What To Expect During Your Initial Consultation With A Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, you might find yourself dealing with physical injuries, property damage, and mental and emotional strain. You may also not get your wages if you can’t work for a while or lose your income if you can’t permanently return to your job due to your injuries.
The law allows you to seek compensation if a malicious or negligent person caused your car crash. The awarded amount should help you recover the losses and damages from your accident. However, getting fair compensation can be challenging if you pursue it alone. Insurance companies and defendants’ attorneys can be tough to deal with without proper knowledge and skills. So, you need to hire a car accident lawyer.
A good attorney has the expertise to handle insurers and defendants’ lawyers. They’ll protect your rights, gather evidence, prove liability, and accurately estimate fair compensation. Also, they’ll fight to ensure you get your deserved amount. If the defendant’s team gives a smaller settlement, they’ll reject it and negotiate for a better offer. If the liable party’s attorney or insurer can’t increase their offer to a give reasonable one, your lawyer will proceed to court. If they do, they’ll use the best tactics to win and get you your deserved compensation.
When looking for a car accident lawyer, you’ll find that many offer a free first consultation. It’s best to leverage this offer. It can help you know if you should retain a certain attorney or look for another one.
Here’s what to expect in your first meeting with your car accident lawyer:
1. Case Evaluation
First, an attorney evaluates your claim. Though you may have discussed your case over the phone, the lawyer needs to understand all details of your claim. So, they’ll schedule a sit-down. Some of the things they’ll want to know are:
- How the accident happened
- The liable party
- The evidence you have
- The losses and injuries caused by the accident
- If there were witnesses at the scene
- If you have car or health insurance
- If any first responder arrived at the accident location
The attorney will also ask for anything supporting the detail you’ve provided. This can be any first responder’s report, witness contact details and statements, medical bills and records, photos and videos of the accident, and car repair receipts. If you’d spoken to an insurance representative, your lawyer would want to know what you discussed. Additionally, they’d like to see a copy of your filed claim and any letters or emails from them.
The attorney will also try to evaluate the weaknesses of your claim. So, they‘ll ask if you were also to blame for the crash and if you have a pre-existing condition or injury that could complicate your case. These details will help them develop the right winning strategies for your case.
2. Estimating Deserved Compensation
After analyzing the details of your case, the attorney will estimate your deserved compensation. They’ll consider your economic, non-economic, and punitive damages in this case. Economic damages you can recover include hospital bills, expected future medical expenses, car repair costs, unpaid wages, and loss of future income.
Non-economic damages don’t directly affect your finances but your quality of life. These include mental and emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of affection, and disfigurement. Lastly, if the liable party’s gross intentional or negligent misconduct caused your accident, you’ll be entitled to punitive damages. These are to punish the defendant for their actions.
A good lawyer knows how to determine a proper compensation amount. This can help you decide if you should proceed to pursue your claim.
3. Provision Of Legal Advice
A car accident attorney also offers legal advice in your first consultation. For instance, they’ll tell you how to strengthen your case. This includes being honest with them, attending regular medical check-ups, responding when requested, and keeping a personal injury journal. The latter lets you record how the accident affects you daily and how you’re recovering. This information can help in your claim or lawsuit by proving the severity and impact of your car crash.
Additionally, a lawyer will tell you what can weaken your claim. Some mistakes to avoid are posting about your case on social media and discussing your claim with relatives, workmates, or friends. Other errors include speaking to the defendant and their insurer or attorney, accepting a smaller settlement offer, and not hiring an attorney.
Furthermore, the attorney will explain how they’ll settle your claim or lawsuit if they can’t agree with the defendant’s team. Basically, they’ll give you a step-by-step guideline and tell you how long it could take to finalize your claim or lawsuit. This way, you’ll know what to expect.
Car Accident Lawyer: Final Thoughts
You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been hurt in a car crash due to someone’s negligent or malicious act. However, obtaining a just amount can sometimes be challenging. Therefore, a car accident attorney is needed to increase the likelihood of winning your case and getting fair compensation.
Many car crash lawyers offer an initial consultation. In some cases, these are free. In this article, you’ve learned what to expect in your first meeting with a collision attorney. Take advantage of the opportunity. You’ll learn about their expertise, communication skills, and professionalism. Also, you’ll understand how they plan to get you your deserved compensation. This way, you can decide whether to hire them or not.