Were you injured in a car accident due to the actions of another driver? If so, you have a personal injury claim. Hiring a lawyer to handle your claim is an important decision, and you probably have a lot of questions.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, your lawyer or team of lawyers will answer your questions. They will help you file your accident claim, and they will explain the legal process and what to expect.
Your attorneys will deal with the insurance companies and help you gather the necessary records to process your claim. This includes medical and employment records. When it’s time to settle your claim, your lawyer will work hard to get fair compensation for your personal injuries and losses.
Many factors can contribute to a car accident, from speeding to driver impairment to driver distractions. If an out-of-control driver created an accident that caused you harm, you have a right to compensation for your injuries. Here are three things to consider before you hire a personal injury attorney.
- Do Your Research
Few people do the necessary research before they hire a lawyer. However, research is crucial if you want to find the best attorney to represent your case. Once you have a name or two, learn more about the attorneys by searching the Internet or a website like AVVO.
Short of “avvocato,” the Italian word for lawyer, AVVO is an online forum where you can ask legal questions for free. Look for the attorney’s profile and read client reviews, peer endorsements and overviews of the practice. The site also posts professional misconduct reprimands.
- Ask the Right Questions
Once you have researched a few attorneys online, call their offices and make an appointment to visit them in person. At the initial free consultation, ask questions about their car accident cases and their experience with personal injury claims. Find out who will personally handle your case.
Some attorneys will take on a car accident case and re-assign it to a lawyer you have never met. Most attorneys will assign a paralegal to your case. Make sure you have the contact number of someone who can discuss the case with you, take updates and keep you informed of the status of your claim.
- Keep Good Records
The success of your personal injury claim depends on the evidence in your case. You must be able to prove your claim with documentation showing your loss or expense. Your lawyer and paralegal will gather several key documents including the police report, your medical records and income records if you missed work due to the accident.
It’s also a good idea to keep a car accident diary. Include all the details, from your initial accident through your recovery from injuries. This information can help your attorneys prepare your case. It can also help your medical providers understand your pain, symptoms and physical limitations.
If you were injured in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and losses. This includes money for your hospital bills, pain and suffering, future medical needs and even lost wages if you missed any work.