The legal challenges that follow from many vehicle accidents can seem difficult to sort out, but a car accident attorney may be able to help. In addition to finding representation, though, there are a number of things to keep an eye on as you move forward with the process.
The rates that car accident lawyer charges for their work has changed quite a bit in the last 20 years. The old standard used to be that a firm would expect around 33% of the settlement or verdict at the end of a case, with some better practices pushing as high as 40%. That figure is now close to 25%. As has long been the case in the industry, the majority of professionals work on contingency, expecting no payment until they get money for their clients.
It's normal following an accident to have to talk with a number of people, including police officers, doctors and insurance adjusters. All these discussions produce a lot of paperwork, and it's wise to get copies of as much of it as possible. This is considered a very normal request under the circumstances, and most professionals will gladly fulfill it. You should also make a point of asking for business cards and contact information.
Don't make the assumption that your attorney will handle all of this once you hire one. The sooner you start collecting information the better. People move on quickly, and you may have more trouble tracking down, for example, the doctor who told you about a spinal fracture, than you might guess.
From the first day you can function following an accident, you should keep a journal. Document everything that you feel each day, including rating your level of pain on a 10-point scale. Being able to present such information to a jury will paint a picture of the suffering you've experienced. Be sure to only document what you truthfully feel, as trying to goose a settlement can backfire badly.
About 95% of all accident claims will never go to trial, and the court expects all parties to make good-faith efforts to settle matters before using up its time. It's common for insurance companies to try to draw out the negotiation process in order to encourage quicker settlements. A car accident attorney can tell you when you're close to a fair deal.
For more information and tips, contact local car accident attorney services.