Choosing a car accident lawyer in San Jose can be difficult. Personal injury victims need prompt, personal attention to their injury claims. They need someone who will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts, who understands the law, and who isn’t afraid to be a tough negotiator and, when necessary, an aggressive trial advocate.
But injury victims also need a compassionate car accident attorney who understands their concerns, who conveys those concerns effectively in negotiations with an insurance adjuster, who eases their burdens by negotiating a fair settlement, and who gives them the careful advice they need.
When you interview personal injury attorneys in San Jose, you should look for someone with whom you feel comfortable. The attorney-client relationship will last for months, and it might last for years, depending on the nature of the case and the time it takes for your injuries to heal.
You need to feel you are represented by someone whose judgment you trust, someone who cares about your circumstances and wants to help you achieve justice for the injuries you have suffered. You also need to know that your personal injury lawyer has the experience, diligence, and judgment required to maximize your settlement.
Here are some tips you should follow when you search for a San Jose car accident lawyer.
Start Your Search Early
Don’t wait until you think you are ready to settle your case before you look for a lawyer. To maximize your settlement, you need to seek legal advice soon after your car accident.
Many people make the mistake of giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance adjuster without first talking to a lawyer. They are often pressured to say things they don’t mean, or they become confused by questions and say the wrong thing. Accident victims should decline to talk to the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster until they first ask their lawyer whether they should be talking to the insurance adjuster at all.
Retaining a San Jose car accident lawyer immediately also makes it possible for the lawyer to begin gathering the evidence you need to prove your case. The lawyer may want an investigator to interview witnesses or take pictures of the accident scene. If you wait too long, skid marks may have faded, gouges in the road may have been repaired, memories may have dimmed, or witnesses may have moved away.
In addition, your attorney can give you advice about the things you need to do to protect your opportunity to receive full compensation. If you don’t find a car accident lawyer immediately, it may be too late to act on that advice. A San Jose personal injury attorney will tell you what you need to do to receive fair compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional losses that you have suffered.
Ask About the Lawyer’s Experience
It is best to find a car accident lawyer who has handled cases that are similar to yours. A rear-end collision on a city street is not the same as a front-end collision on a freeway. An intersection accident involving two cars is not the same as an intersection accident involving a car and a motorcycle.
Even in similar accidents, injuries can be quite different. Traumatic brain injuries differ from spinal injuries. Whiplash injuries are not the same as knee injuries. Finding a San Jose car accident lawyer who understands your injury and the accident that caused it will improve your opportunity to obtain a fair settlement or verdict.
Examine Your Lawyer’s Qualifications
One way to measure qualifications is to examine the ratings a personal injury law firm has earned from objective lawyer rating services. Three of the most respected rating services are:
Good lawyers also earn unsolicited praise from their clients and peers. Websites like Avvo give clients and other lawyers a chance to comment upon attorneys. The ones who earn praise are good candidates to consider when deciding whether a law firm would be a good fit for your case.
Examine Your Lawyer’s Track Record for Success
Not all San Jose car accident lawyers are created equal. Experienced personal injury attorneys with a track record of accomplishment are able to negotiate fair settlements because insurance companies know that seasoned trial lawyers have the ability to win substantial verdicts.
Personal injury lawyers who have obtained large settlements and verdicts are often members of the exclusive Million Dollar Advocates Forum. They might also list some of their verdicts and settlements on their website. Of course, not every case ends with a seven or eight figure settlement, but the ability to win substantial settlements and verdicts in those cases reflects the ability to obtain fair compensation in other cases.
Finding the right car accident lawyer in San Jose requires a bit of research, but in the end, the answer may seem obvious. There are many fine attorneys in San Jose, but if you start early and do your homework, you should quickly be able to find the lawyer who is right for you.