The Best Car Accident Lawyer Near You (2024)

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Editor

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How do you find an attorney after you've been involved in a car accident? Searching the internet for "how to find a car accident lawyer near me" will return pages and pages of sponsored ads for personal injury attorneys, but many of the best car accident attorneys don't pay for search engine rankings (or advertise on billboards). This guide will help you understand how to find an attorney who will pursue your case without taking you for a ride.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

Finding a lawyer and pursuing a case after an accident may seem unnecessary, greedy or too overwhelming to face. However, the best car accident lawyers don't just chase settlement dollars. They act as your advocate through every step of your recovery, help you understand your options and stand up for your rights.

From the first consultation, an attorney can help you understand whether you have a claim, how much it may be worth and your options for pursuing compensation. They will ensure you get a thorough medical evaluation to discover the full extent of your physical injuries. They may refer you to treating and consulting experts and arrange medical liens, if necessary, to help you afford treatment.

Besides saddling you with medical expenses, lost income and other costs, injuries from a car accident can hurt your relationships, quality of life, career prospects and long-term physical health. An experienced attorney can identify and quantify all different types of damages and seek fair compensation for your losses. Fill out the form below to get your case reviewed for free.

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How To Find A Car Accident Lawyer Near You

While every lawyer you consider should be actively licensed to practice law, finding the right lawyer for you means asking the right questions to find a good fit. Take the following steps to begin your search.

  • Ask Your Friends: Use social media and in-person networks, like church or civic organizations, to ask for recommendations from friends and associates. If you have existing relationships with other legal professionals (such as tax, estate or business attorneys), ask if they can refer you to a car accident lawyer. 
  • Ask Your Doctor: Some doctors, physical therapists and massage therapists work regularly with certain car accident attorneys and can provide recommendations.
  • Ask Professional Organizations: If you cannot find a referral through your connections, many state and local bar associations maintain lists of licensed local attorneys specifying their practice areas. However, these referrals do not usually endorse any attorney's quality or competence.

How to Choose the Right Attorney for Your Case

Before you meet with an attorney, remember that you don't have to retain the first lawyer you talk to. Approach the process like you are a hiring manager. Schedule a few interviews and speak to all of them. Prepare questions in advance. If necessary, rehearse a script to end each meeting without committing yourself.

There are many things to consider when choosing the right attorney for your case, including:

  • Local Expertise: Each state's laws vary significantly. Having a lawyer who is well-versed in local court procedures, administrative protocols and community dynamics can help your case proceed smoothly. Attorneys with significant regional experience also have established relationships with opposing lawyers, insurance adjusters and court officers. Plus, local attorneys often establish better rapport with juries.
  • Communication: You'll be working closely with an attorney to pursue a car accident case, so find one who is easy to communicate with in ways that make you comfortable. Your lawyer and their staff should be able to communicate with you in your preferred language and manner (such as email, phone, text, in-person meetings or written correspondence).
  • Location: Resolving a car accident claim can take months or even years. You may need to attend in-person meetings, depositions and court appearances. Many attorneys offer telephone or video consultations, electronic filing and paperwork options and other convenient remote options. Make sure the attorney you choose is convenient for you and the needs of your case.

Every Car Accident Case Is Different

Each car accident case is different and will have different needs. The facts of your case can help steer your search for a car accident lawyer in the right direction.

  • Case Complexity: Complex cases have different needs than smaller, more straightforward claims. A solo practitioner may not have the resources to handle a case involving multiple defendants or claims against a multinational car manufacturer. On the other hand, you may not need a top-tier, top-dollar law firm to resolve a lower value claim; a smaller firm could provide more personalized service and faster resolution.
  • Accident Circumstances: Specific accident scenarios may benefit from specialized legal expertise. For instance, a lawyer well-versed in bicycle injury claims could improve your chances of recovery if you were hit by a car while cycling. You may want a lawyer with experience pursuing claims against rideshare companies if you were injured in a Lyft or Uber.
  • Severity of Injuries: Some firms focus on cases involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful deaths related to car accidents. A lawyer with experience recovering high-value settlements and jury verdicts can make a big difference if your situation involves these types of claims.

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Resolving Your Car Accident Injury Claims

Most car accident cases settle out of court, but if they can’t be resolved, a judge or jury decides the outcome at trial. When considering whether to hire an attorney, consider the following.

  • Experience with Jury Trials: If your case goes to trial, an experienced trial attorney can help you even more. They will work to select jurors who are sympathetic to your case, argue on your behalf to help reach a favorable verdict and be your advocate through the entire trial process.
  • Experience with Alternative Dispute Resolution: Sometimes, filing a lawsuit or taking your case to trial isn't the best option. Attorneys with experience using alternate dispute resolution (ADR) options like arbitration and mediation may be able to resolve your case more quickly and economically.
  • Knowledge of Other Benefits: You may qualify for other types of compensation after a car accident, such as union pension payments, workers' compensation, Medicare, veterans’ Administration (VA) benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and more. Experienced counsel can help you explore these options and pursue a legal claim without endangering your eligibility.

Preserve Your Right to Recover

It can be tempting to settle your claim quickly and put everything behind you as soon as possible after a car accident. However, you may not realize the extent of your injuries or the toll they take on your life. Don't let the insurance companies bully you into giving up your rights. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you take control of your recovery and ensure that you recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. Fill out the form on this page to get started today.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. Many claims have time limits, especially those against government entities or municipalities. Promptly consulting an attorney can also help ensure you get the medical treatment you need for your injuries since many providers will treat a patient with an ongoing lawsuit at no upfront cost and collect payment once the case is resolved.

  • Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations. An attorney must disclose their fees and obtain your agreement before you are obligated to pay them. Many handle car accident claims on a contingency basis, where they take a percentage of the amount you recover in your claim or lawsuit instead of charging an hourly rate. If you do not recover, the attorney does not collect a fee (although you may be required to pay costs).

  • Every state maintains records of licensed attorneys and oversees disciplinary action for attorney misconduct. These records are available to the public online or by contacting the applicable organization (for example, the state Bar Association or Office of Attorney Ethics). Additionally, online reviews, client testimonials and personal recommendations can give you a sense of an attorney's reputation and track record.

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