What Car Accident Lawyers Really Do (Hint It’s Not What You Think)
When you think of car accident lawyers, your first thought is probably of the ones with late-night infomercials. But how much do you really know about what car accident lawyers do? You might be surprised to find that they can help you with a wider range of services than you expect, and that not all of those include lawsuits as you’re used to thinking about them. If you hire an attorney for personal injury concerns such as a car accident, you’ll find that he or she will probably help you take up to three steps, always working to minimize the time and expense of your legal actions. Here’s what a lawyer can do:
- Help You Draft a Demand Letter
Most personal injury cases start with a simple demand letter. This is a document sent to a person or insurance company that outlines why you think that party is liable for your injury and what you’d like them to do about it. While you could technically draft this letter on your own, it’s far less likely to make a strong case — and that, in turn, will make the party in question far less likely to simply pay up the amount you’ve asked for in order to avoid further legal action.
- Negotiate for a Fair Settlement
In most cases, your demand letter won’t get you exactly what you want. At this point, your lawyer can oversee negotiations for a settlement outside the court system. This can happen either privately, between just you and the other party (and your respective lawyers), or you might bring in a third-party mediator. The latter might happen in a non-binding format, meaning that either side can decide not to comply with the mediator’s decision, or a binding format, meaning both sides agree to accept the decision.
- Represent You at Trial in Court
This where a personal injury lawsuit as you probably imagine it comes in; if you aren’t able to reach an agreement in negotiations, then it’s time to file a lawsuit. The reason some people persist to this stage is that there’s a chance of getting a more substantial monetary award. The downside of going to court, of course, is that personal injury outcomes are always unpredictable — meaning you could end up with no compensation at all. That’s why it’s so important to work with the best possible attorney who can guide you as to whether it’s smarter to fight to the end or take a slightly underwhelming settlement offer earlier in the process.
Do you have any other questions about car accident lawyers? Ask them or join the discussion in the comments section below.