What To Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident, at work, or any other incident involving two or more parties, it is vital that you hire a good personal injury attorney to represent your case as you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. This attorney will help you understand the legal ins and outs of your situation, advising you as to what your best option will be and what your odds of recovering are. Knowing the importance of the role your attorney will play, what can you do to ascertain whether or not you’ve found the best personal injury attorney possible? Here’s a list of the ten questions to ask a prospective lawyer before hiring him or her and why.
- Which areas of law does the attorney specialize in? This is an important question to ask, as many lawyers claim to work in personal injury, but may or may not do it on a consistent enough basis to warrant you offering them your case.
- Has the attorney ever had a case with details similar to your own? If so, how many?
- Has the attorney taken any other personal injury cases to court and what were the results? Knowing this will help you to understand what you may expect at the end of the arduous process.
- How long, on average, does it take the attorney to wrap up a case such as your own? The longer the process, the lighter your wallet becomes. Be sure the attorney will make the time to pursue the results you desire in a timely manner.
- Will you be able to speak with the attorney directly throughout the process? Watch out for lawyers who send a paralegal to the initial consultation instead of attending it themselves.
- How many other cases does the attorney currently have on his or her plate? Knowing this will allow you to discern whether or not the attorney will have time to focus on keeping the ball rolling for your case.
- If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer from the insurance company, will this attorney personally file a claim and take it to trial, or leave it up to someone else?
- Are there any past clients that you could speak with about their satisfaction levels?
- Has this attorney ever been suspended from practicing law, and if so, why? This one seems pretty self-explanatory.
- What is the contingency fee?
While asking all of these questions during the hunt for a lawyer might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it is far better to ask these up front than to realize during the process that you should have started with the questions from the beginning.
When is a car accident your fault in Mesa AZ?
Determining who is at fault
Determining who is at fault in an auto accident usually comes down to whoever was most negligent prior to the car accident in Mesa. For example, if one car ran a red light and collided with another car in the intersection, it’s quite obvious who is at fault and therefore responsible for any injuries or property damage that they incurred. However, there are many cases where it’s more difficult to tell which party to blame, which is further complicated by the fact that the police, insurance agencies, and courts all might have different determinations of who was at fault.
Following a car accident, the police fill out a police report with the details of what transpired before, during, and after the accident. They compile this information by interviewing any drivers involved and any potential witnesses in the area who might have witnessed it from a different perspective. Once they have completed their report, they can submit who they believe is at fault for the accident; however, they are not required to do so, meaning that oftentimes police reports are submitted without ever inferring who they believe to be the guilty party. The officer might also issue a traffic citation at the scene of the accident, which can be used in court as proof of negligence.
Once the insurance company is notified
Once the insurance company is notified of the accident, they bring in an adjuster/adjusters to oversee the claim and investigate the details of the situation. These adjusters are very thorough in their research of the details of the accident, ranging from examining the damage to the vehicles to speaking with witnesses and looking at the medical reports of those involved. Finally, based off of the data accumulated during their investigation, the adjuster will assign the blame or a percentage of the blame to one or more of the parties involved, accounting for coverage accorded to them by their insurance policies.
If an aggrieved party was to file a suit after an accident, the court will determine whether or not the defendant is negligent and therefore responsible for the payment of damages incurred. During this court case, the judge will weigh the arguments and evidence presented to them by each party’s lawyers, with the judge or jury (depending on who is responsible for ruling on the case) determining at the end whether the case has any merit. During this process, it is important to note that the rulings made by the insurance company or the police report will not control the outcome of the case, especially as police reports are considered hearsay. However, as mentioned before, any traffic citations issued by the police at the scene of the accident might be used as evidence of one driver’s negligence, contributing to the overall strength of his or her opponent’s argument.