Hire a lawyer local to the accident locationIf you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, working with a personal injury lawyer who will represent your best interests in mind is smart. While insurance adjusters may act like they are looking out for you, their job is to reduce the amount of money the insurance company has to pay out on a claim. They may try to get you to settle quickly for less than what you deserve.

Advantages of a Lawyer Local to Your Accident

But if your accident took place in a city or state that’s not where you live? Should you hire a local accident attorney in that area? Here are the considerations.

  • License. Hiring a local attorney is particularly important if your accident occurred in another state. Lawyers are licensed to practice law in specific states. While a lawyer may be licensed in more than one state, a lawyer licensed in your home state may not be able to argue a case for an accident that took place in another state, especially if that case goes to trial.
  • Court representation. Your lawyer should always be prepared to represent you in court if your case goes that far. While the majority of personal injury cases settle out of court before getting to that point, selecting an attorney who could fight for you in court is essential.
  • Legal resources. Lawyers who practice in the location where your accident happened will have a deeper knowledge of city and state laws than someone from another location. They will also have experience handling cases before local courts and judges.
  • Local experience. A lawyer in the location where your accident happened will be familiar with local medical practitioners and hospitals, which can be a help in negotiating with insurance companies when securing damages for medical costs incurred as a result of the accident. They may have access to expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts who are knowledgeable about local roads and highways, weather conditions, and even the history of other accidents at certain locations. All of these details can be important in a personal injury case. 

Selecting a Personal Injury Lawyer Local to You

Ultimately, you should choose a lawyer because you are comfortable with them and are confident about their ability to represent you in your case. If your accident took place in another state but you have a lawyer you want to work with that you prefer who is in another state, that lawyer most likely can still handle your case. 

  • Partner lawyers. Many lawyers are licensed in more than one state, so if you have a lawyer you prefer, check to see if they or someone else in their practice is licensed in the state where your accident happened. Even if your preferred lawyer isn’t licensed in that state, many lawyers have a network of partner lawyers and law firms across the country and can work together on your case for no additional charge. The out-of-state lawyer could represent you at trial if needed.
  • Personal relationship. While teleconference platforms like Zoom make working with lawyers from any location possible, if you work with a lawyer local to where you live, you can meet with them in person and develop rapport. 

Accident Lawyer Working on Contingency in Virginia

Working with a Virginia-based personal injury attorney is important if you’ve been in an accident in Virginia. They understand how to work with health and auto insurance companies and will fight to recoup damages on your behalf. Damages can be expensive, especially when there are serious injuries in a crash, and can mean months of medical bills and costs for therapy, medical equipment, and other treatments. Your damages will also include time missed from work due to the accident, including the day of the crash, any hospital stay time, and any subsequent time missed due to medical appointments. Damages can also include costs for pain and suffering for you and your family due to the losses you’ve experienced as the result of a crash.

Whomever you select to handle your accident case, you will want a personal injury lawyer who works on contingency. This means the lawyer only gets paid once and if your case is finalized and settled in your favor (or if you win at trial). With a lawyer working on contingency, you don’t have to pay costs upfront—they are paid a percentage of the damages for your case if you win. Their payment is “contingent” upon your win. 

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Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
I'm grateful for all your work . . . Roger V. (Remington, VA)