Making the Most of Your Legal Resources
When you find yourself in an accident through no fault of your own, it’s critical that you understand the legal resources you have at your disposal. Even more important is knowing that you have a right to fair compensation if the liable party was found to be negligent.
Did you know that if you are in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you can file a claim seeking damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more? If ever there were a more appropriate time to flex your legal muscles, it would be now.
1. Exchange Contact Information
When you’re at the scene of an accident, it’s crucial to exchange contact information with those involved. Take note of their names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate and driver license numbers, and even information from the passengers. What you shouldn’t exchange, however, is apologies. Never admit fault at the scene of an accident, especially when the exact cause isn’t apparent. Be sure also to gather insurance information as this will all be helpful when you’re collecting all your legal resources.
2. Become a Photographer
When you’re involved in an accident, it’s helpful to become a photographer. Take photos from every angle of your vehicle and have someone photograph you if you’ve been injured and require medical care. As part of your legal resources, these photos will come in helpful should your case move to court. Be sure to have ‘before’ shots of your vehicle as well, as these can help the courts compare the damage to what it should have been before the accident.
3. Talk to Witnesses
Unless you’re in need of an immediate trip to the hospital, it’s a good idea to talk to witnesses. When you’re gathering all your legal resources, you want to have a decent number of witness names and phone numbers that you can call upon later if required. What’s also important is to see whether they’ve seen accidents in that spot before. If they have, there’s reason enough to believe the area itself has liability, and that’s an avenue your legal team can follow up.
4. Hire an Attorney Immediately
Once you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s crucial that you hire an attorney as soon as possible. While the accident and what happened is fresh in your mind – and in the minds of witnesses and victims – you have a better chance of getting the desired outcome. It’s also a good idea to hire the best personal injury lawyer you can find. You will often find that they provide a contingent fee agreement which can make your financial outlay more bearable.
A contingent fee agreement essentially means no win, no fee. You pay for expenses related to the case, but if you lose your case, you will not have to pay for your lawyer’s time. If you do win, and that’s always the goal of a personal injury lawyer, you typically pay between 33 and 40 percent of your compensation to your lawyer.
5. Leave It Up to Your Lawyer
Aside from ensuring you’re keeping paper trails with your medical records and hospital stays, it’s time to leave your case in the capable hands of your personal injury lawyer. Get in touch with your insurance company with your personal injury lawyer present, and discuss what happened at the scene, and let the case take its course.
Your lawyer is trained in fighting for compensation on your behalf, and they will keep you involved in the entire process. Now is the time for you to utilize your legal resources wisely and let your personal injury lawyer do what they do best.