Choosing a truck accident lawyer is easy if you know what to look for. There are certain qualities successful attorneys possess that you’ll want to keep in mind when making your decision. For example, an attorney with a great deal of experience and a high success rate is probably a better choice than a lawyer who’s only worked on a handful of cases.
Although experience and success rate are two of the most important qualities to look for when choosing your lawyer, there are a number of other boxes you’ll need to check. Let’s learn more about the characteristics you should pay attention to when choosing a truck accident attorney.
Qualities to Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer
If a truck accident lawyer has the following qualities, it does not necessarily mean that the lawyer is the “best” in their field, but that they can put these skills and experience to work for you. Keep these qualifications in mind as you look for the truck accident lawyer that’s right for you:
Experience in Handling Truck Accident Claims
The lawyer you choose to hire should have experience in handling truck accident claims, specifically. However, it is not necessary to choose a lawyer who exclusively handles truck accident injury claims.
Still, making sure this is one of their areas of expertise means you will be working with someone who understands the laws that apply to your claim, and can handle your claim with skill and confidence.
A good test to check if an attorney has ample experience is to ask them about the statute of limitations relevant to your case. According to New York CVP § 214, the state deadline for truck accident lawsuits in New York is three years. Lawyers who have handled cases like yours will be familiar with this law and can help ensure your claim is filed before the deadline.
Many lawyers track their ongoing success rate, which can be measured by how many claims they win for clients and how much compensation they help clients receive for their injuries. Asking for a truck accident lawyer’s success rate can help you feel at ease if the attorney you’re considering has a proven track record.
Willingness to Work Toward a Settlement
Insurance companies are known for offering early, low-ball settlements in order to resolve your claim fast and avoid paying you the amount of compensation you deserve. Be sure to choose a truck accident lawyer who is willing to take the time necessary to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
If your claim does not settle, you may need to take it to court. In that case, it’s important to ensure that the truck accident lawyer you choose has experience in taking claims to trial.
In court, the defendant’s insurance lawyers may try to prove you were at fault for the accident, so it’s important that you have an attorney who can defend you against such claims.
According to New York CVP § 1411, the State of New York operates on a principle of comparative fault. The other party’s lawyer could use this provision to shift blame onto you and hold you responsible for the incident. The lawyer you choose must be able to cut through phony accusations and prove that the truck driver is liable for your injuries.
Caseload refers to the amount of cases a lawyer is working on at a given time, and it’s an important thing to inquire about when choosing a truck accident attorney. Lawyers with a lot of work on their plate will likely not be able to devote the amount of time and attention your case requires.
You’ll want to look for a lawyer with a light to moderate caseload. They’ll be sure to have the energy and resources necessary to pursue your claim. If your case goes to trial, your truck accident lawyer’s caseload will matter even more, as litigating a court case requires a great deal of preparation and effort.
Many lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they will not charge you unless and until you receive your settlement. If they do win your case, they’ll take a percentage of your final settlement or jury-awarded payment.
With a contingency fee agreement, you can rest assured that you won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses if your case is unsuccessful. Figuring out how much your lawyer charges and how their charges are incurred can help you avoid excessive costs and surprise fees.
The average contingency fee will amount to approximately one-third of your total compensation. If you’re considering hiring an attorney who charges more than 33% of your winnings, you might want to keep looking!
Your truck accident lawyer does not have to be your best friend, but it may put your mind at ease to work with someone who is helpful, understanding, supportive, and who you know is on your side.
Feeling comfortable about asking your lawyer questions about your case is also a major advantage. It can be reassuring to know where your case stands at any given moment, and having an attorney that you’re compatible with will make it easier to request updates.
If you feel like you and an attorney aren’t hitting it off, or if they’re just not the right fit for you, you should consider looking for a different one. Things might seem off because they lack the communication skills necessary to reassure clients and keep them informed on their case.
When you’re looking for a truck accident attorney, you’ll want to choose one who’s able to keep you in the loop and translate complex legal terms into plain english. Worrying about the status of your case can make it hard to focus on your recovery, but having a lawyer that keeps you updated will take the stress out of your life, and allow you to heal in peace.
Check Past Client Reviews or Testimonials
Most law firms include sections for client testimonials on their webpage. These pages can be a great resource to you when vetting potential attorneys. However, keep in mind that the firm controls which stories make it to their testimonials page.
More often than not, firms will exclude negative reviews and favor stories that highlight their strengths and successes. To get a more balanced view of a firm or individual attorney, it can help to investigate third party forums and websites that aren’t directly connected to the lawyer you’re considering.
A Skilled Truck Accident Attorney Will Be Aware of Relevant Damages
The most important part of your truck accident claim is the compensation you’ll receive for your injuries. Lawyers typically divide the compensation you’re entitled to into categories known as “damages.” For example, compensation for pain and suffering is a damage you can receive if your injuries have caused you a great deal of physical or emotional pain.
When choosing a truck accident attorney, it’s important to look for one who can identify all the damages you’re eligible to receive. If a potential attorney mentions one or more of the following damages during your initial consultation, you’ll definitely want to consider working with them:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
Consider Choosing a Truck Accident Attorney From a Large Firm
Successful truck accident cases require detailed evidence, first-rate legal resources, and plenty of time and attention. Large firms will have the staff, industry connections, and technology you need to win your case.
For example, more prominent firms will have access to cutting-edge accident reconstruction software that can be used to show precisely how your truck accident occurred. A smaller firm might not have the technology required to convince a jury or insurance company that the defendant caused the crash.
The Internet Can Help You Choose a Truck Accident Lawyer
The internet can be a great resource when choosing a truck accident attorney. Thousands of people post their experiences with different law firms everyday. You can use their comments and stories to learn more about the pros and cons associated with a given lawyer.
You can also use the internet to check a lawyer’s “bar status.” By visiting their bar association’s website, you can see if an attorney has a history of breaking the rules and if they’ve been punished for flouting professional standards.
Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer From Morelli Law Firm Today
If you’re wondering how to choose a truck accident lawyer, we can help. At Morelli Law Firm, we can give you access to a team of truck accident lawyers who are ready to go to work for you. We also work on a contingency-fee basis, so you won’t have to worry about drawing from your personal savings to pay for our services.
Contact our law firm today by phone or online for a free case evaluation. We’ve secured equitable settlements for clients in New York City, Long Island, New York State, Philadelphia and northern New Jersey, and we have the client testimonials to prove it.