After you've made a short list of potential attorneys who you think can help you after your car accident injuries. How do you know if you have at least one valid case? How do you know which lawyer will work the best for you? When you call a law firm directly or meet with the attorney in person, you have the ability to ask a myriad of questions about the accident and the attorney. It is important that you take advantage of this opportunity! All firms and attorneys have a duty to resolve your doubts in detail to ensure that you fully understand both the legal services they offer you and your rights.
When taking the call or being in the meeting, it can be easy to forget many of your concerns and concerns. It is helpful to prepare a list of questions in advance to ensure that you obtain all the relevant information when deciding which attorney to hire. Here is a sample list to consider when interviewing a candidate attorney after a car accident.
Can I Receive Compensation For My Injuries?
Possibly you believe that you have the right to be compensated for your losses after a car accident, although it is difficult to be certain of this, especially if the other party involved is denying responsibility. An attorney will collect enough information such as an account of the incident along with police reports, subpoenas, and arrests, among others; this way your legal representative can determine if another party can be held liable for your losses.
You have the right to seek compensation from those involved who have acted negligently and caused your car accident. There are many types of negligence that can result in a serious accident, and the responsible parties can be other drivers, employers, vehicle manufacturers, among others. Some examples of negligence that imply that the victim is entitled to compensation include:
- Driving distracted
- Driving while intoxicated
- Road rage
- Violate traffic laws
- Defective spare parts
- Roads in poor condition
In some cases, getting the answer to this question will involve a thorough investigation by the law firm, which may consist of interviewing witnesses or consulting with auto accident experts. They must obtain sufficient information to determine whether they can prove negligence and liability for your accident. However, it is important that you have an idea of whether or not you have a valid claim during your initial consultation.
How Much Compensation Should I Expect?
Many underestimate the value of their losses from the accident. If you never consult an attorney, you will probably request and receive a much lower compensation than your share. You may be shocked to learn an attorney's response to the potential value of your claim. It is almost never possible to estimate the value of your claim early in the process, however an experienced law firm will be able to provide you with information and estimates to establish a general range.
Among the most common losses are medical costs and lost wages if your injuries forced you to miss work. However, a highly trained accident attorney knows that your losses can go beyond your medical bills and lost wages. You also have the ability to seek compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, permanent conditions, and loss of quality of life.
Non-economic damages can cost much more than you might think, and they can substantially increase the value of your claim if they are estimated correctly. It is important to be prepared for the insurance company to dispute the value of the non-economic damages you are requesting, and the right attorney can negotiate the amount you are entitled to. Many cases involving profound pain and suffering, or permanent injuries may not be resolved through an insurance claim and will need to be addressed as personal injury claims.
How long do I have to take legal action?
The answer to this question will depend on your state and the specific circumstances of your case. Each state establishes its own statutes of limitations for personal injury claims; If you file the claim after the deadline, the other party will successfully reject this request and you will lose your right to be compensated. Therefore, it is critical that you know these deadlines and begin your legal process early.
For example, in Texas you have two years to file a claim or lawsuit for either personal injury or wrongful death from the date of the injury or fatality. Two years may seem like a long time to most, and for this reason many will postpone the case, especially if they are dealing with medical consultations and adjusting to their lives with the injuries they suffer. There are really many steps to take before filing a claim after a car accident. For example:
- First of all, you must choose the right car accident attorney.
- Your attorney should investigate the incident in order to obtain evidence of guilt and calculate your damages.
- Your attorney will file a petition with the negligent party's insurer and attempt to reach a favorable settlement directly with the adjuster; this can take an extended period of negotiations.
- If it is not possible to reach an agreement that adequately compensates for each of your losses, the attorney will have to prepare a convincing complaint to start a personal injury lawsuit.
- This complaint must be presented within the stipulated period.
The process prior to submitting a case to court can easily take months or even longer. If you wait for the deadline to approach, you run the risk of having to rush your claim or not being able to file it at all. Find out what your deadlines are as soon as possible after being in an accident.
What Is Your Plan For My Car Accident Claim?
Each car accident case is unique and will go through a different process. Some factors that will influence the lawyer's strategy are:
- Number of parties that have been involved
- If the responsible parties are drivers and / or corporations
- Which insurers cover those responsible
- The severity of your injuries and whether you were permanently disabled
- The value of your claim
If you have an attorney who is familiar with each insurance company and civil courts, he or she can provide an overview of the strategies for your case. Keep in mind that plans may take a different tack, and a case that was intended to be resolved with the insurer may result in court for different reasons. Regardless of the situation, it is important to work closely with your attorney and be aware of their strategies.
How Do I Pay For My Medical Bills While The Case Is In Progress?
These car accident cases can take a long time, and you will see your debts pile up as your case evolves. You must find a way to cover your payments or other expenses so that you can receive the necessary treatments. There are several options that can help you depending on your location and circumstances.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP Coverage) - Some states offer or require PIP coverage for motorists. In Texas, all auto policies include personal injury coverage and you must agree to this in writing. This insurance is "no-fault" coverage that should cover your medical costs whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
- Medical Expense Coverage - It is commonly known as MedPay, which is a type of coverage that you can also include in your auto policy. MedPay covers your out-of-pocket expenses after an accident, regardless of whether someone else was at fault.
- Supplemental Coverage - Companies like Aflac offer supplemental insurance policies that provide a certain amount of coverage in case of medical emergencies such as a car accident. These policies usually only cost a few dollars a month and can be of great help after an accident.
- Contingency Medical Billing - Your attorney may know medical providers who can withhold your medical bills until you get a settlement on your claim. In this case, the medical provider will agree to provide care without paying in advance since you have a pending car accident case. Once you reach an agreement with the insurer, you or your attorney can pay for these services with your compensation money.
- Litigation Financing - Also known as “lawsuit loans,” litigation financing can provide you with funds prior to your settlement. These loans do not require a credit or income study, but only a confirmation that you have a claim in process that may be resolved in your favor. Keep in mind that these companies charge very high interest rates, so only opt for this if you really have no other option.
- Credit cards - If you do not have insurance to cover your medical expenses and your health care providers do not accept contingent billing, you may be able to use your credit cards to pay off your debts. If you have the amount and it won't significantly affect your credit score, cover these expenses and keep a record of every payment you make. When you receive your compensation, use these funds to pay off your credit card balance.
- There are many who think that their medical bills will be sent directly to the responsible party or their insurer, however that is not how it works. You are responsible for certain payments to continue your treatments while your case is being managed. Your legal representative can help you explore these options and decide which one is best for you to cover these medical costs.
I Will Need Medical Treatment In The Following Years, How Will I Cover Those Costs?
Once you receive your compensation, you will be able to pay your existing medical debts; however, if you need medical care in the future, how can it be covered? This is a common situation, as many car accident victims will end up needing months or years of treatment. Your attorney should include all of these estimated costs of future proceedings in the claim.
Estimating these future costs can be complex, and legal professionals generally must enlist the help of medical experts who are familiar with the type of treatment your injury requires and the costs associated with it. You can request compensation in advance for these future expenses. Once you receive your compensation and pay your existing debts, you should have enough left to cover your future expenses. Try to plan in advance how your compensation funds will be distributed to ensure that you have enough to pay for your costs that have yet to be incurred.
What Is Needed From Me?
This is a question that cannot be forgotten for many reasons. First, show your intention to be involved in your case when necessary. On the other hand, it lets you know what role you will play in your own case so that you do not get any surprises later. Finally, when your attorney brings you up to speed on possible documents and information you may need, you will have plenty of time to prepare the paperwork. If you are up-to-date with the necessary documentation, it can save you time, which can also help avoid delays in the legal process for your attorney to win the case .
The above are just a few examples of questions to ask after a car accident. There are also many issues that you may be wondering about, and you should think about these questions in advance based on your needs and the circumstances of your accident. It is essential that you feel empowered and knowledgeable about your case and what to expect from it.