Car accidents can be frightening and it is perfectly normal for you to feel intimidated or confused in the aftermath. The financial burdens created by such events are only further complicated by the physical and emotional toll of going through the ordeal.
But when it’s done, it’s done – there’s only one way to go from thereon: forward.
However, moving ahead is not as simple as the insurance adjuster from the at-fault side would have you believe in the phone call they most probably might have made to you. Whatever you do, don’t let them engage you in a conversation, just tell them the basics and then ask them to give you your private space because you’re not feeling well – a perfectly acceptable excuse.
What should you do in this window?
This is what we intend to explain: you need to have a little talk with an experienced attorney.
Firstly, as an accident victim, you should not have this conversation on the phone (highly impractical and impersonal), try to visit the law firm yourself or request one of their lawyers to visit you if you’ve faced some serious damage and can’t travel.
Secondly, be patient, you may not get to hear the answers you want to hear, and that is okay, keep your focus on making the best out of what you have in your situation.
And yes, be completely honest with your lawyer.
Here are the questions you must ask an experienced car accident lawyer before hiring them:
This is probably the first question you’ll have on your mind when you first meet the lawyer – is it worth fighting for? In an ideal condition, the answer would be yes, but what takes it to be so? Well, firstly, you must not be at fault (or at least, not primarily) and you must have ample evidence to convince the insurance companies/jury of the negligence (i.e. reckless driving) committed by the liable party.
Ideally, your auto accident lawyer should be the first person you talk to about your case..
You will drastically reduce your chances of securing a fair settlement by communicating with the insurance adjuster so be extra careful here.
If the police report, your medical records, and assorted evidence support your narrative and you can prove liability on part of the at-fault driver, then the lawyer will most likely take the case.
As the saying goes, there is no substitute for experience.
Yes, experience matters more than you think.
Since all cases in the personal injury law are not the same, your lawyer needs to be ready for any possible outcome, even the most outlandish ones. Unless the lawyer is well experienced with your type of cases, your might find it very hard to get the best out of your situation.
Don’t assume anything, ask for the lawyer’s experience and demand to look through the results to put your mind at ease.
Also be sure to ask if your lawyer has experience in civil litigation, because negotiations are not the end of personal injury cases, sometimes, things go further than this.
The financial question is the one that most hesitate to ask but you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. Be straight here, ask your lawyer how much their services will cost you, and be mindful about whether you can afford those services.
Usually, auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means that they’ll charge you a percentage of your winnings which can be as high as 40% depending on the sum you claimed and the effort invested by the legal team to win that amount for you.
Others work on an hourly fee basis.
In our opinion, a contingency fee arrangement is better because this way you will enjoy maximum flexibility.
Apart from the legal fees, your lawyer might demand extra payment for things like getting your documents copied, filing the accident lawsuit, and miscellaneous stuff. Ask your lawyer if they will demand an extra payment for this so that you’re not taken by surprise if they do.
The state law for personal injury in Colorado puts a three-year time limit for you to file a lawsuit, and this window is even shorter if a government entity is involved (the at-fault parties are also important). It is important to share all the details with your lawyer and ask them if you have time for negotiations or should you go straight to court.
Your attorney should be able to give you a rough idea about the worth of your case by summing up the economic and non-economic damages (property damage, physical injuries demanding medical attention, lost income, emotional trauma, punitive damages, loss of consortium due to wrongful death, and so on) that you had to suffer through.
It won’t be an exact answer, but you’ll at least know what to expect.
This is another question that bothers many when they take the high road.
After all, the financial toll of going through a personal injury event is staggering, especially under the prevailing economic conditions.
So you need to have a timeline, not an exact one, but at least an estimate that can guide you about how long will it take for you to bag your personal injury claim winnings so that you don’t push yourself more than you can.
This will also allow you to choose the best course of the legal process for your situation.
You should know who’s going to handle your case.
This is vital information because if you know that your case has a fairly decent financial value, you don’t want anything short of the best for it, lawyers included.
Be bold here and ask who’ll be your main point of contact and dig a bit into their expertise and legal experience before finalizing your decision.
Even the most dedicated personal injury attorney will only be able to make any meaningful contributions to your case if they’re not buried up to their necks in legal work which many lawyers are. Be sure to ask if the lawyer you’ve contacted is available for your case or not.
Just a speedrun for everyone reading this article so far (thank you for that), here’s what you should ideally do in the event of a car accident to get fair compensation in Colorado:
Colorado is an at-fault case which makes it all the more important for you to gather yourself after a motor vehicle accident and seek compensation from the liable party as both a financial recovery and justice. It is okay to be confused at this stage and we understand your worries well.
This is why when our clients call us, our top priority is to calm them down and show them their legal options, thus allowing them to make meaningful decisions for their accident claims. You also don’t have to worry about paying our lawyers for the legal work upfront because, at the Firouzbakht law firm, we deal with cases on a contingency fee basis.
No win, no pay – and we really do want you to win a favorable settlement for the compensatory damages.
Whatever route you opt for, we’ll provide you all the support and guidance you need, and act in your best interest to get you fairly compensated.
Don’t hold back for a moment further, call us today!