Car accidents happen every day. According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the University of New Mexico, a car accident occurs every 12 minutes in New Mexico. Every time you get behind the wheel and drive to work or take your kids to school you run the risk of getting into a car crash. Fortunately, that statistics show that the chances of you or a loved one being killed in a car crash are extremely low at less than 1% in 2016.

However, even though you are not likely to be killed on your way to work, you and your family are still at risk for suffering an injury in a crash that was not your fault.

If you are unlucky and are involved in a car accident and you were injured, you are likely well served to hire an attorney. A good attorney will be able to help successfully navigate you through the pitfalls and road blocks of insurance tactics and medical issues. But if you or a loved one doesn’t know a good personal injury attorney; how do you choose one?

Frankly, the billboards and tv commercials paid for by personal injury lawyers advertising for your car crash case are overwhelming. There are so many personal injury lawyers advertising for your case, so how do you choose? Choosing the right one for you can be extremely stressful, especially during the difficult time in which your sole focus should be on getting better for you and your family.

Here are some tips on choosing the right attorney.

1. Ask around. You may have a family member who knows a good attorney or has personal experience with the attorney and their staff. They can fill you in on their experiences, good or bad, and guide you to making the right choice for an injury attorney.

2. Do your own research. It can be a recipe for disaster to choose an attorney based on a tv commercial or randomly choosing one out of the phonebook. That is why it is absolutely necessary to do a little research on the internet. Usually a good and successful attorney will have a website and profile on the internet that will give you information about the types of cases the attorney has experience handling.

3. Choose a few and call their office. It is important to see how the attorney or their office responds to your call. Are they professional and friendly? Do they sound too busy? If so, they may not have the time to give your case the personal attention it needs for a successful resolution. Also make sure to ask a few questions. Will they give you a free consultation? Will you get an initial meeting with the lawyer who will represent you? Are they taking new cases? Can they accommodate your schedule and expectations?

4. Take a few in person meetings. If you have the time, take a morning or afternoon to have a couple meetings with the lawyers or law firms who you feel good about. A person to person meeting with the attorney will give you a strong impression about the quality of the attorney. Remember to trust your gut. Ask lots of questions. Ask about how the lawyer gets paid, what costs he/she expects in your type of case, the estimated time it will take to resolve your case, how many cases the attorney handling your case is currently handling. Make a determination, through your interactions and the time given for your meeting, if you believe the attorney will give you his or her time – no matter how big or small your case.

5. Get all the important documents together (police report, insurance letters, records, photos, etc.), set a plan for your medical treatment and relevant deadlines, then make your choice. It’s okay if you take a day or two to make your choice. It is always better to make a choice in the right personal injury attorney after you have had some time to reflect. The attorney should be comfortable and confident in allowing you the time to make your decision.

Once you have made a choice, let all the attorneys that you took a consultation meeting with politely know of your decision. If you have gone through these steps, you should feel confident that you have chosen the right lawyer or law firm to represent you in your personal injury case. Not all lawyers are the same and it is important that you are comfortable with the attorney from the beginning of the case.

Remember, just because the attorney advertises on tv or a billboard does not mean that they are good or bad, just that they have chosen to spend money on advertisements. It is important that you do a little work and a little research before you choose a personal injury attorney. This will ensure that you choose an attorney that you feel confident will guide your case to a successful resolution.