Seeking Justice: What Can You Expect from a Car Accident Lawyer?
The aftermath of a car accident can be daunting, and not to mention, quite costly. In fact, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, road crashes cost approximately USD $518 billion globally. According to the same source, car collision-related injuries may become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
Unfortunately, from the need for vehicle repair or replacement to medical attention for any injuries you obtained from the collision, recovering physically, financially, and even emotionally from such an event may not be as quick or easy as you might anticipate. Paying for the damage and injuries on your own might not be feasible at all.
In response, you may be eager to get the legal compensation you require to recover. Consulting a car accident attorney is especially important in this scenario if you’ve been seriously injured, your case is complex, the other person involved is filing against you, or the insurance company won’t provide a large enough settlement for the damages.
Before considering reaching out to a car accident attorney, you may have some questions regarding the experience. You ease your tension and clear your confusion, keep in mind the following points to get an idea of what you can expect from the process.
A car accident lawyer is not necessary for every collision.
Being involved in a car collision is not a plausible enough reason in itself to reach out to a car accident attorney with the hopes to receive potential compensation. There are certain scenarios that deem it inappropriate or unworthwhile to take the case to court at all.
For example, if there were no injuries involved in the collision, if the case is clear-cut and can be resolved quickly and easily without a case, and if the insurance company is offering a settlement deemed fair, the services of a car accident lawyer may be of no benefit to you.
However, if one or many of the latter are true in your case, a car accident lawyer may be a good idea to seek out. Because cases take time, compensation is not rewarded instantly, vital information is forgotten or distorted over time, and statutes of limitations may prevent you from opening a case, reach out to an attorney as soon as you can.
Your consultation will likely be free of charge.
Not all car accident lawyers, or lawyers at all for that matter, will offer free-of-charge, no-retainer-necessary consultations; however, many if not most do, like this injury attorney. If money is tight, it is usually best to find an attorney you know will offer a free consultation.
A consultation with a car accident lawyer is important for multiple reasons. One of the most important reasons for a consultation is to see if the attorney can handle your case, or better yet, if they are comfortable and knowledgeable with taking it on. Secondly, a consultation can help you decide if the lawyer will be a good fit for you personally.
As you engage in free consultations with different attorneys, if time permits such, there are certain qualities and skills you should look for when it comes to selecting an attorney. They should be great listeners, great at mediation, knowledgeable with your specific case, and should have plenty of experience up their sleeves.
If you need to ask in-depth questions to a prospective car accident attorney, however, especially if your case if very specific or complex, you may have to search long and hard to find a good lawyer with a lot of experience. However, they may or may not offer free consultations.
There are different reasons why a car accident lawyer may reject your case.
There are times where a car accident attorney might reject your case. However, before getting upset and taking the rejection personally if and when this happens, know that there are several reasons why this may be.
For once, an attorney might already have a hefty workload and may not be able to have the time and energy to handle adding your case to his or her plate. The lawyer’s firm may also not have the financial resources at hand, or the attorney may not be as knowledgeable or experienced in taking your specific case on.
It is also possible that the issues surrounding your collision case may not be in the interests of a car accident attorney. This may be especially true if they lack the expertise in your case, are newer in the field, and/or are picky and choosy with the cases they select from potential clients.
Although it can be disappointing when a car accident lawyer rejects your case, the good news is, as long as you have a viable case at hand, there will be an experienced attorney out there somewhere who will be more than happy to take on your case.
You’ll need to provide as much information about the accident as possible.
The more information, the better. As much as you might not like reliving the realities of the collision, it will be important that you tell anything and everything regarding the incident to your car accident lawyer to ensure you have a solid case.
Information you should provide to a car accident attorney include, but isn’t excluded to, what you and the other driver were doing before and during the incident; the approximate date, time, and location of the event; and what the results of the collision were (e.g., emotional trauma, injuries, etc.).
It is also important to share any police reports, photographs, witness information, car repair estimates, medical bills, insurance claims, and other information related to the event. Even if the information cannot be used in court for whatever reason, having it on hand just in case is a wise idea.
Even if the information is embarrassing or makes you look bad, it’s important to be as open and candid as possible with a car accident lawyer. Passing on information that is incomplete, leaving out certain important details, or only mentioning what the other party did wrong is not wise. Eventually, the rest of the information will be revealed in court.
Many attorneys won’t make you pay a penny unless your case is won.
Some car accident attorneys will make you pay a retainer before your case officially opens. However, as for other attorneys, they won’t charge you a single cent unless they help you win your case.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find a car accident attorney who won’t require out-of-pocket expenses prior to starting their work with you. Typically, lawyers who say they won’t charge until the case is won are confident that they can and will help you win in court.
If and win you win in court, know that a percentage of your settlement will be awarded to your attorney to help cover the time and services they provided you for your car collision case.
It can take months or years to receive compensation.
Although according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, medical expenses due to injuries from automobile-related incidences are rising higher and faster than the rate of inflation, this doesn’t change the fact that it can take a long time before you can even receive the compensation you’ve won from your case.
The more complex your car accident case, the longer it may be until you are finally able to receive your settlement. Though you will be frequently communicating with your lawyer throughout the legal process, the court case itself can certainly drag on for a while. That said, sit tight and remain as patient as possible.
Scenarios like injuries that a medical professional cannot yet diagnose or provide medical treatment estimates for or an insurance company that is hard to cooperate with can make a car accident case take longer to resolve.
Remember that especially in complex cases, it can sometimes be a good thing if your case is taking more than a few months to complete from start to finish. If your case is rushed, the results may not end up in your favor. When an attorney can slowly pick at every bit and piece of your case, the solution may be more accurate and fair.
After a car accident, one of your first instincts is to do everything in your power to get the compensation you deserve to pay for injuries and/or damage. The good news is, many car accident lawyers will provide free consultations and will not make you pay unless your case is won.
While not all cases will be applicable to take to court, complex cases, when your insurance settlement is not high enough, or when there are injuries involved or a lawsuit coming from the other party, a car accident attorney may be able to help you get the compensation necessary.
However, it can take months or even years to receive the compensation you win from your case. It can also take a lot of communication back and forth between you and your car accident lawyer until he or she can even fully understand your case. Plus, with statutes of limitations, it is even more imperative to take legal action sooner than later.