Preparing to Meet a Personal Injury Attorney

Many people decide to meet a personal injury attorney after being involved in an accident because they find that hiring an experienced car accident attorney can be beneficial to their personal injury case. Personal injury lawyers have experience negotiating with the insurance companies, reviewing complex medical records and assessing relevant case law that could be useful to your claim.

Additionally, hiring a lawyer to handle the personal injury claim may relieve some of an injured person’s stress after a traumatic event like a car accident, giving him or her time and energy to focus on getting back to health. Moreover, personal injury attorneys have experience working with local medical providers and can recommend treatment facilities in your area.

It is always important to remember that the insurance company you are up against will employ every tactic they can to ensure that you get less money. Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who will work to get you the compensation you deserve.

How to Find a Lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident, your main focus will likely be on finding and securing appropriate medical care for your injuries. However, time is of the essence after your car accident, and you should consider the importance of pursuing a claim for damages against the at-fault party for your injuries.

Depending on how comfortable you are with the claims process (most people overestimate their abilities) it may be a good idea to meet a personal injury attorney regarding your case and your injuries.

Many, if not most, personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your potential claim. Take advantage of this fact and use these consultations to gather as much information as you can about the personal injury process and about each lawyer’s practice.

To find potential personal injury attorneys in your area, feel free to use our Lawyer Locator tool. Also, do your research on the Internet, as many lawyers have informative websites for their practice as well as ways to reach out and ask them questions online. If any one of your friends or family members has been involved in an accident, ask them if they chose to hire an attorney and get their feedback on the attorney they chose.

Another great option is to call the North Carolina Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service, which should be able to connect you to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. This service can be reached at (800) 662-7660.

If you receive mailing advertisements from lawyers, read through the material that they send and consider calling each firm for more information about the practice. It is a good idea to meet with several lawyers to find the law firm that is the right fit for you and your case.

Prepare for Consultations

Once you call and make appointments with several lawyers to discuss your claim, you should prepare for these meetings to ensure you get the information you need. It is important that you bring all the documents that you have related to your car accident.

If you have a police report, bring that document as well as the Driver Exchange Form. Bring with you any photographs of the scene of the accident, photographs of your injuries, doctor notes writing you out of work and discharge paperwork if you went to the hospital following your accident.

If you have it available, bring a copy of your automobile insurance policy or vehicle registration as well as your health insurance card. The attorney will be interested in reviewing any evidence you have related to your car accident.

When you meet a personal injury attorney, have a list of questions ready for the attorney regarding your potential personal injury case:

  • Who will be working on my case?
  • Who should I speak to in your office regarding the different aspects of my case?
  • What is your fee for representation?*
  • What is the approximate timeline for a personal injury claim, from start to finish?
  • Will you contact me for every step of the case?
  • What policies are in place to keep me informed about the progress of my case?
  • Will I be able to speak to an attorney about my case throughout the process? Can I make appointments to meet with the attorney in person?
  • Do you foresee any problems or issues with my case? How will you attempt to fix those problems?
  • Are my expectations about compensation realistic? How much do you think a case like mine is worth?
  • Will this case be settled outside of court? What happens if the case goes to court?

*Important Note: Many personal injury attorneys in North Carolina operate on a contingency fee. This means that unless you reach a settlement with the insurance company or judgment in court, the attorney will receive no payment for services. In other words, the lawyer only gets paid if you get paid. While there is no “typical” personal injury contingency fee in North Carolina, there are attorneys that charge between 25 percent to 40 percent of the total settlement. When you meet a personal injury attorney to discuss your potential case, be sure to ask about attorney’s fees.

A good attorney will take the time to answer all of your questions regarding your case and should set your mind at ease about the personal injury claims process. If you feel satisfied with how the consultation went, this may be a sign that you have found the right attorney to handle your case. The lawyer that is your best fit will show dedication, honesty, wisdom and will make you feel comfortable about the process.

Please visit the Finding and Hiring the Right Attorney page for information that will help you make the best decision. Our page on Attorney’s Fees will give you an idea of how much it will cost to hire an attorney.

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