Although driving is a quick and efficient way of getting around, drivers must be extremely cautious and aware of their surroundings, as even minor crashes can result in severe injuries depending on the physics involved with the crash. The National Safety Council (NSC) defined nearly 2.3 million crashes as "serious" in 2014. This simply means that those who were involved with the accident required medical consultation for their injuries, and the estimated cost of these crashes amounted to almost $152 billion.
If you were involved in an auto accident, it's important to speak with a personal auto accident attorney from a firm like The Jaklitsch Law Group as soon as possible in order to build a strong legal case that will allow you to receive compensation from the other parties involved. The first step is to schedule your first meeting with your lawyer. This is generally the time when your lawyer will give you free consultation in regards to whether the case is worth pursuing. Here are 3 tips to make sure you are fully prepared.
Bring All of The Documentation and Evidence You Have
First and foremost, make sure that you bring all of the documentation and evidence that you have related to the accident with you. In particular, double check and make sure you that you bring police reports, medical documents outlining the extent and severity of the injuries sustained, signed witness statements and any letters that were sent to you by the insurance company or other parties involved in the accident.
By knowing what type of evidence and documents you already possess, as well as the credibility of any witnesses that may testify on your behalf, the auto accident attorney will be able to gauge how strong your case is. He or she will provide further insight as to whether additional evidence is needed to support the claims you've made or whether minimal additional effort and work will be needed for clarification or as a defence against points that the defendants may bring up in court or before trial.
Do Not Leave Out Any Details and Be Truthful
Other than getting a good idea about the conditions surrounding your accident, an experienced auto accident attorney will also need to spend a significant amount of time discussing the case with you. He or she will ask a lot of questions to determine exactly how everything happened in detail. It's important to not leave out any details that you can remember, as this may be important in court later, and you should also answer all questions as truthfully as possible. You do not want your lawyer to be caught off guard at a later time in court.
For example, you don't want to tell your attorney that you were unable to take part in physical activities when in fact you have been going for a run everyday, as the insurance company and other parties involved may use this as evidence later on.
Do Some Research as to What Contingency Agreements Are Reasonable
After the first meeting, the auto accident attorney will generally give you an idea as to whether they are willing to take on the case, and the amount that they will be charging based on the amount of time and effort that they'll have to put in. Generally speaking, most auto accident attorneys will charge a contingency fee that is based on a percentage of how much compensation you are expected to recover.
Before you sign any agreement or contract, make sure you know whether or not the terms of the contingency agreement are reasonable or not. You may also want to start thinking of questions that you may want to ask at the meeting. For example, you may need to know how and when you will be billed for all legal services.
The first meeting between you and an auto accident attorney can be very telling. You want to choose not only an experienced lawyer who can help you recover the compensation that you rightfully deserve, but you also want to make sure that you and the lawyer are on the same page. You can always ask for a second opinion elsewhere and compare and contrast what is being told to you in order to determine what may be most suited for your situation.