There are a number of key and possibly life-saving things that you should do after an accident. You should seek medical attention immediately. Also, plan to take photos of your surroundings and the damage to your vehicle and to yourself if possible.
One other thing that you need to do, which will be of tremendous importance, is hire an experienced Alexandria auto accident attorney to represent you and help you get the compensation that you deserve following your accident. Here are some of the things you need to know when hiring a lawyer after a car wreck in Alexandria.
Vetting a potential attorney can take time and involve speaking with several different law firms before making a final decision. Look for one that will review your case at no cost to you. An unhurried review of your case allows you to share the details of what happened and allows a lawyer to listen for key details that will benefit your case.
It also gives both sides an opportunity to discuss communication styles, fee agreements, potential timelines, and other details important to the attorney-client relationship.
Call us as soon as possible after an accident as there is a time limit on most cases. According to statute of limitations CC Art. 3492, you have one year from the time the injury occurs to file a claim. If there is a wrongful death, CC Art. 2315.2 states you have one year from when the death happened to file claim.
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Years of Experience
The first thing that most people look for when seeking professional legal help is an attorney’s years of experience. Experience in the legal field, representing a number of clients, gives a lawyer the best possible qualifications to help you. If they have assisted other people under circumstances similar to yours, then they will have more experience to draw from for your case.
An experienced attorney will also have a working knowledge of personal injury, wrongful death, and insurance law that can benefit your case. Additionally, a lawyer with experience will be able to represent you in court if an acceptable settlement offer is not forthcoming.
Just as you wouldn’t seek help from your local mail carrier for a medical problem, you wouldn’t hire a lawyer that practices another type of law for a personal injury case. Look for an attorney who practices personal injury specifically, and to narrow down your search even more, find a professional who has specific experience with cases similar to yours.
If you were injured in an accident in a collision with an 18-wheeler, for example, then take extra time to find a lawyer who has experience representing clients involved in 18-wheeler accidents.
For better or worse, you will be working with your attorney for a while throughout your case, so it is important that you are able to communicate with each other easily. When talking to prospective lawyers, make sure their communication style works with yours. This simple step can help you avoid frustration and confusion.
If you are the type of person who needs regular emails or phone calls with status updates on your case, then working with a lawyer who prefers to not have a lot of face time with clients might not work for you. The important thing is that you recognize your needs, how you prefer to interact with your lawyer and his or her staff, and look for that type of communication style.
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Reputation and Network
When you are looking for a lawyer and having consultations, pay close attention to their reputation in the legal industry. One way to accomplish this is to get recommendations from an attorney you are working with on another type of case. Your current attorney is probably the best person to ask about who you should work with on your personal injury case, as this tells you they are well respected by other legal professionals.
Referrals from previous clients is another way to vet a personal injury attorney. You can find client reviews of a potential lawyer online via Google reviews or on a potential lawyer’s own website. You can also request referrals from family and friends who have recovered from an accident.
After being injured in a car accident, you may not want to travel a great distance every time you need to meet with your attorney. Hiring an attorney who is local to your area can have multiple benefits.
A local attorney can investigate the accident scene quickly. He can also identify dangerous intersections or roadways and interpret local traffic patterns. Your lawyer will have added familiarity with state and local laws and may visit you in your home or hospital room if your injuries prevent you from visiting their office.
Personal injury attorneys often represent injured clients on a contingency fee basis. Your lawyer will handle every aspect of your case from the initial consultation to the final resolution with no expectation of payment until your case is resolved. When you work together on a contingency fee basis, the lawyer will absorb all upfront expenses related to your case including any required filing fees and other expenses.
In turn, you agree to compensate your lawyer with a percentage of your settlement or jury verdict. Your lawyer will explain his percentage, the payment process, and the anticipated timeline.
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court once the evidence indicates fault and liability. The settlement process is complex, though, and can be easier when a lawyer negotiates for you. Your lawyer can ensure your case is given an accurate value and send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. He can also field each offer you receive and review its pros and cons with you.
Once you agree to a settlement, it is binding and final and you cannot ask for additional compensation later, not even for valid expenses. Look for a lawyer who can help you avoid leaving compensation you deserve on the table by ensuring the settlement you agree to is well-researched, well-informed, and the best possible outcome for you.
The nature of accidents is just that — they are accidents. No one expects them to happen, but they do. When you are involved in a car wreck, make sure you get the best available legal help.