Driving a car is an inherently dangerous activity, no matter what safety measures you make sure to implement. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2018. While there were 913 fewer fatalities in 2018 than there were in 2017, the fact remains that driving a motor vehicle comes with risk.
In any car accident, there is a likelihood that there will be property damages, bodily injury, or both. In these instances, it may become necessary to engage a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can help an accident victim evaluate whether they are entitled to compensation.
Most car owners won’t have a reason to know anything about personal injury attorneys until a situation arises that would make one necessary. Unfortunately, however, researching information about personal injury attorneys while you deal with the aftermath of a car accident can make a stressful situation feel even more difficult. Thus, it is important to be prepared. Below are a few things that every car owner should know about personal injury attorneys.
Many Personal Injury Attorneys Offer Their Services on a Contingency Fee Basis
Very often, the main deterrent for many people in deciding to hire an attorney is the price. Costs in a personal injury case might include:
- Court costs and fees;
- Payments for expert witnesses; and
- Overhead costs, such as documents, copies, and postage.
These costs do not even take into consideration the cost of paying the attorney.
There is a common misconception that hiring an attorney to help with your personal injury case will be more expensive than you can afford. Fortunately, however, this is usually not the case.
Most personal injury attorneys will take a personal injury case on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is a type of payment arrangement in which you will only have to pay a fee to your attorney if you ultimately win your case or settlement.
Essentially, if you do not win your case, you do not have to pay for your attorney’s time at all. Conversely, if you win, you pay only a percentage of your settlement or award amount. This can be a great benefit for car owners involved in an accident who perhaps are unable to afford a large retainer cost up front or an hourly fee arrangement throughout the entire process.
If you are involved in a car accident and need an attorney to help with your case, do not be deterred by the fear of potential costs. If you think you might not be able to afford a personal injury attorney, look for one who offers contingency fee arrangements.
Because attorneys are not only familiar with their area of law but also their municipality, it’s important to choose a law firm relatively close to your location. For example, if you reside in Fort Worth, Texas, you may elect to retain a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer.
Not All Personal Injury Attorneys Are Well-Equipped to Handle a Car Accident Case
Personal injury law is a very broad category. According to the American Bar Association, a personal injury claim can arise out of negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongs. Common types of personal injury cases include:
- Medical malpractice,
- Workplace accidents,
- Slip and falls,
- Product liability,
- Dog bites, and
- Car accidents.
As you can see from the examples above, there are many different types of personal injury claims. Car accident cases are only one subsection of a broad category of the law. Thus, it is nearly impossible to find a personal injury attorney who has significant experience handling all types of personal injury claims. Many personal injury attorneys will have a few select areas in which they practice regularly.
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, you will want a personal injury attorney who is well-versed in handling car accident cases. While any attorney can technically practice in any area of the law, you should try to choose one who is very knowledgeable in the area you need assistance with. Knowing that not all personal injury attorneys are well-equipped to handle your car accident case can help you ensure that you select the right person for the job.
Personal Injury Attorneys Will Need Your Help to Maximize Your Likelihood of Success
Lastly, it is important to know that even the most experienced personal injury attorney will need your help. While attorneys are experts in the law, many personal injury cases will often come down to a question of fact. That is where you can help.
You, as the car owner, will know the facts giving rise to your case better than anyone else—even better than your personal injury attorney. Your attorney will need your help to establish the relevant facts and gather the necessary information. This will allow them to better understand and advocate for your case.
So now that you know this information, if you have been or ever are involved in a car accident, make sure to gather and preserve as much information and evidence as possible. This will enable your personal injury attorney to better represent you moving forward.
If you are in need of a personal injury attorney, it can be difficult figuring out what to do next. However, knowing some of this information can help you determine what to look for so that you can recover.