If you have been the victim of a careless driver, you may be confused about how you will handle all the details of your claim. Being hurt is bad enough, but add to that your lack of transportation and missed work, and you have a miserable situation on your hands. It could help to know what your first steps should be when it comes to getting fair compensation from the at-fault driver. Read on to learn what you need to know about those first steps in the right direction toward personal injury success.
Place your burden on your attorney
Once hired, your attorney and office legal team will begin working right away on getting you the money damages you need and deserve. You can help get this new relationship off to the right start by showing up at your first appointment with what that attorney needs to make some decisions on your case. Since many personal injury attorneys work on what is known as a contingency fee basis, you can learn quite a bit at your initial appointment based on whether or nor the attorney is interested in taking your case. Working under a contingency fee arrangements is beneficial in several ways, such as:
1. You are likely in a compromised financial situation because of the wreck, and attorneys are expensive. Many times you must come up with a down payment for the attorney to get started on your case (a retainer), but with a contingency fee agreement you need not pay the attorney anything at all upfront.
2. Since an attorney only gets paid if they win your case, you won't find attorneys taking cases that they are not likely to win. The mere fact that the attorney will take your case should be seen as a positive step.
3. Attorneys using contingency fee structures get a percentage of you compensation; the more you win the more they get. This creates a win-win situation for all concerned.
Get your attorney informed
Be sure to bring the following information to your first attorney meeting; the more you have at the ready the faster they can begin your case.
Police or accident report. This report is normally available a few days after the accident at the law enforcement office that responded to the accident.
- Your auto insurance policy information.
- The other driver's auto insurance information.
- Information about any witnesses to the accident.
- A list of medical treatments you've had, so far. Include trips to the hospital, surgeries, etc.
- The dollar amount of your medical expenses, so far.
- How much work you have missed.
- Damage estimate for your vehicle.
The sooner you get your attorney up to speed the sooner you can expect to get compensated for your injuries. Talk to a personal injury attorney right away.