Finding the Right Attorney for Your Case
When interviewing possible attorneys to represent you, always ask whether the initial consultation will be free or “complimentary.” Be sure to ask friends, business contacts, and family for referrals to attorneys who have strong trial experience in car accident cases. Do not hire an attorney who is merely a general practitioner or handles cases in several different areas of the law. You need an attorney who specializes in car accident cases.
In addition, while interviewing possible attorneys to represent you, ask them how many trials they have personally handled in car accident cases. The defendant’s insurance company will be much more willing to make reasonable settlement offers to settle your car accident case if they know your attorney is an extremely experienced trial attorney in these types of cases.
When you interview possible attorneys, be sure to ask whether you will be regularly dealing with them directly, or their junior associate, paralegal, or nurse.
Most car accident attorneys will expect to be paid roughly 1/3rd of any legal recovery you may receive, whether through settlement or trial award. However, you do not have to pay any money out of pocket to hire the attorney to represent you and it is the attorney who pays all of your case’s expenses and out of pocket costs up front, such as filing fees, office expenses and hiring expert witnesses to prove fault (“liability”), and/or the amount of your damages.
It is important to respond quickly to any question or request for information that your attorney sends to you. The faster you respond, the faster he can move your car accident case along. However, if you feel that your attorney does not return your calls, e-mails or texts quickly, consider changing attorneys.
Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
If you have suffered a serious personal injury, seek Medical attention immediately. Some injuries, pain, and limitations are not immediately noticeable and may take time to develop. You may not even be aware that you have suffered an injury immediately after your car accident. Your attorney will recommend a doctor to you so that all of your injuries may be properly documented and treated.
The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the harder it may be for your attorney to relate your injuries to your car accident and therefore prove your case.
The Insurance Companies Aren’t Your Friends
If you are contacted by a representative of the defendant’s insurance company, do not respond. The insurance company is not on your side. They represent the defendant that you may be suing. After you hire your attorney, ask your attorney to respond to the insurance company.
If the insurance company makes an early settlement offer to you in order to settle your car accident case, you should understand that the offer will be low and nowhere near the amount you could possibly receive through a later settlement or trial.
Beware – accepting an early settlement offer will prevent you from proceeding with your car accident lawsuit against the defendant that the insurance company represents. Insurance companies usually make much higher settlement offers once a car accident case approaches its trial date, especially if your attorney is known to have a good deal of car accident trial experience.
Overall, the legal process is slow, but we will push the insurance companies to move faster. We will do everything in our power to make this take as little time as possible.
There are many other types of personal injury cases that may be sued in New York. They include: slip and fall, motorcycle, dog bite, wrongful death, products liability, asbestos, construction, medical malpractice and nursing home neglect, to name only a few.
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