Atlanta Car Accident Settlement Lawyer
Atlanta Car Accident Settlement Lawyer: What to Expect When Meeting With a Car Accident Attorney.
Make the most out of your first meeting with an Atlanta car accident settlement lawyer to make sure he or she is the best choice for you and your case.
After a car accident, once you have decided to hire an attorney, you are probably wondering what the first meeting will entail. There are two main reasons for this meeting. The first is for the attorney to review your case. The second is for you to make sure you are comfortable having this attorney represent you.
Even if an initial consultation has taken place online or over the telephone, the attorney will not have a full picture of the facts and circumstances surrounding your car accident case until the two of you can sit down and talk.
The first step will involve you explaining the facts of the accident, and the damages you have sustained. This conversation will probably be with the attorney, and/or one of the attorney’s representatives, such as a legal secretary or paralegal.
After you have provided your story about the accident, you will answer follow-up questions, such as:
- Have you spoken to any insurance company representatives about the accident? If so, which representatives, and what did you tell them?
- Have you spoken to anyone else about the accident? This can include friends, family members, first responders, and anyone else involved in the accident.
- What car insurance coverage and/or health insurance coverage do you have?
- Were there any witnesses to the car accident, and if so, do you have their contact information?
You will also need to provide any documents you have relating to the accident, such as medical bills, car repair estimates/invoices, police reports, photographs, e-mails, and letters from insurance companies (and copies of any insurance claims you have filed related to the accident).
Don’t hold back any relevant information about the accident, even if you are worried that it is embarrassing or will hurt your case. Even if you have not hired the attorney, your first meeting is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Not to mention that if you withhold information that hurts your case, it will come back to haunt you.
For instance, your attorney may agree to represent you based on the information you have provided, but if that information is incomplete, sooner or later the truth will come out, possibly after you and the attorney have spent hundreds of hours preparing the case (and thousands of dollars on expert witnesses and court costs).
If the Attorney Doesn’t Take Your Case
If the Atlanta car accident settlement lawyer declines to take your case, that does not mean it is a weak one. Attorneys may turn down cases for a variety of reasons, including:
- the attorney’s workload
- potential conflicts of interest
- the scope of the lawsuit goes beyond the attorney’s skills and experience, and
- the attorney’s firm may not have the financial resources to try your case, even though it has potential.
If the Attorney Offers to Take Your Case
If the attorney agrees to represent you, ask about potential outcomes. But keep in mind that the attorney won’t be able to accurately predict your chances of success and what type of damages award you can expect. There are so many variables and unknowns, including the overall unpredictability of personal injury lawsuits in general.
Deciding to Hire an Attorney
Whether the attorney represents you is your decision as much as it’s the attorney’s. You need to find a lawyer that you feel comfortable with, and who you can trust. You also want to ensure your attorney will effectively and capably represent your interests.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does this attorney have experience handling car accident cases like yours?
- How much trial experience does the attorney have? Most car accident cases settle out of court. But to obtain the best outcome possible, your attorney must have the ability to take your case to trial and win.
- Who will actually handle your case? Some attorneys may give the impression that they will handle every aspect of your case, but many have inexperienced associates handle most of the work surrounding the case, with your attorney stepping in only when there is a trial or during settlement negotiations.
- What is the attorney’s legal fee and who pays for litigation costs? Most car accident settlement attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
If you decide to hire an attorney, you will need to sign a representation agreement, fee agreement, or some other document formally establishing the attorney as your legal representative. You may also need to sign other documents, such as medical releases, which will allow your attorney to access your treatment records on your behalf.
What Should I Tell My Car Accident Lawyer About the Accident?
You should tell your Atlanta car accident settlement lawyer anything and everything applicable to your case. Provide your attorney with all the facts surrounding your case, from details about how the accident occurred to how your injuries are impacting your life.
There is a lot to consider when discussing your accident with a car accident attorney, and it might be beneficial to write down a list of everything you want to say when you schedule a consultation.
The three topics of discussion that you will want to focus on include:
- Facts regarding the accident itself
- Your injuries and prognosis
- Any communication you have had with the insurance companies
Sharing Facts and Evidence from the Accident
Your attorney will want all the details about your accident as he or she puts together your case. Accident evidence can prove the other party’s negligence, minimize your fault, and help your attorney better relay car accident details to the judge, jury, or insurance companies.
Some of the things you will want to collect to share with your car accident lawyer include:
- A play-by-play of what you remember from the accident
- The police report
- When and where the accident took place
- Pictures or video(s) you took at the scene
- Any witness statements and contact info you collected
- Any factors that contributed to the accident, such as weather or road construction
Detailing Your Medical Condition and Prognosis
Proving the extent of your injuries is crucial to obtaining adequate and fair compensation after a car accident. Any manner that your injury has affected your life—in your relationships, career, financial well-being, mental health—applies to your case and you should share the information with your lawyer.
Some of the things you will want to share with your Atlanta car accident settlement lawyer to effectively demonstrate your injuries include:
- Medical records and bills
- Your doctors’ prognoses
- List of your recommended treatments and prescriptions
- Injury journal detailing your progress, pain levels, and the impact of your injury on your day-to-day life
- Future treatments that you might need
- Doctors’ and mental health practitioners’ statements regarding your condition
- Photos of your injury
Telling Your Attorney about Communications with Insurance Agents
Another thing you will want to discuss with your car accident lawyer is any phone calls, letters, or settlement offers you have received from your or the other party’s insurance company.
Your attorney can advise you on:
- What to say and what not to say during interviews with adjusters
- Whether or not the settlement offer is fair
- How to handle matters if the insurance company is acting unscrupulously
It is important to talk with your lawyer about these conversations because insurance adjusters are trained to lower their company’s overall payout. They may try to use shady tactics to get you to agree to a smaller settlement than what you are entitled to.
Therefore, share anything the insurance company tells you with your attorney so he/she can ensure everything is handled fairly and appropriately and then fight back if it is not.
Ready for Your Initial Consultation/Case Review?
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, contact Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC as soon as possible so that we can file your claim on time. Remember there are statutes of limitations that you must meet to get the compensation that you deserve.
Atlanta Car Accident Settlement Lawyer
So, call us now at (470) 268-5802 or contact us online to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation so that our experienced, professional, reputable, and dedicated Atlanta car accident settlement lawyer can review your case and advise you accordingly on the appropriate legal option you should take.
Atlanta Car Accident Settlement Lawyer