A car accident lawyer is someone who can protect your rights as an injured person and help you get the compensation you deserve. A minor car accident also comes along with a lot of damages and injuries.
You cannot underestimate the costs associated with medical bills and car repairs. Filing a claim after a car accident is a smart move with the help of an experienced lawyer such as Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP. When you meet him first, a few things should be discussed as mentioned below:
1. Your criminal record
It is a well-known fact that you should never tell your lawyer lies. If you have any criminal record, you must tell him even before he asks about it. There is a difference between telling lies and hiding the facts. You should avoid doing both and always stick to being honest with him.
He may not bother doing a background check when taking up your case but he should not hear about your past when he is fighting for you in court. The attorney of another party may dig into your past and obtain the information, which will definitely hurt your case.
If your attorney knows about it from you, it will be easier for him to take care of it. He can argue with another attorney in a better manner.
2. Discuss your pre-existing medical conditions and accidents in the past
If you have met with an accident in the past and received injuries, you must bring this to the notice of your lawyer. Moreover, if you have any illness or medical condition before the accident occurred, you must discuss it with the attorney.
It will help him evaluate the right amount of compensation. The lawyer will also prepare the answers if the attorney of another party asks questions based on your pre-existing condition. You must keep in mind that you are always under the supervision of the lawyer of another party.
If he comes to know about it from other sources, you are likely to get your case dismissed. Besides that, it is always a good idea to keep a record of medical reports, tests and X-rays with you and submit the copies of these documents to your lawyer.
This is going to build your case stronger because your attorney can rule out all possibilities of rejection because the right amount is included in the claim.
3. Any other pending case in court
If you have any pending cases such as divorce or bankruptcy cases pending in court, you need to make your lawyer aware of them. This is because, he will have to look into several factors including compensation and your financial standing.
In many cases, there may be some connection between the accident and other cases and you should let your lawyer know about it. He will figure out how he can maximize compensation for you. Many a time, the divorce case may affect the overall amount of the compensation.
If you have discussed this with your lawyer already, both of you can come up with the right solutions at the right time. Likewise, your financial condition makes a great difference in your case. Your lawyer should know about your assets, debts and bank accounts before filing a lawsuit.
The records will show your inability to pay your medical expenses after the accident. In case of loss of job, you will have a better chance of getting more compensation. However, it is depressing and not intended. Losing a job is the worst thing that can happen to anybody but you will get a fair amount of compensation for the temporary or permanent loss of your job.
4. If you have made any mistake
Car accidents can happen due to the carelessness of anyone and if it was you, the car accident lawyer should know about it. He will not ask you to apologize to anyone but he can evaluate the reward by figuring out how much involvement was there in the accident.
The car accident laws are different in every state. If both parties are involved in the accident, the percentage is analyzed and depending on it, the amount of compensation is also reduced. Your car accident lawyer will be the best person to talk to about it.
Additionally, he needs to review the facts before your involvement is established. If you have made any mistake at the time of the accident, you should inform your attorney about it so that he can prepare your case accordingly.
There are instances when another party or insurance company may have contacted you and without giving a second thought, you have made some statements. It is strongly recommended to tell your attorney. These people can use these statements against you and your attorney should know what you have said to them.
5. The portion of compensation as his fees
Most car accident lawyers work on the contingency fee structure. You should discuss how much they are going to charge after the case is won. Some lawyers charge up to 25% of the fees while others may charge less or more. It has also been observed that law firms are costlier than independent lawyers are.
Whatever the case may be, you must discuss it well in advance and even before hiring him. Apart from the lawyer’s fees, you should also be aware of the court fees, stamp & postal charges and other costs associated with the case. He will be able to tell you depending on his idea how long the case will go.
By discussing all these factors, you will avoid any conflicts arising at the time of the payment. Finances play an important part in everyone’s life and if you know how much you are likely to spend, it will be easier for you to deal with it.
It is a good idea to clarify everything before things go out of hand. This way, not only you but also your lawyer can work on your case peacefully and efficiently. Sometimes, free consultation services can be availed for vital issues.