No matter how good your case may be, finding the best accident lawyers may mean the difference between collecting what you deserve and going home disappointed. But how do you know if the personal injury lawyer car accident you are looking at is qualified? The following is a list of some basic considerations to consider when retaining your attorney.
Are they experienced with the type of case you have? If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall, train accident, bus accident, and so on, do they regularly practice in these areas?
Do they charge a fee for consultation? Except in rare circumstances, experienced personal injury attorneys only collect a fee if you prevail. The initial consultation is free.
Do they require you to sign a retainer agreement? This is a MUST. Without a signed retainer agreement, which they must give you a copy of, there is no proof of any terms of the agreement you have with your attorney, something that could become a real problem at the end of your case.
Does your lawyer actually try cases? Sure, most cases settle, but in the circumstance that yours does not, the best accident lawyers will be ready to prove your case to a judge or jury.
Does the attorney have relevant certifications? Organizations such as the American Association of Justice (AAJ), National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and other national and state organizations offer accreditations that experienced attorneys often have.
The best Personal Injury Lawyer Car Accident will know (and inform you) that Alaska Statute §09.10.070 affords you only two (2) years from the date you are injured to file your lawsuit or, in most cases, you will be forever barred from recovering any money. Although it is possible, in certain limited circumstances, to obtain additional time from the Court if you “discovered” your injury at a later date, there is no guaranty that this will happen.
The best accident lawyers will also be aware that Alaska uses a comparative fault analysis to award damages. In other words, a judge or jury will reduce any award based on any fault you are deemed to have in causing the accident. In other words, even if you prove $100,000.00 worth of injuries to yourself, but a judge or jury decides that you were half (50%) responsible for the occurrence, you will only receive a payment $50,000.00. The remaining $50,000.00 will now come out of your own pocket.
The best accident lawyers will also inform you that, typically, awards for physical injuries may be had for (i) economic damages (such as lost wages, medical bills and the like), (ii) non-economic damages (pain and suffering), (iii) emotional distress, (iv) wrongful death, and (v) loss of consortium (awarded to the injured person’s partner due to the inability of the injured party to perform as they did before). The first category is typically provable through documentary evidence; the others are more subjective and for a judge or jury to decide. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to present the facts to a judge or jury that will aid in increased awards to an injured person.
The best accident lawyers will discuss with you that Alaska set limits on the amount of monies that may be awarded to an injured person in certain types of cases. For example, in medical malpractice cases only, damages for pain and suffering are capped at the greater of $400,000, or $8,000 for each year a person is expected to remain alive.
In any personal injury incident, no matter how minor you believe it to be, it is important to speak with the best Personal Injury Lawyer Car Accident before you speak with any representative of an insurance company. Whether or not you ultimately retain an attorney to pursue your claim, advice from a lawyer familiar with automobile accident and local laws can often help you avoid torpedoing your claim, no matter how strong it may be.