Driving in California can be an exercise in concentration and frustration. With traffic, construction and so many people on the roads, even the best of drivers find themselves in impossible situations at times. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were over 187,000 injuries caused by car accidents in the last year the state collected data, 2019. These accidents often lead to exorbitant medical bills, loss of income, changes to quality of life and the mental health of the injured.
No matter how careful you are, the truth is that you cannot account for all the other cars on the road. Defensive driving helps you be aware of what is going on around you, but if you find yourself injured in an accident caused by the carelessness of someone else, it may be beneficial for you to retain a good car accident lawyer.
Finding A Car Accident Lawyer for Your Case: What to Consider
Not all injuries manifest immediately after an accident. Anyone involved in a car accident should receive medical care and attention. If you fear the accident may lead to medical issues in the future, it is important to document your care and start early. A good attorney can advise you on what to do to protect your best interests. When you are searching for an attorney, consider these five things.
There are a lot of things that must fall into place for an injured person to receive compensation for an accident. A lot of the documentation and witness statements should be given quickly after the accident. The problem is that after you have been in an accident, the last thing you are thinking about is writing down the phone number of the person who saw it happen.
This is where a good accident attorney comes in. An attorney with experience knows the process and knows the best ways to approach insurance companies to get you more compensation for your injury. When you are hiring a lawyer, look for one who has experience not only in car accident injuries, but also in your specific type of accident. For example, if you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, look for an attorney who has worked on those types of cases specifically.
A serious injury can completely uproot your life and you deserve an attorney who will treat your case as if it is personal to them. Some law firms have paralegals and staff who handle most of the communication, but there will be times you want to speak directly to your attorney. Find one who is accessible and responsive. If you do not feel you are getting the attention your injury deserves, choose a different attorney. While you are focusing on healing, your attorney should be working on your case and updating you regularly.
Along with communication, does the attorney have a physical location close to you? If not, are you able to schedule a virtual appointment? Some firms have many convenient physical locations which may make it easier for you to file your claim.
3. Reputation and Review
Choose an accident attorney with a good reputation. In today’s world, finding references and reviews is simply a matter of doing a quick internet search. Check testimonials on the lawyer’s website, read online reviews and ask the lawyer for references if possible.
Before checking the attorney’s reputation, make sure you know what is important to you. Do you need an attorney who is available on weekends, or one who can travel to you for visits? Even a good attorney may not be a good fit for your case and if you go into the review process with a list of exactly what you are looking for, it will be easier to find it.
You may also want to ask your attorney if they are a part of any reputable legal organizations. They may be a member of a state bar association or be in other elite legal groups. Feel free to research your attorney’s reputation and qualifications before you make a choice.
Does the attorney offer a free consultation, or is there a charge to even discuss your case? Consider how the attorney charges clients. Many injury lawyers only charge a fee when they win, and the firm will cover the costs of the trial or negotiation until you get your money. Discuss whether the attorney takes a fixed percentage of your settlement or if there are any variables.
If you are healing from an injury and trying to get back to normal life, it may be difficult to come up with the cash needed to build a case. In this situation, it is important that your attorney has the resources and capital to build your case before you get compensation for your injury.
Building a case may involve hiring expert witnesses, reconstructing the accident or requesting forensic evidence. A good attorney will cover these costs until you get paid.
You may find a good attorney with a great reputation and a solid record of success, but still not feel the connection is the right one for you. Because your attorney will be advocating for things that will greatly affect the rest of your life, it is okay to find one with whom you have good chemistry.
Consider how the attorney communicates. Do you prefer text or email, or would you rather have regular standing appointments or physical visits with your attorney? While this may not affect the final outcome of your case, it can affect your experience.
Get the Most Out of Your Case
Once you have chosen a lawyer, there are still things you can do to get the most out of your case. Your attorney’s job is to consider the situation, assess the facts and find a way to get you the compensation you deserve for your accident. You can help them by being accessible when they need you and providing complete, factual information.
What Can You Be Paid For?
A car accident injury falls under the legal area of personal injury, and state law determines the limits and conditions on the compensation you can get. If you believe you have a solid case for a personal injury and want to hire an attorney to take on your case, you may receive compensation and reimbursement for any of the following:
- Medical expenses and future medical care
- Compensation for pain, suffering and emotional distress
- Vehicle replacement or repair
- Physical therapy
- Punitive damages
- Immediate lost income and any future income you may lose because of the injury
If someone you love died in a car accident, you may also receive compensation for loss of companionship or consortium, missed financial support, and funeral and burial expenses.
Get Legal Help Today
When an injury occurs at the hands of another, it is important that you seek legal help as soon as possible. At Johnson Attorneys Group, we work with our clients so we can make the best decisions for them. We want your involvement in the process the entire way. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your case. We are available 24 hours a day and at 12 different locations, and we stand ready to advocate for you.