In the early 1990s, a truck accident attorney was working in his hometown when his truck got struck by another truck.
He and his client, a young couple from Florida, were thrown from the vehicle.
“We were lucky, but they were hit,” the attorney said.
That experience taught him a lesson: “The first thing you have to do is call your insurance agent,” he said.
“You need to be prepared to go to a law firm.”
That’s exactly what he did, and he later had the accident attorney’s experience in his own practice.
But now, after he retired from practice in 2013, he has found himself having to make decisions on behalf of clients with little legal experience.
“There are a lot of times that I would not call my insurance agent, because I think they’re more of a tool than a lawyer,” he explained.
“I’ve been a lawyer for a long time and I’ve had a lot to deal with.
And I’ve been there a long while, and I’m very comfortable doing what I do.”
He said he tries to find an attorney who is “very knowledgeable and who’s experienced, but not as bad of an attorney as I am.”
One of those attorneys is William McBride, who is based in Philadelphia and works out of his law office in the city’s South Philadelphia neighborhood.
McBride has experience representing a variety of clients including people who’ve lost their lives or seriously injured themselves in accidents.
He has helped clients who have been involved in other car crashes, including a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia who died in a 2010 crash that injured a pedestrian.
“They need someone who knows what they’re dealing with, who understands their situation and they need somebody who understands how to handle that,” McBride said.
In his experience, McBride says the best defense is to be able to communicate clearly with an insurance company and provide information that makes the company feel like they’re on your side.
“The more I can talk to them, the better,” he added.
“It’s not about who’s the better lawyer, it’s who’s willing to tell me what the problem is.”
For McBride and his clients, the key is understanding what the insurance company wants and how they can get that information.
“A lot of the time, the insurance companies are very vague in what they want and what they need,” McBushes insurance attorney said, adding that a good case will have a solid insurance claim and a solid history of accidents.
“If you don’t have a good insurance history, then you’re probably not going to be a good lawyer.”
It’s important to remember that a collision claim can be filed by the company or by someone else, so McBride recommends getting a claim from the company first.
McBushe says his firm will generally only work with a company with a solid claim history.
“What I tell my clients is, if you’re having a bad accident, get it out of the system,” he stressed.
“Just be patient, get some sort of settlement.”
And McBusch suggests that you don`t just get the claim from a local police department.
“That’s not going, so you need to do it from the local police,” he emphasized.
“And the local law enforcement is the best, because they can be on your case for a while.”
He added that a local insurance company will generally want to work with the injured party, so he suggests hiring a local lawyer.
In fact, McBusches law office has offices in New York, California, and Florida.
It’s also a good idea to look into the state of Florida for the most affordable insurance rates in your area, McBuffhes insurance lawyer suggested.
“In Florida, if it`s a serious injury, you`re looking at anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 a claim, depending on the severity of the injury,” he continued.
“So I`ve been working with people that have suffered serious injuries, and we`ve worked out a contract that was a reasonable amount.
So I`m sure if you get the right insurance policy, you could save a lot more money in the end.”
Another benefit to having a lawyer is that McBusches can provide a more accurate representation.
“Your lawyer is going to provide you with more information,” he noted.
“He`s going to give you the best information to make your case, and you`ll have a much better chance of winning.”
A lot of people want to know how much they’ll be able pay in damages, and McBuffhe said he’ll help you figure that out on your own.
“Usually you`d be looking at $150,000 or $200,000 for a serious accident,” he told Fortune.
“Now you`ve got a lot less, and if you want more, you can get it much cheaper.”