No one wants to be involved in even a minor fender bender, but nothing can stop the inevitable. Thousands of accidents occur in the United States every year that are not only deadly but leave a deep overall effect on the lives of the close ones of affected people.
When any car accident occurs, there goes so much at stake that includes a number of things, from your physical health to mental health. Many things require your attention as you go through the healing or recovering process after experiencing such severe trauma.
In such a situation, dealing with all the official proceedings becomes almost impossible as your health becomes a big obstacle. So many people hire a car accident attorney to take over these duties for them and ensure full and complete compensation for the loss.
But, compensation is not the only benefit people can reap from hiring a car accident attorney. There are other benefits as well that people get, which are covered in this article.
What are the benefits of hiring a car accident attorney?
People who get involved in dealings with the insurance company know how tough and mind-numbing the proceedings can be. The insurance adjusters of the insurance companies are specially trained to resist all the claims made by the insurance holders. They do their best in bringing the negotiation to a very minimum level and as a result, you receive inadequate settlements. Some even go on to the extreme and try to deny your claim altogether.
So if you are coming in with little to no experience of dealing with insurance adjusters, then your chances of landing a good settlement for your claim is close to none. You can also have difficulty in representing your best interest and many adjusters can even manipulate you into giving a weak statement or such a comment that could create issues in recovering your compensations.
This is why hiring a motor vehicle accident attorney is essential if you want to avoid all the abovementioned problems. Such an attorney makes sure that the negotiations are done in your best interest and you get maximum compensation for your losses. He also guides you in making verbal and written statements and takes you through the process step by step. He also makes sure that every single detail is handled carefully and thoroughly.
Another issue that poses itself after a car accident is establishing the true liability in case of incurring any injuries and damage to your vehicles. All the parties that are involved in the accident try their best to negate the liability and shift the blame to other parties. And if you fail to establish that you are the party that is at loss here, then you do not get the claim as well.
Car accident attorneys work to ensure that liability is placed correctly and gather all the evidence to establish the case in your favor, that is when you are the victim and faced loss. These lawyers are well equipped with accurate knowledge and resources to establish correct evidence. Usually, in such situations, detailed information has to be gathered from the accident scene, medical experts, accident reports, and witnesses. So, when you are dealing with injuries and monetary loss, it is next to impossible for you to visit all these places and collect information all on your own. But, a lawyer can do all this by tapping the right sources thanks to his/her practice and experience. All this can be done in a very short period as these lawyers know exactly when and where to go and how to do these dealings.
Sometimes contributory negligence act is used by the defendants against the claimants which can prevent the injured party from getting any compensation. This act determines if the claimant was partially responsible for the fault and if it is proved positive, the victim does not receive compensation.
You might not consider this possibility at first, but many times victim parties have to file a lawsuit of personal injury. The situation comes down to this extreme step only when the insurance companies refuse to comply with your justified demands and do not offer you a fair settlement. So, in such a situation, you will obviously need a lawyer to file a lawsuit, and thanks to your already hired car accident attorney, you do not have to look anywhere else. This lawyer sees over everything, from your dealings with the insurance company to the lawsuit. And he ensures that all the legal proceedings go smoothly and you come out of the court with a maximum and fair compensation in your hand.
Another benefit that you can reap from an accident attorney is receiving the genuine compensation that you truly deserve. It is established based on the value of the injuries and losses you have suffered. Your attorney makes sure that you receive true value which means the compensation you get is more than enough to cover your losses. And they do it by ensuring that insurance companies do not make you accept low bids. Using their knowledge that comes from handling multiple cases, they draw out full coverage of your losses.
If you are someone who is coming from a law background, then you might not feel the need of having someone decipher the policies written in your insurance case file. But, if you do not come from such a background, then you can have difficulty in understanding the legal terms and jargon that might be part of the policies and documents involved in your claim. Your hired attorney also works in this area and helps you understand all the laws and rules that could be applied to your claim. He does this by explaining these legal conundrums to you in detail.
Lastly, the car accident attorney may be a professional giving you their legal services but many law firms believe in providing empathetic services. They not only work in the legal area but they also believe in giving you emotional and moral support. And, since you would already be dealing with a lot of stress from the accident and your injuries, you could really use this support, be it from your lawyer. The lawyers having dealt with countless such cases, can provide you with their knowledge of how to correctly cope with the stress of such a situation
How to hire a car accident attorney?
The entire process of claiming compensation and legal proceedings in the case of a lawsuit is not only complex and difficult but can take up a lot of your time, maybe months or even a year.
So you have to make sure that the law firm you contract with has a staff that is good and understands your case fully. To ensure that, there is a rough series of steps of hiring a car accident attorney which we will discuss below.
First and foremost, before hiring anyone, make sure that you make a list of lawyers. If you cannot do that yourself because of your injury or mental stress, then have your relative or friend do this for you. After you make a significantly long list, schedule a meeting with each of them. Again, if you are physically or mentally handicapped because of the accident, have any other close one perform the due diligence for you.
Having a free consultation with multiple lawyers can enable you to calibrate your options in a precise manner. If you do not need a lawyer immediately, evaluate your options meticulously. This will allow you to find an attorney for your case that not only makes you feel comfortable but also create a good professional bond with you. And having full trust in your lawyer is essential to achieving your desired outcomes.
After you select your lawyer, the next thing you should do is establishing their charges criteria. Get to know all the minute details as to how much they will charge and when will they take the fees. Many lawyers take fees before the case, some take half or a certain percentage before, while others charge their fees after the case has been closed. So, if there are any out-of-pocket charges involved, you must know beforehand so that you can plan your expenses accordingly. However, it is suggested that you should go for those lawyers who collect their fees from an established percentage of the settlement you get awarded for your claim.
The next important step that you must take is gathering all the necessary documents and information and bringing it to your lawyer in the first official meeting with him. Everything from your medical insurance policy to your vehicle insurance policy, you have to bring to the table. The lawyer can also ask you for the medical records of your injury resulted from your automobile accident, so it is better to have them in order as well. The evidence collected from the accident site is a crucial part of the proceedings, so you must bring those pieces of evidence as well. Even though your lawyer would himself conduct an investigation of the car crash scene, you should also play your part so that no little detail is left out. The evidence that you should bring to your lawyer is the site pictures, car wreck pictures, and any information you manage to find about the other parties involved in the accident.
The settlement proceedings are quite complex so your lawyer would need your absolute cooperation. The best way you can be helpful to your lawyer is by being communicative and available whenever your lawyer needs you. And you can do this by answering his calls, messages and being punctual for your appointments. As mentioned earlier, never forget any official document to bring in each meeting. Keep them properly organized and placed somewhere you have easy access to in your house. Be prompt and appear in the court hearings if the need arises. Make sure to have a proper and presentable appearance when you show up in court and for that, you will need to follow your lawyer’s instructions. Since he knows all conducts of the court, he can better equip you with the knowledge of being appropriate in the court.
In the end, always remember that the lawyer you have hired might belong to a law firm or could be practicing privately, in any case, he would be a single person working and handling your case all on his own. So, it would naturally take him some time to bring things in order and gather information before initiating official proceedings. Then, insurance companies are not so helpful either in giving you fair settlements, so this could also take plenty of time for him to convince them for giving you rightful compensation.
Moreover, if the court gets involved, you should expect the process to stretch even further as the court keeps hearing based on their schedule. So multiple things can pile up during this process which can push settlements way further in the future. While your lawyer must keep you updated regarding the expected finalizing date, you should still keep room for further delays that could arise according to the circumstances.
So, always remember to complete your due diligence and trust in your lawyer. Be reasonable while dealing with him and be open regarding all the occurrences of the car accident. In doing so, make sure that you are healing from your injuries and trauma as well by taking out resting time from the busy schedule. If at any point, you feel like the legal proceedings are taking a negative toll on your health, retract a bit and go on some small vacation. But, keep your lawyer in a loop so that he can schedule things accordingly. And, if your lawyer knows about your deteriorating condition, he can also provide you some emotional support.
All in all, having a car accident attorney can help you in myriad ways apart from getting you a settlement.