Arizona is a uniquely beautiful state, and it is no surprise that people love to drive and explore it. You might not consider the necessity of a car accident attorney in such a state. Unfortunately, according to Arizona findings, the state experiences nearly 100,000 crashes per year, resulting in about 1,000 fatalities and more than 40,000 injuries. With statistics like those, it is no wonder that Arizona ranks among the top 20 for car accidents nationwide.
If you experience a car wreck, there is no one you need by your side more than a personal injury lawyer — aside from maybe a doctor. A Phoenix personal injury attorney can help you make sense of the collision and any potential legal actions that stem from it.
The Necessity of a Car Accident Attorney
Car crashes are violent and traumatic. There is no telling what injuries, mental or physical, will manifest after a collision. Many soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, do not appear with all symptoms until days or more after the incident. Aside from the physical and mental injury to the body, you cannot forget the damage to your vehicle and other personal belongings.
Too many accident victims or survivors do not comprehend the amount of financial injury or hardship that lies ahead after a collision. Without understanding the full extent of the harm, it is impossible to make any rational or logical decision regarding legal action.
The necessity of an attorney is found in their advocacy. An experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer knows the law and the typical financial struggles an accident victim may face. The knowledge helps an attorney estimate damages and potential restitution. Therefore, a lawyer is necessary because they understand the recovery and legal processes surrounding car accidents.
Provable Characteristics of a Car Accident Attorney
When it comes to selecting a car accident or personal injury lawyer, it is often necessary to review provable and subjective characteristics. Provable or concrete attributes are those identifiable features that do not rely on opinion, but on facts and data. Therefore, trial records, financial transparency, settlement records, etc., are all provable characteristics. While some of these concrete traits will rely on your own judgment, for the most part, you can determine the quality of an attorney and their skill level by reviewing five provable characteristics.
While all attorneys must prove academic prowess to achieve their law license, the more impressive trait is their level of experience. When discussing personal injury lawyers, most of their experience will be at the negotiation table, which is a good thing because most personal injury cases settle outside of court. However, when discussing experience with an attorney, it is often best to locate a lawyer with trial experience. Should a case go to trial, you want complete confidence that your lawyer can handle the venue.
That said, the more experience a lawyer has, the more expensive they tend to be. While personal injury attorneys often work on contingency, you still need to consider costs. Many accident victims feel tempted to go with a lawyer fresh off the bar. While newly minted attorneys are often cheaper, it is necessary to point out they are also green. Experience often trumps amateurism, especially if they have a record to prove their rate of success.
A car accident attorney should also be pragmatic and action-oriented. You should not have to wait too long to figure out a game plan. Experienced lawyers are aware of all the essential steps required for a personal injury trial. While a consultation is typically just a discussion and overview of fees, it should not take long for your attorney to get the ball rolling when you sign on to be a client.
Because of the similarities of accident claims, a lawyer can typically offer some insight into their strategy immediately. They may request that you see a physician or specialist to figure out your injuries and establish a timeline. They will also request the official accident report and assign an investigator to investigate the event. Your lawyer should be ready to work the minute paperwork is signed.
An attorney should be studious and knowledgeable about their specialty. While you do not want an attorney who acts with arrogance and speaks circles around you, you must locate a professional with expertise in your specific case requirements. For instance, if you were in an accident with a rideshare driver, you want to find an attorney who has successfully argued those types of claims.
It is necessary to differentiate between confidence and arrogance, as intelligence and extensive study can breed both. A studious attorney is confident without being belittling. An intelligent but arrogant attorney will often come across as demeaning. While you are looking for a qualified lawyer to argue your case, you deserve respect; never forget that.
Because car accident attorneys are law professionals, they can often use legal terms that go over your head. You want to find an attorney that is willing to talk to you on your level, even if that means explaining things in layman’s terms.
Most lawyers understand their roles as advocates and salespersons. They need to sell you on their line of defense or discuss potential outcomes realistically. Still, respect is a significant factor in your selection of a lawyer.
Attorneys who are unwilling to explain concepts or decisions in a way you understand do not respect you. Additionally, if they continuously make changes to defensive or offensive strategies without advising you, they display clear disrespect.
An excellent attorney is communicative. They will explain a concept in multiple ways until you understand it. They will not make a move on your case without your permission and knowledge.
Hiring a lawyer is an expense, and this is something you need to consider, weighing the pros and cons against potential outcomes and acquired debts. Most personal injury attorneys will use a contingency fee payment structure, meaning you do not pay unless you receive a positive result, such as a settlement or judgment in your favor. If an affirmative decision occurs, your attorney will take the agreed-upon percentage out of the settlement or verdict.
However, the contingency fee typically only pays the attorney fees and other predictable costs. Additional expenses might not be attached to the initial percentage agreement, which you are responsible for, such as paperwork, filings, etcetera. A reasonable and qualified attorney will be upfront about these additional costs and will also seek approval for extra expenses during your case.
Subjective Characteristics of a Car Accident Attorney
While the above provable characteristics are often easy to spot, judge, and prove, subjective characteristics are not so clear. Subjectivity, by its very nature, is based on opinion. Therefore, while you might find an attorney’s demeanor appealing, someone else may find it objectionable.
The following five traits are impossible to prove in any universal way. You must determine how an attorney stacks up against your value system and tastes. Still, each characteristic is vital when considering the quality and character of an attorney and their suitability for your claim.
Focus is crucial, especially when dissecting and arguing legal matters. The law is complex, and without focus, opposing counsel may get one over on your lawyer, potentially hindering your case. Still, as an attribute, focus is not only about how a lawyer performs in a settlement room or courtroom, but also about how they treat you and your case.
When you talk to your lawyer, do you feel like they listen to you and your needs? Do you feel heard and understood, or do you feel like the attorney is distracted? You want a lawyer that gives you their complete and undivided attention every time you are in their office, on the phone, etcetera.
2. Empathetic and Compassionate
A car accident attorney can be busy, especially in a state like Arizona, but busyness is not an excuse for coldness or detachment. A car crash is a traumatic event. When seeking legal action for restitution for physical injuries and financial hardship, you are vulnerable and deserving of a lawyer’s attention and humanity.
Despite the number of similar cases lawyers see and experience, they should not lose sight of the victims and their struggles. An excellent attorney will show empathy and express compassion while providing sound legal advice and presenting realistic outcomes to a client.
Still, empathy and compassion are not tangible or provable characteristics. It is up to you to judge how an attorney makes you feel. Your emotions are valid, and you should only work with someone you feel understands your claim’s stakes.
3. Driven and Passionate
When selecting a car accident attorney, you also want to find someone passionate about their profession and driven toward success. Passion is often evident in how an attorney discusses your claim and the law. Are they confident? Do they seem knowledgeable? Can they answer your questions and concerns without pause?
Acknowledging the drive in someone can be challenging because it is hard to understand what motivates someone. However, you can tell a lot about a lawyer’s drive by their attitude toward your claim. Are they eager to talk about strategy? Does the lawyer discuss other similar claims and relish in the victories?
Successful attorneys are confident, knowledgeable, and determined. You will often find that the best lawyers are competitive and eager to argue a claim they believe in. Still, you must judge whether their ambition and eagerness stem from the right place and whether they’re enough.
While it is often said that too much curiosity is dangerous, that sentiment is not valid for finding a qualified attorney. Curiosity is a necessary attribute of excellent attorneys. A lawyer requires information and detail to do their job effectively. Therefore, when looking for an attorney, restrain your search to only those professionals who ask a lot of questions.
A qualified lawyer will go beyond the fundamental who, what, where questions and dive into the meat of the event and its aftermath. They will want to know details of the scene and the day. They will inquire about injuries and driving records. A lawyer might even dive into your background, checking on other legal actions you may have taken. If there is one thing a lawyer hates, it is surprises.
During your search, if your lawyer isn’t asking questions, they are not doing their job. A lawyer should strive for understanding before strategy.
Investigating the Reputation of a Car Accident Attorney
While creating a list of potential personal injury attorneys, you should prioritize each lawyer’s record. Several organizations at the state and federal levels will allow you to look into the history of any licensed attorney, including disciplinary actions, rulings, and experience. The American Bar Association also provides a list of every active attorney in the U.S.
Aside from formal insights, it can help to look into client interactions and reviews. You can often learn a lot by reading other people’s experiences with an attorney, but remember the reviews are subjective, based on feelings and opinions. One person’s experience is not necessarily prophetic of your own.
The Importance of Meshing With Your Car Accident Attorney
While the above qualities represent most qualified attorneys, it is necessary to remember that your preferences matter. Lawsuits take time, and you need to ensure that the attorney you choose is someone you do not mind spending time with; however, that does not mean you need to find someone to be your friend. A lawyer is a professional, and they offer a service. Still, it is essential that you mesh with your lawyer, that they are someone you respect and trust.
Finding the right Glendale car accident attorney out of the vast pool of Arizona lawyers can be challenging. However, if you are looking for reputation, experience, and a combination of all the above qualities, contact the attorneys with Sargon Law Group. Sargon Law Group is a firm that believes in service and excellence above all.