When you're involved in a car accident, it's not always easy to figure out your best path forward. Alongside one key initial question—do I need a lawyer to handle my car accident case?—it's important to understand exactly what your lawyer will be doing on a day to day basis to ensure the best result for your claim. That includes:
A successful car accident claim often comes down to an effective combination of documentation and persuasion. The "documentation" element requires piecing together all records that could play a part in substantiating and proving the different aspects of your claim.
An experienced car accident lawyer will know what kind of documentation is necessary to present your best case, and how to round everything up, including:
Oftentimes, all of these records become part of a demand letter package that your attorney will send to the at-fault party's insurance adjuster or lawyer, in which your side of the case—from the other side's clear liability for the underlying accident, to the nature and extent of your injuries and all other losses—is meticulously laid out, and an initial demand for compensation is made. This is perhaps the first point in a car accident claim in which the dual "documentation" and "persuasion" elements are put to use together. Learn more about car accident demand letters.
In a lot of car accident cases, your lawyer won't be the only professional who's working hard on your behalf. Especially if your car accident injuries are significant and there's a lot riding on the outcome of your claim, it might be necessary for your lawyer to enlist the help of any number of experts, including:
Many car accident lawyers rely on an expansive network of professionals like these to step in and strengthen their client's position.
This is perhaps the biggest "persuasion"-type element of the "documentation and persuasion" formula. Having the peace of mind to rely on a seasoned professional who will go to bat for you—in any adversarial scenario that might crop up—is one of the biggest advantages of having a lawyer on your side in a car accident case.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your car accident case, your lawyer might engage in settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster whose company is on the financial hook if the other driver is deemed liable for the accident. That means presenting the circumstances of the crash and the effects of your injuries in an optimal way, understanding the full value of your claim when it comes time to make counteroffers, and staying in the fight to ensure you end up with a fair settlement.
Insurance companies, health care providers, and others may have a lien or other financial interest in any settlement or judgment you end up receiving. Your lawyer can negotiate with these stakeholders, often with the goal of reducing the amount of their liens. This is no small matter, since money that doesn't go to these lienholders will go to you.
If you file a car accident lawsuit and your case ends up in court, not only will your lawyer handle court filings, appearances, the "discovery" process, and every other aspect of litigation, they're going to engage in ongoing settlement talks with the other side's lawyer as the case progresses through the court calendar. If settling out of court looks like the right strategy, your lawyer will talk you through that option so you can make an informed decision.
When you're ready to take the first step toward getting the best result for your car accident claim, you can use the chat and information submission tools right on this page to connect with a lawyer in your area. You may also want to check out our guide to hiring a car accident lawyer.