It can be shocking to learn that, in the United States alone, a car accident happens every six seconds. Because of this high accident rate, a large number of victims have to endure an unimaginable amount of physical, mental, and financial damage. As a victim, you’ll quickly realize that dealing with the legal aspects of the accident on your own is extremely overwhelming, and that’s when you’ll start looking for a car accident attorney. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before choosing an attorney to represent your case. Before you take your pick, here are 6 things to consider.
1.Your Responsibilities as a Plaintiff
As a car accident victim, you have the right to get reasonably compensated for the injuries and damage you’ve sustained from the accident. That said, you also have a few responsibilities to uphold-and that’s something that most victims fail to realize. Following the accident, your main responsibility would be to get treated for the injuries and diligently follow the rehab protocol that your doctor has prescribed. Meanwhile, be sure to keep track of all the medical records, bills, and other expenses incurred because of the accident. You’ll need these records to strengthen your case and get fair compensation.
2.The Paperwork you Should Provide to the Attorney
When you start meeting with attorneys to find the one you’re most comfortable with, keep in mind that the attorneys are also evaluating your case. They’ll need to know the details of your case and understand its complexities so they can make an informed decision. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and to organize the paperwork of your case for the time you need to present these documents to the attorney. The paperwork and documents you’ll need to prepare can include the following:
- All your current and past medical records
- The police report of the accident
- Pictures and/or videos of the accident scene, damaged property, and injuries
- The details of the accident (like the place, date, weather, and road conditions)
- Car insurance details
- The cost of damage and lost income you’ve suffered and are still suffering, as a result of the accident
3.The Qualifications of the Right Attorney
Just because someone has a law degree doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good lawyer. If you are based in South Carolina, for example, you should start your search locally. When looking for a car accident attorney, you need to find a personal injury attorney who’s had extensive experience dealing with car accidents in your specific state. Car accidents are handled under personal injury laws that can significantly vary according to each respective state. You’ll also need to check the certification, qualifications, track record, plan, and way of operation of the lawyers you’re considering to handle your case before proceeding with hiring one.
4.Where to Look for
The easiest way to find the right lawyer for your case is to open your internet browser and look up a local car accident lawyer. When looking for a lawyer, be sure to check client testimonials first if you decide to take this route. Take advantage of the internet connection at hand to do further research and have a basis of the personal injury attorney’s behavior available in your local area. Alternatively, you can ask your family, friends, and acquaintances for a tried and credible personal injury attorney who can take on your case.
5.The Attorney’s Fees
One of the main reasons a lot of car accident victims decide to represent their case on their own is that hiring a lawyer is often very expensive. There’s also no guarantee that the lawyer will win their case and in case they do, there’s no guarantee for the amount of compensation they’ll get. However, many trustworthy and capable attorneys charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. Lawyers that charge based on a contingency fee won’t charge their clients unless they win the case and the contingency fees may generally range from 33.3% to 40% of the personal injury award.
6.Your Clock is Ticking
Depending on the severity of the car accident, you may need a lot of time to get treated and nurse your health back to full recovery. There’s also the mental and psychological aspect of the recovery, which can take years. Unfortunately, you’ll need to move quickly to find the lawyer before you run out of time. There are strict time limits for all kinds of personal injury cases, including car accidents, known as the statute of limitations. If you don’t file your claim during this window, you’ll probably lose your right to getting compensation altogether.
Surviving a car accident can be a life-altering experience. Many car accidents result in serious injuries for all parties involved, -some of which can be fatal or permanent. As a victim, your main priority should be to get better, and that’s why you need to find a capable and trustworthy car accident lawyer to represent your case and maximize your chances of winning.
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