What Should I Expect From My Car Accident Lawyer?
Your car accident lawyer should take your case off your hands and run with it, leaving you to worry about one thing: recovering from your accident.
At the very least, your attorney should do the following:
- Gather evidence to build your case
- Identify and prove the at-fault, liable party
- Calculate your damages
- Negotiate with the insurance companies
- Represent you in court
Expect Your Car Accident Lawyer to Gather Evidence
Your lawyer should leave no stone unturned when it comes to collecting a full body of evidence to serve as the foundation of your case. Expect your car accident lawyer to:
- Visit the scene of your accident to scout for evidence, take pictures, and document the scene
- Obtain the official police report from your accident
- Contact and interview witnesses
- Gather all the medical records that pertain to your injuries
- Enlist the services of an accident reconstruction specialist
- Be aware of the statutes of limitations
- Solicit opinions about your case from medical experts, economic experts, and vocational experts
- Communicate with every single person or party—including insurance company representatives, lawyers, experts, witnesses, etc.–throughout the process of seeking recovery of damages
- Receive and return phone calls, texts, and emails you send with questions, concerns or information about your case
- Proactively keep you updated as the status of your case—goals, meetings, benchmarks, milestones, strategies, obstacles, and resolutions
Expect Your Car Accident Lawyer to Identify the At-Fault Party, Prove Negligence, and Establish Liability
Consider this the cornerstone of your case. Without a rock-solid proof of negligence, you have no liable party. Without liability, you have no case for making someone cover the damages from your car accident.
Your lawyer should:
- Show that another driver or party had a duty to act reasonably to keep you free from harm or injury
- Prove that the other driver in your accident failed to act reasonably to keep you safe (this is called negligence)
- Illustrate how the other driver’s negligence caused your car accident, and the accident caused your injuries
- Convey that these injuries presented damages for you
Now you have a case. The next question is: What do you want out of it?
Expect Your Car Accident Lawyer to Calculate Your Damages
Maybe you think calculating damages involves adding up the receipt totals for all your doctor bills. That is part of the process, yes, but there is much, much more to it. Your lawyer should be comprehensive and exhaustive in searching for every negative consequence—economic and non-economic—that you have suffered and will suffer down the road as the result of your car accident and your injuries.
Some of the types of damages your car accident lawyer should factor into your recoverable damages include:
- Emergency transportation to the hospital (ambulance, helicopter, etc.)
- Surgeon’s fees
- Doctor’s fees and other medical costs
- Expenses for medicines, including pain management
- Wages you have lost—and will continue to lose into the future—from work
- Benefits you have lost—and will continue to lose into the future—from work
- Replacement services for everyday tasks you cannot perform, like housekeeping, cooking, childcare, and lawn maintenance
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
If you lost a loved one as the result of injuries he or she sustained in a car accident, your lawyer should also be ready to file a wrongful death action.
Expect Your Car Accident Lawyer to Negotiate with the Insurance Companies
Once your lawyer has calculated your damages, he or she should put them in writing in the form of a demand letter, then send that letter to the liable party’s insurer.
Your attorney should be ready to act swiftly and strategically on any response, including the following:
- The insurance company accepts the damages and writes you a check (your lawyer makes sure that the second part happens)
- The insurance company comes back with counter-offer, usually substantially lower than what you demanded (your lawyer begins the negotiation process to work that number up)
- The insurance company denies the claim (your lawyer gets to say, “See you in court!”)
Expect Your Car Accident Lawyer to File a Lawsuit and Represent You in Court
If the insurance company denied your claim or did not offer you the settlement you deserved, your lawyer should file a lawsuit against the negligent party on your behalf.
You should expect your car accident lawyer to depose witnesses, negotiate with the defendant’s lawyer, litigate in court, and fight for your right to be compensated for the damages you sustained in your car accident.
Zanes Law Does Everything Here–And More—as your Car Accident Lawyer
You deserve a lawyer who does everything from A to Z to see that you are compensated for your injuries and other damages resulting from your car accident. That’s us. Call Zanes Law at 866-499-8989 for a free consultation and case review.