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Have you or a member of your family been involved in an accident? Serious accidents not only lead to physical and emotional pain in the short term; they can also create a financial burden that causes stress, anxiety, and trauma in the long term. By bringing victims to justice, winning cases, and protecting a person’s legal rights, accident lawyers provide valuable support during a very difficult time.
People have been getting into accidents and suffering injuries since the beginning of civilization. Often, these accidents, and the injuries they cause come as the result of another person’s behavior. In these circumstances, we assess the situation before then attributing fault, blame, and negligence to the responsible parties.
This is where accident law comes in, it is the job of legal professionals to decipher how an accident was caused and find out who is responsible. While the effects of an accident cannot be reversed, the parties involved can be held to account for their negligence and compensations can be made. Think about the medical expenses and the financial and emotional stress that comes with being hurt or incapacitated. In a just society, it makes sense that people are offered some form of relief for a hardship they did not bring on themselves.
Accidents.Law covers the set of legal practices that surround accidents and personal injuries. It is our aim to inform the general public of any recommended procedures, or courses of action that they should take in the wake of an accident. With that in mind, we have produced a body of advisory literature, and connected with a community of legal professionals, all in order to give you access to the legal help you may need.
1. Take Notes & File a Police Report
It is difficult to think clearly in the aftermath of a traumatic experience. However, as soon as you begin to feel like yourself again there are two important measures you need to take.
Both these measures can eventually prove vital when it comes time to make your case in a court of law.
2. Finding a Lawyer
Legal proceedings are often complicated and drawn out affairs. An experienced negligence lawyer can save you a lot of time and trouble. Lawyers often specialize in a certain aspect of the law - which is definitely the case for accident law - so make sure to find the lawyer that is best suited to your type of case. Read our “Top 5 Accident Lawyer Near Me” section above to find the right accident law specialist for you.
3. Determining Liability
It is not always easy to prove liability for an accident. To prove who is liable in the case of your accident, you will need to make a negligence claim. This is a legal claim filed by you (the plaintiff) in order to prove the fault of the other party (the defendant). Successful negligence claims involve proving five elements:
Proving all five of these elements together can be difficult. A lawyers ability to succeed will depend on the circumstances of the case.
4. Recouping Your Losses
At this stage of the process, you have diligently recorded the details of your accident and the effects it has had upon your quality of life. Together with your lawyer, you have filed a successful negligence claim in a court of law. All that remains now is for you to recoup the losses you have endured.
This usually comes in the form of financial compensation. Compensation is decided upon by the judge based and will be determined by several factors including the severity of the injury, the amount of work you have missed, and all the extra costs that resulted from your accident.
This video on negligence will help you decide whether you ought to make a claim:
As with any trained and experienced professional, a lawyer brings a level of expertise to your situation that is both beneficial and reassuring to the client. The complete body of law is so extensive that lawyers are now required to develop specialties within certain aspects of the law.
This is the case with accident law, an accident lawyer is uniquely qualified to evaluate your case with you and make sure your legal rights are understood and protected.
Making a successful negligence claim can involve a multitude of steps such as, collecting records, reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, conferring with consultants, and negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel.
An accident lawyer will diligently go through all these processes for you, helping to ensure that your rights are upheld and you receive the type of compensation you deserve.
The short answer is no, it is never strictly necessary to hire a lawyer. Firstly, you are always within your rights to plead your own case in a court of law; secondly, after less severe accidents, an insurance company will often provide you with a satisfactory compensation package.
However, there are some situations in which you absolutely should seek the assistance of a professional. Here is a brief list of circumstances in which it is definitely advisable to hire a lawyer:
As a general rule, the more severe your accident is, the more likely you will be to benefit from the help of an accident law specialist.
Find Law's team of attorney writers and editors have compiled this excellent list of steps you can take to make sure you are well prepared to meet with your lawyer.
• Name and address of ambulance service
• Name and address of the emergency room where you were initially taken
• Dates you were admitted to the emergency room and the hospital
• Names and business addresses of all doctors who have examined you
• Names and addresses of chiropractors you have consulted
• Names of all people who were involved in the accident
• Names and addresses of witnesses to the accident
• Dates you missed work because of the accident
• Name and telephone number of each insurance adjustor you have talked to
• List of people you have talked to about the accident or your injuries
• Accident report
• Copies of any written statements
• Your automobile insurance policy if you were injured in a car accident along with the "declarations" page or "coverage certificate" that sets forth what kinds of coverage you have purchased and what the policy limits are
• Your homeowner's or renter's policy, along with the declarations page or coverage certificate
• Medical or disability insurance policy or coverage certificate
• Other policies, including major medical, hospitalization, veterans insurance
• All correspondence you have received from any insurer about the accident or your injuries
• Medical bills
• Receipts for things you have had to buy because of your injury
• Receipts for things you have had to fix because of the accident
• How many personal injury trials has he or she handled? Of those, how many did he or she win?
• What percentage of his or her practice is in the personal injury area of expertise that you need?
• How long has he or she been in practice?
• Would the lawyer handle the case personally or would it be passed on to some other lawyer or support staff in the firm? If other lawyers or staff may do some of the work, could you meet them?
• What problems does the lawyer foresee with your case?
• How would the lawyer go about handling your situation? What is the process?
• How long will the case take?
• How would the lawyer charge for his or her services? Fixed, hourly rate or a contingency fee?
• What types of experts would the lawyer use to prove your case?
• Is there a time limit by which you must settle the case or file a lawsuit?
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