police report

What Information Will You Need For Your Car Accident Lawyer?

Being prepared for an initial consultation with an attorney is extremely important for a variety of reasons, mainly so that you can use your time during this consultation to get the best understanding possible of how you and the lawyer will be able to work together. Finding an attorney to take your case can be a surprisingly complicated process if you do it on your own, and oftentimes, people will need to go through this process on their own.

However, there is are services that can connect you with a car accident lawyer in Tampa without needing to go through all of the additional legwork of finding an attorney that covers your area of need AND who is available to take your case. By using the 1800injured.care referral service to connect with an attorney, you can focus on your personal needs and the work ahead of you.

Take a look below at some of the most important information that you should gather before an initial consultation with your attorney. Remember that once you start working with your lawyer that they will be able to advise you on the additional information you will need to gather, or will be able to gather the information on their own as you focus on your recovery.

A Copy Of Your Police and Accident Report

The accident report that the police will write will be one of the central sources of truth throughout the entire claims process and will give your attorney a good idea of what they are up against. The sooner you are able to get a copy of the police report in front of a lawyer the better since they will be able to identify any information that may be unclear or could be misconstrued so that you can begin to take steps to correct them or work around these blockers.

Contact Information and Statements From Your Passengers

If there were other passengers in the vehicle that were injured in the accident, your lawyer will benefit from knowing about the extent of their injuries, as well as their own perspective and account of the accident. Since they are firsthand eyewitnesses to the accident as well, their testimony and involvement will be helpful even though they will likely be handling their own claim process at the same time.

Medical Records Relating To the Accident

Any medical-related documentation that you can gather will be extremely informative for your attorney and will help them to get a better understanding of the situation than you will be able to do on your own. These medical records, much like the accident report, will be key documents throughout the entire process, so giving your attorney access to all of the related information as soon as possible will be a significant benefit.

Source:lawclues.com

Income and Earnings Statements

Equally important to providing your attorney with a comprehensive understanding of your situation is any relevant income information, such as previous paystubs, employment contracts, or anything else that they can use to understand how much money that you are losing each day that your injuries keep you from work. You will be able to seek compensation for these losses in your claim, as well as your medical costs and any other damages, but the more financial documentation that you can provide, the more clear and compelling of an argument your attorney will be able to make. A single pay stub isn’t going to cut it. Get your tax statements, work contracts, and bank statements together to present a full picture of your financial situation.

Your Insurance Policy

If the other driver caused the accident, then you will likely be going through their insurance to seek compensation for your injuries and financial impacts. However, it is very important for your attorney to understand what sort of insurance you have protecting you regardless, as they will need to interact with your insurance company to some extent regardless of who ultimately pays your damages. Your insurance company will need to know what is going on with your claim from time to time, and your attorney may be able to help you understand what will happen next.

Pictures of the Accident

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Take as many pictures of the accident and your injuries as possible. They will help your attorney to get an idea of the severity of the situation, and they will be very useful as you move forward with settlement negotiations or if you need to go to trial. Bruises fade, scars lighten, but pictures will always show the horror and pain that you had to endure in the early days of your injuries. If you do have to ultimately go to trial, these pictures will help your case by showing the judge or jury the actual injuries that you suffered, since they can seem very abstract months—even years—down the road when it goes to court.

Contact Information or Statements from Eyewitnesses

If you have any contact information for eyewitnesses, or if you already have gathered some eyewitness accounts of the situation, this information will be very helpful for your attorney to have. Every additional piece of context that your attorney can bring into your case will help to strengthen your position and allow for more aggressive negotiations. The more eyewitnesses that you are able to get statements from, the less the conversation becomes about your word versus the other driver’s word, which is important if there are disagreements about fault or the cause of the accident.

A Record of Any Communications That You Have Made Related to the Accident

If you have already filed an insurance claim, contacted your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, or taken any other steps on your own, then your attorney will need to know about these contacts and ensure that they are able to incorporate those steps into their own process. This is equally important because you may have unknowingly made a statement that could ultimately come back to haunt you, such as an innocuous apology that the other insurance company uses as proof that you admitted fault (although you did not). The more information your lawyer has, the better suited they are to help you.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Win a Case?

It goes without saying that accidents can happen to anyone anywhere, no matter how careful an individual is. As horrible and frightening as they are, they are even worse when they occur to someone due to another person’s negligence.

In instances when someone else is at fault for your misfortune, you have the right to request compensation that will aid in covering any hospital bills you might have, your time off of work, as well as any emotional trauma you might have suffered.

These claims can be made in a variety of situations from motor vehicle accidents to dog bites and while in some cases getting the compensation can be handled easily through insurance, in others, it can be quite tricky. This is why hiring a professional who knows everything about personal injury law might be the smartest decision to make.

However, if you are still wary of getting a lawyer or are uncertain of exactly what they can do for you, here are some things to know that might help you understand the benefits a bit better.

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How Can They Help?

  1. With Experience

It is most likely that your case is not the first of its kind the lawyer is working on. So not only have they gained experience through past suits, but they also have a good understanding of insurance company maneuvers and vast knowledge of the law.

This way, you will not be required to do any extensive research since everything will be explained to you and even simplified if needed and you will be talked through all your options as well.

  1. By Eliminating Red Tape

For those unfamiliar with the term, red tape is a term used to describe a process that involves going through a lot of procedures and filling out a lot of official forms in order to accomplish something. This is a thing insurance agencies are known for.

However, getting a professional entails that everything will be dealt with for you, meaning there is no need to worry about paperwork, knowing the law, or understanding complicated medical or legal terminology.

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  1. By Offering Objectivity

Getting harmed, especially if it is not your fault, can make you feel angry, emotional, and frustrated. Going through such feelings makes it hard for people to make good, rational decisions and to remain calm and objective.

Since an attorney has no personal stakes in the matter, they will always keep a cool head and remain objective, providing you with an outside perspective and a realistic view of the situation. This way, you can rest assured that they will make the best decisions possible on your behalf and ensure that you are compensated accordingly.

  1. They Can Help You Save Money

Many firms operate on the principle of not taking fees unless they win the suit, meaning that you will not need to pay for the company’s services unless the outcome is in your favor.

Moreover, certain firms such as Foyle Legal who specialize in motor vehicle accident claims offer free consultation and can provide you with a quick initial assessment and give you advice on what needs to be done since the lawyers deal with such litigations daily.

  1. Save Your Time

For people who have to work or take care of their families, the entire process is immensely time-consuming. From reviewing files and medical charts, obtaining all the necessary records and documents to communicating and dealing with insurance companies and contacting all the necessary people, all of it takes time but also effort and energy.

Instead of having to go through everything yourself, an experienced professional can do it for you and probably much faster and more efficiently too.

Source:ceoattorneys.com
  1. By Providing Alternative Solutions

In the U.S. a quarter of all filed court cases were personal injury claims in 2015 while in Australia, the total number of serious claims declined by 18% in 2016-17. However, according to research, these countries share something in common – a large number of people did not request any compensation or have dealt with the suit without consulting an attorney.

Yet this is something that should be avoided since more often than not, these professionals can advise you whether to actually take it all the way to the courtroom or not. Many times, other types of resolutions can get the job done much faster and easier, not to mention that they are cheaper too.

Additionally, they can take a look at your situation and all of the facts and tell you whether you should take action in the first place.

  1. Representing You in Trials

Individuals have the choice to represent themselves during a trial, however, the odds of winning are in no way favorable, especially when going against experienced defense legal representatives. This is why hiring a professional is more likely to get you a favorable jury verdict and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

  1. Working Closely with Investigators

Many attorneys collaborate with a team of investigators who help them build your case by going through and examining every little detail there is from police reports and witness interviews to re-enactments and everything in between.

  1. They Can Get You Higher Settlements

Settlements entail agreeing on taking a negotiated sum of money instead of going to trial. Statistically, people who have legal advisers by their side during settlements walk away with more money than what would have been negotiated otherwise, so if your attorney advises you to opt for it, you should follow that advice. After all, they have the most experience when it comes to getting you the best outcome possible.

Conclusion

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Hopefully, now you have a little more understanding of why hiring an attorney for these types of litigations is important and how it can be beneficial to an individual.

It is important to remember that your lawyer will always have your best interests in mind, so hiring one might be the best thing to do, not only to ensure your legal safety but also to protect your rights and to help you get the most out of your claim.

What Can You Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

Hit and run accidents can be traumatizing and for more than one reason. Not only will you likely be suffering from the physical injuries you sustained in the crash, but you may also be dealing with the anxiety and stress of knowing the driver who hit you fled the scene. 

It may not seem like you have any recourse, especially in the immediate aftermath of such an accident, but you do have some options, according to Custodio and Dubey, LLP. These options include talking to a lawyer and hiring a private investigator. Depending on what kind of insurance you have, the accident may be covered. 

But let’s start with the moments immediately following the accident. What can you do? 

Following the Accident 

Source:aarp.org

Let’s say you’re the victim of a hit and run. As a pedestrian or a fellow driver, you’ve been hit by another motorist, and they’ve visibly fled the scene. 

These are your first priorities: 

  • Try to collect any information you can. You may only have a few seconds before the fleeing driver is gone forever. Try to regain your senses and collect whatever information you can. Try to remember the make and model of the car that hit you, at the very least, and if possible, collect the license plate. Any details you can remember could be valuable, including any peculiar noises made by the vehicle, what the driver looked like, and the direction they headed immediately following the accident. 
  • Get to safety. Get to safety as quickly as possible. If you or your car remain in harm’s way, you could end up facing even more injuries and more damage. Even worse, if your car remains in the middle of the road, it could end up being a link in a long chain reaction of further accidents. If the car is drivable, get it to the side of the road, and get yourself to the side of the road as soon as possible without putting yourself in jeopardy. 
  • Call the police and file a report. Having a police report on file is a practical necessity. It’s going to serve an important purpose in the investigations and insurance procedures to follow, and it could be the first step in a successful police investigation. Call the police immediately and file a report if you can. 
  • Contact potential witnesses. While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, see if you can find any witnesses to the crime. Other drivers may have pulled over; ask them if they were able to get a license plate or collect details on the vehicle. Be sure to get their contact information, too, so you can follow up with them if necessary. 
  • Get medical attention. If you’ve suffered serious injuries, you should call an ambulance before anything else. If you’ve only suffered light to moderate injuries, it’s still a good idea to get checked out at a local hospital—but you may be able to do this after the scene is cleared and the police report is filed. 
Source:kahlerlawfirm.com

Your Insurance

Most car insurance companies offer what’s known as uninsured and/or underinsured coverage. Basically, this coverage kicks in when an uninsured motorist or a motorist with insufficient insurance coverage is found at fault in an accident involving your vehicle. In many cases, this also applies to a hit and run; if the fleeing driver is found to be at fault for the accident, this portion of your insurance policy should cover the damages. 

However, this still isn’t ideal. If the fleeing driver gets away without penalty, they may be likely to commit the offense again in the future. Plus, even if your insurance policy covers the initial damage to your vehicle, your insurance premiums may increase in the months and years that follow. 

Source:theparrishlawfirm.com

Talking to a Lawyer

In the days that follow your accident, try to get in contact with a lawyer. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by doing this. Give them a copy of the police report and discuss all the details of your case. Depending on the situation, they may have the resources necessary to help track down the offending driver—and hold them accountable for the accident. They may also be able to recommend an alternate course of action; for example, they may recommend you hire a private investigator, or may be frank and tell you there isn’t much hope of catching the fleeing driver. 

Being on the receiving end of a hit and run can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the line. If you react quickly and collect whatever information you can, and if you spend some time working with a lawyer and/or your insurance company, there’s a good chance you can recover some, if not all of the damages.