If you’ve been involved in a car accident, then you are probably dealing with a lot of stress. You may also be dealing with an injury or even a long-term disability — not to mention the pricey healthcare needs that those sorts of issues can cause. On top of all of this, you may be facing some confusion, frustration, and uncertainty; you may be wondering what you can do, how you can be made whole again, and who you should call. Do you need a lawyer? That’s a tough question to answer, but it will be a little easier to do so if you read on.
Car accidents and attorneys
The main reason to call an attorney after a car accident is to file a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury law is an area of tort law that governs lawsuits filed by those who are harmed. But a successful personal injury case takes more than just the injury: The law is designed to deliver justice, not free money. In order to have a strong case, the person who brings the case (called the “plaintiff”) and their attorney should be ready to demonstrate that the injuries and expenses being claimed as damages were the result of an accident that, in turn, was the result of negligence on the part of the person or party being sued. For example, a person who falls down in a supermarket and breaks his or her leg does not necessarily have a personal injury case; but a person who breaks his or her leg after slipping on a wet floor that was not properly marked with a wet floor sign may have a great case. There are other factors, of course, but negligence is key: No negligence, no case!
Should you seek out an attorney?
Was another party involved in your car accident negligent? That may be tough for you to say for sure. If there’s a possibility, though, you may want to seek out legal advice (which is not something you’ll find here — this is not legal advice, and you should only take such advice from a trained attorney who is licensed to practice in your state).
You’re not an expert in negligence or an expert in personal injury law. But a local auto accident attorney will be. So if you’re left unsure about whether or not you should go see an attorney, consider this: If you think there’s any possibility that you need an attorney, then you should probably contact one!
This won’t always lead to a successful case. If a few attorneys decline to take your case, then you may not have one. But there’s no significant downside to scheduling an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney, especially since most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. The upside is potentially huge: Maybe the case you’re unsure about turns out to be a slam dunk in the eyes of your expert attorney!
Finding the right attorney
If you’re considering seeing an attorney, you should focus on local experts in your search. Use search engines like Google to find lawyers, and then check out their track records by reading their websites, Google-searching their names, and checking online review websites. You can also look to the local bar association for recommendations, or ask family members, friends, and acquaintances who they might recommend.
At your initial consultation, you’ll get a first impression of your potential legal representative. If it’s not a good fit, don’t be afraid to walk away! Until you sign a retainer, you can always schedule another consultation with a different attorney.
When you find the right lawyer, you’ll get direct and clear communication and updates about your case. Together, you and your attorney will fight for justice after your car accident!