If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you likely have a lot on your mind. Hiring a car accident lawyer may not be something you want to think about right now, but you should likely get one. Why? An attorney in your corner can significantly increase your odds of receiving maximum compensation.
But how do you go about hiring an attorney? Who you choose, how you choose them, and how quickly you act can all drastically impact your case. And making a mistake at this stage can mean missing out completely on compensation you may deserve.
This is not a decision to make on emotion. For example, some people choose to hire a family member. While there might be a level of trust with family that an outsider can’t match, do they have the experience to handle your case effectively for you? And regardless of which attorney you choose, waiting too long to hire one can have serious negative effects on your case.
In this article, I’ll discuss some of the most common mistakes when hiring a car accident lawyer and how you can try to avoid them. I’ll also discuss some of the benefits of hiring a car accident attorney to help you level the playing field with the insurance company.Contact us today at 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
Mistake #1 – Waiting Too Long
Many people don’t realize that there’s a time limit for filing car accident claims; it’s called the statute of limitations. For North Carolina and South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing car accident claims is generally 3 years.
I know that sounds like a long time, but it really isn’t. Even simple car accident claims can take a long time. The more you wait, the more you may be losing.
Give your attorney as much time as possible to:
- Identify sources of possible compensation
- Gather and examine evidence
- Reconstruct the accident scene, if necessary
- Take on the insurance company
- Interview any witnesses and enlist any needed experts
- Complete complex paperwork
Those are just a few of the steps your attorney can take on your behalf while building your case. Don’t delay and don’t leave money on the table.
Mistake #2 – Not Discussing Expectations
One of a lawyer’s key responsibilities is helping you understand what to expect from the car accident claims process, including when you’ll hear from your attorney. For example, you should expect to communicate with your attorney or their paralegal:
- When your claim is filed.
- When your claim is accepted or rejected by the insurance company.
- When you’ve finished medical treatment.
- When you have a hearing or negotiation scheduled.
- When you receive any settlement offer.
- When a potential settlement is ready for you to receive.
What kind of communication can you expect outside of those milestones? What is your preferred means of communication? Details such as these should ideally be discussed at the start of representation so you know what to expect.
Mistake #3 – Assuming the Insurance Company Is on Your Side
One of the most important things to remember about the car accident claims process is that the insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company is not your friend – most adjusters are looking to pay you as little as possible.
Some adjusters may tell you that your claim is too small to bother hiring an attorney, or that hiring a lawyer would be too expensive. Remember that the insurance company is protecting their interests, not yours. They would be happy to negotiate with you without an attorney by your side. But your attorney levels the playing field and seeks maximum compensation for you.
Mistake #4 – Not Researching Your Options
Some of the key factors to consider as you shop around for the right lawyer for you include:
- Experience and track record
You want an experienced car accident attorney experience with a track record of success for clients.
Has the attorney you’re researching received recognition from their peers? Have they won any awards?
- Professionalism and responsiveness
You want a lawyer who makes professionalism and communication high priorities. It’s important that you feel in the loop throughout the process.
Mistake #5 – Thinking You Can’t Afford an Attorney
You don’t need to worry about whether you can afford high quality legal representation for your car accident case. At my firm, we take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing upfront and no attorney’s fee at all if we don’t get compensation for you. Guaranteed.2
Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
When you hire a car accident lawyer to help with your personal injury case, they will:
- Deal with the insurance company for you
Some insurance adjusters may use tricks and traps to try to reduce your claim or deny it entirely. Your lawyer knows how to handle the insurance adjuster and counter their tactics – so you can focus on your recovery.
- Ensure your paperwork is filled out correctly and on time
Filing a car insurance claim can be complicated, but your attorney will file paperwork for you and ensure you comply with strict deadlines.
- Fight for the full compensation you may deserve
There’s nothing “greedy” about trying to make the at-fault insurance company pay for bills that weren’t your fault.
Is a Personal Injury Lawyer the Same as a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents may be an area that a personal injury lawyer focuses on in their practice, but personal injury lawyers may focus on other areas as well, such as dog bites, burn injuries, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.
Why Choose a Car Accident Lawyer From James Scott Farrin
At James Scott Farrin, we help people going up against powerful interests because we’re passionate about fighting for justice. Since we opened our doors, we’ve helped more than 65,000 people recover more than $1.8 billion in total compensation. And counting.1
In addition, several members of our team have experience working for insurance companies and defense firms – meaning we know how they operate, and we use that other-side knowledge to fight for you. It’s one of the ways we always put you first.
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