20 Feb What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Knowing the answer to this question can save you time and money if you are ever in an accident.
The short answer is that a car accident lawyer can do a variety of things, so how they can help your case depends on the details of the situation. In a broad sense, they will communicate with all involved parties on your behalf. This includes the other side’s lawyers and the insurance companies.
In addition to communicating with the other parties involved in the case, they evaluate your evidence and track down witnesses and experts who can evaluate and bolster your claims. They also have a working knowledge of the law as it applies to car accident claims and can ensure your filings comply with the statute of limitations.
The Importance of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Having a car accident lawyer by your side is important for winning your case and obtaining just compensation. However, it is also important for preserving your mental health and emotional well-being throughout the litigation process.
Court cases can be very draining, especially if you are unfamiliar with everything involved. Having a qualified lawyer by your side ensures you have consistent resources to maintain peace of mind.
If you were injured in a car accident, now is the time to be proactive. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Gimblin today so we can start advocating for your compensation as soon as possible. We offer free consultations, so all you need to do is bring some documents related to your case, and we will be happy to meet with you.
Legal Representation in California
When you hire a car accident lawyer, you’ll have a qualified legal professional evaluating the details of your case and contacting other parties on your behalf. They can also draft important documents and demystify some of the arcane legal proceedings.
The Cases a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help With
Of course, car accident lawyers can help with cases involving vehicular collisions, but that doesn’t solely extend to cars. Car accident lawyers can help with accidents involving trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, or any combination thereof.
During your initial consultation with your lawyer, you will be able to ask questions about your case, including your evidence, the overall process, and the next steps. As they listen to the case facts, the attorney will inform you whether your case is viable. This is determined by whether there is enough evidence to be awarded compensation.
Once legal viability is determined, your lawyer will be able to give you an idea of the potential outcome of your case. If you’re unsure of what your legal rights are, they will be able to explain them to you.
It’s no secret that the legal process can be overwhelming. That’s why deciding to have a qualified legal representative by your side throughout the process is one of the best decisions you can make. Don’t make the mistake of going in alone when a qualified car accident attorney is literally a phone call away.
Investigation and Gathering Evidence for Your Case
In addition to providing you with knowledge and support throughout the process, a car accident lawyer will investigate the specifics of your case and gather evidence to support your claims. First, they will review the evidence you bring during the initial consultation. This will include the following documents:
- Police reports
- Photos of the accident
- Medical statements
- Doctor’s notes
- Security camera footage
- Personal journal entries
- Eyewitness statements
The evidence you bring will vary depending on the details of your case, so make sure to ask when you schedule your consultation so you can come prepared. Remember, it is better to arrive over-prepared than under-prepared.
Documentation Is Important
If you review the documentation listed above, you’ll notice that much of it pertains to the accident scene. With this in mind, understand that it is extremely important to take photos of the scene, speak with any eyewitnesses, and obtain a copy of the police report.
Additionally, you should see a doctor immediately after the accident, even if you are not feeling injured.
Not All Injuries Are Immediate
The amount of adrenaline that hits your system after an accident could conceal any pain your body might be experiencing. However, if you do not get checked out by a doctor, there is a high probability that you or the legal authorities you are appealing to could view your injuries as the result of something else.
Accident Reconstruction Specialists
The lawyer you hire should have access to a vast network of professionals, including accident reconstruction specialists. These professionals will be able to recreate the details of your accident with mathematical precision so your lawyer can present the facts in court.
When reconstructing an accident, your lawyer might work with 3D modeling technology and computer simulations to determine specific instances, such as the moment of impact. This technology is crucial for determining how the accident occurred and conveying that information to a judge.
By having professionals reconstruct the details of your case, your lawyer will be able to present an airtight argument regarding why you are eligible to receive compensation. This could reduce the amount of time you will need to spend in court and could even inspire the defendant’s attorneys to settle the case before it moves to trial.
Negotiation and Settlement
Your lawyer will be dealing with most of the third parties involved in your claim. These often include the following:
- Insurance companies
- The defendant’s legal team
- Healthcare professionals
- Law enforcement
Here is a brief explanation of how your lawyer will interface with each of these categories.
One of the first phone calls your lawyer will make is to the insurance company. They will inform them that you are seeking compensation and open a dialogue in regard to a settlement.
Unfortunately, insurance agencies are a business. As such, their primary goal is to maximize their profits. This often means they are reluctant to pay out a settlement up front, which is why it is a good idea to have a lawyer on your side.
In their quest to maximize profits and minimize expenses, some insurance adjusters will look for any reason to assign fault in your direction. If they are successful, it could lessen or outrightly negate your claim, which means you receive little to no compensation.
This is why attorneys generally discourage clients from advocating on their own. A qualified attorney will reach out to the insurance adjusters and attempt to negotiate a higher settlement.
But what does a car accident lawyer do when an insurance company plays hardball? If the adjusters do not agree to the terms of the settlement, the lawyer can make the decision to sue them and move the case to trial.
The Defendant’s Legal Team
While dealing with insurance companies constitutes a significant portion of the battle, it is merely a fraction of what your car accident lawyer can do for you. If the opposing attorneys start requesting documentation and other records pertaining to the accident, all you have to do is refer them to your attorney. They will handle the rest.
If your auto accident resulted in an increased need for medical care, your attorney should be able to help you get the treatment you need. During this process, you will also be able to determine whether you want to pursue legal action against any other parties involved, not just the defendant.
In addition to medical treatment, your attorney will likely be able to enroll you in counseling so you can process the trauma surrounding the accident. This is especially beneficial if you are experiencing depression or have lost a loved one as a result of the accident.
If you are being hounded by law enforcement as a result of the litigation, your attorney will be able to take some of the pressure off. If you are contacted by law enforcement regarding the accident, your attorney may serve as the point of contact. This keeps your stress levels low and places the case in the hands of a qualified legal professional.
What does a car accident lawyer do when negotiations fail and the case moves to trial? For negotiations, your lawyer will draft a demand letter and send it to the defendant’s insurance company. A demand letter essentially states the facts of the accident and makes a demand for damages based on your ailments.
If the insurance company rejects the demand letter, your lawyer will draft a complaint against the defendant. This document outlines the legal arguments that prove the defendant is responsible for the accident. It will also specify the total amount of damages you are seeking.
Once the complaint is sent, the defendant usually has 30 days to respond.
From Demand to Discovery
Once the case moves to trial, your lawyer may initiate discovery. This will involve interviewers being sent to the defendant to ask specific questions. Additionally, the discovery process could involve interviews with other important parties, including witnesses, experts, and deposing parties.
Taking It to Trial
If the case moves to trial, your lawyer should be well-versed in the court’s customs and etiquette. They will let you know everything you need to do, so it is important to follow their instructions.
When you file a suit for a car accident, the trial will take place in civil court. Once the suit is filed, both sides will exchange information related to the case. This portion of the trial is known as the discovery period.
Once discovery concludes, the judge will give the plaintiff and defendant time to reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case moves to trial.
The next step is jury selection. A panel of people will be called in and questioned by the judge, your lawyer, and the defendant’s lawyer. If a potential juror exhibits signs of hostility or anything else one of the lawyers doesn’t like, they will not be considered for selection. The trial will begin after all sides agree on the jurors.
After the jury is sworn in, the judge will hear opening statements. This is where each side tells the jury what they believe the evidence will prove. This section is essentially an overview of what is to come.
After the opening statements, the plaintiff will have a chance to present their evidence, followed by the defendant presenting theirs. Once that has concluded, lawyers from each side will give the closing arguments, and the jury will convene for deliberation.
During deliberation, the jury will attempt to reach an agreement on the verdict. If they cannot agree, the judge can give them more time or declare a mistrial.
In the event of a mistrial, a new jury will be selected, and proceedings will start over again. However, if the jury is able to reach a verdict, the designated member will inform the judge of their decision.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at the Offices of Steve Gimbin Today!
If you need a dedicated car accident lawyer by your side, contact the Law Offices of Steve Gimblin today and let us get to work for you. We offer a passionate, dedicated approach to every case we handle and will always approach your situation with tenacity and dedication.
We understand that these are stressful times, so we will do everything in our power to provide peace of mind while we represent you.