Due to the many intricate facets of an auto accident, it is important to an work with experienced car accident lawyer in Spartanburg, SC. He or she can offer both guidance and support in the days, weeks, and months following a car wreck.
Involvement in an automobile crash or car accident in Spartanburg is likely to be one of the most frightening and stressful experiences of your life. Not only will you deal with the injuries to your body in the aftermath, but you’ll also be launched into a spiraling web of law enforcement, insurance companies, medical bills, and lawsuits. It’s tough enough to focus on healing when the rest of your life continues after a car accident – it can seem impossible to get better when you’re being pushed and pulled by everyone else involved. While you focus on your top priority – recovering from your injuries – your car accident lawyer can handle all of the red tape that occurs in the aftermath.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Spartanburg County?
There are several things you should do following a car accident in Spartanburg, SC, that will help you deal with your circumstances in the long run. Assuming your injuries allow you to do so, following a few simple rules at the accident scene will help make your case stronger.
-Make sure to take pictures of the accident scene. Police officers and other people involved might also have pictures from the scene of the crash, but it’s important for you to photograph as much as possible, including the damage to your vehicle, the property surrounding the accident, and your injuries. It’s common for the events of a car accident to be disputed over time, so having photographic proof of what occurred can make a big difference and help you build a stronger case.
-Contact your vehicle insurance company as soon as possible after an accident, especially if your personal vehicle was involved in the accident. And if the accident occurred through no fault of your own, your insurance premiums shouldn’t go up. Your insurance company is legally responsible for helping you pay for damages and other expenses related to your accident. You should also make notes whenever you speak to your insurance provider, so you have a record of what was said and what to expect.
-Keep as detailed a history as possible of any and all events related to the accident. Begin making notes as soon as you can after the event and if you aren’t able to create a written or typed version of your story, dictate it to someone else or into your smart phone. Your memory of the accident can become fuzzy, especially if you are given pain medication when you are treated for your injuries, but it can be the case for anyone as time passes.
There’s also a chance you might not recall all of the details of the accident right away if you were seriously injured. As memories surface, be sure to make notes and share them with your attorney.
In accidents that are less severe, you can take notes at the scene and in the days and weeks following the event. In addition to your version of the facts that led to the accident, also write down:
- Names and contact information of other people involved and the insurance companies representing them
- Notes about anything that was said by others involved and by law enforcement
- Information from doctors, including medical diagnoses
- List of medications you’re given after the accident
- Other treatment suggested or provided after the accident
- Information about your work schedule and whether your attendance was affected by the accident
- Notes about changes in your routine or canceled plans due to the accident
Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
It’s important to see a doctor or go to the hospital after you are involved in an accident even if your injuries seem minor or there appear to be no injuries at all. It’s possible to feel fine immediately following an accident, only to realize hours or days later you were, in fact, injured. Many of these delayed-onset injuries can be serious, too. It’s important for you to seek medical attention first and foremost for your health, but also so there is an official account of your injuries on record.
It’s important to show the insurance companies that become involved in your accident that you were actually injured and that they need to take your injuries seriously. There is no value in trying to persist through your pain or brush aside your injuries – it could come back to hurt you a great deal in the long run. Never delay medical attention because insurance companies will use it against you. The best thing you can do after an accident is to take a precautionary trip to the hospital or to see your doctor.
Find a Car Accident Lawyer in Spartanburg County
Once your medical needs are resolved – or as resolved as they are going to get – it’s time to schedule a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in the Spartanburg area. The sooner you can do this after an accident the better. Getting a car accident lawyer involved early on in the process ensures you have the guidance you need to deal with the situation and that you will not be taken advantage of by insurance companies.
It’s important to choose an attorney who is familiar with car accident cases in your area and who is willing to work with you throughout the entire process. One of the benefits of hiring an attorney is not having to deal with insurance companies or aggressive medical bill collectors. You should be able to refer any calls you receive to your attorney to handle.
Keep in mind your initial consultation with a car accident lawyer should be free of charge. And in most cases, car accident lawyers work on a contingency, which means their fee comes from your settlement and you shouldn’t be forced to pay a significant amount in advance. Most lawyers earn between 25 and 50% of whatever settlement you receive, so it’s in their best interest to fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Hiring an attorney is also no risk for you, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation.
Once you’ve chosen your attorney, you can refer everyone involved in the accident and those who become involved in the aftermath to speak to your lawyer. You should never negotiate with insurance companies on your own, and you should never give statements to anyone who contacts you. Anything and everything you say beyond “please speak to my attorney” can be used against you and hurt your case.
Even if someone who contacts you seems to be acting in your best interest or appears to be on your side, you should still refer that person to your attorney. Insurance companies, bill collectors, and others representing a defendant in an accident claim are masters at taking advantage of the victims involved. You can protect yourself by filtering out all of these contacts and referring them to your attorney.
Never Sign Anything without Speaking to Your Car Accident Lawyer
You’re likely to receive settlement offers or other documents from various insurance companies involved in a car accident. You should not sign anything until your car accident lawyer has reviewed those documents. Beware of anyone who tells you signing a document is “no big deal” or “standard procedure,” unless the person telling you this is your lawyer. Anyone operating on the up-and-up will understand why you’d want your attorney’s approval before signing something.
Keep in mind insurance companies will use anything and everything they can to get you to settle as quickly and for as little money as possible. If you are having financial difficulties, they will use it against you and try to tempt you into a less-than-deserved settlement. If you believe a settlement offer, you receive to be enticing, speak to your car accident lawyer about it before moving forward. Even if you decide to settle, at least you’ll have input from someone in your corner.
Your initial consultation helps you determine if a particular lawyer is right for you. It’s not required that you work with a car accident lawyer after your consultation. As a matter of fact, it’s advised that you schedule more than one consultation, even if you feel happy with the first attorney you contact.
During the consultation, you should ask a lot of questions about the lawyer’s experience, your circumstances, and his or her approach to dealing with automobile accident cases. It helps to make notes in advance so you can read your questions from your notes, and you should also take notes during the meeting. Some attorneys even let you record the conversation, so you’re able to refer to it at a later time.
Begin your consultation by asking about the lawyer’s experience. You’ll want to know how long he or she has practiced personal injury law, whether or not they work exclusively with car accident victims, and how many people they work with annually. Also, ask how many clients are currently on their roster and who is included in their staff. Most people also want to know if they will be working with the attorney with whom they initially meet or if the case will be handled by other members of the staff. If someone else will be handling your case, make sure you meet this person in advance.
Additionally, you’ll want to ask what professional organizations the lawyer is a member of and to which bar organizations he or she belongs. This information enables you to do further research on a lawyer’s credentials.
Next, you’ll want to evaluate the lawyer’s approach to car accident cases. Ask how many cases the attorney settles each year and how many go to trial. You’ll want an attorney whose approach is similar to your own or at least seems in your best interest. If you believe your case should be pursued aggressively and you don’t want to settle out of court, you’ll want an attorney who uses this approach. On the other hand, if you’re happy with a settlement and want to wrap things up quickly, an attorney who ensures you are treated fairly but doesn’t pressure you into a trial is likely the best option for you.
It’s also important to assess your car accident lawyer’s style when it comes to dealing with clients. Ask what his or her approach is, and discuss how the two of you will communicate. It’s important for your attorney to understand your expectations, especially concerning communication, and to know that he or she intends to meet those expectations during the time you work together. Some clients even go as far as determining whether communication will occur via phone, email, or in person. You should know your point-of-contact, how often you can expect updates about your case, and how you will receive progress reports before you leave the attorney’s office.
Next, discuss the specifics of your case. Every lawyer with whom you meet should be able to assess your case and offer an idea of what you can expect based on similar cases he or she has handled in the past. Find out what size settlement or judgment you can expect, and determine whether or not you think a given lawyer’s assessment seems fair. It can be tough to hear a reasonable number for your settlement if you believe you are entitled to several million dollars in compensation, but a good attorney will give you down-to-earth estimate that allows you for tempering your expectations.
It’s also a good idea to discuss how your case will be handled. Though it’s impossible to tell for sure initially, a lawyer can give you an idea whether a settlement, mediation or arbitration, or a trial will be the best way to resolve your case. This can always change as the case proceeds, but at least get an idea of what to expect during the consultation.
Finally, make sure you discuss information about legal fees. The last thing you need is to be caught off guard or told you owe money after signing a contract. Ask if the lawyer’s rate is hourly or if there is a contingency fee, and whether or not the lawyer charges any retainer fee. You should also make sure you understand what happens if you do not receive a settlement or win your case. Last, of all, ask if there are any other expenses you’ll need to consider and what their estimated total might be. It is imperative you have a firm understanding of how much you will need to pay a car accident lawyer and that whatever you are told is explained in writing on anything you sign.
Dealing with the Aftermath of a Car Accident in Spartanburg
The days, weeks, and months following a car accident can be downright scary. You could potentially be facing time away from work not to mention endless doctor and physical therapy appointments. In severe cases, your life might never again be the same. It’s important you have a strong support system surrounding you, and that support system includes someone with legal experience and the ability to help you handle the various circumstances that arise following a car wreck.
An experienced car accident lawyer in Spartanburg, SC, and his or her team are your most valuable resource following a car accident. Though it’s possible to handle settling with insurance companies on your own, the likelihood you will be taken advantage of is high. If you were injured, you deserve a fair settlement.
Nobody wants to be a victim in a car accident, but it happens every day. In a moment your life is changed forever, and unfortunately, the victimization might not be over even after the accident. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Spartanburg County is one of the best ways to avoid being re-victimized after you’re involved in a car crash.
If you have been involved in a car accident or have questions about injuries you sustained while driving in Spartanburg, we can help. Contact Double Aught Injury Lawyers at 864.309.0000 for a free case review.