Questions to Ask a Lawyer When in an Accident
If you are in a serious personal injury collision you should consult with a lawyer before talking to the other parties insurance company.
The reason is simple. The insurance company has an adjuster whose job it is to get facts regarding how the incident occurred and how you are injured.Their goal is to obtain facts that will allow them to minimize what they will compensate you for as a result of their insureds negligence.
When should you talk to a lawyer? Soon after the incident to get advice on what things you should do and what you should not do. You might unknowingly do something that will make it more difficult for you to be compensated for your losses. There are also time limits that you need to know about that can affect your presenting a claim. They include statutes of limitations, insurance contract limitations and tort claim notices.Your failure to meet these deadlines can hinder or preclude you from making a valid claim.
How do you find a lawyer? The best way is to talk to your own lawyer if you have one and see if they do this type of law and if not have them refer you to a personal injury lawyer that they trust . If you do not have a lawyer ask your friends , relatives or co workers who they might suggest.
Do you have to sign a contract to talk to a lawyer? A responsible and professional personal injury lawyer will consult with you regarding your case without charging you a fee for their time or making you sign a contract. If you decide to hire them then they will work for you on what is called a contingency fee. This means they will only be paid if they are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.
You should make sure you are talking to a lawyer and not a staff member when you do your first consultation. Also be sure the lawyer who is talking to you will be the one handling your case.This includes being the one trying your case in the event it is not settled.
The lawyer in an initial consultation can tell you about time deadlines, whether to give a statement to the other side, where to send your medical bills and other details important to you and your claim. No lawyer has a crystal ball and they can not tell you how long your case will take or how much it is worth at the initial meeting … They must get the facts before being able to give you reliable advice on those issues. If they try to do that you should perhaps get a second legal opinion.
If the lawyer tells you that you must sign an agreement before they can give you advise or answer your questions you should get a second opinion. You should not let yourself be pressured into signing an agreement at the first meeting. If you want to think about it or talk to someone you trust before signing you should. Your decision to hire a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests is an important decision and you should choose a lawyer you trust and one who you feel will best represent your interests.