Obtaining fair compensation when you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence requires navigating complex legal processes. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney to represent your interests is crucial, but choosing a local lawyer is also important.
This article discusses why it is crucial for car accident victims to hire a local lawyer for their compensation claim.
Expertise with Local Laws and Court Rules
Laws about auto accidents, insurance policies, injury claims, and court procedures vary significantly from state to state. Individual counties and cities may have unique laws and regulations, even within a state.
Local car accident attorneys have extensive knowledge of your jurisdiction’s specific laws and court rules. This allows them to make wise decisions when building your case, properly file paperwork, and avoid procedural mistakes that could undermine your claim. An out-of-state lawyer will need more familiarity.
Established Relationships with Key Players
Over many years of working locally, a car accident lawyer will get to know and work with people like insurance adjusters, legal prosecutors, and experts in accident-related matters. These connections often lead to quicker claim processing, bigger offers for resolution, dropped charges, and good expert opinions.
A lawyer from another state will have different connections in your area and struggle to negotiate for what you deserve or protect your rights. A well-known and respected lawyer from your local legal community can get much better results.
Ability to Start Investigating Right Away
Time is very important when making a case. A local lawyer can quickly go to the accident scene, take pictures, and measure things. They can talk with people who saw what happened and collect other evidence that might not last before it’s gone.
A lawyer from another place will probably wait days or weeks to send their team. This could mean they miss a very important time when new proof can be added to help your case.
Availability for Meetings and Court Dates
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer must show up in person for hearings, proceedings, and the trial itself. It’s much easier for a lawyer in the same metro area to make these court appearances versus an out-of-state lawyer who may need help to show up on short notice.
Local lawyers are also more accessible to meet with you in person to discuss case details and strategy than out-of-state lawyers, who are limited to phone and email.
Higher Motivation to Get the Best Result
Lawyers who live and practice in your community depend heavily on their reputation and word-of-mouth referrals to attract new clients. This motivates them to fight aggressively and get the maximum possible compensation in your case.
Out-of-state lawyers with no local ties or reputation are less incentivized to put in maximum effort for any client.
Accountability if You’re Dissatisfied
If you end up unhappy with the representation from an out-of-state lawyer, it can be extremely difficult to hold them accountable or switch to better legal counsel. There is much greater accountability with a local lawyer who depends on their reputation.
Lower Legal Costs
Local lawyers typically have lower hourly rates and overhead expenses than large out-of-state law firms and pass those high costs on to clients. Even with sophisticated legal representation, a local lawyer can save you thousands in fees over their out-of-state counterparts.
Ability to Start Negotiating Insurance Claims Right Away
Insurance companies often make lowball offers in the days and weeks following an accident, hoping injured parties will accept them before hiring a lawyer. Local lawyers can immediately negotiate with adjusters and aggressively pursue a fair settlement before you make any rushed decisions. Out-of-state lawyers will likely need weeks to even contact the insurer.
Higher Chance of Settling Before Trial
Statistics show a much higher percentage of accident cases settle before trial when handled by a local lawyer than by an out-of-state attorney. Insurers are more likely to negotiate honestly when your counsel is a proven trial lawyer they want to avoid.
Get Justice and Compensation Faster
With an intricate understanding of local court timelines and legal processes, a local lawyer can navigate the complex legal system to resolve your case as quickly as possible. Out-of-state lawyers unfamiliar with local courts often drag cases out for months or years longer than necessary.
While an out-of-state law firm may sound prestigious, or you may have heard their TV ads, what matters most is their legal experience with car accident cases in your local area. The skills and connections of a local personal injury lawyer can greatly impact the compensation you ultimately receive. Do your research to find the right local attorney for your case; it will likely be one of your most important decisions.