Car accidents often cause traumatizing consequences for everyone involved, including drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and bikers. If you sustained injuries in such a negligence-induced mishap on the roads of Bakersfield, you must take steps to protect your rights as a victim. California’s state laws allow you to recover a settlement with a higher fault share, although your percentage of blame will determine the final compensation. These laws are complex, and unless you seek legal consultation, you can never really know the scope of your claim. Here are some pointers about getting an attorney.
Your accident lawyer is your advocate
While you can always file a claim without an accident lawyer, there are several advantages of having a legal team for the case. When you contact a law firm in Bakersfield, the staff will usually schedule an appointment with one of their attorneys, and you can discuss many aspects of the case. Your attorney is your advocate and will fight for you until the end. Ensure you ask pertinent questions when you meet a lawyer, such as –
- Do you deal with car accident lawsuits regularly as an injury lawyer?
- What is your immediate impression of my claim?
- What damages can I recover? What is the worth of this case?
- Do you think the matter will resolve through mediation?
- If a settlement is unlikely, will you take the matter to court?
- Do you have trial experience?
- What is the usual timeline for such lawsuits?
- How would you describe the factors that can affect the settlement?
- What is your personal availability schedule?
- Do you have connections with car accident reconstruction experts?
Handling the insurance company
The claims adjuster may claim that your settlement is exactly what they have to offer, but this could be far from the truth. You need an attorney who will gather evidence, investigate the car crash, and find relevant info that will help them negotiate the settlement. They will also contact witnesses and get testimonies, and as they work to settle the case outside of court, they will also simultaneously prepare for the worst possible outcome. Your lawyer is also responsible for ensuring you don’t fall into the trap of insurance tactics, which could mean losing your chance to get an amount that covers all losses.
Hiring an accident lawyer doesn’t mean spending a huge amount upfront. Instead, your lawyer will work on a contingency arrangement, which includes a fee of 25% or more of the settlement if you win.