How to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney in Ohio: 6 Expert Tips

Post By Corey Heit

With so many Columbus, Ohio area auto accident attorneys to choose from, how can you make sure you hire the one lawyer who will do the most to help you achieve the best insurance settlement or win your civil lawsuit? While no magic formula exists, following each of the six steps outlined here will guide you toward working with an ethical, experienced, hardworking, and caring person injury or wrongful death lawyer.

Understand Your Need to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney in Ohio

Personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from traffic accidents become complicated very quickly. Even if the other driver’s responsibility for causing the crash is not in doubt, questions regarding the origin, extent, and cost of the resulting injuries need to be answered with a great deal of certainty.

Add in the insurance company’s financial incentives to find any reason to deny claims or offer very low settlements, and it becomes clear why the victim of a negligent or reckless driver would benefit from partnering with an auto accident lawyer whose only job is to work in the best interest of the victim,

Ask Around About Columbus, Ohio, Personal Injury Attorneys

Take advantage of the choice that living in the state capital region affords. Start by doing a web search for personal injury and wrongful death attorneys and speak with friends and family members who have hired auto accident lawyers for their cases.

Criteria that make an attorney worth further consideration include

  • Strong recommendations from people you trust,
  • Success handling cases similar to your own,
  • Accessible location so you do not need to travel an unreasonable distance for face-to-face meetings, and
  • Transparency regarding fees and costs.

Give great weight to relevant experience. Car accident cases differ considerably from cases involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. Similarly, bicycle riders and pedestrians need access to a different kind of expertise than do innocent drivers and passengers. When the at-fault driver was operating without insurance or committed a hit-and-run, still another set or knowledge and experience will become indispensable.

Save Every Piece of Paperwork Related to Your Accident

Succeeding with an insurance claim or civil lawsuit requires presenting convincing evidence that

  • The other driver caused the accident,
  • You suffered injuries in the crash,
  • The injuries were serious enough to require medical care or take a life, and
  • The injuries imposed financial costs and other losses for treatment, disability, or death.

This type of evidence comes from police crash reports, medical records, pharmacy receipts, therapists’ notes and disability claims. Bringing such materials to your first meeting with an auto accident attorney will help the lawyer know if you have a strong case.

Meet Your Columbus, Ohio, Auto Accident Attorney Before Signing a Contract for Advice and Representation

You employ your personal injury or wrongful death lawyer. Act like a hiring manager and conduct interviews.

Questions to ask during the first consultation include

  • How have you handled cases similar to mine?
  • How did those other cases end?
  • Do I have a winnable case?
  • How involved do I personally need to be in negotiating with insurance company representatives?
  • What will this cost me?

In addition to getting understandable answers, listen for honesty and reasonableness. You do not need to become friends with your attorney, but you absolutely need to trust the person you hire for your case. You must also trust that you can stand working with the person for several months.

Accept No Guarantees

Walk away from any lawyer who swears you will win your case. Run from anyone who specifies how much money you will receive.

Going back to how complicated traffic accidents get and how strongly insurance companies contest claims, it is impossible to promise an exact outcome. What you do want to hear is that your lawyer will use every bit of knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible result.

Demand Responsiveness

Insist on timely replies to phone messages and emails. Your case may take longer than seems reasonable to reach a conclusion, but you should not stand for waiting to receive replies to questions or for seeing your concerns addressed. Insist, as well, on straightforward answers even when the news may not be what you want to hear.

Apply these rules regarding honesty and responsiveness from the moment of first contact.

Corey Heit assists victims of car, truck, and motorcycle crashes in Columbus and throughout Franklin County. You can schedule a free consultation at his Westerville offices by calling (614) 898-5300 or connecting with Cory online. He can come to you if your health make driving difficult.

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