Car Accident Lawyers
Everything you need to know before hiring an Accident Attorney
If you were in a car accident and you want to recover damages for the damage to your car or injuries you have sustained you know that any other people involved or any insurance companies covering you or the others involved are going to try and compensate you the lowest amount they can.
Whether the accident you are involved in is a minor fender bendor or a serious, multi-car crash involving serious injury or even death you will want help and guidance in dealing with the sometimes-multiple insurance companies that do not have your interests in mind. While some minor car accidents can may be relatively easily worked out with the insurance companies, more serious accidents will almost always require qualified legal assistant from an experienced car accident attorney. In most states, drivers can, and should, hire professional car accident attorneys in order to recover on their damages and be compensated for their injuries, lost wages, and other claims.
A qualified car accident lawyer or attorney will have at least several years of experience specifically negating with insurance companies and handling accident cases. An experienced car accident lawyer will help you get the settlement you are entitled to. Usually the process starts by you the car accident attorney reviewing your claim. This is in most cases at no cost to you. Most car accident lawyers are only be paid if they obtain a settlement with the insurance case or they win your case.
What is an accident attorney and what do they do??
An attorney who specializes in car accident cases will evaluate the accident, review your claim, deal with and communicate with the insurance company, review any applicable police reports, and help you get the medical care you need. Accident attorneys will work with you to ensure you avoid common mistakes made by complaints that can reduce or limit how much an insurance company will pay out on a claim. Ultimately, a good attorney that specializes in car accidents will help you recover the highest payout from the insurance company for your injuries.
When Should you to Hire an Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been a car accident you should speak with an accident attorney as soon as possible. If you are injured in an accident, if you are damaged by a defective car product, if your car is damaged, or if your insurance company is not working with you to reach a fair settlement, it’s time to contact an experience automobile accident attorney.
Hiring an experienced car or automobile accident attorney will most likely increase your odds of receiving everything you may be entitled to and a larger settlement amount. However, it is important to remember that accident attorneys will take a part of the settlement payout. Therefore, if the accident is very minor and you are not injured it may be possible for you to negotiate with the insurance company yourself.
So, now you may be asking how will you know if you need to retain a lawyer to handle your car accident case? Generally, in the following situation it is prudent to at least consult with an accident attorney, so you can know your options:
- Issued a Ticket– If you or another driver has to go to court it is definitely a good idea to speak to an attorney who can explain the legal process, the potential consequences of the court case, and review the evidence. If you have to appear in court a lawyer will be able to figure out the best way to present your case or claim.
- Contested Claim– If the other driver or drivers denied liability for the accident you might have to present evidence that they were at fault for the accident and that you were not at fault. People unfamiliar with the law often admit they were liable without even knowing it. It’s important to speak to a lawyer so you can protect yourself and your potential claim.
- Injuries– If you or another driver or passenger was seriously injured in the accident it is very important to speak with a lawyer. Back injuries and broken bones can cause permanent injuries. If you are permanently injured, you could incur lost wages and higher medical bills for the rest of your life.
- Limited Time – Getting through on the phone to an insurance agent, getting them to call you back, and negotiating with hospitals and doctors can take hours on the phone. If you do not have the time to devote hours at a time to making phone calls and sitting on hold should consider making an appointment with a qualified car accident attorney.
- Medical Bills– If you have high medical bills you will want to at least consult with an experienced accident attorney. They may be able to negotiate with your providers to lower the amount that’s owed.
- Offered a Settlement– If your insurance company contacts you and makes an offer you should consult an attorney. A qualified car accident attorney will be able to help you figure out if the offer will cover your long-term costs and expenses associated with your accident.
What does a Good Car Accident Attorney Charge?
This is the good news! Generally, car accident attorneys work for what’s called a contingency fee. That means the attorney will not receive any compensation unless you do. The attorney is paid a percentage of the settlement or award if they win your case. They will also deduct any costs spent during the case.
Most states have laws that limit the maximum percentage an accident attorney can charge. The standard rate is usually in the range of I 20% to 40% percent of the total claim. Sometimes whether he case settles before trial or if must be appealed can affect the rate.
If you do choose to retain an attorney, you should carefully review the fee agreement before signing and carefully review any charges when your claim closes out.
Where to Find a Qualified Car Accident Attorney
Finding an experienced and qualified car accident attorney with the skills to handle your claim can be found by talking to trusted friends and relatives. Additionally, there are many websites devoted to reviewing attorneys and are often a great online resource that you can use to find the right car accident attorney that suites your needs.
You should try and find 3 or 4 accident attorneys in your area. You can then call them and usually set up a free consultation. Before your consultation you should gather all the relevant documents, information, and details about your car accident. Make sure and bring copies of your insurance policy, the accident report, any traffic tickets that were issued, any information you have on any of the other parties that were involved, and any medical records that you may have.
It’s also a good idea to jot down any questions you want to ask the lawyer during the consultation, such as:
- What does the lawyer charge and what other fees and costs you are responsible for? Whether you win or lose your claim you do not want to be surprised by unexpected legal bills.
- Who you will be dealing with? Will you have direct access to the lawyer or will you be assigned a paralegal or legal assistant?
- How long can the entire process take? Many claimants that plan to handle their own claims underestimate how long a claim can take to be resolved. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate these conditions and can help you decide if an early settlement is in your best interests,
- Do I have to file my claim or lawsuit right away? Every state has what is called a “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations determines how long you must file your claim and lawsuit. Missing a filing deadline or statute of limitations can really diminish the value of your claim and in some cases can even waive your ability to bring any claim.
- Does the attorney I’m thinking of hiring have the experience necessary to properly handle my claim?
- What damages does my claim include? Can I be compensated for time off work and money paid for doctors, prescriptions, and even over-the-counter medical products? Can I be compensated for my pain and suffering and what about my loved one’s time and pain and suffering? A qualified attorney will be able to evaluate your case and advise you on what types of damages you can seek to recover.
- Does my accident or situation even equate to a car accident claim or case? An experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on what type of claim you have or even if you have a claim at all. In order to recover on a car accident, claim you must establish with evidence that you suffered damages as a result of someone’s negligence
- Should I accept my insurance company’s settlement offer? Depending on your claim, the facts of the case, and your situation will all effect whether taking a settlement is in your best interests. A qualified car accident attorney will help you evaluate your particular situation and help you reach a decision on whether settlement is the best option for you.
- Will by attorney keep me informed and updated? How often should I expect to talk to him or her? A good attorney will keep you updated and informed about your claim and the process. Never forget, you hired them, and you should not be afraid to express your concerns and let them know you expect to be informed regularly about your claim or case.
It is very important that you do some research before hiring a car accident lawyer. Make sure they are qualified, experienced and a good match for you. Unfortunately, too many victims hire the wrong attorney and they never get the results and compensation they should.
Asking the right questions of an attorney you are considering can gulp you make the decision that is right for you. Finding the best attorney for you is the first step to making sure your claim is handled professionally and in the best manner for you. Don’t settle for just any attorney, find the attorney that is right for you.