Luckily, you don't have to face all of the medical bills, vehicle repairs, and loss of income alone if you've been injured in a car crash that wasn't your fault. You may be able to receive some compensation for any expenses, lost work, and pain and suffering that has resulted from the accident. You'll need an experienced personal-injury lawyer by your side to help ensure that you win your case and maximize your potential compensation. Here are a few things to consider when consulting with potential legal representatives.
Consider This: Medical Diagnosis Requirements
Proving the pain and suffering that you're going through as the result of your car-crash injuries is one of the most important ways to ensure that you're awarded fair compensation from the other party. Because of this, your lawyer will more than likely want to gather as much medical information as possible when putting your case together.
When consulting with potential personal-injury attorneys, inquire about their medical diagnosis requirements.
Some lawyers will allow you to submit the paperwork and reports you get from your personal doctor upon hiring them, while others may require that you have a check-up with their appointed doctor who will fill out a specialized form for your case. If you will be required to see a designated doctor, make sure you understand exactly what the fees will be for the appointment and whether or not those fees that have to be paid upfront can be paid on a contingency basis.
Consider This: Managing Paperwork and Receipts
In addition to all of the paperwork that is associated with the filing of your personal-injury case, there will undoubtedly be letters, reports, and receipts to manage from your employer, healthcare provider, physical therapist, vehicle-repair technician, and even pharmacist, and this can be very time-consuming and stressful. For this reason, it's important to make sure that managing paperwork is included in your attorney's fee schedule.
If you have to pay an additional hourly or per-piece rate for managing paperwork, you may end up having to give up a significant percentage of the compensation you're awarded in your case when it comes time to pay off your legal fees. This would also make it tough to calculate your expenses and your potential compensation as your case moves forward. If you can't find a representative to work with who is willing to include managing paperwork in their fees, look for one who charges a flat fee for the service, or consider managing the paperwork and receipts yourself.
Consider This: Service Availability
It's important to consider each potential lawyer's service availability when choosing which one to hire, as they probably won't all be able to start the filing process as quickly as you'd like them to or take your calls every time you need to speak to them due to other commitments. Ask each lawyer you consult with to provide you with an itinerary of other cases they're currently working on or plan to take on shortly so you get a good idea of what their schedule will be like when working on your case.
Inquire about turnaround times for phone messages and reports after communicating with the other party's representatives. Find out how often you'll be able to schedule consultation meetings as your case progresses. The more you learn about your lawyer's service availability before hiring them, the less disappointment you will face when trying to interact with them as time goes on.
Consider This: Negotiations with Insurance Adjusters
If your attorney has the experience and skills it takes to negotiate fair compensation with the other party's insurance adjuster before your case has to go in front of a jury, you'll likely save lots of time and money when all is said and done. When consulting with potential personal-injury lawyers, ask each one of them what kinds of processes they use to start and manage the negotiation process and what kind of steps they plan to take to keep your case out of court.
Don't be afraid to ask about specific negotiation tactics, usage of evidence, and communication methods the attorney might use once your personal-injury case is filed. This information will help you gain some insight into what you can expect when working with each potential lawyer on your list.
To ensure that nothing of importance is overlooked, add these considerations to a list of your own and bring it with you to each initial meeting you have with potential lawyers and law offices.