If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may need help getting the needed compensation for your expenses. Consulting with a lawyer after a car accident is an important part of ensuring that you are not shortchanged by insurance companies who are only really concerned about their bottom line. You may need long term rehabilitation and care as well as compensation for missed wages. A good attorney knows all the many items you may need help with now and in the future, due to the accident, and how to negotiate for a comprehensive settlement.
To find the right lawyer to represent you in a car or other personal injury accident, you want to know more about them, their procedures, timelines, and other helpful information you can be doing to help your case.
Popham Law, a leading Kansas City, Missouri personal injury law firm, understands that you have many things to deal with after an accident. But making sure to talk to an lawyer well versed in car accidents and liability law is very important for your future. Talk with us first BEFORE talking with or settling a claim directly with an insurance representative.
Let's look at some questions you may want to ask:
1. What do I need to do after my accident?
If you haven’t sought medical attention yet, get to a doctor, urgent care, or hospital emergency room, depending on the seriousness of your injuries. You may feel fine right after the accident, but a day or even a week later you may start to feel pain. Some injuries take time to manifest symptoms. While you are visiting with doctors, therapists and the like, make sure to save receipts and medical records of treatments. We may need to get records and doctor statements later to prove diagnoses. You will want the medical report of the day of the accident to best show that the developing pain was caused b the accident.
2. What should I do to protect my case?
If possible, take or have someone take pictures of the accident scene and give them to your attorney. Other types of evidence an attorney may need are police reports, witness statements, and other evidence that can be located about the accident. If you have names of witnesses, give them to your attorney.
Also to protect your case, do NOT to speak to anyone with an insurance company until you speak to a car accident lawyer. This is particularly true of an insurance adjuster from the other party’s insurance company. They can appear to be friendly and concerned but they are actually looking for evidence to minimize or negate your claim for compensation. One wrong word and your claim will be over.
3. What will you do when you represent me?
The attorney will explain their process - what they can do and how they will handle your case. The attorney should offer a plan for handling your case from start to finish and realistic time line and maybe if able an estimate of compensation amounts you may be entitled to you. You likely will also learn about their fee arrangements.
4. What information do you need from me?
Have them provide you with a list of things they will need you to provide. A lawyer needs to document your case with as many pictures, medical records, contact information for witnesses and other documentation as possible. Certain things such as the name of your primary physician and access to your medical history may be needed.
5. What is your fee structure?
Most lawyers don’t work for free, so you need to know how you’re expected to pay them. Many car accident lawyers use what’s called a contingency fee arrangement. This means that they represent you for a portion or percentage of the settlement you receive. Ask for specifics about what they expect when you receive a settlement, or if you go to trial. The percentage of the settlement will vary so you will want to know what you can expect financially after they have taken their fee.
6. What kind of compensation can I expect to recover?
No two car accidents or injuries are alike, so what you receive will depend on multiple factors like the extent of your injuries, lost wages due to missed work time, property damage, and long term effects and treatments. Ask about things like pain and suffering. Your attorney will give you a reasonable idea of what to expect.
7. What if the insurance company offers me a settlement?
Insurance companies are only interested in closing your case, not in taking care of you. Don’t accept anything before speaking with a car accident lawyer first, or you could lose thousands in money you need and deserve for your medical bills and other expenses. Once you accept a settlement, you can’t go back for additional compensation. Your car accident lawyer will protect your interests and ensure that your settlement is fair.
Have Questions? Call Popham, Your Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer
We’re happy to speak with you and answer your questions after a car accident or any other type of personal injury.
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in many accident types, from simple fender benders to accidents involving injuries and property damage. We'll be happy to review your case and let you know if you have one and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288, or use our online contact form to get started.