Many people wonder whether the terms attorney and lawyer are interchangeable. Essentially, both words refer to individuals who have obtained a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and received legal training prior to practicing law to represent clients in court for various legal issues. However, attorneys are a subset of lawyers who have passed the bar exam and are licensed to practice law in a specific state. Although lawyers and attorneys are qualified to represent clients in court, there are some complex legal proceedings that only an attorney can handle proficiently.
FAQ about asking for help from an attorney or lawyer in car accidents insurance
After a car accident who should I call first?
If you are involved in an accident, it is crucial to take the following steps immediately:
- Call 911 for medical assistance if you or anyone else is seriously injured. If you are unable to do so, ask someone else to call.
- Contact the nearest law enforcement agency as soon as possible to report the accident, and if the police officer is present at the scene, provide them with all the necessary information they require.
- Inform your insurance company within 24 hours about the accident and provide them with details such as the other driver’s name, address, and phone number, as well as the time and location of the accident and the responding law enforcement officer’s information.
Additionally, it is essential to inform your lawyer about the accident and provide them with all the relevant details to assist you in resolving any legal issues that may arise with your insurance company. It is important to avoid accepting any settlement offer from an insurance adjuster without consulting your lawyer, especially if the accident has caused significant physical injuries to you or your family or substantial damage to your vehicle.
In case of a severe accident do I have to assign an attorney to handle my claim?
In some cases, your lawyer may not have the necessary expertise to handle a car accident case, potentially resulting in the loss of your case and money. In such situations, it is advisable to seek the services of an experienced attorney who specializes in representing clients in road traffic accident cases and can represent you effectively in front of the appropriate court.
Why do I need to hire an attorney to represent in case of a car accident?
There are two primary reasons why you may need an attorney following a car accident. Firstly, if there is a legal dispute between you and another driver, an attorney can represent you in court. Secondly, if the accident is complex, an attorney can assist you in filing an insurance claim with your insurance company and ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation for any physical injuries or fractures sustained by you or your family, as well as the cost of any damage to your vehicle. An expert attorney will work diligently to protect your legal rights and obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
How does it cost to hire an attorney and how payment is processed?
The cost of hiring an attorney for a car accident case can vary depending on the state and the law firm. Typically, most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that clients do not need to pay any upfront fees when the attorney takes on their case. Instead, clients are required to provide all necessary documents related to the accident, including even minor details, to help the attorney build a strong case, especially when there are victims with bodily injuries or significant property damage.
A skilled attorney specializing in traffic accident cases can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome for their clients. However, inexperienced or incomplete representation can result in losing the case.
Under the contingency principle, clients only pay a percentage of the final settlement if their case is successful, usually between 20-40 percent.
Questions a car accident lawyer or attorney might ask
If you are an insured individual involved in a car accident that results in bodily injuries for you or your family and property damage, it is crucial to cooperate fully with the attorney you hire to ensure a successful outcome. Providing detailed answers to their questions can help them prepare a comprehensive case file before going to court.
Some of the questions that most attorneys typically ask include the following:
- When and where did the accident occur?
- How did the accident happen, and what were the circumstances?
- How many cars and drivers were involved in the accident?
- Are all drivers insured?
- Did the police come to the accident scene? Did they prepare a report, and did you obtain a copy of it?
- Do you believe that the other driver or drivers admit fault, and is it recorded in the police report?
- Do you have any idea about the policy limits or insurance coverage of the other driver or drivers?
As the client, you also have the right to ask your attorney any necessary questions about the case’s progress and how it will proceed in court, and your attorney should provide clarifications.