The Driver’s Dilemma: Questions To Ask A Lawyer After A Car Accident

February 2, 2024

If you are a licensed driver and drive quite often, having a wreck becomes likely.

You can often avoid crashes if you follow all traffic laws, but sometimes, you will encounter a reckless driver. In that situation, following the rules makes little difference. Someone can always plow into your vehicle, and then you must behave appropriately.

This usually involves getting medical care for yourself. 43% of yearly US car wrecks cause injuries, though maybe you will get lucky and walk away without a scratch. Either way, once you’ve gotten over the shock and you’re putting the pieces back together, you may find that you need a lawyer.  

Not all car crashes require lawyers. You must see whether you can get compensation if you determine the other driver caused the wreck. If you can collect the appropriate amount of money, then you can usually avoid bringing a lawsuit against them.

However, if you find that the other driver won’t pay you what you feel they should or their insurance isn’t giving you appropriate compensation, that’s when you must see whether a car crash attorney can help you. When you visit such an individual, you should ask them such questions. We’ll talk about what you might bring up in this article.

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How Much of My Winnings Do You Get?

When you approach a car accident lawyer, you must ask them about their payment preferences. No lawyer works for free unless you have a very good friend or family member who practices law. Even then, they will probably want compensation. They’re helping you, and that takes time and effort.

When you hire an attorney, you can pay them in different ways. They might demand a retainer upfront, but that’s not usually true with car accident lawyers.

Car wreck attorneys usually operate on a contingency basis. That means you only pay them their fee if they win your court case. These lawyers might take about 1/3rd of your winnings. That’s standard, though they might want a little more or less. Make sure you understand their pricing structure, though, before you hire them.  

How Long Will This Process Take?

The proceedings when you hire a lawyer and sue another driver, or when you bring a court case against their insurance company, can take days, weeks, or even months. Often, your lawyer won’t know exactly how long the case might last.

However, they should at least have a general idea. You must plan your life around court dates and lawyer consultations for a while. This process will likely take both time and effort, and you should know that if you decide moving forward and suing the other driver or their insurance company makes sense.

How Can I Make a Legal Victory More Likely?

You can also ask what you might do to make a victory in court and a windfall more probable. The lawyer will likely have some specific steps they can mention that you should follow.

They will likely say you should turn over any evidence indicating the other driver caused the crash. This will include video evidence. Maybe you had a dashboard camera that recorded the wreck. If so, they will definitely want it.

They will probably tell you that you should visit a doctor and document your injuries. If you have visible marks, such as swelling, cuts, bruises, or anything else showing how the crash impacted you physically, you should take pictures or video. You should do this before you start healing.

Your lawyer might say you should turn over any additional crash site documentation. If you took pictures with a smartphone, for instance, that should come in handy. 

The lawyer will also probably provide their own evidence. They may hire a private investigator who can find additional documentation that proves your version of events. They can handle that on their own, though. That’s part of why you’re paying them.

What Steps Should I Take While I’m Waiting?

You can also ask about what you might do while you wait for a trial date. They might give you advice about which doctors you should see, which medical tests you should undergo, and what you should do about your damaged car. You might figure much of this out on your own, but some individuals feel confused and unsettled after car accidents.

If you never went through something like this before, maybe you’ll appreciate someone dictating what you should do and the steps you should take. If you’re injured, sore, and aggravated by the other driver’s actions after the wreck, having an experienced lawyer who can take charge might appeal.

Have You Won Cases Like This Before?

You should also ask about whether the lawyer you’ve contacted has won cases like yours before. Keep in mind that you should not simply contact the first attorney in your area who you find online. 

Lawyers practice all kinds of laws, and you want one who knows car accident cases and who has gone through them many times before. This experience will come in handy, but you’ll also have someone on your side with a proven track record.

If the first lawyer you contact admits they haven’t had many cases like this, find someone else. You can also look at their website and see what feedback some of their past clients gave them. 

You can find additional information about this lawyer or law firm online as well. You should gather all the details you can before moving forward and hiring them. Some glowing reviews will help, but make sure they’re from credible sources.

Picking up the pieces after a car wreck isn’t easy. If the other driver totaled your car, and if you sustained some serious injuries, you might feel a sense of loss or even anger after what happened. A qualified, experienced lawyer can be a good friend and companion during this difficult time. Together, you can hopefully get yourself the compensation and justice you deserve.  

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