If you’ve been in a car accident, then you will likely need a car accident lawyer in Houston or San Antonio to represent you after a crash. There are a few things you will want to look for when you’re searching for a lawyer to represent you after a car accident, such as good communication skills and experience in representing car crash cases.
How Do I Choose a Car Accident Lawyer to Represent Me After a Crash?
Legal representation after a car accident is important in Texas since there are some cases where both drivers can be found partially responsible for the accident. To avoid costly mistakes and get the maximum amount for your settlement, hiring a car accident lawyer is always a good idea. The best way to find a lawyer to represent you is to search by reputation, schedule a consultation, and discuss payment arrangements.
Find a Car Accident Lawyer With a Good Reputation
You can find a car accident lawyer with a good reputation based on recommendations from friends and family or even other lawyers you have worked with before. Lawyers with good reputations have experience winning car accident cases. Furthermore, a lawyer with a good reputation will not have any black marks on their record.
To research a lawyer’s reputation, you can contact the Texas Bar Association or other organizations for lawyer reviews. Hiring a lawyer with a good reputation is the best way to feel confident about your car accident case.
Schedule a Consultation
Before you hire a car accident lawyer, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation. Many legal firms offer free consultations so lawyers can assess your case. A consultation is an important step to determine whether your prospective lawyer is capable of handling the specifics of your case.
The consultation is also an opportunity for you to assess the communication skills of your lawyer and to scope out the legal firm. During a consultation, you should ask your lawyer about their caseload to determine whether they have time to take on your car accident case. As a rule, firms that have multiple lawyers, paralegals, and plenty of staff generally have more resources to handle your case correctly.
Bring Documents Related to Your Car Accident
When you have a consultation with a car accident lawyer, you should bring all documents related to your car accident. This can include insurance statements, medical bills and records, photographic evidence, and police records.
The documents related to your car accident will help your lawyer assess your case and develop a preliminary plan for your settlement negotiation or lawsuit. This can be particularly important if the other driver is accusing you of negligence that contributed to the car accident.
Why It’s Important for Your Lawyer to Have Good Communication Skills
It’s essential for your lawyer to have good communication skills. Not only does your lawyer need to be able to communicate clearly with you about your case and the plan for your lawsuit, but your lawyer may also need to negotiate your settlement with another lawyer. If your case goes to trial, communication skills are essential when your lawyer is arguing on your behalf and presenting evidence.
When you are assessing communication skills, you may also need to ask whether or not there are translation services available. For example, if English is not your primary language, it can be helpful to have translation services so you can easily understand your lawyer. During your consultation, you can always inquire about translation services.
Discuss Payment Arrangements
You should also discuss payment arrangements with your car accident lawyer during your consultation. Most lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer is paid if you win your settlement or lawsuit. Most contingency fees are about 10% to 20% of your total settlement. Contingency fees will cover the costs of all legal expenses, including filing court documents, certified mail, and other administrative tasks related to the lawsuit.
Why Contingency Fee Is Your Best Option
A contingency fee payment arrangement is typically the best option for people who have been injured in a car accident. Because you may not be employed due to injuries, it can be difficult to pay for a car accident lawyer on an hourly basis. The contingency fee payment arrangement allows you to have legal services and pay for these services later.
When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston or San Antonio?
Much of the time, people who are involved in car accidents can file a claim with an insurance company and receive a settlement to pay for medical bills and moderate property damage. However, there are some cases when it’s necessary to hire a car accident lawyer, such as if you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident or your insurance company is rejecting your claim for any reason.
Serious Injuries and Damages
While many car accidents result in minor injuries, other car accidents can result in severe injuries that cause permanent disability or even loss of life. Some serious injuries can also prevent you from working for the foreseeable future, particularly if you have to have surgery or physical therapy before you can return to work.
Furthermore, while a fender-bender may only result in a dented bumper, more serious accidents can cause drastic property damage. Some people will file a lawsuit to replace a vehicle that cannot be repaired in an auto body shop.
Repeated Contact from Insurance Company
If you have been repeatedly contacted by the other driver’s insurance company, it may be time to get in touch with a car accident lawyer. Insurance adjusters may try to use your words against you to deny insurance claims or to prove that you were liable for the accident. Instead of engaging directly with the insurance adjuster, the best thing you can do is forward your lawyer’s contact information so your lawyer can speak on your behalf.
Rejected Insurance Claim
If your insurance company has rejected your insurance claim, then you may need to contact a car accident lawyer to start a negotiation. If you’re up-to-date on your insurance payments, and if you are not liable for your accident, there should be no reason for your insurance company to repeatedly reject the claim. A lawyer can provide additional evidence to prove your claim to your insurance company.
In Texas, a doctrine called comparative negligence holds that both drivers can be partially responsible for an accident. Comparative negligence has a direct impact on your settlement amount. When comparative negligence is involved in your case, you will need to work with a car accident lawyer to prove that you are less than 51% responsible for the accident.
Aside from helping with your settlement negotiation, having a car accident lawyer is essential if you’ve been in a serious car accident. You can find a good car accident lawyer in Houston and San Antonio by assessing the lawyer’s reputation, scheduling consultations, and discussing payment arrangements that fit your budget. Contact Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC for more information about what you should do after a car crash in Houston or San Antonio.