How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer

car accident lawyerIf you have been injured in a car accident, you can be left with many problems, such as property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. You need an experienced lawyer to assist with the claim and ensure liability is established with the defendant’s insurance.

Insurance companies will try to resolve the claim as soon as possible, resulting in a small settlement offer on their part. A car accident lawyer will help you attain the compensation you and your loved ones deserve for injuries and other losses. 

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our personal injury attorneys are committed to representing injury victims and helping them through the process. We provide a free consultation to review your personal injury case and provide you with options. 

Contact our Chicago-based car accident law firm at (888) 424-5757, so we can schedule the consultation as soon as possible. You need the right personal injury lawyer to assist you with your claim, and we are confident that we can provide the best possible representation.  

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

When you are involved in a vehicle accident, you may be injured and worried about the well-being of your loved ones. The vehicle may be damaged beyond repair, and you may not feel well enough to go to work for a while.

There are many concerns and damages that need to be addressed, which can be overwhelming. The best car accident lawyer will have the experience to guide you and make sure you receive fair compensation.

Liability

When you are in a vehicle accident, a person’s first instinct will usually be to sue the driver. In many personal injury claims, the defendant driver’s insurance may be the only route to take for compensation. 

An experienced lawyer will help you in investigating the facts about the accident. They will be able to see if the owner of the vehicle or a company should be held accountable for the driver. 

If the accident involves a hit-and-run situation, a lawyer will be able to investigate and determine who is responsible for the accident. You will have a good chance of holding all parties accountable for the accident accountable if you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. 

In a multiple-vehicle accident, your lawyer will need to negotiate with more than one insurance company. 

The right car accident lawyer should be able to investigate and determine who the defendants are and their insurance company.

Negotiation Skills

Another benefit of having representation is that a good lawyer has studied and practiced negotiation tactics. An experienced car accident lawyer has practiced his negotiation skills to help clients.

If liability is in question, an auto accident attorney will know how to best approach the issue. An attorney can also file a lawsuit on your behalf if the liability cannot be cleared outside of court.

Personal injury lawyers will also negotiate medical bills and lost wages. Insurance companies will offer a low amount for medical, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

They may even try to convince you that it is a reasonable amount to receive for the accident. When you obtain legal representation, a lawyer will work to make sure you receive the amount of compensation that is deserved for your case.

Obtaining Full Amount of Compensation

Personal injury lawyers will also be able to negotiate the full extent of compensation possible for you. Apart from medical expenses and lost wages, they may be able to demand other things such as future medical expenses and factors that relate to pain and suffering

There are aspects related to property damage that an experienced auto accident lawyer will be able to negotiate.

Depending on the circumstances of your unique case, a personal injury lawyer can review and conclude what to include in a demand for compensation to the insurance company. Personal injury lawyers have an extensive understanding of personal injury laws and the process involved in obtaining a fair settlement. 

Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

Car accidents unexpectedly occur, and when you find yourself involved in one, you may not be prepared to call any particular lawyer. Finding the best car accident lawyer for your case can be achieved easily in a few different ways. 

Different Types of Law

There are many different types of attorneys, so making sure you choose specializes in personal injury would be a good idea. Some attorneys also work on criminal cases or bankruptcy cases. 

There are so many different kinds of lawyers that it may be a good idea to work with one who focuses on specific types. Some attorneys work on different forms of personal injury law, such as medical malpractice or workers’ compensation. 

These types of cases can be connected to auto accidents. If the hospital that treated you after a car crash shows negligence in your treatment, there may be a medical malpractice case to file in addition to your car accident claim.

Referrals

Asking friends, coworkers, and family about any personal injury attorney they have hired for a car accident case is a great way to find one. You will be able to hear first-hand accounts of how a lawyer handled the cases of those you ask.

When you ask others about their own experiences with a lawyer, they will be able to let you know if the law firm maintained good communication and obtained a good settlement for their case.

Online Reviews

Similarly, online reviews are like referrals in that you are looking at the experiences others have had. The difference is that you are receiving these reviews from strangers and can see a bulk of them together. 

Another benefit to looking up online reviews is that many include a rating scale. A good rating or bad one may reflect the kind of customer service provided by a lawyer to past clients. 

A lawyer with a good track record will likely have a lot of positive reviews from satisfied clients. Checking the reviews can be a good starting point for researching a personal injury lawyer. 

Choosing an Experienced Attorney

When you need a service such as representation for an accident, you will want someone who knows exactly how to handle car accident cases. Many personal injury attorneys will attain the experience necessary by working in their law practice for years. 

The best personal injury lawyer to choose is one that has most likely handled a case like yours. Researching a car accident lawyer by finding information about them on their website is one way to find out when they began their personal injury practice. 

You can also ask the lawyer how many years they have worked on personal injury cases. It’s also important to know if they have handled many personal injury litigation cases. 

If your lawyer needs to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, you want to be confident in their representation. They will need to have a relationship with accident reconstruction experts, trucking safety experts, and medical experts. 

Contacting the law firm to meet for a free consultation is a great way to ask about their track record and other questions you may have.

Research an Attorney’s Background

Sometimes a lawyer will receive bad press or win a big case that is published in a local story. You can perform a search online to find if there are positive or negative stories attached to a personal injury lawyer.

An attorney’s website may show that they have board certification in a certain field of personal injury and other notable recognition.

You can also search the Illinois Search Bar Association to confirm that an attorney is licensed. This search can also show when the lawyer was licensed and what law school they attended.

Confirming that a lawyer is licensed shows that they are also meeting certain requirements. Attorneys are expected to take continuing legal education classes every year to remain licensed.

The Attorney’s Fees

Many personal injury lawyers will have a contingency fee agreement when you hire them. This type of agreement means that the lawyer will charge a percentage of the settlement amount. 

Asking law firms about how much the contingency fee is will give you a good idea of which firms charge more than the standard amount. Other lawyers will ask for an upfront cost, as well. 

It is a good idea to find out what an attorney charges ahead of time before hiring them. It can play an important part in figuring out who the right lawyer is for your case.

Do You Like the Lawyer?

Meeting up with a lawyer for a consultation may be another good way to see if you would want to choose to work with one. A good car accident lawyer will be able to provide clear answers to any questions.

You may want to ask how they would handle your car accident, the size of the lawyer’s caseload, and what law school they attended. It is also an opportunity for you to ask a lawyer about past performance in other cases.

During this meeting, you can also communicate your expectations of working with the law firm. The attorney’s response should give you a good idea of whether they will be able to provide you with the amount of personal attention you will expect to receive.

Working with someone you like and get along with is important because the process can take at least a few months if settled outside of court. Meeting with various personal injury attorneys should help you decide who you want to hire.

Things to Do Following a Car Accident

Your first instinct after a car accident may not be to contact a lawyer for help on what to do. You need to do certain things to have all the information possible for your case. 

Most personal injury attorneys will ask you to provide them with all of the information you have gathered about the accident. The evidence you have will also help the lawyer that represents you to investigate and negotiate with the insurance adjusters.

Traffic Safety

Car accidents will usually cause traffic due to cars needing to slow down and drive around the vehicles involved. 

The first thing you must do is try to move the vehicle to the side of the road and turn the hazard lights on. Sometimes the vehicle damage will be major, and you will be unable to move the vehicle. 

If you cannot drive your vehicle, make sure the vehicle is turned off and turn the hazard lights on. Drivers will then be notified to go carefully around you.

Injuries

One of the most urgent concerns following a vehicle accident is if there are any catastrophic injuries to yourself or your loved ones. You will want to have injuries addressed right away by visiting an emergency room or doctor. 

If there are no visible injuries, you and your passengers may still experience headaches, or pain in the neck In these instances, you will want to seek medical treatment to ensure everyone’s well-being. 

Police Report

It is also important to contact the police after an accident. If there are injuries, the police will assist in addressing the issues with ambulance services.

Police can also document what injuries were present at the time of the incident. 

As a first responder, a police officer can also document the street details and property damage related to the accident. They will document all of the information needed for an insurance claim. 

A police report about the auto accident should be available a few days later. You and your lawyer will be able to order a copy of the report to assist with your personal injury claim.

Gather Information for Your Records

Although the police will gather information, it is important that you also have copies for your records. There are some situations where police cannot gather all of the information.

One possible scenario can include an instance where one driver says they cannot wait for the police for some reason. If the defendant decides to leave the accident scene, you will want to document all possible information.

You need to make sure you exchange insurance information and take photos of the driver’s license, the property damage, and license plates. If any witnesses are nearby, you should also ask them for their names and contact information.

Contacting Your Insurance

You will also need to contact your insurance to notify them of the accident. The insurance will ask you for all of the basic information regarding the incident and create a claim that will be assigned to an adjuster. 

It is important to contact your insurance so that they may begin the process of evaluating the property damage. The company may also assist you with a rental vehicle if included in your policy. 

Things to Not Do After an Accident

You need to remain calm in the moments following a vehicle accident and do the steps mentioned above. 

Claiming Fault

In performing these tasks, you need to remember not to mention you are at fault, even if you believe you are. 

Your lawyer may be able to help you after reviewing the facts of the case. There may be some negligence found on another party, as well. 

It can feel easy to mention “sorry” to another driver, but you must refrain from doing so. Do not express that you are at fault to the other party involved, the police, or an insurance adjuster.

Mentioning Injuries

When you contact the insurance company to report the accident, you will be asked many questions. One of those standard questions may be about the injuries involved. 

After an accident, you may not feel any pain for up to a couple of days later. You may want to avoid answering the question that the insurance asks you about injuries. 

They may ask you if you and your loved ones are okay. You may want to respond by stating that you will see a doctor. 

In negotiations, the insurance company will often claim that you had no injuries following the accident. They will reference the fact that you stated you had no injuries initially.

A good personal injury attorney may be able to work to help you if you have claimed no injuries at the start or even fault for the accident. Regardless, they are two important things that should be kept in mind if you are ever in an accident.

How Soon to Hire a Lawyer

Researching and speaking with different law firms will help you find one right for your specific situation. It is important to note that you must file within the statute of limitation for your state. 

In Illinois, a lawsuit for a vehicle accident claim must be filed within two years. There are other reasons you should hire an attorney as soon as possible. 

If you are injured, you may need to see different specialists. Your lawyer will need to track and request the medical records for all the doctors you see. 

Another important reason to seek representation for your personal injury case as soon as possible is so that an attorney can handle the negotiations process. Until you hire an attorney, the insurance company will continue to call you and try to settle with you quickly.

Initial Consultation

Making decisions on how to handle a personal injury claim can be difficult when the insurance company is trying to protect its interest. You want to hire the best car accident attorney to assist you in your case so that you can focus on recovery. 

Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation if you’re unsure about whether you need representation. Take advantage of having a lawyer review your injury case

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we specialize in handling personal injury legal cases and guiding clients through the process. We have recovered over $250 million in settlements for our client’s personal injury claims. 

Call us at (888) 424-5757, so we can schedule an initial consultation with you. Our reputable law firm has the experience to help you and your loved ones with your personal injury cases. 

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship. 

Resources: