If you were involved in a car accident, you may be tempted to represent yourself. You know lawyers can be expensive and so you may recover more money if you represent yourself. Plus, if all you have to do is ask for money – why does a lawyer need to be involved?
These are great questions!
So, then, how can a car accident lawyer help? We will discuss these and other topics in this post!
Initially, the car accident lawyer’s most important job is to gather and preserve evidence relating to your car accident case. This includes photographs of the vehicles and accident scene, documenting any physical evidence at the scene (e.g., skid marks), interview witnesses, and preserve any video footage of the accident.
Indeed, knowing what evidence to look for is key and your car accident attorney has experience identifying critical evidence.
Additionally, a car accident lawyer will communicate with the other driver’s insurance company. The topics will include the insurance limits, the availability of other insurance coverages, liability, damages, and settlement.
How else will a car accident lawyer help? Check out the list of questions and answers on how a car accident lawyer can help you with your car accident case.
- Will a car accident lawyer assist in recovering my medical bills?
- Can a car accident lawyer recover damages for my pain and suffering?
- Will an injury lawyer help me recover my lost wages?
- How does a car accident lawyer charge for his or her services?
- Will I get a bigger settlement if a car accident attorney represents me?
Will a car accident lawyer assist in recovering my medical bills?
Yes, a car accident lawyer can help you recover and pay for your medical bills.
After a car accident, you will start receiving hospital bills and doctor bills from the car accident. And these bills can be quite expensive. As an example, we recently represented a client who went to the emergency room for several hours after his car accident. As a precautionary measure, he underwent several imaging studies. About 2 weeks after his car accident, he received a $40,000 hospital bill. Of course, he was shocked.
Not surprisingly, in our experience the weight of having to pay large medical bills after an accident can be more stressful for clients than their physical injuries. How are you going to pay for all of these hospital and medical bills?
After your accident, you car accident lawyer will track all of your medical treatment as well as your medical bills. If you do not have health insurance, your car accident attorney will contact your medical providers and let them know that you are making a car accident claim.
In most cases, when the medical providers know that you are represented by counsel and have a car accident claim they will not start any collection cases. Instead, they will wait to be repaid until the final outcome of your car accident case.
If you have health insurance that is paying for your medical treatment, your car accident attorney will contact your health insurer and let it know you are making a car accident claim. When you settle your car accident case, you will have to reimburse your health insurer for those expenses it paid for your medical treatment. Notably, your health insurer’s rights to recover those monies it paid for your treatment are provided by Florida Statute Section 768.76.
Importantly, in some cases your car accident attorney may be able to negotiate your medical bills down. This is an important part of the personal injury process, as it can mean your financial recovery will be higher.
Can a car accident lawyer recover damages for my pain and suffering?
Yes, a car accident lawyer will help you recover damages for your pain and suffering after your car accident.
Importantly, if you have no experience with pain and suffering damages, it will be hard for you to quantify this number. Car accident lawyers, however, have experience determining the value of your pain and suffering damages. So while $5,000, $10,000, or even more might sound like a lot of money for your pain and suffering damages, these amounts may be too low for your pain and suffering damages depending on the facts of your car accident case.
How do car accident attorneys determine your pain and suffering damages? To determine the amount of your pain and suffering damages, car accident lawyers will consider many factors, including the physical pain caused by your injuries, the mental anguish caused by the accident, and the loss of your capacity to enjoy life.
Importantly, there is no mathematical or exact way to determine pain and suffering damages. The amount of these damages will depend on your specific car accident case. Contact a car accident lawyer to determine your the value of your pain and suffering damages.
Will an injury lawyer help me recover my lost wages?
Yes, a car accident lawyer will help recover your lost wages from your car accident.
In most car accident cases, a car accident victim’s lost wages are those monies you did not receive because you missed time from work. Let’s use an example.
Let’s say you were involved in a car accident and because of your injuries you missed 2 months from work. You earn $3,000 a month and so you lost $6,000 in wages because of your injuries. In this example, your car accident attorney will seek $6,000 in lost wages.
But what if the car accident impacted or affected your ability to perform your specific line of work? Let’s use another example.
Let’s say you are a piano teacher. Of course, you need your hands to teach students. Unfortunately, you were involved in a car accident which severely injured your hands and you can no longer teach piano. As a result, you have taken up a new job but it pays less. How do you determine you lost wages? Here, the way you determine lost wages is to calculate the difference between your old and new wages. The difference between the two amounts will be your damages times the amount of years left in working career.
Indeed, your car accident lawyer will seek to recover your lost wages.
How does a car accident lawyer charge for his or her services?
Car accident lawyers do not bill by the hour. Instead, they charge a contingency fee. What exactly is a contingency fee?
A contingency fee is a percentage – usually 33% or 40% – that will be deducted from the car accident settlement. The contingency fee is, in essence, the car accident lawyer’s fee or charge for his or service.
So, for example, let’s say your car accident case settles for $10,000. If you car accident lawyer’s contingency fee is 40%, you car accident will deduct $4,000 – or 40% of $10,000 – from the settlement. The balance – after deducting your lawyer’s costs and any liens or unpaid medical bills – will be yours.
Personally, I am a big fan of contingency fee agreements for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that it removes the stress or concern of having to pay hourly legal fees which can add up quickly. Additionally, the contingency fee arrangement allows “the little guy” his day in court against powerful corporations and insurance companies. This would be difficult if not impossible for many people if they had to pay their lawyer by the hour.
If you would like read more about contingency fees, click here.
Will I get a bigger settlement if a car accident attorney represents me?
Some car accident victims my be skeptical for their need of an accident lawyer because they believe they will recover more money if they represent themselves. Put another way, they will save money because they will not have to pay a contingency fee.
But, is there any truth to this belief?
Studies have shown that clients will net more monies if they are represented by counsel. And, this is true even after the lawyer applies his or her contingency fee.
While there are many reasons car accident lawyers will get you more money, I believe there are two main reasons. First, car accident lawyers know the value of your case and injuries. If you have no experience handling car accident cases, it is impossible to know the reasonable settlement value of your car accident case. Second, if you represent yourself, insurance companies will try to capitalize on your inexperience and lowball you.
Barthelette Law – Your Florida Car Accident Lawyer
We hope you enjoyed, “How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help?” If you have any questions not found in this post, we suggest you read here.
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