Getting into a car accident will cause a major disruption in your life. It is not the kind of event that you can plan for or anticipate. The most you can do is try to avoid it by following traffic rules and remaining alert and to protect yourself financially by maintaining your insurance policy. However, not even the latter of these may be enough to help you recover from such an accident. If you were harmed in a car crash caused by a reckless or negligent driver, it is your right to get compensation from them. A car accident lawyer will serve as an advocate for your interests.
After the Car Accident
The injuries that result from a car accident can be bad. If you have no time to brake or react before another car smashes into yours, the force of the impact will be extraordinarily violent. The crash will most likely put you in the hospital. And depending on how much damage your body took you may need to undergo a range of medical procedures to get you back to health.
If you are conscious, the only thing you should think about in the days following the accident is the restoration of your health. You will want your family and friends around for comfort and affection. As you regain your strength, you will need to start thinking about the financial consequences of the accident and your hospitalization. Eventually, the bills will come due for your treatment, and you will need the money to pay them. You will also need to find a way of making up for the wages you lost while in the hospital. In fact, this will become an even more pressing concern if your treatment includes an extended period of rehabilitation. You should not have to resolve these issues alone. You should call in a Los Angeles car accident lawyer to help you.
Getting Your Case Off the Ground
You need a lawyer with extensive experience in car accident cases. Not all personal injury law is the same. Specific areas of tort law refer to car accident injuries and rewards for damage. You want a lawyer who has complete mastery of this part of the legal code.
Here are some other qualities the attorney you hire should possess:
Do not assume that all lawyers who advertise their services are licensed to practice. Unfortunately, there is a sub-industry of people who have taken law courses or even graduated from law school but who have not been admitted to the California State Bar. Such people are not allowed to practice law, and if you unknowingly hire one of them it could throw your entire case into upheaval if they are found out (and they will be if you go up against a big insurance company).
The best way to avoid this error is to call or email the local Bar association and ask them to verify the license and credentials of the lawyer you’re thinking of hiring.
2. Good standing
You should also verify that your lawyer is in good standing with the Bar. The last thing you want is an attorney with an ethics violation in their background or one who is being investigated for wrongdoing. Your attorney should be in good standing with the Bar and the larger Los Angeles legal community.
3. A proven winner
The job of a personal injury lawyer is to get the highest settlements possible for their clients. This is the standard by which you should judge the lawyers you’re considering. Do not look at courtroom wins; look at total amount of money won for clients. In fact, the most effective personal injury attorneys are those who have spent the least time in the courtroom. This is a demonstration of their effectiveness as negotiators.
Once you have chosen the lawyer you want to represent you, they will come in and carry out an initial interview. If you are still struggling to recover from the accident, your attorney will not overtax you. However, they will need some basic information about the accident to get your case off the ground. They will ask you to recall the events leading up to the crash. You need only tell them what you remember. The rest they will gather through their own investigation.
Where the Money Will Come From
The person whose inattention and lawlessness led to the accident will be held liable for the ruin they have brought to your life, but it is their insurance company that will need to pay you.
Here is where it will get difficult. Insurance companies operate for profit. To this end, they try to minimize the amount of money they pay claimants. In fact, the other driver’s insurance company may try to contact you soon after the accident to offer you a settlement. The sum proffered is unlikely to meet your financial needs, and you should not even respond to the offer until after you have hired a lawyer.
Although it is unethical, many insurance companies try to get accident victims to accept low-dollar settlements while they are still weak and without a lawyer. The thing to remember is that you are not obligated to accept such an offer or respond to it until you feel better and have legal representation. At that point, you should allow your attorney to speak for you.
Your lawyer will look at the initial settlement offer. They will then determine what your case is actually worth by considering the treatment you have already received and what you have yet to go through. Your lawyer will also speak to your doctors about your prospects for recovery. They will consult you and your family and will work out the amount of money you are likely to lose in wages. They will also factor in the pain and suffering you have had to endure. The final figure will be the one that they present as a counteroffer to the insurance company.
Why Having a Personal Injury Attorney is Important
With this counteroffer, your attorney will have begun the process of negotiating with the insurance company. Your attorney is the only one qualified to carry out this kind of high-stakes negotiation. Their experience of handling such cases will give them insight into the various tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying adequate settlements.
One of the common ploys is dragging out cases. Your injury and mounting bills make you vulnerable. The insurance company will use time to pressure you into accepting an offer that is satisfactory to them. Your attorney will respond to this tactic by building up your case as a potential plaintiff.
The insurance company will not want to go to court. Juries tend to sympathize with injured plaintiffs, which can lead to a devastating verdict against them. Your attorney will leverage this fact to pressure the insurance company into offering a settlement that is close to the figure they came up with.
If you have been injured in a car crash, it is important to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will help you sort through your options. They will also develop the kind of legal strategy that will put you on a path of receiving fair compensation.