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When I Get in a Car Accident, What is the First Step for Hiring a Lawyer?

by | Aug 13, 2021 | 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents, Car Accidents, Insurance Claims, Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury Law, Ridesharing Accidents, UM/UIM Coverage, Wrongful Death

 

Sadly, thousands of Americans suffer injuries every year because of car wrecks.

Fortunately, many accidents don’t lead to severe injuries. No matter how severe your crash is, you need to get legal help immediately following.

Knowing where to start can be a challenge. To help you sort through the information, we have outlined the steps for hiring an attorney after you are in a car accident and why it is important.

What is the First Step for Hiring a Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is the most equipped lawyer and one who can help with your case and sort through legal, insurance, and medical issues.

So how do you find one?

The first step is conducting research:

Research Local Lawyers

If you don’t have a family lawyer, then you will have to source a reputable lawyer on your own. You can search Google and the yellow pages for local lawyers. You will need a local lawyer (in your state and jurisdiction) as they will be the most familiar with the laws.

However, searching Google and the yellow pages might not guarantee accurate results.

The FTC recommends a few ways to go about it:

  • Asking friends and family for recommendations
  • Checking local and state bar associations
  • Consulting a lawyer referral service (which may be offered by a union or local association)

Unfortunately, this process might not be easy. While you can get a lawyer 24/7 on-demand, they may not be the best lawyer.

If you are following the guidance from the FTC and us here at Rose Sanders, such as documenting the crime scene, collecting evidence, and getting medical treatment, then you are at least on your way to a more successful case.

Interview Multiple Attorneys

You should spend time interviewing attorneys. Here’s a quick breakdown of what that might look like:

  • Try to collect information from friends, family, and associations so you have as much information and contacts as possible.
  • Plan to talk to multiple lawyers. Ask them some questions, like:
  • Their experience with your type of case
  • How they would get your case resolved
  • Potential outcomes they foresee
  • The chance of getting what you want
  • Their fees
  • How long it might take

Hiring a Lawyer

Once you’re ready to choose a lawyer, you will hire them. Be sure you continue to communicate clearly with them about:

  • How often they will update you
  • The documents that you need (including original documents)
  • Potential timelines you need to be aware of
  • Whether you need a medical exam or not
  • Fees associated with the lawyer vs. the courts
  • They might do retainer agreements, hourly rates or fixed fees, or contingency fee arrangement

Why You Need to Hire an Attorney Immediately

While you may want to put it off, you should hire an attorney immediately, and there are a few reasons why this is necessary.

1. The damage or injuries aren’t always immediately apparent.

Even if your car does not look that damaged, you still have legal rights, and the other person’s insurance may want to hold you liable for more. Other times, your whiplash or other car accident injury symptoms won’t show up for days.

An attorney will help investigate the incident and piece together what has happened.

2. You will have to deal with insurance and court.

Proving liability in a personal injury case can be impossible on your own, and insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible and offer a settlement.

If you were hurt in a car crash and need to go to court, an experienced car accident lawyer will know what your injuries and mental distress are worth and stop at nothing to get you your due compensation.

3. You need to understand all possible damages.

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident alone is a lot to handle. You need to know what damages you sustained, your rights when seeking fair compensation, and how to file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.

You may also be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damage, disability from your injuries, pain, and suffering that you have experienced, and even loss of income.

An experienced car accident lawyer will know what a person’s injuries and mental distress are worth. Most self-representations do not account for enough pain and suffering and loss of income and do not get what they deserve.

But What Happens After a Car Accident?

It is crucial to hire an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident because injuries from a car accident can result in many emotional, physical, and financial hardships.

However, other steps need to be taken following a car accident.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

If you’ve been involved in a regular car accident or an accident with an 18-wheeler, remember to stay calm and assess the situation.

If no one is immediately or seriously injured, then you can move forward with exchanging insurance information.

Treat Medical Injuries

If anyone is injured, assess their needs and call emergency services immediately. You may need to go to an urgent care center for less severe injuries, like cuts, abrasions, minor broken bones, whiplash, and more.

Within 72 hours, you should seek medical injuries. This is to ensure that there are no complications with your insurance claim. It also means that you are treating any unknown injuries as soon as possible.

Exchange Information and Gather Evidence

If possible, try to obtain the contact information of the person involved in the accident. If it was severe enough, then it is likely that emergency services were contacted, and they will be able to support you with this.

Again, if this was a severe accident and the police were called in, they would gather evidence for you. If not, you need to take pictures of the accident, document your injuries, and document the crash site.

Trust Rose Sanders Law With Your Accident Claim

An attorney from Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, can help you sort through the many issues that arise after an accident, including:

  • Dealing with medical bills
  • Wage losses
  • Insurance company settlements,
  • The statute of limitations
  • And other losses for which you may be entitled to compensation

Call Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC. We will guide you through the entire legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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