If you have been involved in an auto accident, or have been injured in an accident and would like to pursue a personal injury claim, a vehicle wreck lawyer can heavily influence the outcome of your case. Generally speaking, an auto accident lawyer would be a personal injury attorney who specializes in auto accidents. They should be experienced in auto accident cases, as well as experienced in handling cases similar to yours. It is also important to choose an attorney that you trust, and is affordable given your specific finances.
Auto accident lawyers will determine how best to represent you by reviewing the facts of your case. They will examine documentation and apply their knowledge of local personal injury laws. Additionally, the attorney will protect your rights while ensuring you have a thorough understanding of how you may also be at fault. They will work to reduce any fines or penalties you may be facing as well.
After meeting with a lawyer and discussing your case, you will be better prepared to make a decision regarding whether to hire them. After the meeting, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I comfortable working with this attorney on my case?
- Do I believe that they have the experience and skills necessary to handle my case?
- Did they explain issues surrounding my case in a way that I understood? Did they speak in legal terms I didn’t understand?
- Do I understand the proposed fee arrangement for handling my case?
There are a few methods that you may utilize when seeking an attorney for your auto accident case. A Google search is likely going to be many people’s first course of action, as it is quick and yields several results at once. Asking people you know if they have anyone they may recommend is another popular way of locating and choosing an attorney. Looking up a few people in the phone book is less common but still effective.
However, LegalMatch may prove to be the best option when asking how to choose the right auto accident lawyer. They will provide you with several attorneys in your area who are ready and qualified to take on cases such as yours.
Why Do I Need an Auto Accident Attorney? What Should I Look For in an Automobile Accident Lawyer?
Once you have been involved in an auto accident and have suffered injuries, you may pursue a lawsuit on your own behalf, or hire an attorney. The best time to hire an attorney after an accident is early on. This is to avoid any costly mistakes that can harm your potential damages. The deadline for filing a personal injury claim varies from state to state. However, because your medical expenses and lost wages might add up, it is best to contact an attorney sooner than later.
Although it is possible to handle an auto accident on your own, there are some instances in which you may need an auto collision lawyer. If you have been involved in an auto accident and you have suffered damages because of that accident, it is advised that you hire an attorney. Because an auto accident lawyer can heavily influence the outcome of your case, this is the main reason to ensure you find the right attorney for your case.
An experienced auto accident attorney can assist you in obtaining the damages that you have lost in the auto accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs. In some states, hiring an attorney for an auto accident case may help you recover when a loved one is killed. Another reason to hire an attorney is that insurance companies retain a team of experienced legal professionals tasked with limiting your damages. If you are not adequately represented, your damages can be very limited.
It is imperative that you choose the correct attorney for your specific case. Some criteria to evaluate when selecting a lawyer for an auto accident case could include:
- Experience: you may find it helpful to hire an attorney with experience in handling similar cases like yours. They can refer to those past experiences when determining how best to approach your case, and can provide examples of past successes;
- Focus: you may wish to find an attorney who is mostly focused on your case, and not juggling multiple cases at once. However, keep in mind that most attorneys are perfectly capable of adequately handling multiple cases at once;
- Reputation: the overall reputation of the attorney regarding negotiating with insurance companies can play a major key in the amount of damages you receive. An attorney should have a good local reputation as well; and
- Personality: it is important that you choose an attorney that you can get along with, and also trust through the process. You will need to be completely honest and upfront with your attorney while trusting them during a likely vulnerable time. If you feel that you cannot have a positive relationship with them, find another one. There are many lawyers who are happy and willing to help you, so be sure to find the right one that fits your needs.
What Should I Ask When I Meet With a Lawyer?
First, it is important to understand what information you need after an accident has occurred. This information is important on its own, and any attorney you consult with after the accident will most likely be interested in it as well.
Generally speaking, most states have their own car accident form available at the police station or the local DMV. The purpose of this form is to help gather all the necessary information needed for the car accident. The following information is generally what is needed in order to file a proper insurance claim:
- Information about what happened, such as how the accident happened;
- Information regarding the driver, such as their name, address, and contact information; and
- Information regarding insurance for all parties involved in the accident.
Specific information that needs to be collected after a car accident includes:
- Date and time of the accident;
- Address of the accident;
- Road on which the car accident occurred;
- The direction in which your car was traveling in, as well as the direction of all other vehicles involved;
- Pictures and/or video of the accident scene, for record purposes;
- A detailed, written description of what exactly happened with the car collision, in order to record all possible details to ensure accurate information;
- A note of the driving visibility, as well as the weather and road conditions;
- Any witnesses names and contact information; and
- The contact information of the police officer that is dispatched to the accident scene.
When meeting with an auto accident lawyer, you should provide as much detailed information and facts regarding the car accident as possible. This would include the aforementioned information, as well as any injuries or financial losses. When meeting with an attorney, you should feel comfortable enough with them to share all of this information. Once you are comfortable, here are some questions you should ask them:
- How long have they been practicing?
- How much experience do they have in auto accident cases?
- How do they expect to handle your case?
- How much participation is expected on your part?
- How will they keep you informed on what is going on with your case?
- Are they reasonably accessible? Will you be able to contact them when you need to?
- Will they provide you with a fee arrangement that details all fees, expenses, billing, and payments?
How Much Are Auto Accident Lawyer Fees?
As previously mentioned, it is important that you understand the proposed fee arrangement before hiring an attorney. Generally speaking, it is impossible to tell exactly how much work will be required for a case before the work actually begins. Because of this, attorney’s fees can be more or less than originally expected. If you have any concerns regarding attorney’s fees, it is imperative to discuss those concerns with the attorney before signing anything, such as a fee agreement document.
Most auto accident attorneys take on a case on a contingency, or “no win-no pay” basis. This means that if they do not win or settle the case on your behalf, you do not have to pay them. Alternatively, if they win the case, they will get a percentage of the personal injury award or settlement. This number would be previously agreed to by you, prior to them taking the case. While the attorney’s percentage varies from case to case, it is usually one-third to 40% of the total award.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Issues Involving Auto Accidents?
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should consult with a local car accident lawyer immediately in order to learn more about preserving your rights and potential remedies. An experienced and local car accident lawyer can represent you in court and during negotiations, as well as guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.