There are many questions you should ask your car accident lawyer when facing a collision case, especially before choosing them to represent you. Prior to selecting a law firm for your case, you will want to discuss the firm’s services, fees, and track record on similar cases.
During your initial consultation, you will also want to ask questions regarding your case. For example, you should ask about the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit based on the circumstances of the accident. Other questions you may want to ask regarding your case include:
- What is a fair settlement based on my damages?
- What forms of evidence do I need to support my claim?
- How often will you update me throughout the case?
Questions to Ask Before You Choose Your Attorney
It is important to choose the right attorney for your case. The process of selecting a law firm will require you to consider several factors and ask a number of questions. Hiring an attorney that is not on the same page with you can lead to communication issues and, aside from the very important concern of recovering compensation, can result in an overall sense of dissatisfaction with the quality of legal representation and an attorney-client relationship that feels quite unsatisfactory.
Many law firms offer free, no-obligation consultations for this reason. During your initial meeting, you can gather the information you need to make a decision. You will want to ask questions like:
- How much of my case will you handle on my behalf?
- Will you take over all communications with the other parties involved?
- What is your fee schedule?
- How can I reach you if I have questions about my case?
Ask About the Statute of Limitations and Other Time-Considerations in Your Case
In New York, it is important to remember that certain laws limit the amount of time you have to take legal action. As New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CVP) §214, points out, victims are bound by a statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time they have to file a lawsuit after an accident that causes a personal injury.
If you were injured as the result of another driver’s behavior, then you have the right to pursue justice. However, missing the final date to file a lawsuit can prevent you from doing so. A lawyer can help you, but you must act to get in touch with them before the allotted time expires.With the above statute of limitations in mind, accident victims should also be aware that claims and lawsuits are governed by other deadlines too. Those seeking to retain legal counsel should also be aware that gathering evidence, such as surveillance or dash-cam video or witness statements should be done ASAP. If not, such evidence has an unfortunate tendency to become unavailable for a wide variety of reasons.
Discuss Your Potential Settlement Amount
The goal of a car accident case is to hold the liable party responsible for their negligence, carelessness, or misconduct behind the wheel. In doing so, the victims are able to receive compensation for their personal injuries or property damage. These forms of damages are often quite costly for victims.
If you suffered damages due to another party’s wrongdoing, then you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. It is helpful to ask your lawyer about your potential settlement or court award. Doing so can help you set your expectations for the amount of compensation you can recover.
To go after any monetary awards that may be available to you, a lawyer will typically negotiate with other parties and their insurance companies on your behalf. These negotiations can be difficult for victims, especially after experiencing the trauma of a car accident. Even more especially when, as you negotiate in good faith, some unprofessional insurance company representatives will make insultingly low offers and impugn your honesty. This stress is counterproductive to the peace of mind that is optimal for the healing and recovery you need. When you have our law firm working on your case, we will handle these negotiations so that you do not have to.
It is difficult to determine an exact settlement amount in some cases. Settlements vary depending on a range of factors, both economic and non-economic. Economic damages often come with bills and receipts, making them easy to calculate. Meanwhile, non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, may require additional steps to arrive at a fair value. An experienced, dedicated, compassionate, and patient lawyer from our law firm will consider discussing this with you a privilege.
Find Out What Evidence Is Necessary to Support Your Case
It is also wise to ask your car accident lawyer about forms of evidence that they may need to collect. If you have taken photos or videos at the scene of the accident, these may serve as valuable forms of evidence. Similarly, eyewitness reports can highlight key details that led to an accident.
A lawyer will use these types of evidence and others as they work to identify a liable party or parties. Discussing potential evidence with your attorney can ensure that no valuable information you have regarding the collision gets left out.
Contact Friedman & Simon L.L.P. Today
When deciding what you should ask your car accident lawyer, the most important factor is to make sure you establish open communication. While you may get the majority of your questions answered in the initial consultation, you will likely have more to ask as the case evolves.
When you are dealing with personal injuries, damaged property, and emotional trauma from a car accident, you may feel helpless, but you do not have to face the legal system on your own.
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we are passionate advocates for the injured, and if your case gets tough we will dig in and fight even harder Our team will update you on your case as we communicate with other parties related to the collision, identify liable parties, gather evidence, determine a value for your damages and work tirelessly to win the best possible result for you.
For a free consultation, get in touch with a legal professional at our office today by calling (516) 932-0400.