Understanding the law and legal process is not something that comes easily to everyone. However, when you are involved in a traumatic and injuring event, you will very likely find yourself facing legal processes and in need of help. Naturally, this is where you reach out to an accident lawyer, but how does it work? What does an accident lawyer do? How are they paid? Exactly how will they help you win a settlement if your injury was caused by another person or party? These are all perfectly normal questions to ask and the answers are important to understand before you hire an accident lawyer for yourself or an injured friend.
Let’s take a closer look at how accident lawyers work and how an accident lawyer is essential for many types of injury disputes and settlements.
Accident Lawyers Take Two Types of Cases
There are many legal specialties that a lawyer might focus on. Accident law relates to automobile accidents and accidental injuries These cases usually have a responsible party who must be legally made to answer for the injuries and cases often include a battle with insurance agencies for a fair settlement. Because of the nature of accident law, these lawyers tend to take two different types of cases that both relate to personal injury. The client vs an insurance company or the client vs a liable party. Often, these types of cases can overlap as well.
You vs Insurance
The first type of case an accident lawyer can take is a battle against insurance. Insurance companies’ business model is based on not paying out. They receive insurance payments and usually, accidents don’t happen. When a claim is made, it’s in the insurance company’s best interest to deny or minimize that settlement. An accident lawyer builds a strong case for the seriousness of your injury and your legal right to a full settlement. They will protect you from insurance low-balling tricks and fight for a fair settlement.
You vs Liable Third Party
The other type of case is when your accident lawyer must prove another party is at fault. This can happen in car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, and structural negligence accidents among other possibilities. In this case, your accident lawyer will collect evidence to prove that the responsible party legally caused or was liable for your accident and therefore responsible for covering your expenses. This may eventually develop into fighting the opposing party’s insurance company as well.
Accident Lawyers Are Paid on Contingency
The next important thing to understand is that most accident lawyers are paid on contingency. What this means is that they don’t ask you for money unless they win your case. They advance the costs of investigation, discovery, court time, and legal counseling hours, which means that taking an accident case is also taking a big chance. The amount the attorney fee that the Firm receives from your settlement, which is a percentage set by the contract, is collected at the time your case settles. This ensures that clients aren’t forced to pay out-of-pocket, protecting them from unnecessary financial hardship after the injury.
They are Paid If You Win a Settlement
Accident lawyers working on contingency do not get paid unless they win your case. Think about this for a moment and realize how invested each accident lawyer must be to pour their hours into a case. They are saying that your injury and situation are important enough to give you that time without asking you to go through financial hardship during the legal battle.
Carefully Selecting Strong Cases
At the same time, this also makes accident lawyers very careful about taking a case. They can’t safely take a case on contingency unless they have a strong belief that it will win. This means that if an accident lawyer takes your case, they are invested. They believe you have a good chance of winning and that their efforts can take you over that finish line to a fair and successful settlement.
Providing Sound Legal Advice at Every Step
Another thing that accident lawyers do is give sound legal advice every step of the way. You want to start consulting with your accident attorney before you file a lawsuit or insurance claim. They have years of experience with your type of case. They know both the best practices and the most common mistakes. They know the traps that insurance companies set, like asking you to see one of their own doctors to assess your injuries, and they can walk you through the difficult paperwork that must be properly filed.
If the case develops, your accident lawyer will know how to respond and if your injuries wear you down, your accident lawyer will keep the ball rolling while you focus on recovery.
Negotiating With Your Insurance Company
Once the insurance company has accepted your claim, that doesn’t mean the battle is over. They will still run an assessment to determine how much of a settlement you get. This is a negotiation process, though they won’t tell you that voluntarily. An accident lawyer is experienced in settlement negotiations and will negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. They will ensure that you are not low-balled and foisted off with a settlement that won’t cover your expenses, and they will look for ways to negotiate the terms or benefits you need.
Taking Your Insurance Company to Court
If necessary, your accident lawyer will take things a step further. If your insurance claim is denied or the insurance company is not fairly valuing your case, they will take the insurance company to court and sue them for the settlement instead. In this situation, you can even hire an accident lawyer after your initial claim was denied if you did not have the help of a good lawyer during the initial filing. Accident lawyers are essential for protecting injured people from exploitative insurance denials.
Holding a Liable Third Party Responsible
Last but not least, your accident lawyer will take a third party to court for your injuries, whether or not they have insurance. For example, if your accident happened because of a slippery floor or dangerous display in a store, an accident lawyer can sue the store or its parent company for liability and medical expenses, While insurance will likely eventually play a role, the first legal battle is proving that the third party is liable and your accident attorney will do that for you.
So how does an accident lawyer work, exactly? The most important thing to remember is that they fight on your side to prove liability or win insurance claims and they work on contingency so you don’t have to pay legal fees unless you win the case and a settlement. The steps in-between will consist of whatever you need to win the case and a fair settlement for your injuries. Your accident lawyer will work to prove that your injuries are the responsibility of another party for their insurance to cover or prove to your insurance company that they are responsible for covering your injuries under the terms of your policy. Either way, they fight on your side so you can avoid pitfalls and focus on recovery.
Do you have more questions about what it will be like to work with an accident lawyer? Please contact us today, we would be happy to answer any question you may have.