It is important to get properly compensated after being involved in a car accident
You are driving along, minding your own business, when suddenly your life is turned upside down. You are involved in a car crash that injures you. The course of your life is changed for a while. Your vehicle is totaled, you have suffered grievous injuries that require hospital treatment, multiple surgeries, and spend a month in the hospital and another month off work. What do you do to get your life back on track?
Everybody tells you to see a lawyer, but you feel overwhelmed and financially paralyzed. Already you face mounting hospital bills and medical costs. How much extra is a lawyer going to cost?
Let’s take a quick look at your first approach to a lawyer. It is not as intimidating as you may think.
The first consultation
First, you’ll want to find a reputable personal injury law firm specializing in car accident litigation. You can search “best car accident lawyer near me” then read all of the reviews for each lawyer that comes up in the search results. You’ll want to choose an advocate that has years of experience with a great track record of winning. If your car accident happened in Canada, these Hamilton car accident lawyers are well known for gaining maximum compensation for their clients.
Do not be nervous – personal injury lawyers are on your side and want to help you maximize any claim you may have.
It is a good idea to prepare yourself before the consultation. This will benefit you as well as the law firm.
The first consultation should cover the following ground:
Competent firms will typically provide you with a free initial consultation and accident review. During this consultation, they will assess your case and advise whether you have a worthwhile claim or not.
If you have a claim, they will probably offer to take on your case on a contingency basis. This means that the law firm will fund the expenses for the entire procedure, including any litigation, so you will not need to constantly come up with extra money to meet their fees.
Once they win your case (and only if they win your case), they will deduct any fees and expenses from the award made.
It is a good idea for you to ask what an approximate settlement amount you would be likely to walk away with after all fees and expenses have been deducted so you can assess whether the pursuit of your claim is worth your while.
Evidentiary and medical releases
Since the law firm will work on a contingency basis, it needs to properly assess the case and the expenses to ensure that it will be viable.
To do this, it needs to investigate the circumstances around the accident and complete a full reconciliation of all expected medical expenses.
You will be required to sign privacy releases, which allow the law firm to access the police report, the insurance records, and all medical documentation relating to the accident.
Questions, questions, and more questions!
Be prepared to be asked a lot of questions in your first consultation. This is because your lawyers require a lot of information before adequately assessing your case.
You will be asked to explain the details of the accident. This will be followed by many questions to get additional information, some of which will seem irrelevant to you but maybe very relevant to your case. Be honest with your lawyer, even if you were partially responsible for the accident.
Next, you will be asked to describe your injuries and all treatments you have received. Again there will be a lot of additional questions. Just relax and do your best to answer all of your questions.
Your first consultation is a perfect opportunity for you to assess the law firm and the personalities you will be working with. You should feel totally comfortable with the lawyer handling your case.
If you are not, if you feel unsure or uneasy and the lawyer seems impatient with your questions, you have the right to shop around for a lawyer you think you can work with.
The choice is yours – choose wisely.