Severe injuries are often the result of vehicle accidents and if the victim is not knowledgeable about his or her rights, s/he may not get the maximum amount of compensation that s/he’s entitled to. That is why the help of an auto accident attorney at the time of the injury is important.

However, finding one who’s experienced and knowledgeable in butting heads with insurance companies who underpay their insured members may take more than finger walking through the Yellow Pages.

Here’s the top three ways on how to find the right automobile accident attorney for you:

Ask Knowledgeable People for Referrals

By “knowledgeable people” we mean former happy clients, other lawyers and Bar Associations. Happy former clients can refer you to the personal injury lawyer who handled their case—don’t forget to ask them about their experience with that lawyer. Bar Associations will also have a listing of members in your state or city. Or if you know a lawyer who knows of a highly skilled automobile accident lawyer, then you can always ask for a recommendation from them.

Try to Get a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

Personal injury lawyers usually do not charge any fees or costs to evaluate your potential of an injury claim (some still do, though). During this interview with the lawyer, they’ll review the viability of your claim, the probable strategies that they’ll use to defend your case, and the possible amount of compensation that you’re entitled to. Use this time as well to probe the attorney’s knowledge and experience in obtaining verdicts and settlements in favor of injured victims. They should be able to advise you about relevant laws and regulations governing your case and the chances of a verdict that’s favorable for you.

Talk About Fees and Costs

During the free consultation, you should be able to talk with your potential attorney about costs and expenses. Attorney ethics dictate that lawyers shouldn’t charge their clients with unreasonable fees. The reality though is that what’s reasonable is a matter of opinion so one lawyer might charge differently from another lawyer regarding a particular case. Don’t walk away from the discussion without ascertaining the fee structure involved in getting their legal services.

Although finding a reputable, ethical and trustworthy automobile accident attorney is a difficult process, it’s not impossible. One thing to remember though: if the lawyer doesn’t have the time to handle your case, or prevaricates when asked blunt questions, then that’s a red flag to look elsewhere for legal help. Find someone who’ll give your case the attention it needs, charges realistic costs, and has sound judgment so that you won’t hurt your chances to a settlement.