A car accident can happen at any time and in any place. When it does, you must be prepared to act to protect your interest. There are people on the road who have little regard for safety and traffic rules. They tend to be the ones who cause accidents. You need not simply accept the accident as a fact that you can do nothing about. You can do something about it. If you have been injured in a car accident, you deserve relief. The legal system gives you the option of claiming damages in the form of money. The march toward this specific remedy starts by calling a car accident personal injury lawyer.
Why You Should Call a Lawyer After the Accident
Your first impulse after the accident will be to call your insurer. This is perfectly natural. The damage done to your car and your person will need to be reported to the people who insure you. However, it is important to realize that the job of the claim adjustor apparatus in every insurance company is to deny payments or to minimize the amount of money that must be paid to each claimant. This may seem like an exaggeration, but it is the truth. Insurance companies make their money by receiving money from those they insure and finding ways to avoid paying them when they get into accidents.
This is the first thing a Los Angeles accident attorney will help you with: dealing with your insurance company and ensuring that your rights as a policy holder are protected. The next thing your lawyer will help you with is engaging the insurance company of the person who hit you.
Indeed, if the other driver caused the accident, then their insurance company should be made to pay for the expenses and setbacks you have encountered as a result. The worse your injuries, the more urgent the need for a dedicated and effective Los Angeles accident attorney.
Although all insurance company prioritize their bottom line, most will be willing to pay you just enough money to keep you from pursuing a more aggressive action. They will essentially attempt to buy you off, which is not a bad thing if they offer you the kind of money that will enable you to pay your medical bills. However, if your injuries from the car accident were severe and you need sums of money that far exceed what they have offered, then you need a car accident personal injury lawyer who knows how to get it.
What to Look for in an Attorney
It is unwise to choose the first lawyer who pops up in your search engine results. Taking on an insurance company is a big job, and you need professionals who know how to get results. Nothing less than your future is at stake; it is not the kind of thing you want to put in the hands of a law firm that is without a proven record of success.
The best car accident lawyers have the following qualities:
There is no substitute for experience. Intelligence, quickness and presence of mind, and knowledge of the law are all good qualities in a personal injury attorney. However, a lawyer can only be effective as a practitioner of the law through long experience of practicing it. An experienced lawyer will have a sound grasp of the methods and procedures that get the best results. They will also be familiar with the judges who will preside over the case, if you are forced to sue, as well as the larger legal community. Familiarity with the latter is important. Having insight into the law firm representing the insurance company will allow your attorney to better hone their own legal strategy.
2. Specialist Knowledge
Your attorney should also be an expert in car accident cases. Tort law is a very wide field. You want someone who has exact knowledge of the area that affects your claim. You also want an attorney who has handled many cases like yours. They will know what works and what doesn’t.
Your attorney should be a member of the California Bar in good standing. You should not take either their membership or their standing for granted. There have been many unfortunate cases in which an individual has advertised themselves as an attorney but are not licensed to practice law in the state.
You should also determine whether your lawyer has been disciplined by the Bar for misconduct. It is better to work with someone who has a clean record. Going with an attorney who has breached ethics rules or committed some other infractions is a risk. Their misconduct may have affected their reputation in the legal community, which can adversely affect the outcome of your case.
4. Honesty and integrity
You must also hire a lawyer who is honest. In the end, your attorney can only advise you what to do. You must make all final decisions on legal action. To make good decisions, you must have accurate and up-to-date information. What your attorney tells you should be factually accurate. And they should speak to you in a clear and unambiguous way—a way that allows you to comprehend your situation and make sober decisions based on it.
Being transparent is an essential part of being honest—especially when it comes to billing. Many attorneys work on a no win-no fee basis. Such attorneys will only take those cases they believe they can win; and if they do win the case, will take a percentage of the settlement. If your Los Angeles auto injury attorney works in this way, they should tell you the exact percentage they intend to take. You should also ask for an itemized list of all expenses, including billed hours, related to your case. Your attorney should be able to present such a document on request.
If your lawyer does not work on a no win-no fee basis, then you should know up front how much they charge per hour. They should also give you a sense of how much money will be needed for administrative and investigative work. Depending on the length of the proceedings, your attorney may be willing to wait until you have received the settlement before getting paid.
The Work of Accident Lawyers
Personal injury law is mostly about communication and negotiation between rival legal teams. It is essential that your attorney have all the facts concerning the accident and the person who caused it. Your attorney will also ask you very personal questions about your background and family. Such information is especially important if you are forced to sue the other driver’s insurance company. In the event of such a suit, the latter’s legal team will dig into your past. Their aim: to find some incident or behavior that will discredit you as a witness. Your lawyer’s job is to prepare you for such scrutiny.
Your auto injury attorney will also take a fresh look at the circumstances that led to the accident, including the actions of the other driver before it. A fresh interrogation of the evidence often leads to new insights about the accident. Your attorney will pull every legal lever to get you the compensation you deserve.