Have you or someone you know been involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident? Auto accidents are one of the most common ways that people sustain injuries. Almost everyone in the USA is involved in some form of auto accident in his or her life, and obtaining compensation for injuries inflicted in an accident is not always simple.
To help in the process of dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, and administrative fees, many people who sustain injuries in auto accidents opt to hire experienced accident/injury attorneys. Insurance companies are known for paying as little as possible to the injured and for property damage—that is the way they stay in business. A good accident/injury lawyer will make sure that the client receives the payment necessary to get the proper medical care, lost wages and for repair or replacement of vehicles or property damaged in an accident.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident, it is recommended that you see an attorney immediately before signing any documents or dealing with insurance companies. Many injury attorneys work with medical teams and rehabilitation clinics that may be able to save you the out-of-pocket costs of your treatment, and it is best to have your attorney involved in the process from the beginning to avoid any costly mistakes. There may also be a time limit in your state regarding how long you have after an accident to file a legal claim.
A good injury attorney is well-versed in local and federal transportation laws and works with insurance and healthcare companies on a regular basis. Some of the things you should consider when interviewing attorneys for your case are experience, location, skill level, and fee structure. Court cases are matters of public record; it is possible to look up each attorney’s record in dealing with injury cases, and most attorneys provide this information to prospective clients. Furthermore, there are many organizations that rate attorneys such as Avvo, Super Lawyers, Legal Leaders, Martindale-Hubbell, and the Better Business Bureau.
When meeting with an injury attorney, be sure to bring relevant documents such as your insurance policy, police reports, medical records, photographs and receipts for any other costs incurred due to the accident. It is best to have a list of questions ready for easy reference when you meet with a prospective attorney. Some of the questions you might consider asking are as follows:
The initial consultation with an attorney should be provided free of charge. Take your time and carefully describe the circumstances pertaining to the accident and any treatment of the injury that has already been received.
Most, but not all, automobile accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you are not obligated to pay unless the case is settled in your favor. In your consultation, the attorney should be forthcoming with you about the percentage or the amount you will be charged upon your case’s settlement. If you are able to pay a retainer fee it may save you money later on, but instances of that are rare and should be handled carefully. A typical attorney fee for an accident settlement involving an injury is in the range of 30 to 40 percent, the remainder from which your medical and property damage costs are deducted. The amount of your settlement is often limited by your state or region’s transportation laws.
You may change attorneys whenever you like, and doing so does not usually cause a problem as long as you have all the documents that were presented to your initial lawyer. However, many injury lawyers work on an ongoing basis with health care providers and you may be found responsible for costs that would have normally been deducted from your settlement if you change attorneys in the middle of your case.