Have you been involved in an accident and you do not know what the next course of action is? Accidents have a way of destabilizing your life, and attorney consultation will most probably not be the first thing on your mind. It is not easy to know when to hire an attorney after a car accident.
It is prudent to schedule an attorney consultation immediately after an auto accident. Whether you think you are on the are wrong or not, you still need a legal perspective. It may save you a lot of headache going forward, especially if either party was injured.
The initial meeting can make you anxious, but as long as you carry your evidence and all your notes regarding the accident, you will be good to go. And you needn’t let the stereotype regarding lawyers’ persona scare you. They do not live up to the persona portrayed in TV shows.
If you know a good lawyer, you can schedule an appointment with them to consult over your case. Alternatively, you can ask around if anyone knows a good lawyer for a recommendation. And if this does not work, you can look up car accident attorney near me on the internet.
The points below will give you a general idea of what to expect at your personal injury attorney consultation.
Recollection and Narration of Accident Events
The first thing you should expect to happen during your meeting is a request to go over the accident scenario step by step. The attorney needs this information to determine who is at fault in a car accident. It also makes them understand the potential issues bound to come up during the case.
Don’t hold back any details share as much as you can remember even if some of it portrays you in the negative. If you took any notes on the day of the accident, share them with the attorney for further detail clarifications.
Analysis of the Accident Evidence
The next step after this is to analyze the evidence from the scene of the accident. It could be pictures that were taken either by you or the police, video footage from the accident or a video recording from traffic cameras, a report from the police and a vehicle assessment report from your mechanic.
These reports and evidence will also come in handy in determining the car accident settlement. The evidence will further furnish the attorney with details on the severity of the accident. You should expect some questions regarding the evidence in case the attorney does not get a full picture of the incident.
Questions to Ask During the Attorney Consultation
After you are finished sharing your recollection of the accident, the attorney will then proceed and ask you several questions. Most of the questions asked may be general, but some of them may revolve around what you shared regarding the accident.
Some of the questions you may expect include:
- Whether you spoke to your insurance representatives regarding the accident?
- Whether you have car and health insurance and the type of coverage each insurance policy offers.
- Were there any witnesses during the accident?
- Did you record a statement with the police after the accident?
- Did you discuss the accident with anyone afterward?
- Did you sustain any injuries? Do they affect your day to day activities?
A Case Assessment by the Attorney
Once the steps above are over, you can finally find out more about who is at fault at this point. Because the attorney is bound to be better versed with driving and road regulations or has handled similar cases in the past. At this juncture, the lawyer can be able to advise you on how to proceed with the case.
They will also let you know whether they are willing to take your case or not. A rejection does not mean that you do not have a case or you are going to lose: it could mean that they are not in a capacity to give your case the attention it deserves, or they do not have skills to handle your case.
A Discussion of the Legal Fees Structure
If the attorney decides to take your case, they will walk you through how they charge for such cases. In some cases, you do not have to pay them unless you win the case. Ask as many questions as you can, especially about individual billings.
Lawyers have been known to quote a general fee only for clients to be surprised by administrative and stationery charges when they get their invoice. Never forget to ask what percentage they expect to get from your winnings. Be diligent when poring over the details of the fee agreement.
Deciding to Hire the Lawyer
Do not hire them just because you had an attorney consultation and they have agreed to represent you. If possible, ask for some time to think it through before you can give them your feedback. Especially if the legal fee quoted is exorbitant and required upfront.
If you decide not to work them be sure to let them know as soon as possible. If the lawyer is not in a position to assist, you do not hesitate to look up personal injury attorney near me for alternative better-skilled attorney options.
Hiring an Attorney After a Car Accident
Carry all the documents related to your accident to the attorney consultation session. Bring a copy of your doctor’s report, hospital bills, therapy bills, list of prescriptions, insurance policy, the police report with the accident details, and anything else you think your lawyer might need. If there are newspaper articles about the accident, carry clippings of the news as well.
You will also need to prove the extent the accident has affected your life, so be sure to get a letter from your doctor detailing the extent of your injuries and their impact on physical capabilities. Share as much as you can about the accident and the aftermath results during the attorney consultation. Check out our blog for more advice on what to do after an auto accident.