North Carolina law requires those who cause auto accidents to pay for the expenses that result. The at-fault driver is required to have auto insurance for this very reason. Insurance companies employ insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters work to resolve claims in the way that is most favorable for their employers, the insurance company. They are smart, knowledgable and experienced. The adjuster's job is to pay you the smallest amount of money that he or shepossibly can. Insurance adjusters are very good at what they do.
Auto injury attorneys work with insurance adjusters to help people who have been injured recover fair compensation. On average people recover 3.5 times more money with an attorney than without one. Experienced auto injury lawyers may be able to help even more.
Attorneys are able to recover even more if they are experienced, knowledgeable, professional and effective. That is why it is important that you find the right lawyer for you.
1. Start immediately. Start this process as soon after an accident as you are able. It is important to have your attorney in place before you speak with an insurance adjuster. Many people say things they should not say during preliminary conversations with the adjuster. These mistakes can greatly reduce or eliminate entirely the value of your claim.
2. Identify your jurisdiction. Where did the accident take place? The law relating to accidents and injuries varies from state to state. If your accident occurred in North Carolina, it is best to have a North Carolina lawyer.
3. Identify your region. It is best to get a lawyer who practices in the general area of the state where the accident took place because he will have more credibility with the insurance adjuster and he will have local knowledge that may be helpful to your claim. Beware the lawyer that has offices in Wilmington and Charlotte.
4. Find the INJURY lawyers. Identify the injury lawyers in your region of your jurisdiction. Even criminal defense lawyers have a broad or general understanding of how injury law works. They may even be able to settle your case, but “When?” and “For what amount?”
In cases involving serious injuries, what if there are other sources of recovery? Was the injured person working at the time? Is there a UM, UIM or umbrella policy? Should you be trying to preseve evidence such as photographs, videos and witness statements? Should you send a spoilation letter? Are there liens? Are they negotiable? To what extent? You friend who practices law may know some of these terms but does he or she have the experience to get you a fair settlement?
Injury law grows more complex every year. Comprehensive knowledge and experience is necessary to achieve a fair settlement for your injury claim. You better believe the adjuster knows what he or she is doing. This knowledge and experience cannot be gained from books. It cannot be replaced by “bull dogging”, or “smooth talking”. This knowledge and experience is fundamentally necessary and is attained by working on these types cases every day for many years.
5. Check their scores. Perform an on-line search to identify a list of 3 injury lawyers in the right region of your jurisdiction. Consider their experience, recognition and professional conduct to develop a short list of qualified injury lawyers. Avvo, Super Lawyers, Top 100 or Best Lawyers are national independent research services that identify, evaluate and grade lawyers for each practice area. The top lawyers will be identified or graded as such. You can determine whether each lawyer has been identified as one of the best lawyers in the area of personal injury law by looking at his or her website or the website associated with each ranking service.
6. Read the reviews. Perform additional on-line research to determine what former clients say about the lawyers or law firms you are considering. Client testimonials or Reviews are a great source of information. Even great lawyers can have a negative review. It may not be authentic. It may be generated by a competitor. However, if you look at all the reviews together you should get a good idea of how the lawyer’s previous clients feel about the services they received.
7. Consult with each attorney. Make an appointment for a phone or face-to-face consultation with each lawyer on your list. The consultation should be free of charge and obligation.
Ask about attorney fees and costs during the initial consultation. Injury lawyers usually don’t charge for their services “up front”. Instead, they charge a percentage of the amount recovered. That is why they advertise, “No fee unless we win”. This is almost always a good investment. You are likely to recover more with an injury attorney even after the fee is deducted than you would if you represented yourself. In addition, your attorney can avoid common mistakes that cause even the most sophisticated people financial harm.
The percentage charged by an attorney usually increases if the case goes to trial. Trials are sometimes necessary, but they can be risky and expensive. If the case is set up correctly from the very beginning, you can minimize your risk of having to go to trial.
Beware of lawyer who tells you how “AGGRESSIVE!!!” he is. Posturing by overly aggressive lawyers can result in an unnecessary trial. Your case is likely to settle for maximum value if it is structured correctly from the very beginning and if it is advanced by a respectful and respectable advocate.
8. Select your attorney. During the identification, research and consultation process, one lawyer or law firm should feel right. It will feel right when the people with whom you will be working are experienced, knowledgeable and talented and when you feel like they are genuinely concerned for your best interests.
9. Focus on you. After you have selected your attorney, your focus should be on getting better. Your attorneys should gather records, research the legal issues and produce a settlement package. A settlement package is a collection of documents that include the law, facts, photos, bills and records that are relevant to your claim. In addition, your attorney should negotiate with the adjuster to maximize your settlement amount and negotiate with lien holders and medical providers to minimize the expenses that must be paid out from settlement proceeds. You should get the medical attention you need and follow your doctor’s instructions.
10. Communicate with your attorneys. Communicate with your attorneys especially as you approach the conclusion of your medical treatment. Insurance adjusters are often looking for specific information. Your lawyers may want you to ask your doctors to include specific information in your medical records. It will be faster and less expensive if your doctors will include specific information in the records when they see you than it will be to go back later ask for this information in a deposition or a trial.
Following these steps is the best way to find the right Injury Attorney for you. The Speaks Law Firm has extensive experience and a national reputation for vigorously representing injured people all over North Carolina. We are comprised of outstanding legal professionals who care deeply for our clients.
Clarke and the Speaks Law Firm have achieved National Recognition by attorney ranking sites such as AVVO and Super Lawyers. Specifically, we are rated "10.0" out of a maximum score of 10.0. We are rated "Superb". Superb is the highest possible rating. We have earned "Top Car Accident Attorney" status by Avvo.com. In addition, for the second consecutive year Clarke has been selected to the Super Lawyers and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers for his work in the legal field of personal injury law and criminal defense. Recently, Clarke was awarded the National Association of Distinguished Counsel's Nations Top Attorneys designation. We look forward to speaking with you about your injury claim.
You can find important information about Auto Accident Injuries on our website, but you are welcome to ask your questions. We answer these kinds of questions for people everyday. We are happy to answer them for you. There is no fee for answering these questions. There is no obligation.
You can reach out to us several different ways. You can call us at (910) 341-7570 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. You can chat with an online operator anytime by clicking on the live chat box below and to the left. You can email us anytime by filling out the contact form on the right. In addition, many of these questions are answered in our book, The North Carolina Auto Injury Book, or our Magazine, The Road to Recovery. Click on the links for your FREE copy. However, you choose to contact us, we are glad that you made that decision. We are here to help.
Following these steps is the best way to find the right injury lawyer for you. For more information, please contact us by phone or chat or you can complete the contact form by clicking here.
We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your question or to schedule an appointment if requested.