What Your Lawyer Wants You to Know After a Car Accident
Car accidents happen every day. Their prevalence might make you think that everyone knows what to do if they’re involved in one. However, that’s rarely the case. Car accident lawyers often work with accident victims who are wholly unfamiliar with the legal process.
You can never truly prepare for something as devastating as a car accident, but most car accident lawyers want you to know the following facts. The more you know, the more confident you can feel if you’re ever involved in a collision.
The Evidence You Gather Can Be ImportantAfter contacting a highly regarded lawyer in a directory like Legal Finders, you’ll often find that they ask you about the evidence you’ve gathered for your case. The strength of your evidence can sometimes be a deciding factor in whether or not you receive the settlement figure you deserve.
While your injuries are undoubtedly the most important thing to focus on after a car accident, evidence-gathering should be near the top of the list. Police reports, medical reports, photos, and witness statements, can all be crucial for developing a solid case. Fortunately, you don’t have to gather evidence on your own. Your chosen attorney can assist with this process.
You Shouldn’t Speak to Insurance CompaniesIt’s only natural to reach out to your insurance company after being involved in an accident. However, if you know you’ll need to file a personal injury claim due to your injuries, communications should be kept to a minimum.
Many car accident lawyers say your first phone call should be to a lawyer. They can advise what you can and can’t say to an insurance company to avoid impacting your case. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use anything you say against you when it comes time to provide a settlement figure.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Lawyer’s FeesWhile not true in all cases, lawyer’s fees don’t need to be something you worry about while you’re fighting for your rights to the compensation you deserve. Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they receive a percentage of your settlement figure rather than charging an hourly fee. If you don’t win your case, you typically don’t need to pay for their time. However, you might have to cover other associated costs, such as administration and expert witness expenses.
You Should Lay LowIf you’re recovering from car accident injuries, you’ll likely already be spending a great deal of time at home to rest and heal. Most car accident lawyers recommend keeping to yourself while your legal case plays out.
Insurance companies sometimes work hard to get out of paying top dollar for accidents. They use a range of tactics, including researching the victim to prove they aren’t as injured as they are. Something as innocent as a family picnic picture posted on social media can be seen as proof that you’re enjoying life to the fullest. Refrain from posting on social media or the internet in general while your case proceeds through the courts. It’s also worthwhile keeping details of your case private among your friends and family.
There’s a Special Formula for Calculating CostsAfter providing proof of the expenses you incurred due to your accident, lawyers get to work adding them up. They can then send a demand letter to the guilty party asking that they cover those costs. However, they don’t just add all your bills together so that you break even. They use a special settlement formula to ensure you’re adequately compensated.
This involves calculating your costs and multiplying them by a number from 1.5 to five. The more severe and life-changing your accident, the higher the multiplier typically is. They can also use this multiplier to determine non-economic costs like loss of life enjoyment, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
You Shouldn’t Wait to Take Legal ActionBeing involved in a car accident can be overwhelming. The last thing you often feel like doing is meeting with lawyers while you’re trying to heal from your injuries. However, delaying legal action can sometimes have a detrimental impact on your case.
There is a Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits, with some states setting time limits of as little as one year. This means you typically can’t file a lawsuit once a certain number of months or years have passed. Delaying your case might also lead judges and juries to believe you weren’t as injured as you were.
Your chosen car accident lawyer can guide you through the legal system for filing a personal injury lawsuit. They can also be a great source of advice and information. However, it doesn’t hurt to know these facts above before making your very first legal appointment.
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