When it comes to car crashes, over one million people die on the road every single year. On top of that, between 20 million and 50 million people are disabled or injured in car accidents as well. You might agree with us that being involved in a terrible car accident is bad. But hiring the wrong car accident lawyer can make your situation worse. Here is what to know before you interview auto accident injury lawyers.
All About the Initial Car Investigation
If you are not sure when you should hire a car accident attorney, we have got you covered. As you may already know, car accidents can occur in mere seconds, turning your life upside down before you know it.
Whenever someone gets really injured in a car accident, you might have a personal auto injury case on your hands. If you are still recovering from car accident whiplash, then you might want to take a look at a few things you should do once you recover from your car accident injuries.
For example, your first priority at the scene of the crime should be your physical health. If you are feeling like you have been injured in the car accident, definitely call for medical help. That way, you will be sure to have your bodily injuries taken care of first.
Despite this fact, conducting an initial car accident investigation can be as simple as taking a couple of pictures at the scene of the crime. Plus, jotting down the phone numbers and names of the people at the scene of the crime will be a smart idea too.
Usually, the police will arrive at the car accident scene initially, cleaning it up and getting the cars out of the street. Next, they will take some photos of the scene. However, that does not mean that you do not need to take your own photos to show where the vehicles are placed, road debris, and witness statements.
Of course, all that you really need is your smartphone to get this critical crime scene information. Another thing that you can do is check out the scene for any companies that have surveillance systems that may have captured the car collision on camera.
Before you hire the right auto accident attorney for you, you have to make sure that you get your physical well-being back on track. If you have a doctor’s appointment planned, take the time to explain every single one of your post-car wreck symptoms.
While you should not exaggerate your symptoms, be honest with your doctor. If you are worried about having any limitations or returning to work, now is the time to ask your physician about it. Do not be afraid to continue your physical treatment if you are still suffering from car accident symptoms.
Gaps in medical treatment can be seen as a sign that you have recovered from your injury, which is not always accurate. Regardless, we do not see any reason to stop any form of medical treatment until your symptoms have completely cleared, no matter how far along in the car accident case you are.
Filing Insurance Claims
After you have dealt with any physical injuries, you will want to notify your car insurance provider about the incident as soon as possible. That is because your insurance provider can typically help you pay if you have totaled your vehicle or need extensive repairs.
If the auto accident was not your fault, your insurance provider will assist you with getting back onto the road.
Also, you must have the proper collision coverage on your insurance policy too. Fortunately, seeking reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider should be uncomplicated. Sometimes you will hear directly from the at fault party’s insurance company. However, you should not provide a recorded or written statement to any insurance company, including your own, until you have the opportunity to meet with your own attorney.
Meeting With Auto Accident Injury Lawyers
If you are looking to schedule a meeting with your car wreck lawyer, you will be happy to know that you will typically have a free first-time consultation.
The best part is that your auto accident attorney will be available to help you with any injury-related questions that you have. Plus, lawyers who are experienced with auto injury cases can make sure that the insurance provider will not lead you in the wrong direction either.
Besides this, car accident attorneys can assist you in dealing with the many calls that you will receive from insurance adjusters that are conducting the investigation. If you need assistance with pushing back against the low ball offers from the opponent’s insurance company, your car accident attorney will be there to help.
As if that is not enough, the majority of auto accident attorneys only receive compensation once they win your case. Additionally, your car accident attorney will follow up with the car accident investigation for you.
For those of you who are still continuing physical therapy, ordering your medical records and medical bills can be handled by your car accident attorney as well. While you heal from your injuries, your lawyer will also order treatment documents to send to your insurance provider on your behalf.
If you feel like the pain from your car accident injury could be permanent, your car accident attorney will let your doctor know, getting the necessary report to send to your insurance provider.
Even though this process can take a long time, it is important to wait until you are feeling better before you even think about settling your car accident case.
Settling Your Car Accident Lawsuit
From motorcycle accidents to car crashes, settling your car accident lawsuit should only be done once you have plateaued or stabilized from your medical condition. Once you have recovered from your injuries, your car accident attorney will focus on submitting a settlement demand to the insurance provider for you.
Normally, the insurance provider will make an offer first, leading to several back-and-forth negotiations with the insurance adjuster. This goes on until an agreement with the insurance provider is reached.
Perhaps you receive an offer that you can live with from your insurance adjuster. You can choose to accept it and settle your case. Many people choose to settle lawsuits instead of filing them in court. It is a faster process and many people assume they won’t get that much more by fighting a court battle anyway.
However, insurance providers will take advantage of this, offering lowball amounts and pressuring you to accept them. That is why you need a car accident attorney to give you the guidance that you need, making sure that you receive an insurance provider offer that you can trust.
If the insurance company’s offer is not adequate, your lawyer can help you decide if you would like to follow up with the car accident lawsuit. It is ultimately your decision to make, but as a professional, they can explain what they think you could gain by going to court. Remember, they do not get paid unless you win your case so they will not encourage you to go to court unless they think you have a strong case.
Understanding The Discovery and Mediation Process
If you decide to file a lawsuit and pursue the option of going to court, then you should be prepared to enter the discovery part of the case.
During discovery, your car accident attorney will learn more info about your opponent’s version of accident events. Meanwhile, your opponent’s attorney will find out more information about your side of the story too.
To put it clearly, discovery will include the following steps:
- Document requests
- Legal depositions
Interrogatories are questions that you write down and send to your opponent’s side of the case. Also, document requests can include inquiries about photos or medical records that you have.
During the legal deposition process, your attorney will have the chance to ask the parties that were involved in the car accident any questions that they may have. That includes police officers, treating doctors, and witnesses on the scene as well.
After you file your lawsuit, the opponent’s lawyer will take your deposition, and ask you questions about the vehicle accident and the injuries that came with it. Once this part is over, the judge will order mediation before the trial begins.
Mediation happens when a third-party is brought to the courtroom to start a conversation between the two parties involved with the lawsuit to find a settlement that suits both sides. Expect to be placed in a room with your auto accident lawyer while your opponent’s lawyer will be placed in a different room.
Then, the court-appointed mediator will travel between the rooms to get both sides to agree.
Last Step: The Car Accident Trial
If you are having a hard time coming to terms with a solid settlement amount, here is another word of advice. Your mediator will not be able to finalize the settlement alone. If you can agree, your lawsuit will stop at the mediation process.
If you have an unsuccessful mediation process, then your car accident injury case will go to trial. For those of you who live in busy areas, your car accident trial might not even start until over a year after it has been filed.
At trial, you will have to prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault. You can do this by showing that they were negligent, driving recklessly, or even deliberately caused the accident if that was the case. To do so, your car accident attorney will help you to show the court that your opponent’s actions led to the injuries you sustained.
Also, your lawyer will also help the court to decide how much money they should award you. Then, the jury will deliver their own verdict once the following people complete their testimonies:
- The other driver
- Police officers
During the trial, your opponent will be trying to prove that they were not at fault or that the accident was at least partially your fault. Thus, it could be decided that your own negligence resulted in your physical injuries, or at least played a part.
It is up to the jury to decide who is more at fault – you or the other driver. This decision determines who wins the case. It is also possible that they decide that you are both at fault and will assign you each a percentage of the blame. This percentage determines how much money you are eligible to receive.
Find Auto Accident Injury Lawyers You Can Trust
If you have been in the car accident recently, then you know that an auto accident attorney is your key to getting a financial settlement from your case. The best part is that they will only get compensated if you win your case.
For those of you who want to take your claim to court, your car accident attorney will do their best to make sure that the judge knows that the accident was not your fault.
Unfortunately, victims that are partially responsible for an accident may receive a decreased settlement amount. However, this should not stop you from walking away with a decent amount of money in the end either. Do yourself a favor and hire a lawyer now.
Need a hand finding auto accident injury lawyers you can trust? Do not hesitate to contact us for a free estimate today!