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Lawyers & Your Injury…

The basics of a car accident

Published on October 17, 2012 | By Mark E. NeJame, Esquire - Orlando Litigation Attorney; Benjamin W. Loving, Esquire of NeJame Law contributed to this article.

Woman holding her injured neckSo, you have been in an auto accident or have been injured by another. Sounds like a commercial already, right? Well, accidents and injuries happen every few minutes, and many really don’t know what they should do when an injury occurs.

First, you need to immediately collect all of the information about your accident or injury, if you are physically able to do so. More specifically, you need the names of the parties involved in the accident/altercation and the names of any witnesses. Much of this can be accomplished by immediately calling the police so that an accident/arrest report is generated. You should also have photographs taken of the scene with your call phone or digital camera. Most importantly, you may need medical attention. Even if you feel fine or just a bit sore, you will want to rule out any potential injuries; some injuries can take several days to appear. Keep in mind, an insurance company may use the fact that you did not immediately seek medical care against you.

You will want to contact your insurance company or hire an attorney to contact them for you. Selecting an attorney is an important decision and far more important than many realize. Many people choose an attorney purely on the advertising they see on television or billboards. This can be a dire mistake as not all attorneys are created equal and the quality of your attorney can greatly impact your potential recovery. What you want is a lawyer who knows how to settle your case when appropriate but who is also a great litigator who knows when and how to take a case to trial.

You should keep in mind that if you are injured by no fault of your own, chance are you will only get “one bit of the apple” for a recovery, meaning you cannot go back and ask for more money if your injuries worsen or you require more treatment. Hiring the wrong attorney can cost you for the rest of your life.

When interviewing for an attorney, don’t be timid in asking about their trial experience. Ask what types of cases they have tried, issues they have encountered, and what their background in handling comparable cases is. It is also important to determine whether your lawyer can truly afford to handle your case. Many firms take cases but shortchange their clients because they don’t advance the money necessary to properly prepare the case for trial or to best advance the client’s position in negotiations. Some lawyers don’t do this because they don’t have the requisite funds to do so. This area is so important and so frequently overlooked by the client, as most simply assume the attorney will advance whatever costs are needed, when often that’s not the case.

“Most importantly, you may need medical attention. Even if you feel fine or just a little bit sore, you will want to rule out any potential injuries; some injuries can take several days to appear.”

If you don’t feel that your current personal injury attorney is representing your best interests, you are free to fire that attorney and hire another. If you are considering firing your attorney it is only fair to first meet with them. Like any relationship, good communication is essential. Oftentimes, the client is unaware of the work being done on their case. Be realistic in your expectations though. Your lawyer may be doing a good job but what the facts, injuries and law allow may be quite different than your desires. However, you don’t want to be seduced by another lawyer who only tells you what you want to hear. Rather, look strongly at what work the lawyer has done for you and evaluate the lawyer on their actions. See how they line up with their words. If they don’t, change may be in order.

Remember, information is power. If you are hurt by another, immediately gather the information you need and researching information on the attorney you will choose can be essential to your recovery.

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