Guest Post: Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer with Experience
Every time we get in a car, we assume the risk of being in a car accident. Even if we follow the rules of the road and drive carefully, car accidents are possible. In 2016, police in the U.S. recorded 6.3 million car accidents that cost Americans nearly a trillion dollars. The potential damages associated with car accidents are very high. Personal injury, death, property damage, and emotional trauma are all possible damages in car accidents. Furthermore, the average severity of damages has increased in recent years. Because of the high cost of damages, 50% of people decide to hire an attorney to help settle car accident claims.
Any time you hire a car accident attorney, it is best to find one with relevant experience. This is key to a successful claim for several reasons.
Things to Look for in an Attorney
Shopping around for an attorney can be overwhelming. There are a seemingly infinite number of different attorneys in a given area, so it is important to know what to look for when choosing one. There are many things to consider when looking for an attorney, but relevant experience and practice length are essential.
Why Experience Matters
Experience makes all the difference in practicing law. By practicing law in a specific area, a lawyer masters it. Through their experience, an attorney learns all the ins and outs of a particular field.
Similar to finding the right doctor for your medical needs, it is important to find a lawyer with specific expertise in the area of law you need help with. After all, you would not go to a dermatologist to treat a broken rib, and you would not hire an electrician to lay the foundation for your home.
The same logic applies to the law even though a legal license allows an attorney to practice in any given area of law. When hiring a lawyer to help claim compensation after a car accident, make sure they have experience with car accidents.
How Long Have They Been Practicing Law?
As with experience, the length of time a lawyer has been practicing is essential to consider when choosing a lawyer. Law school prepares attorneys to think critically, analyze laws, and craft legal arguments. However, many aspects of legal practice are not taught in law school. While law school prepares attorneys for practice, many legal practice aspects are not taught in law school. As with any profession, there are lessons to be learned that can only be taught in practice, and practice takes time.
For example, while there may be a law school course that focuses entirely on negotiating, mastery of negotiation tactics only comes over time with consistent practice. Additionally, laws and procedures vary from state to state. So even though a new attorney may understand basic legal principles, it will take time to learn the specific rules that apply in the area where they practice.
Similarly, through participating in the local legal community, a lawyer builds relationships with others in the profession that can be very helpful. A lawyer who has an existing relationship with opposing counsel will likely fare better in negotiations than one who has none. With an existing relationship, the two lawyers will have a degree of mutual trust and respect. Further, an experienced lawyer will know what tactics to expect when working opposite a given attorney or before an assigned judge. In the legal field, the importance of length of experience cannot be overstated.
There are many other factors to consider when choosing a car accident lawyer. In the end, the right lawyer for you may not be the right lawyer for someone else. You should feel comfortable with and trust your lawyer, and their fee should be one that you can afford. Most importantly, any lawyer you hire to help you recover damages after a car accident should have significant experience dealing specifically with these types of claims.
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