5 Key Questions to Ask Your Car Accident Lawyer
- Posted by Taylor Ernst on
- January 29, 2020
When you’re thinking about filing a personal injury claim in the aftermath of your car accident, a lawyer can help make your claim stronger. Working with the right attorney increases the chances that you will obtain the maximum compensation available.
Working With a Lawyer
With that said, it’s important to realize that working with a San Luis Obispo car accident lawyer is a two-way street. Your attorney will want to know specific details about your case and will expect you to perform crucial tasks, like visiting the doctor on a regular basis. On the flip side, you can expect your lawyer to provide guidance, let you know about your options, and answer any key questions you have.
There are a number of questions every personal injury client should ask their car accident lawyer. If you have questions or want more information regarding your personal injury case, you can schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with an attorney at Ernst Law Group when you call (805) 541-0300 or contact us online.
What Are My Options for Moving Forward With My Case?
The first thing you want to do is be aware of all of your legal options. Knowing what paths you can take moving forward can make each decision easier and clear up any confusion.
Typically speaking, there are four options available once you have been hurt in a car accident:
- Do nothing and pay for your injuries out of pocket (not usually recommended if there are available alternatives)
- File a personal injury claim with an at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy
- File an injury claim with another form of insurance, such as a workers’ compensation plan
- File a lawsuit against an at-fault driver, their insurance company, and/or another third party
By explaining each option in detail, your San Luis Obispo car accident attorney will inform you of their individual pros and cons as well as the steps needed to go through them. They may also indicate which of the options seems like the best path to choose for your given case.
How Does My Car Accident Injury Case Compare to Others?
Your car accident lawyer cannot predict the future, but they can make an educated guess based on their past experience.
When evaluating your chances of success with a legal option, they will compare your case to a hypothetical “generic” case. In a generic car accident injury case, the cause of the accident might be obvious, and the resulting injuries might be, easy to diagnose, easy to treat, and easy to document.
It will also, hopefully, be easy for the injury victim to prove that their injuries were connected to the accident. In this sort of case, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver will most likely settle for a reasonable amount in a relatively short period of time.
Of course, this ideal case probably never existed, and your case will most likely have some key differences. For instance, your injuries may result in substantial medical bills, meaning the insurer will be motivated to poke holes in your claim and reduce its amount.
Fault may also be murky, meaning an accident investigation will be lengthy. Your case may also need substantial legal research to prove fault.
Any one of these factors can make a case more or less likely to result in success, and different factors can also affect the size of your payout. For these reasons, asking the question “How does my case compare?” is usually more productive than asking “How strong is my case?”
What Will the Process Be Like?
You want to be prepared for the road ahead, and you want to have clear expectations. Accordingly, your San Luis Obispo car accident lawyer will explain the process of filing a claim, what steps are involved, and what timeline you can expect the process to follow.
If your case is complex – if it involves multiple potential at-fault parties, for example – then your lawyer might explain how these multiple processes will work out over the long run.
Very few car accident injury cases progress to a lawsuit or court trial, but your attorney will also inform you of the steps required to go through this adversarial legal process.
Overall, learning about the process of filing a car accident injury claim and/or lawsuit helps you understand the amount of time and effort involved in seeking compensation for your injuries.
How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Handled?
Every car accident lawyer in San Luis Obispo will give roughly the same answer to the three questions above, but the answer to this one is a clincher.
You want a lawyer who has handled cases similar, if not identical to, the one you’re currently dealing with. By being familiar with certain factors, your lawyer is better prepared to handle your case efficiently and effectively.
More importantly, your lawyer can prove that they have what it takes to win a case like yours. While a history of winning past cases doesn’t guarantee future results, it does show that the law firm you intend to work with knows the legal strategies and arguments needed to get their clients money for their injuries.
What Do I Need to Do Next?
The answer to this question will vary depending on the legal path you choose to take. No matter how you intend to move forward, it’s important to know what your personal obligations are and what the next big event on your timeline will be.
In most cases, your personal injury lawyer will tell you to visit a qualified doctor and receive a full, accurate medical diagnosis. They will also likely suggest that you avoid discussing the case with anyone and that you be careful speaking to insurance companies.
Start Getting Answers to Your Questions From an Experienced San Luis Obispo Car Accident Lawyer
The sooner you get your questions out in the open, the sooner you and your San Luis Obispo car accident lawyer can start working on a case together.
Demystify the legal process, find out the best next steps to take, and potentially start filing your personal injury claim now when you call Ernst Law Group at (805) 541-0300 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation now.