Getting in a car accident is bad enough, but a truck accident is even worse. Not only is it common for more damage to be done due to the larger size of a truck, but you may also have to deal with damage to the goods it was carrying, collateral damage caused by the truck and many other issues that wouldn’t normally be present in a lawsuit regarding two normal sized cars.
Due to the nature and history of personal injury lawyers, these professionals have been around as long as truck accidents have. A lawyer can choose to practice any form of law he or she wishes, which means that you have a lot of choices, and not all of them are good. Here are a few tips for helping you find the best lawyer to take your case and not waste your time and money.
Texas has the most truck accidents of any state in the U.S. (and Houston has the most of any city). So if you’re looking for a Houston truck accident lawyer, you’re not alone.
Finding the Lawyer
Before even getting into the tips of choosing the right lawyer, you have to first find a good pool of lawyers to choose from. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you’ll have dozens or perhaps even hundreds of professionals to choose from in your immediate area. Be sure to stay within your state when looking for a lawyer, they usually cannot practice law in another state and hence it won’t be beneficial for you.
The Internet is a good place to start if you don’t have any leads, and checking a lawyer’s website can help you decide whether he or she is right for you. However, this isn’t the best way to start because you will come across so many websites and you’ll get so lost that you won’t know what to do.
If you have insurance, then you should first ask your insurance company who they recommend. They are sure to have many lawyers in the area who can help if they aren’t providing one themselves. Not only that, but they can help determine which ones are best for your specific case.
You can also ask your friends who they have gotten in the past to represent them. If none of your friends have specifically been in truck accidents, then their recommendations may not be ideal, but it still gives you a good place to start.
Lastly, if you have a phone book around, then this will also be a huge boon because many lawyers still list themselves there. Much like the Internet, this is a very open pool of people to choose from, but it will give you a good list of people to contact.
Choosing the Lawyer
Now that you have a list of lawyers to contact, it’s time to figure out how to narrow the list down until you find the best one for your case. We will start with the most basic tips and then get into more specific tips.
First of all, make sure that your lawyer is skilled and experienced at truck accident lawsuits, especially from your specific angle (either defendant or plaintiff). While some lawyers will market themselves specifically as truck accident lawyers, the truth is that the vast majority are really personal injury lawyers. They specialize in the coverage needed for injuries, but they may not know the first thing about injuries and accidents caused by trucks.
Be sure that your lawyer has been in at least a few of these cases and ensure that they have knowledge of the intricacies present in these situations. For some people, you may not be able to find someone with truck accident experience because they just aren’t around your area or price range. If this is the case, then be sure that your lawyer has at least similar experience (such as car accident lawsuits or injuries reflecting what you suffered) so that they can fill in the holes by researching the laws and cases that apply to your situation.
After that, ask for case information. This is essential because you want to know how your lawyer did in these cases. Having someone who has represented hundreds of clients is great, but not so much if he or she loses most cases or doesn’t get much for their client. You want evidence to show that your lawyer really knows what he or she is doing.
Aside from their win streak, also pay attention to how they handled the case. How much were they able to get for their clients, how much did clients have to spend, how long did most cases take and did they appropriately hold all parties liable, or were some parties forgotten? A lawyer who lost a few cases but worked hard for their client and get them everything possible is better than a lawyer who won all his or her cases but got very little for the client.
After finding out that your lawyer is competent and has history dealing with your specific cases or at least similar ones, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and ask them how they will handle the case and what they foresee. Of course, no lawyer can tell you with 100% certainty that you will get any money or even win the case, but they can at least tell you their plan of attack.
When you ask this, make sure that the lawyer has a good grasp of what is going on. If they are forgetting certain facts, don’t seem to think much about expert witnesses or consider yours a losing case and they only want to minimize the flames, then you might want to choose someone else.
A good lawyer (in Houston) will tell you that they plan on involving experts, that they are willing to do numerous interviews and depositions to get a very clear picture of the event and who is liable and that they know exactly what you’re looking for from the case. This is the perfect lawyer for your lawsuit.
A truck accident lawyer can be hard to find, especially since most lawyers who do this are really personal injury lawyers who may not have any experience in this field. Aside from making sure that your lawyer is knowledgeable of your circumstances and the specifics of your lawsuit, check their competency with previous cases and their plan of attack. This will help you find the best lawyer for your needs so that you can confidently move forward.