If you find yourself injured in a car crash, navigating the process of securing insurance coverage for your medical expenses can be a daunting task. However, the path to obtaining the rightful compensation you deserve becomes significantly smoother when enlisting the expertise of a leading car accident attorney. Notably, you won’t need to worry about upfront fees, as payment is contingent on receiving funds from the opposing party. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to find a good car accident lawyer.
Finding the Best Car Accident Attorney
Personal injury attorneys are a subset of car accident attorneys. The number of choices available in your locality can overwhelm you. Every commercial, billboard, and bus bench seems to offer the services of a different attorney. Asking the right questions and checking credentials will help you narrow down the list to the attorney that’s right for you.
What Is Their Experience?
Personal injury lawyers often specialize in a certain type of case. Others handle class actions against manufacturers, while others focus on workers’ compensation. Find an attorney who has experience in car accidents. If your case does not settle before trial, you should look for an attorney who has tried cases to the end. With this experience comes a track record for getting insurance companies to settle and award appropriate judgments.
What Are the Fees?
Attorneys can be expensive, so it’s advisable to seek out a lawyer who operates on a contingency basis. This implies that their payment is contingent upon you receiving a settlement or judgment. Typically, personal injury attorneys operate on a percentage of the final award, often around 33%, and this percentage might be higher if your case goes to trial.
Additionally, expenses like filing fees and fees for expert witnesses will fall under your purview. It’s crucial to thoroughly review the fee agreement to grasp your obligations. However, it’s essential not to base your decision solely on cost, as the added expenses could be warranted if you’re working with the best in the field.
Are They Able to Communicate Clearly?
You will have many questions throughout your case. It is important to find an attorney that can explain things to you so you fully understand. It may sound impressive to have a lawyer who uses legal jargon, but you’ll end up confused.
Are They Respected by Their Peers?
You can find out what other lawyers have said about them by doing some online research. Ask them how much of their business is derived from referrals by other attorneys. The higher the percentage the better. Referrals are a sign that other lawyers have high regard for the attorney you’re speaking to. They respect him or her so much that they will risk their reputation to make a recommendation. A good auto accident lawyer will also provide references to speak about their abilities.
Do They Have a Professional Office?
It is important to find an attorney with the necessary resources to take on your case. They should have staff that can do investigative work, and address issues as they come up. You’re likely to interact with these staff members throughout your case. A well-organized office is another sign that an attorney runs a professional firm. You can’t trust an attorney if he is fumbling through files to find your case during a meeting.
Why Do I Need an Auto Accident Lawyer?
You can handle your auto accident injury claim on your own. You do not have to hire an attorney. Why should you hire an attorney?
If you try to handle your case yourself, you’ll probably get the minimum amount of money from the insurance company. Insurance companies want to make money and do so by reducing claim costs. Some legal rights for compensation, such as emotional trauma, may not be known to you. Auto accident attorneys know the legal process inside out and can get you the maximum compensation for your accident.
When Should You Look for an Auto Accident Lawyer?
You have the flexibility to engage an attorney at any stage before the finalization of your settlement by the insurance company. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to take this step as promptly as you can following your injury. By doing so, the attorney can suggest experts for accurate case diagnosis and guarantee optimal care for you.
Having legal representation from the outset will decrease the likelihood of making statements that might adversely affect your prospects for a just settlement. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the more apparent it becomes that an improved settlement is within reach.
Laws That Might Affect Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
California has a statute that limits the time in which you can file a lawsuit for personal injury. In general, California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 permits you to file a lawsuit for personal injury within two years of an accident. You could unintentionally jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation if you fail to file your lawsuit in time.
California’s statute of limitations may not be the only law that impacts your case. You can also ask your lawyer to consider other laws.
- California Civil Code (CIV) §3333.4 restricts your ability to receive compensation for “pain and suffering, inconvenience, impairment of physical function, or disfigurement” if you were driving under the influence at the time of an accident.
- California is a state of “pure negligence”, meaning that all parties can be held responsible for damages if they were involved in the accident. This is dictated by CIV §1714 You may be able to recover less money if you are partially responsible for the accident.
Choose a Lawyer Who Can Accurately Assess Your Case’s Value
CIV §1431.2 allows you to pursue a driver at fault for the following recoverable damage after an accident:
- Medical costs
- Earnings deduction or loss
- Loss of companionship
- Damage to property
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of society
- Loss of consortium
Your lawyer may help you value your damages. They may then help you negotiate a settlement with the driver at fault or their insurance company after valuing your claim.
Choose a Lawyer Who Can Help You Negotiate a Settlement
You may prefer to settle your compensation claim through a financial settlement. Your lawyer may be able, once they have assigned a value to your claim, to negotiate a settlement with the other party. This could save you both time and money by avoiding a long court case.
Accepting or rejecting a settlement is a decision that you, and not your attorney, make. The financial settlement will be permanent. Therefore, valuing damages accurately is crucial to settlement discussions. This could help to ensure that your case isn’t undervalued or paid too little.
Your lawyer will review any settlement offers you receive, and you can discuss their merits and disadvantages. Your lawyer may also go over the documents and evidence contained in your file, and explain to you their role in seeking compensation on your behalf.
Choose a Lawyer Who Can Help You Collect Evidence
Your lawyer can also help you collect evidence to support your claim. Your legal team and you may collect documents and photographs that prove the accident’s cause. They can also be used to determine the cost of the accident. We may ask for:
- Official crash report
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Receipts for prescription medications
- Injury photos
- Accident scene photos
- Witness statements
Tell your legal team if you require assistance in obtaining any of the items on this list. Inform them as well if you possess additional evidence. They may be able to request items on your behalf.
Find a Good Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area
Now that you have an idea on how to find a good car accident lawyer, it’s now time to get in touch with one. A lawyer in your locality may be able to help you recover financial compensation from the driver at fault after a car crash. Our team will help you seek compensation by proving the driver at fault owed you a legal duty of care and breached that duty. We also want to show they caused your injuries and their financial consequences.
Call Tenina Law to find out more about the efforts our team will make to get you compensation.