Table of Contents Hide
- What Will My Car Accident Attorney Do?
- When Can I Handle My Own Car Accident Claim?
- Is It Necessary to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
- What Kind of Attorney Handles Car Accident?
- Check to see if the car accident law firm is a settlement mill.
- Considerations When Choosing the Best Car Accident Law Firm
- What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement?
- Should I Hire An Attorney If I Was In A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
- How Long Does It Take to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
- How Much Does A Car Accident Attorney Charge?
- How Can I Tell If a Car Accident Attorney Is Legitimate?
- How Long Do You Have After A Car Accident To Hire an Attorney?
- What Should I Do If I’m in a Minor Car Accident?
- How Can I Increase the Amount of My Car Accident Settlement?
- What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?
- What do an Experienced Car Accident Injury Attorney Do?
- It Costs not to Hire a Car Accident Attorney.
- What if I can’t afford a car accident attorney?
- What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
- How can I protect my rights after a car accident?
- What if the other driver was underinsured?
- What if I was hit by a commercial vehicle?
- What if I was a pedestrian in a car accident?
- What if I was injured in a car accident while on the job?
- Don’t Put Off Seeking Help.
- Car Accident Attorney FAQ’s
- Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
- What is the average settlement for a car accident?
- What is the average fee for an attorney?
- How much do attorneys take from settlement?
Few experiences produce the mix of bewilderment, tension, and anxiety that a car accident does. So much happens in the moments and days following a collision, and in the midst of it all, you must make critical decisions that will affect you for years to come.
What you do at the scene of the accident and in the days after can have a significant impact on your potential to receive compensation for your losses.
The good news is that if your car accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you should not have to shoulder the weight of these costs. A car accident attorney can clarify your legal rights as well as your choices for recouping your damages. Let’s how and when to hire a car accident attorney for your personal injury.
After a car accident, a skilled injury attorney can be tremendously useful in navigating the often hectic and complicated world of insurance claims and damage settlements. 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.
- An attorney delivers in-depth legal knowledge, the ability to put together your best case, and comfort in the negotiation trenches when it’s time to battle for your best result.
- Handling a car accident lawsuit on your own might be risky, unless your injuries are modest and the opposing party admits guilt.
What Will My Car Accident Attorney Do?
While the circumstances and intricacy of your car accident case will vary, in general, an attorney can:
- Speak with the other driver’s insurance company
- Obtain the necessary evidence on the accident’s fault
- Sort through your medical records and expenses.
- Contact your health-care providers to obtain any missing records.
- Work with your doctors to ensure that they supply you with the medical information you require in order to substantiate damages in your claim.
- Organize and present facts to establish responsibility and damages
- Negotiate with lien holders on your claim (for example, health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially lower the amount of those liens, and
- Negotiate an acceptable deal with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney
Let’s take a closer look at a few of these issues.
#1. Communicating with the Insurer of the Other Driver
In every personal injury case, your attorney will initiate contact with the insurance adjuster for the opposing party (or parties) involved. Because the adjuster controls the purse strings, it is vital for a plaintiff’s lawyer to have open lines of communication and a positive working relationship with the adjuster.
#2. Obtaining the Required Liability Evidence
A qualified attorney can assist you in obtaining all of the evidence required to prove liability in a car accident lawsuit. Although you may have taken images of the car accident scene, your attorney will most likely return to see what it looks like. While a picture is worth a thousand words, witnessing the situation in person is worth a thousand photographs.
The lawyer will make certain that you get all accident or police reports in the case, and he or she will frequently speak with the investigating police officers and witnesses. When it comes to acquiring evidence of responsibility, a good lawyer will leave no stone unturned. Find out more about proving fault in a car accident.
#3. Obtaining the Damages Evidence Required
This is where a good lawyer comes in handy, especially if you’ve suffered serious car accident injuries.
It is vital to get any documentation relating to your injury, but getting such records and bills from health care providers can be difficult. Although the records are technically yours and you have a legal right to them, sending medical records to patients and lawyers is not a health care provider’s top priority.
Small doctor’s offices may lack the staffing or time to respond to medical record requests in a timely manner. In order to respond to medical record requests, large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed. If you do not follow their procedures, they will simply not respond to your request.
Finally, it is possible that the doctor did not use the “keywords” in his or her notes on etiology, prognosis, and handicap. To effectively prosecute any form of personal injury claim, you must be able to demonstrate, by medical proof:
- The nature of your injury, disability, or physical limitation, and
- that it was the result of the defendant’s carelessness
Doctors frequently fail to include information on the cause and degree of the injury or disability in their medical records. If this occurs in your case, your attorney will contact the doctor and request a special letter in which the doctor states that the car accident caused your injury or disability and that you will be impeded or crippled as a result of the accident for a set amount of time.
#4. Dealing with Lien Holders
A lien will be placed on your claim if you received benefits from health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurance. With a lien, the lienholder receives payment before you do, from any settlement or judgment you obtain. A qualified lawyer will engage with the lien holder to try to persuade them to lessen its lien. This is critical work. Every dollar less the lien holder takes is one dollar more in your pocket.
#5. Negotiating With Insurance Companies/Defendants
Negotiation is a highly special talent (some might even call it an art). A personal injury attorney is always going to be significantly better than a layperson at settling a car accident case. A skilled lawyer knows how much the case is worth and how to work the case and negotiate in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.
When Can I Handle My Own Car Accident Claim?
You can undoubtedly manage your car accident claim alone if you weren’t seriously injured if you’re comfortable gathering relevant evidence and papers, and (most significantly) if you’re ready and willing to engage in the settlement negotiation process. However, there is no alternative for the assistance of a knowledgeable car accident attorney.
Is It Necessary to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Yes, especially after a car accident that resulted in injury. Fractured bone(s), major disfigurement, limited use of a body part or organ, limited use of a body function or system, or injuries resulting in disability are examples of such injuries. Such car accident injuries are compensable and one can improve them with the assistance of a personal injury attorney. An expert attorney will handle an often-confusing claims process to ensure that the compensation you get is proportionate to the damage you have sustained.
What Kind of Attorney Handles Car Accident?
A car accident claim can be handled by any licensed attorney in your state. A personal injury attorney, on the other hand, specializes in cases involving injuries sustained in a car accident. An experienced personal injury attorney understands the subtleties involved in securing the maximum compensation for your injuries. These attorneys are naturally familiar with the medical condition(s) involved with your claim as a result of their experience, and they are best served in giving you the assistance necessary to secure the maximum recompense for your injuries. Furthermore, these attorneys understand the treatment required to return you to full health.
Check to see if the car accident law firm is a settlement mill.
It is crucial to realize that not all law companies that represent victims of accidents are the same. In truth, many of the largest advertising firms are nothing more than money-laundering machines. A settlement mill is a firm that relies extensively on advertising to obtain new clients, and they take extremely few cases to trial even when the scenario calls for it. Because these so-called settlement mills do not rely on current or former clients to bring their friends and relatives to them, they can afford to treat their cases in a mill manner.
In fact, settlement mills frequently leave money on the table at the moment of settlement because they are more interested in resolving a high volume of personal injury claims each month in order to cover their costly advertising budget. Remember that even an average trial lawyer is better than a settlement mill since the insurance company must spend money defending a trial or a matter that has progressed far in litigation. Any insurance company’s purpose is to conserve money, thus forcing them to incur additional costs draws their attention right away.
Considerations When Choosing the Best Car Accident Law Firm
#1. Is the law firm known for putting matters to trial?
Insurance companies are massive for-profit corporations whose primary interest is their shareholders, not their policyholders. A law firm or individual attorney who rarely tries cases in front of juries and does not aggressively litigate their cases is essentially stating that the applicable insurance company is generally fair. We all know that this is rarely the case. As a result, it is critical that you hire a law company that is well-known for litigating disputes. Insurance is merely a method of risk management. A car accident law practice that does not litigate cases provides little danger to the insurance company. In this situation, a law firm will frequently leave money on the table.
#2. Is the legal practice experienced in handling and litigating catastrophic injury claims involving just soft tissue injuries?
It is not a sin to be a firm or a lawyer who solely handles soft tissue cases. These are frequently the toughest circumstances. Many law firms, however, lack experience managing catastrophic injury claims such as traumatic brain injuries, limb loss, and amputations, burn injuries, and other life-altering tragedies. The concern is whether the 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 prior experience to understand whether they are truly maximizing compensation for their client, who will most likely require lifetime care.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement?
Car accident victims receive varying settlement offers based on the severity of the damage, past and future medical expenses, witness testimony, suspected fault, the injured party’s age, the implications of the injury on your daily life, and so on. An algorithm is used by insurance companies to calculate their suggested case value and payout amount. Based on this figure, the insurance company will make an offer to your attorney, either through an adjuster or an attorney, to settle your case.
Should I Hire An Attorney If I Was In A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
Absolutely. To hire an expert personal injury attorney after a car accident resulting in personal injury is critical to receiving the maximum compensation for your unexpected injuries. When a third party is to blame for your accident, you should seek reimbursement from third-party insurance (the at-fault party’s insurer).
Without the assistance of a car accident attorney, a third-party insurer may seek to settle your claim by providing you a sum of money that is less than the true value of your case. Hiring an expert personal injury attorney gives your claim legitimacy and forces the third-party insurer to properly analyze your claim and appropriately compensate you for your injuries.
How Long Does It Take to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Each auto accident lawsuit is factually unique, and hence the length varies depending on a variety of circumstances. Among these elements are the insurance carrier(s), the insurance adjustor(s) engaged, past and future medical care, witnesses involved, and whether or not culpability is determined or admitted. Depending on the circumstances mentioned above, your case could take anywhere from several months to one or two years.
How Much Does A Car Accident Attorney Charge?
Personal injury attorneys often work on a “contingency fee basis,” which means you will not pay your attorney until you have been compensated for your loss. The State Bar Association in the state in which you file your personal injury claim will normally specify guidelines for contingency fee agreements. Such contingency fee agreements are thoroughly addressed with your prospective personal injury attorney before you commit to the attorney’s representation.
How Can I Tell If a Car Accident Attorney Is Legitimate?
Although you will never be able to find anything online that will tell you whether a car accident lawyer is “good” or “legit,” you may make some educated guesses by looking up their licensing information. Car accident attorneys are licensed by a state agency in the state in which they practice. This is the person who issues the lawyer’s bar license. In most states, the “state bar” or “state bar association” oversees the licensing process. You may check their online database in 44 states and D.C. to quickly determine whether an attorney is licensed, active, have any past infractions, and is in good standing.
How Long Do You Have After A Car Accident To Hire an Attorney?
Time is of importance when you want to hire a car accident injury attorney because doing so is critical to maximizing the value of your case. Much of your case hinges on the quality of the care you received and when it was delivered, as well as your ability to identify witnesses to the accident. By hiring your personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your car accident, you give your attorney the best chance of obtaining the most potential compensation for your personal injury claim.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Minor Car Accident?
It is critical that you document everything relating to the car accident while the details are still fresh in your mind. Furthermore, even if you do not feel or see the immediate injury, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Because your adrenaline levels spike following an accident, you may not feel pain until the thrill has subsided. A doctor will be able to fully analyze any injuries and provide a professional opinion, which may be necessary if you intend to sue the at-fault party. Finally, once you are physically and emotionally capable, make a claim with your insurance provider as soon as you are physically and emotionally capable, as doing so is a contractual requirement for obtaining compensation under your policy.
How Can I Increase the Amount of My Car Accident Settlement?
Finding witnesses, documenting your injuries in great detail, retaining all documentation (medical records, insurance information, police reports, witness information, etc.), and documenting the limitations your condition imposes on your everyday life will help you optimize your personal injury claim. It is also critical that you adhere to your medical provider’s treatment plan and never miss scheduled appointments, as doing so reduces the credibility of your claim to the adjuster analyzing it.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?
On an average American road, over 400,000 collisions occur each year. According to government figures, these accidents resulted in over 3,000 fatalities and over a quarter-million injuries in a single year. Drivers and passengers in some of those crashes were fortunate enough to “walk away” unharmed. Many accident victims, on the other hand, did not get off so simply. Their injuries caused them a great deal of physical, mental, and financial distress.
There are no typical or routine car accidents.
Car accidents occur so frequently in Florida (on average, over 1,000 per day) that it is tempting to dismiss them as commonplace and unimportant. Experienced car accident injury lawyers, on the other hand, understand that there is no such thing as a “normal” car accident. Each one reflects a distinct story with its own set of causes and outcomes.
We mention this because we believe it is critical for car accident victims to realize and believe that they are entitled to individualized care. Too often, almost everyone involved in a car accident—police officers and first responders on the site, emergency room doctors, and insurance representatives—treats the accident as “just another wreck” to analyze and move on from. However, for many Florida accident victims, particularly those who suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a collision, what happened was anything from routine or forgettable. Their lives are dominated by the accident and its consequences.
As a result, they need to have someone listen to them, understand how traumatic the accident has been for them, and fight on their behalf to hold at-fault persons accountable. In short, they require the services of an experienced and dedicated car accident injury attorney.
What do an Experienced Car Accident Injury Attorney Do?
You could be thinking: Okay, so I understand that I need to get an attorney immediately away… But what good will employing an attorney do for me? Remember when we claimed that no accident is “routine”? Similarly, how an attorney serves a client’s interests will differ from accident to accident. In general, a lawyer for a car accident victim would endeavor to guarantee that the victim obtains the highest compensation available for the harm caused by the accident. This frequently includes any or all of the stages listed below.
Extensive research into how, who, and how much.
Because every car accident is different, advocates for accident victims usually begin by looking at three crucial questions:
- What caused the accident? That is, what series of circumstances, whether obvious or not, resulting in a crash that resulted in a client’s injuries?
- Who is legally liable for the accident? In other words, what do the facts of how the accident occurred reveal about who had a legal obligation not to act in a way that would cause injury to others, breached that duty, and caused the crash?
- How much of an impact has the client’s injuries had on his or her life? What is the right amount of money for a victim to receive in order to pay for all of the ways the damage has caused harm?
The answers to these questions serve as a form of road map for the attorney and the wounded client in deciding on a plan for obtaining the compensation the client is entitled to. Armed with this information, for example, the lawyer and client can decide who to pursue payment from and how much money they can realistically expect from each. The information can also assist them to determine whether to engage in immediate negotiation, take legal action, or wait for additional information before making a choice.
Negotiations from a Position of Strength
Negotiating with the parties who have legal liability for the crash (which frequently includes those parties’ insurance providers) is one avenue for obtaining accountability and compensation that is virtually always available to car accident victims and their lawyers. Car accident attorneys typically consider how to approach these talks in order to give their clients the best chance of obtaining the most money feasible. The lawyer’s estimate of when the client’s case has achieved peak strength is perhaps the most important aspect in this regard because that is normally the most favorable time to press the “other side” for the maximum payment.
Insurance Companies Use Deceptive Techniques
Of course, car accident attorneys and their clients are not always able to dictate the terms of talks. Insurance firms, for example, have a bag of techniques that they frequently employ with the aim of lowering the amount of money they must spend to avoid being blamed for an accident. One such approach involves insurance companies attempting to deal directly with accident victims before they have had the opportunity to consult with a car accident lawyer. Insurance firms have made a calculated bet in this case. They attempt to capture accident victims at a vulnerable time and persuade them to accept a “lowball” settlement offer.
Underhanded tactics like this highlight why we believe it is critical for accident victims to engage expert car accident injury lawyers as soon as possible. When all you have to say to aggressive insurance adjusters is “speak to my lawyer,” dealing with them becomes a lot easier. Allowing a car accident lawyer to handle insurance company negotiations levels the playing field and provides you the opportunity to decide whether your case is strong enough to press your advantage.
Trial Advocacy Expertise
Another option that car accident victims and their attorneys almost always have is to file a lawsuit in court 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 an action right away, to give negotiations a chance to play out before suing or to gather more evidence before deciding on a course of action.
Whatever decision is made, the most important factor in taking legal action is often the skill, experience, and reputation of the car accident lawyer the accident victim will hire to prepare the case. We’re going to let you in on a little-known legal industry secret: not all attorneys who advertise for car accident cases have what it takes to make a case to trial and win. However, and this is critical, a wounded car accident victim cannot hope to obtain the full compensation they deserve unless he or she is represented by a legitimate, honest-to-goodness “trial lawyer.”
Some instances, of course, do not settle. In such cases, a car accident victim always benefits from having an attorney who isn’t bluffing when he or she tells the other party, “We’ll see you in court.” To be honest, no lawyer can predict how a trial will turn out (or negotiation, for that matter). Accident victims, on the other hand, give themselves the best chance of winning when they employ legal counsel who, from the start, looks at a case with the goal of winning it in front of a judge and jury.
It Costs not to Hire a Car Accident Attorney.
We would be remiss if we did not offer one more factor to consider when considering when to engage an attorney following a car accident: Waiting costs money, possibly a lot of money. When an attorney takes on a case, the evidence is less “fresh,” and the inquiry into how, who, and how much is more challenging. Observe how memories disappear. The first responders had moved on. Cleaning up after a car accident is done. In summary, the passage of time slowly chips away at the upper limit of the amount of money that an accident victim may hope to recover.
Then there’s the “statute of limitations,” which is legislation that establishes the time by which an accident victim can file a lawsuit in Florida courts. If you miss this date, you will lose all legal rights to reimbursement. Most car accident cases in Florida must be filed no later than four years after the accident, and no later than two years if the victim dies in the disaster. In other words, if you wait too long after a car accident to hire a skilled auto accident attorney, your claim will be worthless.
A car accident attorney can make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and is well aware of how time might be crucial in a car accident claim. Placing your case in the hands of an accident lawyer as soon as feasible might also provide the benefit of giving your legal team more time to keep ahead of the game.
What if I can’t afford a car accident attorney?
Some car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. If you can’t afford a car accident attorney, you may consider finding one who works on a contingency fee basis.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to recover damages from the other driver. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine your legal options and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
How can I protect my rights after a car accident?
To protect your rights after a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately, document the accident, gather witness statements and evidence, and consult with a car accident attorney.
What if the other driver was underinsured?
If the other driver was underinsured, you may be able to recover damages from your own insurance company through your underinsured motorist coverage. An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and pursuing compensation.
What if I was hit by a commercial vehicle?
If you were hit by a commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to recover damages from the company that employs the driver. An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities of pursuing compensation from a commercial entity.
What if I was a pedestrian in a car accident?
If you were a pedestrian in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages from the driver who hit you. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine your legal options and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
What if I was injured in a car accident while on the job?
If you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may also have a right to pursue compensation from the driver who caused the accident. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Don’t Put Off Seeking Help.
After a car accident, do not hesitate to contact an expert car accident attorney. The sooner you act, the better off you and your case will be. A knowledgeable car accident injury attorney can assist you in understanding your choices.
Have you been hurt in a car accident? You can only have one taste of the apple. Don’t hire a car accident attorney or firm based purely on a television commercial. Can you contact the car accident lawyer from the commercial? You can always contact an award-winning car accident attorney.
Hire a car accident lawyer or firm with a good reputation for taking cases to trial.
Car Accident Attorney FAQ’s
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
If you have been in a car accident and have suffered injuries as a result of the accident, you should seek legal counsel. Your lawyer can advise you on the best course of action to take in your circumstance, as well as what you are entitled to.
What is the average settlement for a car accident?
The average settlement for a minor car accident injury claim in NSW is likely to be far less than the $43,174 average settlement for all NSW claims.
What is the average fee for an attorney?
Costs for new attorneys begin at $100 per hour, but regular attorney fees for an expert lawyer handling a complex case might exceed $225 per hour or more.
How much do attorneys take from settlement?
Most contingency fee agreements provide the lawyer with a percentage ranging from 33 to 40%, but you can always try to negotiate a lower percentage or an alternative agreement. In most circumstances, a personal injury attorney will take 33% (or one-third) of any settlement or award.
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