After being injured due to another person’s negligence, you may need to seek legal help. This is often the best way to recover the maximum possible compensation for your damages. That said, do you know what to expect from a personal injury lawyer? What are his or her responsibilities, and how do you know if the lawyer you hired is doing a good job?
Anderson & Cummings discusses the role of a personal injury lawyer. Find out how you can tell if your attorney is doing enough to help you win your case.
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What Should I Expect From My Fort Worth Injury Lawyer?
If you hire a Fort Worth Injury Lawyer, there are several things you should be able to expect from him or her throughout the legal process. To begin with, once it is determined that you have a valid case, your attorney should not waste any time getting started. He or she should:
Explain the Legal Process and Have You Sign a Contract
It is important that you review this contract thoroughly. It is also the attorney’s responsibility to explain all the details fully. Legal documents can be confusing. If you do not understand something, your attorney should take the time to explain it to you.
Collect Documentation About Your Case
One of the first things an injury attorney needs to do is get details about the events leading up to your accident. This includes getting any documentation that backs up your account of what happened. This is evidence that could strengthen your claim.
For instance, it is critical that you get a copy of the police/accident report or your medical records. Your attorney will also want to speak with credible witnesses without delay. Memories and other important accident details fade over time.
Investigate Your Case Before Evidence is Lost
It is important not to delay gathering things like pictures of an accident scene, video footage or witness statements. Evidence can quickly be lost or tainted, making it unusable for a case. Your attorney will know how to obtain this evidence quickly.
Guide You Throughout the Legal Process
When you hire an attorney, it is not just to have them argue your case or negotiate your settlement. Although, these things are important. It is also to provide you with important legal advice. For instance, they should explain why you should not discuss your case on social media or in public.
Communicate With You About Your Case
Seeking compensation through an injury claim can be a long process. In fact, it could take months to conclude or even longer. Throughout the legal process, it is your attorney’s responsibility to keep you informed about the status of your case. It is also his or her duty to communicate what you need to know about certain phases of your case, such as preparing for a deposition or an independent medical exam.
Your personal injury attorney in Fort Worth should also tell you about things you should avoid saying or doing that could hurt your case.
Deal With Insurance Companies and Other Third Parties
In addition to communicating with you, your attorney should also be dealing with insurance companies and other third parties on your behalf. Part of this role includes the process of negotiating with the insurance company for full and fair settlement. An attorney who is doing his or her job properly, therefore, will not encourage you to take a quick settlement. Doing so could cost you thousands of dollars.
Is my Fort Worth Injury Lawyer Doing a Good Job?
You could ask your attorney about the progress being made on your claim. Hopefully, he or she will respond with specific information that puts your mind at ease. However, if you feel like what your attorney is saying does not jive with what you see happening, there are other steps you can take, including:
- Schedule an in-person meeting: Your attorney should always be willing to set an appointment to talk about your case and answer any questions you may have. If he or she keeps putting you off or canceling appointments, something is not right.
- Ask for a copy of your case: You have a right to see a copy of the legal papers associated with your case. These papers should provide you with written proof of what your attorney has completed on your behalf.
- Get a second opinion: Much like getting another opinion from a doctor, you may sometimes feel the need to do this when seeking a legal case. Sometimes this may be enough to put a victim’s mind at ease. However, it could also confirm the need to switch attorneys mid-case. You have the right to do this without being penalized. Both attorneys will need to come to an agreement on how their fees will be split in the event your case wins.
- Do your own research: You can find out so much information online these days. See what types of cases your attorney has done and what his or her former clients say about the services they received. You also want to be sure the Fort Worth injury attorney you choose has experience in cases similar to yours. Make sure also that your attorney has experience arguing a case and is willing to represent you should your case end up in court.
- Check out public records: If your attorney did his or her job and filed your case, it will be here. Today, you are often able to access this documentation online.
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