Legal Guide

Legal aid for personal injury cases: A broad overview of car accident attorneys

Auto Accidents can be a life-changing experience. They can prove to be both physically and psychologically traumatic. Motor vehicle accidents are considered one of the leading causes of unnatural death. They not only cause irreversible damages or permanent disabilities, but they can also lead the victims to life-long depression. In such cases, it is essential to seek legal advice from auto accident attorneys. They can guide you carefully through all the procedures, step by step, to bring your case to the most favorable conclusion possible.

Possible reasons for auto accidents:

  • Ignoring or avoiding traffic signals
  • Aggressive or Distracted driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driver’s fatigue
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Speedy driving
  • Vehicle malfunctions
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Unsafe lane changes

What should you do if involved in a car accident?

  1. In the case of minor accidents, the very first thing to do is to move the vehicle off the road to a safer space. Turn on the hazard lights.
  2. Call the ambulance in case of injuries as well as police to file a police report.
  3. Gather all the necessary information such as driver details, vehicle number, and pictures of the damaged vehicle.
  4. It is recommended not to admit fault unless all the facts come to light. Let the police determine the responsibility for the accident.
  5. Do not forget to contact your insurance company.

What you shouldn’t do if involved in a car accident?

  • Do not leave the accident scene
  • Do not fail to collect crucial evidence
  • Do not refuse medical aid
  • Do not involve yourself in blame-game

Why hire a car accident attorney?

Minor accidents can get handled by a person alone. In case of major accidents, where significant damages have occurred, one requires legal aid and representation to get you the compensation you deserve, such as compensation for loss of relative's life, car repairs, medical expenses, and so on. An attorney with his/her thorough understanding of the law of the land can rightly assess the legal complexities of your case and interpret it accordingly within the court system. Moreover, they can also ensure a more exhaustive calculation of your damages and can negotiate better with the insurance company. You can get in touch with M & Y Law Car Accident attorneys who have substantial experience and a proven track record in handling personal injury cases. 

When to hire a car accident attorney?

The sooner you appoint an attorney, the better. Early appointment helps in avoiding unnecessary expenses and costly mistakes. The deadline for filing personal injury claims also needs to be considered as they vary from one state to another. Ideally one must appoint an attorney within a week or two of the accident and before one reaches out to the insurance company for settlement.

What are the parameters to be considered while choosing a lawyer?

Do consider the following factors before appointing a lawyer.

  • Are you comfortable enough to share personal information with the lawyer?
  • How long has the lawyer been in this business? How much experience does he hold on similar cases?
  • What is the attorney’s background, skill set, references, and track record?
  • How are his standard fees structured?
  • Is his office conveniently located for you to have easy access?

Duties of an attorney

Your attorney has the responsibility of avoiding conflict of interest. They cannot represent someone else's interests which would be in contradiction to your interests. That implies that in the case of a car accident if an attorney is representing you, he cannot represent the drivers involved in the accident who might have conflicting interests compared to yours. The attorney is responsible for keeping secret all the information provided by you. That calls for strict confidentiality. He is competent to represent your case using all his expertise and competency. Also, he must inform you about the case status regularly, and he shouldn't advise taking any illegal or immoral step. In case if he fails to do so, he is obliged to hand over the case to another suitable attorney.

Basic expectations from a car accident attorney

  • A free initial consultation to study the facts of your case and determine the validity of your claim
  • Communicate with all the agencies and third parties such as police, doctors and, insurance companies.
  • Obtain relevant evidence such as medical reports, accident reports, driver’s records, etc.
  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the matter
  • Determine all the costs and expenses associated with the accident
  • Prepare the case for trial and represent it with utmost sincerity and assertion.

Suggested questions to be asked to the attorney before handing over the case

  1. Legal education, degrees, Law College, and year of graduation.
  2. What is the tenure of their legal practice?
  3. Do they belong to any Bar Association or any other group/organization?
  4. What kind of legal representations has the lawyer get involved in so far?
  5. How many cases of car accident do they represent annually?
  6. How frequently have they handled cases similar to mine?
  7. Do I have a case?
  8. What are the charges and fee structure?
  9. What are the additional expenses that I might have to bear in due course?
  10. What are my potential damages and their worth?
  11. How long will my case take for settlement?
  12. Are you interested in handling my case?

Overview of legal fees structure

Lawyers handle most car accident cases on ‘no win-no pay' basis. That is, if the attorney loses the case, he won't collect the fees. In case of victory, the attorney receives a certain percentage (generally one third or 40% or as per state impositions) of the total compensation. However, there might be other additional case-related expenses that one might have to bear during the entire process of settlement. 

Life changing experiences such as accidents can take a toll on the victim and the victim's relative's mental state, financial conditions, and physical health. Appoint an attorney to handle your case while you take your own time to recover. 

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