How Do I Find a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
We understand that you have many concerns when you're in a car accident. All of a sudden, your life is changed in ways you never thought possible, and you may wonder if hiring a car accident lawyer is right for you. While lots of well-intended people may offer you advice, when it comes to legal concerns, hiring a car accident lawyer can be one of the best decisions you make.
However, finding a good lawyer may require a little footwork. When researching how to find a lawyer for a car accident, you need to understand that personal injury is a specific area of law that frequently changes and expands. A family lawyer that has handled matters of estates or represented you in a divorce won't have the specialization required.
Morgan and Morgan have been handling personal injury cases since 1985. During this time, we've grown to be one of the country's largest and most successful law firms. Accomplishments like this only happen when you give your best to each client you represent. That's the Morgan and Morgan difference. Our clients can expect our dedication and that their legal matters will be treated with thoughtfulness and perseverance.
What Are the Benefits of Working With a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer?
Obtaining a law degree is an accomplishment, but gaining the qualifications to practice personal injury law is a step further. A qualified car accident lawyer will have the background and experience to apply the laws to your benefit. They keep on top of the latest case law and relevant state statutes that can impact your case. In contrast, a general practicing lawyer may not have this knowledge.
Additionally, not every lawyer will have experience working with insurance companies. This is extremely important. Insurance companies have specific procedures and generally have standard tactics meant to minimize your compensation that a qualified lawyer will be prepared to counter. A lawyer with considerable experience may even have a reputation with insurance companies. Surprisingly, this is one thing that insurance companies may consider during negotiations. They may investigate whether your lawyer will likely go to trial if they don't offer a fair settlement. Suppose they see your lawyer has a track record of settling after minor negotiations. In that case, they may see this as a win for them because it indicates your lawyer may not be willing to go to trial to fight for what is fair.
A qualified car accident lawyer will also have the insight to fully comprehend the value of your case, not just the bills in front of them. For example, someone with extensive experience in this type of legal matter would consider how your injuries can impact your life in the future. You may need to receive follow-up medical treatment that could include surgeries. Likewise, you may have sustained an injury that will limit your capacity to maintain gainful employment. If you're used to a certain lifestyle now, what will your future look like if you can't do the same job or perhaps you can't work at all? If you work with a lawyer that doesn't know how to calculate or anticipate these kinds of damages, you may end up paying for these expenses out of your own pocket.
At Morgan and Morgan, we have battle-tested lawyers that are in the trenches every day. They know how case law is developing. They interact with all kinds of insurance companies and understand what their clients should be entitled to recover, including potential future losses. We always look at the big picture because we're looking out for your interests today and beyond.
Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
Absolutely. Not doing so could be detrimental to your health. Even though you may feel fine today, some injuries don't present as clearly as a broken bone or a gash. For example, brain and spinal cord injuries may only be evident once significant damage has occurred.
Your medical expenses should be covered if the other driver was at fault and carried insurance. Another significant reason to always seek medical care following a car accident is documentation of injuries. This is essential when trying to recover damages like pain and suffering. Explain to your doctor in detail everything that you feel, so they note it in your medical records.
Delaying medical care can introduce problems when you're trying to negotiate compensation. Insurance companies often use this as an excuse to minimize your injuries, so don't put it off any longer if you haven't seen a doctor.
We may be able to recommend car accident clinics in your area that can work with you regardless of your ability to pay today.
What Should I Do to Prepare Before Making a Claim?
Although your Morgan and Morgan lawyer will provide you with in-depth information regarding what information you'll need and will work closely with you to ensure every relevant document is obtained, here are some preparations to consider:
- Gather police reports, eyewitness information, or any other documentation you received at the scene of the accident or afterward.
- Provide your insurance policy and share any communications you've had with insurance providers concerning the accident.
- Round up any receipts, invoices, or medical bills authenticating your losses, including vehicle repair or replacement.
- Ask your employer to provide wage records that indicate your previous wages and the difference from missing out on work (pay stubs prior and post-injury.)
- Gather any receipts for additional out-of-pocket expenses such as car rental, Uber or taxi rides, prescription or over-the-counter medicines, and medical equipment.
Don't worry if your injuries or emotional state make this list sound overwhelming. We will do all we can to alleviate the stress, including contacting relevant parties and compiling personal information with your permission.
What Else Should Be Considered When Evaluating a Car Accident Lawyer?
We've demonstrated how critical an attorney's experience with personal injury law and insurance companies will be to your case, but there are other factors to consider. For example, what kind of resources will be available to them? A lawyer with abundant resources will be in a favored position when it comes to litigating your case.
They may need to hire additional professionals to assist in your case, such as a car accident reconstructionist, investigators, and expert witnesses to evaluate your medical condition and prognosis. If you're significantly injured, an expert medical witness could greatly impact a jury's ability to understand the extent of your injuries and how your life will be affected. Expert witnesses take complex concepts and distill the facts into everyday language. This is critical for juries to take into account as they're the ones that typically decide on how much compensation you're entitled to receive.
Likewise, an expert financial witness can demonstrate how much of an impact your injuries will have fiscally, including lost income capacity. While only some cases require these kinds of resources, it's best to work with a law firm that has the ways and means to finance this, as these services can be quite costly.
Additionally, you should consider if your lawyer will have adequate staffing resources. It's not unusual for a complex case to require hundreds of hours or more of work. Does this lawyer work for a law firm that empowers their lawyers with supporting staff? Morgan and Morgan Law Firm employs thousands of supporting staff members for their lawyers to ensure they can work at the highest level of proficiency.
Another thing to consider is the professionalism of your encounters with a lawyer. It's essential that you have confidence and feel comfortable working with a specific lawyer because you could be paired for a long time, especially if your case goes to trial. Sometimes this comes down to a gut feeling. Your instincts should be followed when dealing with such an important legal matter. It would help if you also observed how you're treated by administrative staff at their office. Is your time well regarded, and do they give the attention you deserve?
Lastly, you could consider what their peers and others think of them. As in any profession, word gets around when someone is a star player. We recommend taking a look at the following peer-review websites for the legal profession:
Should I Work With a Lawyer That Reached Out to Me Following a Car Accident?
It would be best to be careful about working with a lawyer who contacts you unsolicited after a car accident. You've probably heard the term "ambulance chasers." It's a derogatory term used for unethical lawyers that hunt for clients at the scene of an accident or even in the hospital. Well, nowadays, these same lawyers may use more modern tactics by ordering public accident reports and sending unsolicited mail to the addresses listed within.
While we can't blame someone for advertising (we all do, just like any other business), these tactics may indicate they don't get repeat business or referrals from other lawyers and must instead rely on alternative means of procuring new clients, which is suspect.
What Is the Value of a Car Accident Claim?
Each case is unique and will have factors that influence how much compensation you can recover. For example, no-fault states have specific requirements before you can pursue an action against another party. Another aspect is how much insurance coverage the other party carries. Typically, you can only recover up to the policy limits unless the other party has substantial assets to go after in a lawsuit. Additionally, the severity of injuries will be important since pain and suffering damages are often calculated as a percentage of medical expenses. Here are the damages you may be entitled to depending on your specific circumstances:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Lost wages from the time of the accident and in the future
- Pain and suffering (including mental anguish, discomfort, and psychological consequences)
- Loss of enjoyment of life (in legal terms, this means how much your injuries impact your quality of life, such as your ability to enjoy activities you participated in prior to the accident)
- Loss of consortium (legally speaking, this means your injuries impact having a whole relationship with your spouse, and you are deprived of giving or receiving the benefits of a familial relationship as you did before the accident)
- Wrongful death
Put More Than 35 Years of Experience Into Working for You
We understand that when you're wondering how to find a lawyer for a car accident, you may only be familiar with lawyers from television, radio, and other advertisements. You have many to choose from, which can be intimidating, especially when it comes down to something as consequential as your ability to recover compensation. You're likely under a lot of pressure with mounting debt and injuries that impact every facet of your life. We want you to feel confident about working with Morgan and Morgan. That's why we offer free case evaluations. You can understand our process and gain valuable insight into what it takes to win compensation for a car accident that wasn't your fault.
We share the value of our experience with each client we take on and make sure our lawyers have the support they need so they can provide you with outstanding service. You deserve to get fair compensation for your injuries and losses, and our goal is to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Whether your accident involved another car, truck, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle, we'll put our expertise to work so you don't have to face the financial consequences of someone else's negligent actions. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn what we can do for you and your family.