The process for finding the right car accident attorney can be overwhelming. There are bus stop ads and billboards but that doesn’t tell you much about the law firm. Doing an online search may come up with an endless list of attorneys but not anything about how they will handle your case. When communicating with the law firm, there are some questions you should ask and things you should look for.
The right lawyer can make the process as painless as possible and get you the maximum amount of compensation. The wrong lawyer can cause frustration, lower your award, or even lose your case. If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, contact our experienced auto accident law firm for a free consultation. Contact our office today online or by phone at 800-529-6162.
10 Things to Look For in a Car Accident Lawyer
Here is a list of 10 things to look for when searching for a car accident attorney. This can help you eliminate law firms that may not be the best representatives for your case. Asking these questions can also help you feel more secure that you are in good hands. Things to look for include:
- Car accident experience
- Resources to take your case to trial
- Clear communication with lawyers and staff
- Understanding of insurance company practices
- Explanation of the timeline for your case
- Concern for your health and well-being
- Around the clock availability
- Explanation of fees
- Reputation in the legal community
- Free consultation
Car Accident Experience
Experience is at the top of the list because it is so important to your case. Experience does not just mean years of legal practice, it should include handling cases like yours, trial experience, and experience dealing with the insurance companies. You may want to ask your prospective lawyer about their experience with car accident cases, personal injury, and civil litigation.
At Gilman & Bedigian, our experience runs deep. Our team consists of senior and associate attorneys with extensive experience in civil litigation. This level of experience extends to our paralegals and administrative staff. The firm’s personal injury experience includes taking many cases to trial and winning millions of dollars for injury victims and their families.
Civil litigation experience is important because not all legal cases are alike. In most cases, a lawyer who graduated from law school and passed the state bar can practice just about any type of law. The same lawyer could file a personal injury claim, represent a client in tax court, or defend someone against drunk driving charges. Those types of cases are very different and you may not want a lawyer who focuses on real estate law to be in charge of your personal injury claim.
At Gilman & Bedigian, our firm focuses on personal injury cases. This includes negotiating with the insurance company, getting an expert review of your injuries, filing claims in court, and taking cases through trial. If you have any questions about the legal process involved in a car accident case, we have answers.
Resources to Take Your Case to Trial
Complex personal injury claims can take a long time and require a lot of resources. Not all law firms have what it takes to get multiple medical experts to review the case, and do everything necessary to prepare your case for trial. It may take before a vehicle accident case even makes it to a jury. Even after the jury makes a decision, the defendants or plaintiffs may file an appeal. Make sure your law firm can handle the expenses and time commitment it takes to build a strong case and see it through to the end. At Gilman & Bedigian, we have the resources to pursue your case thoroughly and with integrity.
Clear Communication With Lawyers and Staff
Many clients express frustration with other lawyers before coming to us. They say they could never get ahold of their attorney when they had a serious concern. This could include reaching out to ask about mail or a phone call from the insurance company to questions about how they will pay for medical treatment. Responsive guidance is part of our law firm’s mission. Trusted guidance relies on a timely and thoughtful answer to your questions.
Our lawyers and staff work together to provide comprehensive personal injury advice, information, and experienced legal representation. When communicating with a law firm you are thinking of hiring, make sure you have clear communication not only with the lawyer, but also with the staff. This includes communicating with you by phone, mail, online chat, in-person meetings, and email.
Understanding of Insurance Company Practices
Insurance companies in a car accident case present specific challenges. Many accident victims are unclear about how insurance companies represent them after an accident. Your auto insurance company may seem to be on your side after an accident but remember who they really represent.
The insurance industry is in the business of making money and they don’t profit when they give you any more money than necessary. The insurance company may be looking for ways to deny your claim by finding minor mistakes in your forms or getting you to admit something that could hurt your case.
In contrast, your personal injury attorney is an advocate for you and not working for the insurance company. An understanding of common auto insurance policy practices can help you avoid pitfalls and maximize your settlement. Successful personal injury law firms have plenty of experience dealing with the insurers. They know the common tricks these companies use to try and decrease payouts and will not let you fall victim to these practices. One of the most comforting benefits of having a car accident attorney is that they will deal with the insurance company so you can be left in peace.
Explanation of the Timeline for Your Case
Something that surprises most people facing their first civil litigation case is just how long it takes. A real auto accident case does not wind up in 15 minutes like on Judge Judy. Even a simple car accident claim may take years. You may feel like your case is dragging on and on and just want to get it over with. This is why it is important for your attorneys to provide updates and an explanation of the timeline in your case.
Concern for Your Health and Well-being
After an injury accident, it is important to take care of your physical health, mental health, and well-being. For physical injuries, recovery may mean medical care, hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy. An injury can also be very stressful, with concern about scarring or disfigurement. You do not need additional stress from dealing with the insurance company.
Your attorneys should understand how important your health and wellness are to your overall case. At Gilman & Bedigian, we treat all of our clients with compassion, empathy, and great respect. We know how difficult an accident or injury can be on you and your loved ones and we do what we can to help you through the process.
Around the Clock Availability
Sometimes your questions just can’t wait. Maybe you suddenly remembered something important that happened after the accident or you have an emergency and won’t be able to attend a scheduled hearing. You may not have the time to wait a few days until another law firm gets back to you. That is why our phones are answered 24/7. Yes, you can call or send a message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Explanation of Fees
In most personal injury cases, the attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means the lawyer will work for no money upfront and only collect after you win. The fee will generally be based on a percentage of the award or settlement. However, it is important for you to understand the fee arrangement before you hire any lawyer. Ask the lawyer about the fee arrangement, and how they will provide expenses and fee details.
Reputation in the Legal Community
Personal injury lawyers end up taking cases before the same group of judges and against many of the same opposing counsel. Trial attorneys also end up working alongside other lawyers in the community. These other lawyers, judges, and even the insurance companies, can get to know a lot about your lawyer’s reputation. How is your lawyer’s reputation in the legal community?
Our law firm was co-founded by Charles Gilman and H. Briggs Bedigian. Gilman and Bedigian were both fighters who would not hesitate to take cases to trial to get help for their clients. As seasoned trial attorneys, they have a track record of fighting hard for their clients.
Charles Gilman was selected as a Super Lawyer Magazine Rising Star from 2009-2014. No more than 2.5% of the lawyers in the state are named to the Rising Stars list. Charles Gilman was named a Super Lawyer from 2015-2019. No more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected as Super Lawyers. Other awards and honors include:
- Selected inclusion in The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
- Member of the President’s Club of the Maryland Association of Justice
- By the request of legal peers, has given lectures on the use of expert witnesses at trial
Briggs Bedigian has won three jury verdicts over Twenty Million Dollars, and has seventeen jury verdicts of over One Million Dollars. Briggs has also received numerous multi-million dollar pretrial settlements, several in excess of $10 million dollars. He has won over One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00) in jury verdicts for his clients thus far in his career. Other awards and honors include:
- Named Maryland Trial Lawyer of the Year (2013)
- Inner Circle of Advocates (2015) of the top 100 plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country
- Recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the top 100 Lawyers across all disciplines
- Invitee of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Invitee of the Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Tried and won more serious malpractice cases than any other lawyer in the Washington/Baltimore Metro Area in the last ten years
Why would you want a free consultation before finding the right lawyer? Meeting or talking with the prospective law firm is really the best way to make sure you are choosing the right attorney. A consultation is not just for the lawyer to figure out if they will take your case. A consultation goes both ways. You can use this opportunity to see if you want this lawyer to take on your claim. Feel free to ask any questions and concerns you have and the law firm’s response can help you decide what is best for you.
Questions to Ask When Looking For a Car Accident Attorneys
The process of finding the right lawyer can seem difficult. Do not sign an agreement with the attorney until you are sure they are the right firm for you. Remember to think about the firm’s experience, how they will communicate with you, and what you can expect during your case. Some questions you may want to ask could include:
- What type of law does the attorney or firm practice?
- How much experience does the lawyer have?
- What can I expect in my case?
- Do I feel comfortable with the attorney and their staff?
- What resources does the firm have at its disposal?
- How will I be communicated with during the case?
- What is the fee arrangement for my case?
Car Accident Trial Attorneys
At Gilman & Bedigian, our lawyers are trial attorneys in personal injury matters. We focus almost exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death matters. We also have a history of taking cases to trial if necessary. We do not settle cases just to settle. It is important to ensure you receive fair and just compensation. We have no fear to go to trial and that is how we’ve won millions in settlements and verdicts. We also have the resources to pursue your case thoroughly and with integrity. Contact Gilman & Bedigian online or at 800-529-6162 for a free consultation.