Questions and Answers About Car Accident Cases
Q: After I am involved in a car accident, what should I do?
Aside from seeking immediate medical attention when necessary, a person injured in a motor vehicle accident should obtain insurance company information from the other driver. These days, most cellular phones come with a digital camera feature, which can be used to take photos of the accident scene and any damage to the vehicles involved that were involved in the collision. Photographs of any visible injuries should be taken and preserved. Obtain names and contact information for any witnesses present. Again, seeking prompt medical attention is always the first step that should be taken. Lastly, you should not give a statement regarding the accident to insurance company representatives or property damage appraisers. Do not accept any money from anyone and do not sign any documents, such are releases or waivers. Consult with a motor vehicle accident attorney as quickly as possible.
Q: Why do I need to hire an car accident lawyer?
An auto accident lawyer should be consulted with as quickly after the accident as possible. It is not wise to attempt to deal with any insurance company on your own. Insurance companies and their representatives do not have the injured person’s interests at heart. An attorney will be able to represent the injured party’s best interests and seek appropriate compensation on the client’s behalf. The attorney will ensure that the insurance companies are not taking advantage of you and seek maximum compensation.
Q: Do I have to go to court if I want to pursue a claim for my car accident?
Not necessarily. Although it is possible that filing a lawsuit will not be necessary and the case can be settled without filing suit (also known as pre-litigation settlement), sometimes it becomes necessary. Generally speaking, the majority of cases, filed or un-filed, do not go to trial. A competent personal injury attorney will be able to guide the injured client through the process and represent solely his or her best interests. The attorney will communicate any settlement offers and fully discuss all of the client’s options.
Q: How much will a consultation or evaluation with a lawyer cost me?
There is no firm answer regarding whether or not a given personal injury attorney charges a fee for a consultation/evaluation. Therefore, when a potential client initially contacts an attorney/law firm, he or she should ask in advance of scheduling an appointment whether or not the attorney/law firm charges a consultation/evaluation fee. Many personal injury attorneys do not charge such a fee, but it is best to ask in advance before scheduling an appointment. It should also be noted that many attorneys can discuss a potential case over the telephone and then determine whether an in-person consultation is necessary. A consultation should be conducted by a licensed attorney. Do not be shy about asking the person you are consulting with whether he or she is a licensed attorney.