Car accidents are traumatic enough, especially if you sustain injuries. But dealing with insurance companies alone just adds to the trauma you have already suffered. Car accident attorneys are personal injury lawyers who specialize in automobile accidents and insurance laws and regulations.
While is not a requirement to hire an attorney for your case, your chances of obtaining appropriate compensation will be greatly reduced without legal representation. Instead, the insurance company will most likely offer the minimum payout. Auto accident attorneys are seasoned in handling insurance companies and their tactics to avoid payouts, even in cases with serious injuries.
Consulting an attorney is crucial if you sustained injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence. Serious injuries can result in lifelong complications or disabilities with skyrocketing medical costs and loss of income for you and your family.
You can hire an attorney at any point during your case before the settlement, but it is best if you consult an attorney as soon as possible following the accident, especially if there are injuries. They are skilled in handling insurance companies and having legal representation to speak for you prevents you from unknowingly stating something to the insurance company that could damage your case and the settlement offer.
When choosing an attorney to represent you, there are many important factors to consider. In order to find a lawyer, you feel most comfortable and confident about, you will need to do a little upfront research and interview potential candidates during your initial consultation. Consider the following when searching for the best attorney for your case:
One of the biggest challenges in selecting the right attorney is narrowing the field, particularly in high population areas with thousands of lawyers. Websites such as Nolo.com and AllLaw.com are great resources that offer free legal information and directories of attorneys to help you compile a list.
Once you have compiled a list of potential candidates, make a list of questions to ask during the initial consultation and bring copies of all relevant documents, such as the police report, medical records and bills, pay stubs for proof of income, and any communication you have received from your insurance company and the other driver’s. If you plan to meet with several attorneys, make multiple copies of this information so each can retain a copy to review after the consultation to determine if they will take your case.
One key element to remember when selecting an attorney or firm is that they must also agree to take your case. As previously mentioned, most personal injury lawyers work on contingency and receive a percentage of the damages you recover. If the settlement you are likely to receive is low, most attorneys will not accept the case.
The cost of operating a law firm and the potential resources involved in car accident cases are high, it is not economically sound for an attorney to take a low-paying case. Though some attorneys who forgo working on the entire claim may be willing to advise you on parts of the claim and you would pay their hourly rate for those services.
A low settlement is not the only reason an attorney may decline to represent you. Even in cases involving serious injuries and the potential for higher compensation, the attorney may pass if he feels your chances of winning the full compensation amount is low. This is typical in situations where you may be partially or largely responsible for the accident, proving fault is difficult, or the at-fault defendant has little or no insurance.
Sometimes an attorney is just not a “good fit.” While you are interviewing the attorney to find the one you are most comfortable with, they are doing the same. If the attorney feels your personalities seem to clash, they may choose to decline the case, even if you do not feel the same. Personal injury cases take a long time to complete; you want to work with an attorney you get along with and one who also wants to work with you.
If you have been injured in a car accident by a negligent driver, our experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. are available to help you recover compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware. We represent clients in Dover, New Castle County, Sussex County, and throughout Delaware.