Few events generate as much confusion, tension, and anxiety as a car accident. So much happens in the moments and days after the collision, and in the midst of it all, you must make important decisions that will affect you for years to come.
What you do at the scene of the accident and in the following days can significantly affect your ability to receive compensation for your losses.
The good news is that if your car accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you do not have to bear the burden of these costs. A car accident lawyer can explain your legal rights as well as your recovery options. Let’s see how and when to hire a car accident lawyer for your personal injury.
After a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can be extremely helpful in navigating the often hectic and complex world of insurance claims and damage settlement. Here’s what you should know:
- Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if your claim is successful.
- The lawyer has deep legal knowledge, the ability to write the best case and will comfort you in the trenches of negotiations when it comes time to fight for the best result.
- Filing a car accident claim on your own can be risky, unless your injuries are modest and the opposing party pleads not at fault.
What will my car accident lawyer do?
While the circumstances and complexity of your car accident case may vary, in general a lawyer can:
- Talk to the other driver’s insurance company
- Get the necessary evidence of the fault of the accident
- Understand your medical records and expenses.
- Contact your health care providers for missing records.
- Work with your doctors to make sure they provide you with the medical information you need to support your claim for damages.
- Organize and present facts to establish liability and damages
- Negotiate with your claim’s bond holders (for example, health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially reduce the amount of these bonds, and
- Negotiate an acceptable deal with an insurance agent or defense attorney.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these questions.
No. 1. Communication with the other driver’s insurer
In each personal injury case, your attorney will initiate contact with the opposing party’s (or parties’) insurance agent. Because the adjuster controls the financial flow, it is vital for the plaintiff’s attorney to have open lines of communication and a positive working relationship with the adjuster.
No. 2. Obtaining the necessary evidence of responsibility
A qualified attorney can assist you in obtaining all the evidence you need to prove liability in a traffic accident lawsuit. While you may have taken pictures of the scene of the car accident, your attorney will most likely be back to see what it looks like. While a picture is worth a thousand words, personal observation of the situation is worth a thousand photos.
The lawyer will make sure you get all the accident or police reports on the case, and he or she will often talk to police investigators and witnesses. When it comes to obtaining evidence of liability, a good lawyer will leave no stone unturned. Learn more about proving fault in an accident.
#3 Obtaining the necessary evidence of damage
This is where a good lawyer comes in handy, especially if you have been seriously injured in a car accident.
It is important to obtain any documentation related to your injury, but obtaining such records and bills from health care providers can be difficult. Although the records technically belong to you and you have a legal right to them, sending medical records to patients and lawyers is not the health care provider’s top priority.
Smaller doctors’ offices may not have enough staff or time to respond to requests for medical records in a timely manner. To respond to requests for medical records, large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed. If you don’t follow their procedures, they simply won’t respond to your request.
Finally, it is possible that the physician did not use “key words” in his notes on etiology, prognosis, and disability. To effectively prosecute any form of personal injury claim, you must be able to demonstrate with medical evidence:
- The nature of your injury, disability or physical limitation, and
- that it was the result of the defendant’s negligence
Physicians often do not include information about the cause and extent of an injury or disability in their medical records. If this happens in your case, your attorney will contact the doctor and request a special letter in which the doctor states that the car accident resulted in your injury or disability and that you will be hampered or disabled by the accident for a set amount. time.
No. 4. Working with collateral holders
A lien will be placed on your claim if you received benefits from health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurance. In a lien, the holder of the lien receives payment before you under any agreement or judgment you receive. A qualified lawyer will contact the bail holder to try and persuade him to reduce his bail. This is critical work. Every dollar less than the bail owner takes is one dollar more in your pocket.
#5 Negotiating with Insurance Companies/Defendants
Negotiation is a special talent (some might even call it an art). A personal injury lawyer will always be significantly better than a layperson in settling a car accident case. A qualified lawyer knows how much a case costs and how to handle the case and negotiate in order to achieve the best result for the client.
When can I file a car accident claim on my own?
You can certainly file a car accident claim alone if you are not seriously injured if you are comfortable gathering relevant evidence and documents, and (most importantly) if you are willing to participate in the settlement negotiation process. However, there is no alternative to the help of a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.
Do I need to hire a lawyer after an accident?
Yes, especially after a car accident that resulted in injuries. Examples of such injuries are broken bones, severe deformity, limited use of a body part or organ, limited use of a bodily function or system, or injury resulting in disability. Such injuries from car accidents are compensable and can be corrected with the help of an injury lawyer. An expert lawyer will go through an often convoluted claims process to ensure that the compensation you receive is proportionate to the damage you have suffered.
Which lawyer deals with car accidents?
Any licensed attorney in your state can file a traffic accident report. A personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, specializes in cases involving injuries resulting from a car accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands the intricacies involved in getting the best possible compensation for your injuries. These attorneys are naturally familiar with the medical conditions associated with your claim due to their experience and they will serve you best by providing you with the assistance you need to secure maximum compensation for your injuries. In addition, these lawyers understand what treatment is needed to fully restore your health.
Check to see if a car accident law firm is a settlement factory.
It is vital to understand that not all law firms representing accident victims are the same. In truth, many of the largest advertising firms are little more than money laundering machines. The Clearinghouse is a firm that relies heavily on advertising to attract new customers, and they rarely go to court even if the script calls for it. Since these so-called “settlement factories” do not rely on current or former clients to bring their friends and relatives to them, they can afford to handle their cases like a mill.
In fact, settlement factories often leave money on the table at the time of settlement because they are more interested in resolving a large number of personal injury claims every month to cover their costly advertising budget. Remember that even the average trial lawyer is better than the settlement factory, since the insurance company must spend money to defend a lawsuit or a case that is far advanced in the lawsuit. The goal of any insurance company is to save money, so forcing them into additional expenses immediately attracts their attention.
Considerations When Choosing the Best Car Accident Law Firm
No. 1. Is the law firm known to have taken cases to court?
Insurance companies are large commercial corporations whose main interests are their shareholders, not policyholders. A law firm or individual attorney that rarely hears cases before juries and does not engage in aggressive litigation of their cases is essentially claiming that the applicable insurance company is generally fair. We all know that this is rare. As a result, it is very important that you hire a law firm that is well known for litigation. Insurance is just a method of risk management. A car accident law practice that doesn’t handle cases poses little danger to an insurance company. In this situation, the law firm often leaves money on the table.
#2. Does the legal practice have experience handling and adjudicating catastrophic injury claims involving only soft tissue injuries?
It’s not a sin to be a firm or a lawyer dealing exclusively with soft tissue cases. Often these are the most difficult circumstances. However, many law firms lack the experience of handling catastrophic injury claims such as traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs and amputations, burns and other life-changing tragedies. The issue is whether a car accident attorney or firm is operating outside of their comfort zone, whether they have the necessary financial resources to handle such a large case, and whether they have previous experience to understand if they are really maximizing compensation for their client. . who are likely to require lifelong care.
What is the average car accident setting?
Victims of car accidents receive different settlement offers depending on the severity of the damage, past and future medical expenses, eyewitness testimony, alleged culpability, the age of the victim, the effects of the injury on your daily life, and so on. Insurance companies use an algorithm to calculate the recommended cost of an insured event and the amount of payment. Based on this figure, the insurance company will make an offer to your lawyer, either through an appraiser or an attorney, to settle your case.
Should I hire a lawyer if I was in a car accident through no fault of my own?
Absolutely. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer after a car accident resulting in injuries is critical to getting the best possible compensation for your unexpected injuries. When a third party is at fault for your accident, you should seek reimbursement from the third party’s insurance company (at fault insurer).
Without the help of a car accident attorney, a third party insurer may try to settle your claim by giving you less money than the actual value of your case. Hiring an expert personal injury lawyer gives legitimacy to your claim and forces the third party insurer to properly analyze your claim and properly reimburse you for damages.
How long does it take to file an accident claim?
Each traffic accident claim is in fact unique and hence the length depends on a variety of circumstances. Among these elements are the insurance company(s), insurance agent(s) involved, past and future medical care, witnesses involved, and guilt determined or pleaded guilty. Depending on the circumstances mentioned above, your case may take anywhere from a few months to one or two years to process.
How much does a car accident lawyer cost?
Personal injury lawyers often work on a “contingency fee basis,” which means you won’t pay your lawyer until you’ve been compensated for your losses. The state bar in the state in which you are filing a personal injury claim usually sets rules for contingency agreements. Such contingency payment agreements are carefully discussed with your prospective personal injury attorney before you commit to representing the attorney.
How can I find out if a car accident lawyer is legit?
While you can never find anything online that will tell you whether a car accident lawyer is “good” or “legitimate”, you can make some educated guesses by looking at their licensing information. Auto accident lawyers are licensed by a government agency in the state in which they practice. This is the person who issues the lawyer’s license. In most states, the “state bar” or ” state bar” oversees the licensing process. You can check their 44 state and D.C. online database to quickly determine if a lawyer is licensed, active, has any past infractions, and is in good standing.
How long do you have after a car accident to hire a lawyer?
Time is of the essence when you are looking to hire a car accident lawyer because it is critical to maximizing the value of your case. Much of your case depends on the quality and timing of your assistance, and your ability to identify witnesses to the accident. By hiring your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident, you give your lawyer the best chance of getting the best possible compensation for your personal injury claim.
What should I do if I’m in a minor car accident?
It is imperative that you document everything related to the car accident while the details are still fresh in your mind. Also, even if you don’t feel or see any immediate injury, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Because adrenaline levels spike after an accident, you may not feel pain until the thrill subsides. The doctor will be able to fully analyze any injuries and provide a professional opinion, which may be needed if you intend to sue the guilty party. Finally, once you are physically and emotionally capable, file a claim with your insurer as soon as you are physically and emotionally capable, as this is a contractual requirement for compensation under your policy.
How can I increase the amount of compensation for damage in an accident?
Finding witnesses, documenting your injuries in detail, maintaining all documentation (medical records, insurance information, police reports, witness information, etc.) and documenting the restrictions your condition places on your daily life will help you streamline your personal injury claim . It is also very important that you stick to your healthcare provider’s treatment plan and never miss your scheduled appointments, as this reduces the credibility of your claim for the reviewer.
What are the benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer?
The average American road has over 400,000 collisions every year. According to the government, these accidents killed more than 1,000 people and injured more than a quarter of a million in one year. Drivers and passengers in some of these accidents were lucky enough to “leave” unharmed. On the other hand, many accident victims did not get off so easily. Their injuries caused them great physical, mental and financial suffering.
There are no typical or routine car accidents.
Car accidents happen so often in Florida (averaging over 1,000 per day) that it’s tempting to brush them off as ordinary and unimportant. On the other hand, seasoned car accident lawyers understand that there is no such thing as a “normal” car accident. Each one tells a different story with its own set of causes and results.
We mention this because we believe it is critical for victims of car accidents to recognize and trust that they have a right to personalized care. All too often, almost everyone involved in a car accident—the police and first responders at the scene, EMTs, and insurance representatives—treat the accident as “another accident” that needs to be analyzed and moved on. However, for many accident victims in Florida, especially those who were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a collision, what happened was something of a routine or forgotten. Their lives are dominated by the accident and its aftermath.
As a result, they need someone to listen to them, understand how traumatic the accident is for them, and fight on their behalf to bring those responsible to justice. In short, they require the services of an experienced and dedicated car accident lawyer.
What Does an Experienced Accident Attorney Do?
You may be thinking, “Okay, I understand that I need to hire a lawyer immediately… But what will I get from hiring a lawyer?” Remember when we said that no accident is a “routine”? Likewise, how a lawyer serves the interests of a client will differ from case to case. Generally, a car accident victim’s lawyer will strive to ensure that the victim receives the maximum possible compensation for damages caused by the accident. This often includes any or all of the steps listed below.
Extensive research on how, who and how much.
Since every car accident is unique, accident victim advocates usually start by looking at three important questions:
- What caused the accident? That is, what set of circumstances, apparent or not, led to the accident resulting in injury to the client?
- Who is legally responsible for an accident? In other words, what do the facts about how the accident happened say about who had a legal obligation not to act in a way that would harm others, violated that obligation, and caused the accident?
- What impact did the client’s trauma have on his or her life? How much money must the victim receive in order to pay for all the harm done?
The answers to these questions serve as a roadmap for the attorney and the injured client in deciding which compensation plan the client is entitled to. Armed with this information, for example, a lawyer and a client can decide who to demand payment from and how much money they can realistically expect from each. This information can also help them determine whether to enter into immediate negotiations, go to court, or wait for more information before making a choice.
Negotiations from a position of strength
Negotiating with the parties legally responsible for the accident (which often includes the parties’ insurance companies) is one way to secure the liability and compensation that is almost always available to car accident victims and their lawyers. Car accident lawyers usually consider how to approach these negotiations in order to give their clients the best chance of getting the highest amount of money possible. The lawyer’s assessment of when the client’s case reaches its peak is perhaps the most important aspect in this regard, because this is usually the most favorable time to demand the maximum payment from the “other party”.
Insurance companies use deception methods
Of course, auto-lawyers and their clients can’t always dictate the terms of a negotiation. Insurance firms, for example, have a set of methods they often use to lower the amount of money they have to spend to avoid being charged in an accident. One such approach is for insurance companies to try to deal directly with traffic accident victims before they have a chance to consult with a car accident lawyer. The insurance companies made a calculated bet in this case. They try to catch accident victims at a vulnerable time and convince them to accept a “low” settlement offer.
Such behind-the-scenes tactics highlight why we believe it is critical that road traffic victims engage experienced auto accident lawyers as soon as possible. When all you have to say to overly aggressive insurance agents is “talk to my lawyer,” dealing with them becomes a lot easier. Letting a car accident lawyer negotiate with the insurance company balances the rules of the game and gives you the opportunity to decide if your case is strong enough to take advantage of.
Judicial legal expertise
Another option, which is almost always available to car accident victims and their lawyers, is to file a lawsuit against the parties who are legally responsible for causing the accident. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident, the lawyer and client may decide to file a lawsuit immediately, to give the negotiations a chance to play out before a lawsuit is filed, or to gather more evidence before deciding how to proceed.
Whatever decision is made, the most important factor in bringing a lawsuit is often the skill, experience, and reputation of the car accident lawyer that the accident victim hires to prepare the case. We’ll let you in on a little-known secret in the legal industry: not all car accident lawyers are qualified to take a case to court and win a case. However, and this is very important, a car accident victim cannot hope to receive the full compensation he deserves unless he or she is represented by a legitimate, honest “trial lawyer.”
Some specimens, of course, do not settle. In such cases, it is always advantageous for a car accident victim to have a lawyer who is not bluffing when he says to the other party, “I’ll see you in court.” Frankly, no lawyer can predict how a trial (or negotiation, for that matter) will end. Accident victims, on the other hand, give themselves the best chance of winning when they hire a lawyer who reviews the case from the outset with the goal of winning it before a judge and jury.
Don’t hire a car accident lawyer.
It would be remiss if we didn’t suggest another factor to consider when considering when to hire a lawyer after a car accident: waiting costs money, possibly a lot of money. When a lawyer takes on a case, the evidence is less “fresh” and the investigation into how, who, and how much becomes more complex. Watch the memories disappear. The first responders moved on. Cleaned up after an accident. In summary, over time, the upper limit on the amount of money an accident victim can hope to receive is gradually reduced.
In addition, there is a “statute of limitations”, which is a law that sets the time during which an accident victim can file a lawsuit in the Florida courts. If you miss this date, you will lose all statutory rights to a refund. Most auto accident cases in Florida must be filed no later than four years after the accident, and no later than two years if the victim died in the crash. In other words, if you wait too long after a car accident to hire a qualified car accident lawyer, your claim will be futile.
A car accident lawyer can make sure you don’t miss deadlines and is well aware of how time can be of the essence in a car accident claim. Getting your case into the hands of an accident lawyer as soon as possible can also give your legal team more time to get ahead of the game.
Don’t put off asking for help.
After a car accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. The sooner you take action, the better it will be for you and your business. A knowledgeable car accident injury attorney can help you understand your choice.
Have you been injured in a car accident? You can only have one apple flavor. Don’t hire a car accident lawyer or a firm based solely on TV commercials. Can you contact a car accident lawyer from an advertisement? You can always contact an experienced car accident lawyer.
Hire a car accident lawyer or a firm with a good reputation for taking cases to court.
Frequently Asked Questions of an Accident Lawyer
Should You Call a Car Accident Attorney?
If you have been in a car accident and sustained injuries as a result of the accident, you should seek legal help. Your lawyer can advise you on the best course of action for your circumstances and what you are entitled to.
What is the average settlement at a car accident?
The average settlement for a minor traffic injury claim in NSW is likely to be much less than the $43,174 average settlement across all NSW claims.
What is the average attorney’s fee?
Costs for new attorneys start at $100 an hour, but the usual fees for an expert lawyer handling a complex case can be in excess of $225 an hour or more.
How much do lawyers charge from a settlement?
Most contingency agreements give the lawyer a percentage of 33 to 40%, but you can always try to negotiate a lower percentage or an alternative agreement. In most cases, a personal injury attorney takes 33% (or one third) of any settlement or award.