If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might be wondering exactly how an attorney can help you. In this article we’ll cover what a car wreck lawyer brings to the table, including:
Organization and analysis of key evidence and records, a network of investigators and experts who can help strengthen your case, and negotiation skills that will get the best outcome for your car accident claim.
Organize and present the evidence in order to prove liability and damages. Negotiate with lien holders on your claim (such as health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially reduce the amount of those liens.
Negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney.
What Will My Car Accident Lawyer Do?
While much depends on the specifics and the complexity of your car accident case, in general a car wreck lawyer can:
Communicate with the other driver’s insurer, obtain the necessary evidence with respect to fault for the accident, organize your medical records and bills.
Communicate with your health care providers to obtain missing records. Work with your doctors to make sure they provide the medical information you need so that you can prove damages in your claim.
Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurer
In any personal injury case, your lawyer will open up a line of communication with the insurance adjuster for the other party (or parties) involved. The adjuster has the pocketbook, and so it is critical for a plaintiff’s lawyer to have good communications and a good relationship with the adjuster.
Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Liability
A car wreck lawyer can help obtain all the evidence you’ll need to prove liability in a car accident claim. Although you may have already taken photographs of the accident scene, your car wreck lawyer will probably go back to the scene him/herself to see what it looks like. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, actually seeing the scene can be worth a thousand pictures.
The car wreck lawyer will make sure to get all of the accident or police reports in the case and will often speak with the investigating police officers and witnesses. A good lawyer will leave no stone unturned when it comes to obtaining evidence of liability. Learn more about proving fault for a car accident.
Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Damages
This is where a good lawyer can be essential to your case, especially when you’ve suffered significant car accident injuries.
It is critical to obtain all documentation related to your injuries, but it isn’t always easy to get your hands on those records and bills from health care providers. Although the records are technically yours, and you have an absolute right to them, sending medical records to patients and car wreck lawyer is just not a health care provider’s first priority.
Small doctors’ offices may not have the staffing or the time to respond to medical record requests on a timely basis. Large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed in order to respond to medical record requests. If you don’t follow their procedures (which they often don’t publicize very well), they simply won’t respond to your request.
Then, when the health care provider does respond to the request, the records may be incomplete. Any car wreck lawyer secretary or paralegal will tell you that they often have to request the same records more than once and that they have to follow up endlessly with the provider’s office.
Negotiating with Lien Holders
If you received benefits from a health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurer, that insurer will have a lien on your claim. A lien means that the lien holder gets paid before you do, out of any settlement or judgment you receive.
A good car wreck lawyer will work with the lien holder to try to get the lien holder to reduce its lien. This is important work. Every dollar less that the lien holder takes is one more dollar that goes into your pocket. Learn more about health care provider liens on personal injury settlements.
Negotiating With Insurers/Defendants
Negotiation is a very specific skill (some might even call it an art). A personal injury lawyer is always going to be far better at settling a car accident case than a layperson would be. A good car wreck lawyer knows how much the case is worth and knows how to work the case and conduct the negotiations in order to arrive at the best outcome for the client.
How to Find the Best Car Wreck Lawyer?
When you’re looking for a car wreck lawyer’s help, it’s often best to start by asking friends, family, and colleagues whether they can recommend a particular legal professional. Conducting an online search is also a good way to start. Here are a few factors to consider:
The attorney’s experience (with personal injury cases in general, and with car accident injury cases in particular), the attorney’s ratings from reliable online resources.
Other information about the attorney you can find online (including membership in organizations, awards/honors, and publications), and the proximity of the lawyer’s office to you, plus any other practical considerations.
Deciding to Hire the Attorney
Whether the attorney represents you is your decision as much as it is the attorney’s. You need to find an attorney you feel comfortable with, and who you can trust. You also want to ensure your car wreck lawyer will effectively and capably represent your legal interests.