You have just bought a new or used car and want to start a new era of driving safely? This article is made for you! Here are some tips to take care of your car while protecting your passengers and yourself.
It may seem obvious, but not many people actually do it so here’s a quick reminder of what to check on your vehicle. Do not start the voyage if your tire is smooth, have them changed before it’s too late. Go to a service station to check the pressure as well. You will find this information on your doorstep, by lifting the valve of your tank or in the maintenance book of your car. Two pressures are usually indicated, the first for normal use of your vehicle, the second when loaded. Take this into account when going on vacation. This takes only a few seconds and can change everything during sudden braking or driving on slippery surfaces.
On the way
Once on the road, put your hands at “10:10” on the steering wheel and drive carefully avoiding any distractions. Be sure to adapt your driving to traffic especially during departures on vacation. Speed limits are not everything. When roads and highways are loaded, set your speed on the vehicles around you. Do not ride too slowly to avoid obstructions to traffic.
Another important point is the safety distances which, when they are not respected, lead to serious accidents. Keep in mind the “two seconds” rule to maintain an acceptable safe distance. It is very simple to apply: choose a fixed object in the distance like a traffic sign or a bridge and wait for the vehicle in front of you to pass up to it.
Then say “independence, independence” equivalent to two seconds. If you arrive at the marker before the end, you are too close. You can also follow the white stripes on the side of the road, 2 safety bands, 1 danger band as the signs say.
DRIVING IN RAIN OR IN STORMY WEATHER
During rain or heavy rain, in order to limit aquaplaning and circulate safely, we recommend that you:
- Lift the foot of the accelerator
- Check the condition and pressure of your tires often
- Respect the safety distances
- Stick to the speed signs
- Anticipate braking
We remind you of the speed limits on the wet road, namely, 70 mph for rural freeways, a 45 mph minimum speed limit, 65 mph for other 4 lane divided highways, and 55 mph for all other highways.
ADOPT A SAFE DAILY DRIVING
It differs completely from daytime driving. We are often dazzled by the low beam or headlights of other vehicles. Here are some details:
Try not to look at the headlights of other cars
Reduce your speed
Change the position of your interior mirror. There is a night position.
TIRES: LOOK AT THE WEAR RATE AND CHECK THEIR PRESSURE
For a perfect grip, do not ride with under-inflated tires. You must follow the recommendations of tire manufacturers or manufacturers. Those that are recommended vary depending on your load at the back. Then increase the pressure of the tires in the same place. Depending on their wear rate you can swap your wheels. During a puncture, simply loosen the wheel, use your jack to replace it with your spare wheel. This must be checked regularly.
ADOPT RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR
For your safety and that of your passengers, use a breathalyzer when leaving a restaurant (if you have drunk, of course). He will inform you about your alcohol level and during a control by the police, you will not be in violation. Thus, you will not be penalized with a fine.
Arizona is a no-tolerance state for DUIs, meaning you can be arrested with a blood-alcohol content higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, which means that you should not drink a single drink
MEDICATION AT THE WHEEL
Also watch out for drugs that can cause drowsiness and decreased reflexes.
In traffic jams, it is better to turn the engine off in order to consume less fuel and to avoid releases of particles to the environment. Try to control yourself by avoiding inadvertent honking, incivility and aggression at the wheel (we know, it’s not always easy).
TELEPHONE ON THE FLY
For your safety, it is forbidden to phone, drink or eat while driving (but you already know that). The Bluetooth hands-free kit is allowed. SMS are not allowed. We keep both hands on the wheel!
If you have a teenager at home, know that he can do driving accompanied. Like you, he must respect all speed limits as well as the Highway Code.
PREVENTION AND ROAD SAFETY
Do not hesitate to obtain brochures, documents and visit the websites of associations that aim to reduce the death rate and accidents. There are many organizations whose mission is to perform Crash Tests. Thus, by buying a new car with 5 stars, you can be sure that it has responded positively to all safety tests.
Now that you know all about our safety tips, the best you can want is to pay attention to yourself, your loved ones and other road users. To do this, check all equipment of your vehicle. Beware also of all users on motorbikes, bikes etc. Finally, if your tires are worn out, buy new ones!
Driving a vehicle requires the greatest concentration; however, too many drivers are distracted from their main activity, driving, by secondary activities.
There are many sources of distraction when a driver is driving his vehicle: eat or drink, smoke, wear makeup, remove his jacket or sweater … But today, society asks us to manage our time best, become a scarce resource. For most of us this means, among other things, being always reachable.
Being able to stay in permanent contact with one’s private or professional surroundings has become an absolute necessity. We often use the car as an extension of our living room or our office. Manufacturers, to meet or anticipate demand, are perfecting their systems. The temptation is therefore great to be distracted at the wheel by other activities. The recent worldwide rise in the use of mobile phones while driving poses more and more security problems.
A recent survey indicates that 2 out of 3 employees call during their business trips and only 20% do so only when stationary. Users underestimate very much the risk they are taking and are hurting others by using their phone while driving. Many believe that the danger lies in the physical manipulation of the phone – the fact of holding it in hand – and consider that the solution is to use a device built into the vehicle or helmet …
THREAT: THE DROP OF ATTENTION
Holding an object in hand will necessarily complicate the task of the driver to maneuver his steering wheel if he must avoid an obstacle that arises. He will do the necessary less well (if it happens) and with a delay. The problem is not limited to the action of the hand or its position on the steering wheel, but the danger comes mainly from the mental load that a remote conversation makes to the brain. The threat comes from lack of attention. When we are on the phone, 80% of the capacities of our brain are mobilized, the remote conversation induces automatic mechanisms of thought which make that our spirit projects itself, imagines the interlocutor, the place where it is, “sees his face” . In fact, we are elsewhere, and just capable of performing routine driving tasks, as if we were on autopilot. The results of a study show that people who phone while driving record 30% less information (no difference in test performance could be highlighted between the use of bluetooth, headset phone speaker or phone held against the ear).
TALKING, WRITING, TAKING PHOTOS: WELL, TOO RISKY!
The latest generation phones, like smartphones, are minicomputers that allow multiple uses:
Talk, the basic function of any phone. Write text messages and emails (26% of drivers do so, 51% among 25-34 year olds), use applications (programs, software, internet and social networks) or even set up a GPS (36% do it while driving) . Writing a text message makes a person not keep their eyes on the road for 5 seconds, if you drive at 90 km / h, the risk of accident is then multiplied by 23. For comparison if you drive with a rate of blood alcohol level of 0.8 g / l, this increases the risk by 10. Selfies are becoming a popular practice for young people, even at the wheel! According to a survey of Europeans aged 18 to 24, 1 out of 4 admits having taken a picture while driving (28% for the French) and 43% of French young people admit to taking pictures while driving.
Driving requires a permanent concentration to process and interpret a lot of information. A second carelessness can have dramatic consequences, especially when a traffic event occurs that the driver is supposed to detect, analyze and interpret, before reacting appropriately, all very quickly. Still, his attention must be fully available and not mobilized elsewhere. The “lack of attention” is at the origin of many accidents. The reaction time, which is one second if all goes well, is increased by several seconds (2 to 4 times more). The consequence is an extension of the stopping distance. At 50 km / h, with a reaction time of 1 second, we put 28 meters to stop in optimal conditions. With 2 seconds it will be 42 meters.
Other tasks are disrupted. For example, the time spent on the overtaking lane is significantly more important, due to a lower average speed and less frequent maneuvers.
REFLEXES TO ADOPT
“The omnipresence of mobile phones in everyday life is accompanied by a lack of self-regulation on the part of their users, even in situations where this risks are endangering them” analyzes Bernadette Moreau, General Delegate of the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation. Faced with this widespread practice, some simple reflexes deserve to be adopted by drivers:
Anticipate, better organize, stop: talk on the phone before taking the road, during breaks or pass the communication or the steering wheel to a third party when possible; inform your interlocutors: before the departure, activate a voice message indicating the impossibility of stopping in case of call; protect your interlocutors: when the person called is in a driving situation, systematically suggest him to call back.
TELEPHONE AND HEADPHONES: STRICTLY PROHIBITED
As part of an investigation, a requisition from the telephone operator may provide information on the use of the telephone (voice, SMS, internet) at the time of the accident. This may have consequences in the procedure (the lack of attention may be used as a circumstance of liability) and in the context of compensation by the insurance.
If you’re considering a personal injury claim, you will face a time-consuming process. Not to mention it can be complicated and confusing. An experienced lawyer can help you and most important, explain you the whole process so you won’t feel any additional stress. There are some necessary steps, but the unique factors of each case can impact each step. Still, we will sum up the process of some more basic steps that may happen during the claim process!
Consult with an attorney!
The first step is to determine if you have a valid claim, the types of damages you may be entitled to, the extent and severity of your injuries, and your legal options. The statute of limitations in Arizona is two years. Therefore, the period is two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Investigating your claim!
Before you go any further, the legal team should investigate your claim. Angkor’s, after you hire an attorney. The investigation process can include medical records, cell phone records, police reports, the accident scene, witness testimony, etc. Depending on the type of case, the legal team may also need to talk to expert witnesses, even accident reconstructionist.
Filing a Demand
After the process of gathering the evidence, your attorney will file a demand for a settlement. The demand letter will explain your case, including liability and damages you, the plaintiff is demanding. The defendant will review the letter – it can be rejected or denied, or there could be a counteroffer!
Filling a lawsuit
If your injury lawsuit cannot be settled, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. The discovery phase begins after a lawsuit has been filed. Both parties will obtain evidence from each other and evaluate how is case build on both sides. It will also determine how will the situation be treated and prepared on trial.
Mediation or trial
Keep in mind that most cases are settled before trial. However, at any point in the personal injury claim process, the parties can resolve. This means that the case can be settled just before the case goes to trial.
Arbitration or Trial
Arbitration is considered a type of alternative dispute resolution taken outside of court. It’s not formal as a trial. Instead of presenting a case to judge, the parties dispute in the form of an arbitrator-who is a non-partisan third-party. Depending on the type of a claim you have, arbitration may be required. Arbitration clauses can be found in some agreements, like a nursing home or cell phone contact.
If you don’t go thru arbitration, mediation may be completed before the trial. Both parties will avoid going to trial in the attempt of mediation. During the process, your attorney will work on your behalf for a fair settlement. If the process of mediation doesn’t result in an agreement, then, the next phase is trial. During this process, a jury or a judge will evaluate the facts, and determine fault, and award if they rule in favor of the personal injury victim. Trials can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why many cases are settled before the trial.
According to a recent study by Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona has the title of the deadliest state for pedestrians. Preliminary data issued that the rate of pedestrian deaths had climbed to 1.61 per 100,000 people, making it no. 1 when accidents are viewed concerning the state’s population.
As a result, the city of Pheonix is trying to find new ways to protect people who enjoy walking or riding a bike.
The city has launched the Neighborhood Mobility Improvement Study, which is part of the T2050 voter-approved transportation plan. In that plan, the city has selected 11 neighborhoods that could use improvement. Police departments El Mirage, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Pheonix, Sahuarita, Scottsdale, and Surprise, will receive a share of the funding. Some of the areas are the low-income areas, areas with high bike and bus rates and regions with no-car households.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave $793,250 to Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for pedestrian and bicyclist enforcement and education in Arizona. The grant funding primarily targets the Pheonix and Tuscon. Pedestrians should take security measures and advanced program that will help them consider the possibilities when it comes to safe walking and riding a bike. In 2017 the total traffic fatalities were 1,001 while the number of pedestrians more than 40%. In 2013, the overall death toll in traffic was 849. So far in 2018, there are 111 deaths in Arizona.
The increased rate of pedestrians fatalities in Arizona is nearly double than the national average. Drivers are often speeding when they shouldn’t, and they are partially distracted and not focused on driving. Changing lanes before an intersection, making a left or right turn without looking, and not respecting the marked parts of the road or unmarked crosswalks. All of these points can affect the pedestrians safety. Police departments in Chandler and Tuscon have to remind pedestrians and drivers about the dangers above. The efforts include both sides understanding each other and working toward mutual respect between them.
Communication is the Key
In 2016 Arizona was third in the nation with a pedestrian death rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000. In our state, 88 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on city and county roads with the remainder happening on state highways.
What could help the Pedestrian’s safety
Gov. Doug Ducey created the Public Safety Goal Council with an idea to reduce traffic fatalities. They’ve started to make some countermeasures: improved street lighting, crosswalk islands, heavily marked crosswalk reduced speed in dangerous intersections. Drivers blame pedestrians and vice versa.
These pedestrian fatalities usually happen on side roads and mostly after dark. Our cities and counties must find universal language thru engineering and enforcement strategies to improve pedestrian safety by copying efforts that other communities have implemented successfully.
Also, the bus problem can occur. Crossing after exiting the bus can be highly dangerous. The bus drivers must drop off passengers 200 feet away from the intersections. Those on foot must be mindful of using crosswalks and not crossing on the parts where there’s no sign for pedestrians.
As the result of exposure to a substance or other hazard in your environment, you can file a personal injury claim if you suffered an injury. The hazards that can result in personal injury can be found in many locations under this form of civil litigation.
For the civil law, your environment can include your person, your housing situation, your property, your workplace, or the more significant, natural setting. Toxic waste, air pollution, toxic mold, water contamination, lead paint and components parts, and unsafe medications are the most common hazards that result in environmental damage.
These are the most common cases filed under environmental damage personal injury statutes.
For civil litigation, any exposure to a toxin in the environment can be the basis if you suffered ill effects from that exposure. If you suffered injuries as a result of environmental damage, you could file a claim against the party responsible for recovering compensation based on losses in your case.
There is a medic care included and other types of expenses associated with recovering from your injury. If you need assistance with performing everyday activities or any other immediate or long-term care, it can be covered by payments.
Loss of income or reduced income can be an unfortunate possibility in this occasion. It is caused by your inability to work during your illness or recovery period. Some non-financial damages that can be claimed are the loss of life enjoyment, pain and suffering, harder to quantify concepts- they are more difficult to assess, but are no less important To the quality of life after suffering a personal injury.
These four primary things are a must to prove damages and recover monetary compensation for a personal injury claim:
- The victim suffered exposure to an environmental hazard
- The victim was unaware or otherwise unable to avoid the exposure
- The victim has no part in creating an environmental risk, and played no authoritative role in the ecological damage, and
- A third party was directly or indirectly responsible for your injury resulting from environmental damage.
Sometimes it can be simple to prove environmental hazard, like when you can show that run-off toxic chemicals contaminate your water from the adjacent agriculture land of some company.
Proving exposure and the third party fault for the disclosure can be challenging.
If EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), has established the fault for environmental damage, proving the existence of the hazard may be easy, but you need the evidence of injury during that hazard.
The term is “causation,” and it means proving your injuries were the direct exposure to an environmental hazard, so the third party is responsible for environmental damage, and is liable for your injury.
For the case, you need environmental damage personal injury attorney who can collect Safety reports, medical records, EPA documents, and other forms arguing your case.
If something like this happened to you, call us and get free information about the potential case!
We can help you proceed with your claim, to determine a monetary settlement or take a case to trial.
Arizona Risk Crossroads
Traffic Collisions in Arizona have been on the rise for five straight years, with intersections being especially dangerous. Near 25 percent of traffic fatalities and 50 percent of the collision, injuries happen in these dangerous intersections. These intersections require that driver, pedestrian, and cyclists all be vigilant to avoid causing an accident. Federal Highway Safety Administration calls them “Planned points of conflict.”
In ranking-risk crossroads in Arizona, Pheonix is home to half of the most dangerous ones. Many places in Arizona can be risky due to overpopulated areas making a driving hectic.
67TH Avenue and MCDOWELL Road, Pheonix
During rush hours, this route is popular with drivers trying to stay off the interstate. Plenty of residents adds up to the general chaos out there. Rear-end collisions are frequent, as are left-turn crashes. in 2015, there were around estimated 60,468 people traveling this road.
67TH Avenue and Indian School Road, Pheonix
This place features many apartments and private houses. Most accidents occur in this place, and the older people cause it through statistics. A National Highway Traffic Safety Association study said that 50 percent of crashes happen within five miles of home. Around 70 percent occurred within the ten miles. Daily traffic for this intersection saw nearly 70,000 motorists per day in 2013.
1-17 and Happy Valley Road, Mesa
The 1-17 is one of the deadliest roadways in the state of Arizona, including the roundabout intersection at Happy Valley Road. The Happy Valley Road intersection is just prone as the rest of the road.
Are roundabouts safer options in Arizona? ADOT has a proposal about diverging diamond interchange to replace the existing roundabouts at the 1-17 and Happy Valley Road. The state has also recommended for a diverging interchange for the South Mountain Freeway in 2019.
In Scottsdale, roundabouts have helped many drivers and becoming more and more popular to control right-of-way traffic reducing collisions in the city. However when drivers and unfamiliar with the roundabout system, they can find themselves in danger of accidents.
They are constructed as a means to control right way vehicle traffic to replace traffic signals. One one hand, according to the City of Scottsdale, statistics show roundabouts reduce collisions in busy intersections in Arizona by 30-20 percent. On the other hand, not all drivers are familiar with the procedures of the roundabouts.
University of Phoenix Campus, Tempe
The University of Pheonix Campus in Tempe is an area with the high amount of yearly accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. The campus has bikers, joggers, walkers, and drivers, which adds to a need for extra precautionary measures. Some of them have been considered by the state of Arizona. Nearly 275,000 people are driving through the city, many of whom are easily distracted college students. Engineers in Pheonix are working hard to improve roadways that have become dangerous for pedestrian and drivers.
Bicycle Accidents In Arizona
Rising fuel costs in the capitalist era have made bicycles more popular than ever. Also, the rise of eco-consciousness has brought more popularity to bike as transporting vehicle. But increasing number of bikes means an increasing number of accidents- and they often lead to disfigurement, injury, and death.
Bicycle accidents take place on all kind of roads, during any season or whether, under all conditions. Some conditions are more dangerous than others. Intersections are one of the most dangerous places for the cyclist because they can be struck by a vehicle that disregards the cyclist’s right-of-way.
Bike riding is an everyday activity in Arizona. During 2011. 1604 people were injured and 24 people killed.
When can cyclists make a claim
When motorist negligently strikes someone riding a bike, that bicyclist can make a claim against them for his/her damages, including medical bills, suffering, pain, disfigurement, lost wages and other losses caused by accident.
Biking injuries are often involving a motor vehicle because bikers have nearly nothing protecting them. We see injuries like multiple fractures, back & neck, physical wounds and severe head trauma. Sometimes, low impact collisions can cause serious damage.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
The harsh reality is that your physical safety is at risk every time you get on a cycle. Drivers are not the only problem on the road. Serious contributors are also lack of signs, road shoulders and bike lanes. Still, driver inattention is still the most common precursor to the collisions that injure bicycle riders.
Some of the following examples of driver negligence or wrongdoing that leads to a bicycle accident include :
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Bike lane intrusion
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Driving at high speed
- Making an unsafe turn or a dangerous lane change
- Entering the street from a parking spot or driveway
840 cyclist were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S in 2016.
Different types of cyclist accidents
We in Schenk Podolsky Attorneys at Law prepare our cases thoroughly. With our prepared litigators we are ready to handle almost any type of bicycle accident, including, but not limited to:
- Hit and Run accident
- Sudden Stops
- Bike lane violations
- Drivers rolling through stops
- Bicycle manufacturer defects
- Dangerous road conditions
- Wrongful death
What to do when you are involved in a Cyclist Accident
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you should call authorities right away, and let the police investigate the crash so the report can be filed. Police reports are useful in recording the names involved in the accidents, identifying witnesses, talking statements of the people at the scene and making crash diagrams. Most of the negligent drivers will often tell the truth to the police if you notify the authorities fast.
If you notify authorities later, defendants often have a chance to change their stories. If you are struck by a vehicle, we can submit a claim with the negligent defendant’s insurance company and start our consultations about future litigation.
Safety Procedures in Arizona
There is nothing more important than protecting the children safe. There are laws that can help with safety procedures and Arizona has become one of that places. After Elizabeth Bates was killed by a truck as she exited her school bus in 2008, there is a new safety law:
- HB 2170(School bus signs; overtaking and passing school bus; 5 violation; driver license suspension; civil penalty), which is referring to stopping all the vehicles on the road when a school bus is on the road. Also, including rural roads. The school bus will stop and flashlights in order for other vehicles to stop.
The year which this awful event occurs, other families all across the states were experiencing the similar consequence of unsafe situations around school buses unloading or loading passengers.
33 school-age children die each year in school bus-related crashes. HB2170 changes ARS § 28-857, which is a part of general traffic laws in title 28 governing motorists on public roads and highways. It addresses the conduct of stopping when motorbikes are approaching the school bus with warning lights, requires school bus drivers to stop at railroad crossings;
But, there are unclear chapters in section 28-857 is the part where motorcyclists should wait for a bus to use warning lights and stop signs when there is unloading or loading situation on a private3 road, driveway or public road.
Executives all around the states are taking this proactive law as a great way to stop possible future vehicle accident. Director of transportation at Pendergast Elementary School District in West Pheonix adopted the law as a “clear direction” for bus drivers when they need to alarm the surroundings on the freeway with stop arms and red lights. “The right thing to do” has been addressed to all schools across the states by Antonio Mlynek, transportation supervisor at Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix.
A minimum civil penalty is $250. A third violation within the three years period increases to $1000 and loss of driver license for a year. Violators of Arizona’s school bus passing the law can be raised up to a 750$ after first offense if another violation is brought to court within three years and the court imposes minimum six months without drivers license if this accident occurs.
It took almost five years for Craig Bates, Elizabeth’s father, for the law to be valid.
There are also laws by The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency that are pretty useful.
1) Two-lane roadway: When School bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop!
2) Four-lane roadway with a median separation: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop!
3) The roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: When school stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop!
4) Two-lane road with a center turning lane: When the school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop!
5) Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: When the school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.
What Does Rhe Law In Arizona States?
It is a civil traffic violation to drive without insurance in the state of Arizona. You are not allowed to drive your vehicle unless you have liability insurance that meets the minimum state requirements. The law states that it is required for a driver to have insurance, and must also have proof of insurance “within the motor vehicle.” Proof of insurance may be “displayed on a wireless communication device” (your phone), and if you display your proof of insurance on your phone, you are “not consenting for law enforcement to access other contents of the wireless communication device.”
Now let’s say you’re driving without your insurance and you get a ticket for failure to produce evidence of financial responsibility; first of all, bummer, but secondly, there are a couple possible ways this could go. If you actually had insurance in place at the time of the ticket, but just did not have your insurance card on you at the time, you can produce evidence of your insurance to the court and the charge will be dismissed. But if you did not have insurance at all, it is going to be a hefty penalty expense-wise. While a no insurance violation is not criminal, it is one of the most expensive civil violations out there. The penalties include:
1st Time Offenders:
Driver’s license, registration, and license plates will be suspended for three months. You will be fined roughly $940.
2nd Time Offenders:
If you don’t have insurance within a 36-month time span, your driver’s license, registration, and license plates will be suspended for six months. You will also be fined roughly $1,400.
3rd Time Offenders:
If you don’t have insurance within a 36-month time span, your driver’s license, registration, and license plates will be suspended for one year. You will also be fined about $1,860.
If this happens to you, you will be required to provide proof that you have insurance when you go to get your license, registration and plates reinstated. However, because you have been found responsible for driving without insurance, simply providing your insurance card is no longer enough. You will be required to obtain what is called an SR22 certificate from your insurance company. The SR22 certificate is not an insurance policy, but it certifies to the state that you are insured, and that you will be insured for a particular amount of time in the future.
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.