An accident attorney is someone who provides legal representation to individuals who have been injured in an accident. Accident attorney work in tort law, which includes negligent acts as well as intentional acts. They pursue compensation for accident victims. Personal injury cases often involve the negligent acts of others. This includes automotive accidents, including motorcycle accidents and truck accidents. Accident attorney may also handle other types of transportation accidents, including aviation accidents, bike accidents, mass transportation accidents, boating accidents and pedestrian accidents. They may also handle cases involving premises liability, including negligent. Personal injury plaintiffs may be entitled to compensation for the damages that they have suffered. This includes medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish and pain and suffering.
Acts of Utah Accident Attorney
The specific actions that accident attorney do depends on the type of case, specialty area and where they are in the process of a case. Some of the activities that accident attorney may do and how they benefit your case include:
Accident Attorney generally works on a contingency fee basis in which they only charge attorney’s fees after they have secured a settlement or jury verdict. Because they often finance a case, they take great care in screening potential clients and evaluating the merits of the case. An Accident Attorney will not want to take on a case that he or she does not believe will result in a win for the client.
An Accident Attorney may gather evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim. This may involve procuring any police or incident report. He or she may track down witnesses and get witness statements. He or she may take or instruct a photographer to take pictures of the accident report. He or she may also retain evidence for the case, such as property damage, camera footage or other evidence. Evidence may establish liability for who caused the accident and the extent of the damages that the plaintiff suffered. Evidence may include medical reports, medical records, bills, employment documents, employment reports and property damage reports.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Most people do not negotiate as part of their typical lives. However, personal injury lawyers are used to negotiating with insurance companies. They can review the policy details and determine the maximum level of compensation that may be available based on the specific circumstances of the case. An Accident Attorney may also handle all communications with the insurance company and prevent the injury victim from doing anything that may jeopardize his or her claim, such as giving a recorded statement.
Sending Demand Letters
An Accident Attorney may send a demand letter to an insurance company after thoroughly investigating the claim. This demand letter states the facts of the accident and demands a certain amount of damages for the injury that the defendant caused.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, the Accident Attorney may prepare a complaint against the defendant. The complaint sets out the legal arguments regarding why the defendant is responsible for the accident. The complaint also states an amount of damages that the client is seeking. The defendant generally has 30 days from the date of receiving the complaint to prepare an answer to it.
The plaintiff’s lawyer may initiate discovery processes. This includes sending interrogatories to the defendant to ask for certain information. It can also include deposing parties, witnesses and experts.
Representing Clients at Trial
If the case proceeds to trial, an accident attorney provides representation in court. Personal injury lawyers are familiar with court customs and procedures and can ensure that these steps are carefully followed.
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
• If you were injured or suffered property damage in a car accident, you might be wondering exactly how an attorney can help you or whether it’s a good idea to try to deal with the insurance company and settle the claim on your own. While much depends on the specifics and the complexity of your case, in general a lawyer can: communicate with the other driver’s insurer
• obtain the necessary evidence with respect to liability
• organize your medical records and bills
• communicate with your health care providers to obtain missing records
• work with your doctors to make sure they provide the medical information you need so that you can prove damages in your claim
• organize and present the evidence in order to prove liability and damages
• negotiate with lien holders on your claim (such as health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially reduce the amount of those liens, and
• negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney.
Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurer
In any personal injury case, your lawyer will open up a line of communication with the insurance adjuster for the other party (or parties) involved. The adjuster has the pocketbook, and so it is critical for a plaintiff’s lawyer to have good communications and a good relationship with the adjuster.
Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Liability
A good lawyer can help obtain all of the evidence that you will need to prove liability in a car accident claim. Although you may have already taken photographs of the accident scene, your lawyer will probably go back to the scene him/herself to see what it looks like. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, actually seeing the scene can be worth a thousand pictures. The lawyer will make sure to get all of the accident reports in the case and will often speak with the investigating police officers and witnesses. A good lawyer will leave no stone unturned when it comes to obtaining evidence of liability. Learn more about Proving Fault for a Car Accident.
Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Damages
This is where a good lawyer can be essential to your case, especially when you’ve suffered significant injuries in connection with a car accident. It is critical to obtain all documentation related to your injuries, but it isn’t always easy to get your hands on those records and bills from health care providers. Although the records are technically yours, and you have an absolute right to them, sending medical records to patients and lawyers is just not a health care provider’s first priority. Small doctors’ offices may not have the staffing or the time to respond to medical record requests on a timely basis. Large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed in order to respond to medical record requests. If you don’t follow their procedures (which they often don’t publicize very well), they simply won’t respond to your request. Then, when the health care provider does respond to the request, the records may be incomplete. Any lawyer’s secretary or paralegal will tell you that they often have to request the same records more than once and that they have to follow up endlessly with the provider’s office. Finally, it may turn out that the doctor did not use the magic words as to causation, prognosis, and disability in his or her notes. In order to successfully prosecute any type of personal injury claim, you must be able to prove, through medical evidence,
• exactly what your injury, disability, or physical limitation is, and
• that it was caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Doctors often don’t mention causation and extent of the injury or disability in their medical records. If this happens in your case, your lawyer will write the doctor and ask for a special letter in which the doctor gives his/her opinion that the accident caused your injury or disability and that, as a result of the accident, you will be hindered or disabled for a specific period of time.
Negotiating With Lien Holders
If you received benefits from a health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurer, that insurer will have a lien on your claim. A lien means that the lien holder gets paid before you do, out of any settlement or judgment you receive. A good lawyer will work with the lien holder to try to get the lien holder to reduce its lien. This is important work. Every dollar less that the lien holder takes is one more dollar that goes into your pocket.
Negotiating the Settlement
Finally, the lawyer will negotiate your settlement. This is hard work. Negotiation is a very specific skill. A personal injury lawyer is always going to be far better at settling a car accident case than a layperson would be. A good lawyer knows how much the case is worth and knows how to work the case and conduct the negotiations so as to get top dollar from the insurer.
The Other Side’s Accident Investigation
You can expect the insurer’s adjuster or defendant’s attorney to take certain steps during a personal injury investigation, including:
• Obtaining a copy of the police or other accident report
• Asking for your formal statement about the event
• Taking other witnesses’ statements
• Obtaining photos or video footage of the accident
• Obtaining physical evidence left over from the accident
• Obtaining copies of your medical records
• Retain expert witnesses
The exact steps necessary will depend on the type and complexity of the accident. A relatively straightforward slip and fall case may not require an accident re-constructionist while a multi-vehicle collision does. During the initial investigation, the insurance company looks for the truth yet also hopes there is a way to deny its client’s liability. The other party’s insurance company is not on your side and not looking out for your best interests. This is why it is essential to work with an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. You will be asked to provide the other party with a formal statement. You should not do this until you have spoken with an attorney. What you say and how you say it matters. A small slip of the tongue could be used against you. By preparing your statement with an attorney first, you understand how, to tell the truth in the best way for your case. Additionally, insurers have the habit of asking for more documentation than they really need because they hope to find information supporting a denial of your claim. For example, an insurer may try to obtain your entire medical history. If your medical records include any evidence suggesting you might have suffered from one of your current conditions or injuries prior to the accident, this can be used to deny your claim or offer you less compensation. An accident attorney will protect your rights and keep the insurance adjuster from violating your privacy. You do not have to wait to see what the other party’s insurance company finds and decides. You have the right to work with an experienced accident attorney who is capable of conducting an independent investigation on your behalf. This is important because it may uncover facts in your favor that the insurance company did not discover or gave very little weight. It also helps you have an advantageous perspective on the facts, enabling you and your attorney to better counter the other party’s arguments against your claim. While the defendant’s insurer is not looking out for you, your attorney will strive to find evidence in support of your case.
What It Takes To Win A Case
For starters, a lawyer will provide knowledge of the law and procedural rules. Utilizing this combination of expertise and experience is will ensure that you are in position to win your case. Maybe one of the most important things a lawyer can do is handle communications with these aggressive insurance companies. When you are going up against a big insurance company with vast resources, you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to deal with them. These insurance companies have been known to do whatever it takes to avoid a payout. Your lawyer is there to level the playing field so that you come away with the compensation that fits your situation.
Here’s a quick list of some of the legwork your lawyer will complete for you:
• Deal with insurance companies. There is a lot of back-and-forth with insurance companies after a car accident. This is a difficult task when these insurance companies are trying to avoid paying a settlement. Let your lawyer handle this.
• Obtain evidence. This includes talking to witnesses, gathering and analyzing police reports, gathering medical records and evaluating lost wages (if necessary). These pieces of evidence are so vital to the success of your claim. Your lawyer will ensure to leave no stone unturned during this part of the process.
• Prepare a settlement demand letter. This is a very important document that lays out all of the facts in a way that will lead to injury settlement negotiations.
• File the proper paperwork to go to court. Even though going to court is rare, it’s nice to know that you will be in good hands with your lawyer if need be. Your lawyer will deal with the defense attorneys and build your case based on the facts that were gathered.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506