In the unsettling moments following a car crash, knowing the immediate steps to take is essential for safeguarding both your health and legal rights. The aftermath of a car accident involves a complex interplay of considerations.
Quick and appropriate responses are not only vital for addressing potential health concerns but also play a significant role in the success of any subsequent insurance claims or legal processes.
In such scenarios, every decision made can have significant implications. Car accidents, regardless of their severity, can be overwhelming experiences, often leaving individuals confused and unsure of their next steps.
If you find yourself searching the internet for “car crashes in last 24 hours near me,” you are probably doing so because you were involved in a recent automobile accident, and you are trying to determine what your next steps should be. Speaking to an attorney should be at the top of your list, but there are a few things you should know as you begin your search.
As urgent as finding quality legal representation is following a car accident, choosing the car accident attorney you want to represent you is not a casual decision. You need a lawyer with experience, one who has a proven track record of successful outcomes for car accident claims. You also need to ensure that you and your chosen lawyer are able to communicate with one another and that you trust them to keep your best interests in mind.
After a car accident, you might be wondering if you even need a car accident lawyer. If you hope to recover full and fair financial compensation, you will likely need to work with a respected and reputable car accident lawyer, particularly if you were injured.
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What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Some actions you should take immediately following a serious car accident are:
- Get to a safe space where you are not at risk of further injury
- Notify local law enforcement of the accident
- Seek prompt medical attention, even if you think you are unharmed
- Get contact details from everyone involved in the crash and take notes about what happened
- If you are able, take videos or pictures of the vehicles, any visible injuries, skid marks, missing road signs, and anything else you feel is important
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area before you call the insurance company
How Can I Find a Reputable Car Accident Lawyer Quickly?
As convenient as it would be to be able to contact any personal injury attorney and know you will receive first-rate service, the fact is not all lawyers are created equal. A personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents will have experience and a unique skill set that will allow them to investigate your accident, collect pertinent evidence, and deal with the insurance company.
They will also be up-to-date on the laws as they apply to your crash and have experience negotiating settlements and litigating cases in court. Some additional factors to keep in mind when selecting a car accident attorney to represent you include:
What Area of Law Do They Specialize In?
The first thing you need to consider when selecting an attorney in a hurry is their area of specialization. Most law firms and independent attorneys specialize in specific types of cases. Although an attorney who only handles personal injury cases is already specialized, many break their area of practice down even further by specializing specifically in wrongful death cases, medical malpractice cases, or car accident cases, to name a few. Look on local lawyers’ websites for information on the types of cases they handle to ensure that vehicle accidents are in their wheelhouse.
How Much Experience Do They Have?
In order to get a good grasp of how much prior experience an attorney has handling cases similar to yours, you should review the verdicts and settlements they have recovered for other clients. If a particular lawyer has multiple recoveries for medical malpractice cases but hardly any for car accident cases, you need to look elsewhere.
You should also find out how long they have been practicing personal injury law. An attorney fresh out of law school is probably not going to have the knowledge and skill necessary to secure maximum financial compensation.
However, a well-established law firm or lawyer with several decades of experience under their belt will know the best and most effective methods of getting you the recovery you deserve.
Do They Have Good Client Testimonials?
For the duration of your claim, you and your lawyer will be communicating regularly and working closely together. If an attorney’s website does not post any client reviews or testimonials, they most likely do not have a client-centered approach to cases and might not be someone you want to work with.
Fortunately, the web is full of resources you can use to find out how they handle attorney/client relationships. LinkedIn, Google reviews, the American Bar Association directory, and even social media can provide you with a wide range of testimonials and reviews that will give you a good idea of their average client experience. You want a lawyer who will take a vested interest in you and your case from start to finish.
Do They Have a Good Reputation?
It is important to work with a lawyer who has a good reputation, is respected by their peers, and is appreciated by their clients. You can get a good idea of a lawyer’s reputation by reading their website bio to see how dedicated they are to their professional growth. If they are receiving awards and certificates or are associated with reputable institutions, they are most likely highly motivated to do the best job they can for their clients.
Do They Work on a Contingency Fee?
Odds are, if you were recently injured in a vehicle accident, you are facing medical bills, a loss of wages, and other financial obstacles that are making life challenging. Adding legal fees into the mix is a burden that you just can’t afford.
Make sure your car accident lawyer works on a contingency fee. This means you do not pay any upfront costs, and rather than paying a massive hourly rate, they simply take a percentage of any financial recovery they earn on your behalf.
If they are not successful in securing financial compensation, you owe them absolutely nothing. If you choose to go with a lawyer who operates under a different financial arrangement, make sure you understand exactly how their costs and fees work.
Remember that the cheapest attorney is not always the best option for you. Also, the more complex your case is, the more an attorney is going to cost. Getting the best legal representation will ensure that your case goes as smoothly as possible and you do not leave money on the table.
Although losing a portion of your settlement award or jury verdict might not sound appealing, especially when you are under heavy financial constraints, car accident victims who work with a qualified attorney recover, on average, 3 times more compensation than those who try to represent themselves.