Auto accidents are a very scary thing to experience – no matter how serious it is. To make sure that you’re getting a fair settlement, you’re considering talking to a lawyer but you’re not sure where to start. These are some of the most important questions to ask a lawyer about car accident cases. This will help you start a conversation with an attorney so you can choose the best one to represent you and handle your auto accident case.
What You Need to Prepare Before Meeting with an Attorney About Your Car Accident
Before you start contacting personal injury attorneys about your case, take a little bit of time to get yourself organized. That way, you have the information you’ll need to answer any car accident questions the lawyers may have.
Having the following information about your car wreck will be helpful during your calls and consultations with auto accident attorneys:
- Details of the auto accident. The attorney will want to know where the accident happened, who was involved, who was at fault, and what happened during and after the accident.
- Damages. Make note of the property damage that occurred because of the accident and any estimates for repair you’ve gotten. If you’ve already spent money to make repairs to your vehicle or other things damaged because of the accident, track those expenses and keep those receipts.
- Injuries. If you or anyone in your vehicle sustained injuries because of the accident, take note of the injury as well as the severity of those car accident injuries.
- Documentation. Any information you’ve already gathered related to your auto accident (copies of police reports, medical bills and records, other driver and witness information, etc) will be helpful for the attorney to review and provide the most accurate information about your personal injury case.
- Statements or claims made. If you’ve spoken with anyone else regarding your case or filed a car accident claim with your auto insurance company, it’s important to let your attorney know.
Remember that even when you choose to hire an attorney for your car accident case, you will still have things you’ll need to do to have the strongest case possible. Your auto accident attorney may request things from you to help move the case forward. Being proactive and responsive can help save you time and money.
If you’ve already started the claims process and are now deciding to hire an attorney to handle your auto accident case, be sure the car accident lawyer you’re speaking with is aware of what you’ve already done and what has happened with your case. This includes any insurance settlement offers you’ve already received or agreed to.
Questions to Ask About Your Accident
You’ve probably got a million different important questions you want to ask about your car crash. And your attorney wants to help you get answers to all your questions. Start with these basic questions to get the conversation started.
As you start talking about your accident, the auto accident attorney you’re speaking with will probably have questions for you as well, but these are a good starting point:
- Now that the accident’s over, what do I do?
- Have you handled car accident lawsuits like this before?
- What damages do you think I can recover?
Because Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents, your personal injury attorney will advise you on the best way to move forward with your car insurance coverage claim and any other drivers or insurance companies.
Questions to Ask a Lawyer About Car Accident
If you suffered any injuries because of the accident you were involved in, your attorney will want (and need) to know that information as well.
Your attorney will also need to know about what kind of work and activities you do and how your injuries will impact your ability to do those things following your minor or serious accident.
- What kind of compensation should I expect for these injuries (both present and future if applicable)?
- What kind of documentation do you need to include in your settlement and demand letters to the insurance company or other driver?
Questions to Ask About a Possible Settlement
Before you agree to any settlement, it’s important to talk with your attorney to be sure you fully understand it. Oftentimes, once a settlement agreement is signed, it’s no longer able to be changed.
When you are discussing your settlement for your personal injury claim with your personal injury attorney, you’ll want to make sure you’ve included any property damage, future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering information.
- What potential damages do you expect to be awarded fair based on my accident, injuries, property damage, and other circumstances?
- How will a settlement be split and disbursed to me and how long will that take?
- What deadlines do I need to be aware of?
- How long do you expect the settlement process to take?
The personal injury lawyers you’re speaking with want to help you get the best settlement possible. Don’t be afraid to talk with them about your settlement expectations. They should be open and upfront with you about what a realistic settlement would look like for your case.
They’ll use their experience and knowledge to gather supporting information to make the strongest case possible for your settlement. Because of their experience with other cases, your personal injury attorney will also be able to streamline the process to help you get your settlement faster.
Questions to Ask About the Attorney and Law Firm
When researching personal injury lawyers to contact, look for ones that offer a free case evaluation so you can see if the attorney is a good fit before officially retaining them to work on your case.
Some injury lawyers will take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you won’t pay a retainer or upfront fee for the attorney to take your case and they’ll get paid if you get paid.
- Who will be the attorney for my case and who will be handling the case (even a paralegal, attorneys, or junior partner can help work on your case)?
- What are the estimated costs associated with my case (mediation, trial, etc) and how do you expect to be paid for the attorney fees?
- What should I expect as far as communication (how, how often, etc)?
- If I choose your firm to represent me in this case, how do we move forward?
Keep this information so you know who to contact if you have any additional questions to ask after your initial consultation.
Also, remember that your attorney’s office will charge you for each contact you make. It’s best to be concise and respond when they reach out so you’re not being charged for them to have to contact you multiple times about something.
How to Choose the Right Car Accident Attorney for Your Case
Now that you have all the questions to start a conversation with potential attorneys, you’ve got to find some to talk to. Look for a law firm that offers a free case consultation. That way, you’re not out any money if you decide not to use them for your case. You can also ask friends and family who they’ve used in the past.
Denmon Pearlman is a law firm with personal injury attorneys that offer a free, no-obligation consultation to Florida car accident victims. We’ll walk you through what steps you need to take before we move forward with legal action for your personal injury lawsuit. Our clients are encouraged to ask questions and our attorneys are dedicated to getting you a fair compensation you deserve.
Now it’s time to choose a personal injury lawyer. Go through the notes you made from your various conversations and choose the one that you believe will be the best fit. Once you’ve decided, you simply need to reach out to the firm and let them know you’d like to move forward with them.