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Neck Pain From A Car Accident

If you have neck pain from a car accident, you should seek medical attention quickly. Quite often, we don’t feel the pain from a car accident until several days later. This is partly due to the adrenaline or endorphins which mask the pain; however, after a day or two we realize we have been injured. Treating neck pain from a car accident not only helps to ensure your health, it also protects any legal rights you may have against the driver who hit you.

Treating Early Protects Your Rights

If you wait to treat your car accident injuries for any length of time after the car accident, you open yourself up to objections by the other driver’s insurance company. For instance, suppose you are in a car accident on January 1st. On January 3rd you start to feel aches and pains. You’re busy with work and keep thinking it will go away. You take ibuprofen a few times a day and you’re getting by, until you realize you need to get help. You wait until January 30th to get treated.

If you pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who hit you, you will face scrutiny from the insurance adjuster on two levels. First, the adjuster will claim that there is a chance you injured yourself between January 1st and January 30th, which had nothing to do with the accident. They will object to paying for the treatment on the “gap in treatment”. Second, the adjuster will argue that even if the pain was related to the January 1st accident, you must not have been in that much pain if you waited 30 days to get treated—this means you can expect a low settlement offer. You can read more on our blog about The Value Of Your Personal Injury Claim.

Car accidents and the mechanics of a personal injury claim are unique in this manner. By seeking treatment early, you take care of yourself and you preserve your rights.

Paying For The Expense Of Treatment

Your health insurance should cover any emergency room treatment or hospital treatment you require, minus your co-pay. However, insurance won’t always cover chiropractic treatment, which is the most common treatment for neck pain from a car accident. Fortunately, most chiropractors in Charlotte and the surrounding area will treat on a “Lien Status”. This means the chiropractor will treat you at no cost, and wait to get paid from your car accident settlement. You can read more on our blog about Medical Liens In Personal Injury.

If your chiropractor is going to treat you on Lien Status, they will probably want an opinion from your personal injury attorney that the accident was not your fault. They may also ask for a copy of the police report. They are only doing so to protect themselves. If the accident was your fault, there won’t be a personal injury settlement and the chiropractor won’t get paid. This doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment from the chiropractor—in fact, if you’re injured, you absolutely should get treated. It does mean, however, that you will bear the expense of the treatment.

Start By Choosing A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are having neck pain from a car accident, start by calling a personal injury lawyer. The Layton Law Firm can help examine the details and facts from your accident, and make an assessment as to whether the accident was your fault. This will give you some confidence that whatever treatment you incur may be paid by your car accident settlement, should you be able to reach one. You can read more on our blog about Medical Bills In Personal Injury.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

 

What Does A Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

The good news for personal injury victims is that a car accident lawyer does not cost anything upfront. If you work with The Layton Law Firm, PLLC for your car accident, you will not receive a bill from us. In fact, we don’t get paid anything unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. This is known as a contingency fee, and it means that the lawyer’s fee is “contingent” upon getting you a result in your case. Even then, our fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the total settlement or verdict.

Why Doesn’t A Car Accident Lawyer Cost Anything Up Front?

If car accidents and slip and fall victims had to pay a lawyer upfront, most people would not get the representation they deserve. As a result, bad drivers and corporations would get away with bad behavior because people couldn’t afford to pay a lawyer to help them defend their rights. The contingency fee solves this problem.

Why You Can Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer

One thing we love about the contingency fee is that you can trust your lawyer. If your lawyer thinks your case is a bad case, they won’t take it. And you won’t end up paying a lawyer by the hour to work on a bad case. If your lawyer has faith in your case—enough faith to take it on a contingency basis—then you know the lawyer believes in your case and is going to work hard to get you the best result. Finally, when it comes to deciding whether to accept a settlement offer, we believe you can trust your lawyer. After all, the lawyer is getting paid a percentage of the settlement. If the lawyer thinks the case is worth more, they will advise you not to settle. The contingency agreement keeps the lawyer and the client on the same ‘team’ even through tough decisions that often come up during personal injury cases.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Wants To Get You As Much As Possible

Because your personal injury lawyer is getting paid a percentage of the settlement, they have the incentive to do everything possible to maximize your settlement for you. It’s important to know that your lawyer and their staff are putting in extensive time and effort to build your case. They do all of this without knowing what the outcome will be. Again, because they believe in your case, you can have faith that they are doing everything possible to make sure you are treated fairly in the end. If they don’t get a result, the answer to the question “What does a car accident lawyer cost?” is “Nothing.”

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Airbag Burns And Other Injuries

While they may save your life, airbags can cause airbag burns and other severe injuries, when deployed. Car accidents can be life changing, we are here to help you through every step of the process. This includes discussing airbag injuries, what makes an airbag deploy (or why your airbags didn’t deploy), and how this will affect your case.

What Makes an Airbag Deploy?

Modern vehicles are fitted with crash and pressure senses to determine if a crash has occurred. When a collision occurs, and it is detected by the sensors, the corresponding airbags are triggered and released. Airbags are designed by the manufacturer to deploy as quickly as possible, in order to stop a sudden impact on the human body from occurring. Airbags are fitted into the sides of a car and positioned in front of the upper body and head of any passenger or driver. While they are meant to prevent harm, certain aspects of airbags are dangerous and can cause serious injury, hence the precautions taken so that they only deploy during a collision.

Three Common Injuries Caused by Airbags

Abrasions

Abrasions to the upper body are quite common in airbag Injuries. This includes abrasions to the head, chest, arms, and neck, often manifesting as airbag burns. The chemicals released upon airbag deployment consist of various high temperature gases. They create and release sodium hydroxide, a highly irritant substance to human skin. This substance, when mixed with  other chemicals, can cause serious skin injuries. Some of these injuries include: chemical and thermal burns, traumatic lesions, and irritant dermatitis. Non-skin injuries resulting from the release of these chemicals consist of possible ocular damage, bone fractures, and damage to the ear and ear area.

Conducive/Concussive Damage

The sudden release and immediate impact of the upper body on an airbag following a vehicular collision can cause serious contusions and possible concussive side effects. These contusions, or extreme bruising, can affect the face, neck, shoulders, arms, and chest and side area. These contusions can be extremely dangerous and painful, affecting a wide area very quickly, combined with possible seat belt damage, yielding similar results.

This sudden impact can also have concussive results. A concussion is a serious injury. Diagnosing a concussion can be difficult but by seeking medical attention immediately after the accident, you can identify the signs of a concussion and take measures to treat it.

Broken Bones and Scarring

There are fourteen bones in the human face. The direct impact of an airbag applies enough pressure to seriously damage or even break any bone with which it makes contact. Cartilage damage can leave permanent scarring in the nose and ears and lead to breathing problems and difficulties later in life. Your personal injury settlement should reflect a doctor’s opinion as to whether you will have permanent damage from airbag injuries, including scarring such as that detailed above. These injuries are not just temporary, they can prevent work and severely interfere with your day to day life.

Airbag Malfunction

In certain instances, airbags have been known to spontaneously deploy. This is a serious danger to every driver and passenger as it can cause damage to the driver from the airbag deployment, as well as cause a car wreck if the driver is unable to properly operate the vehicle with the airbag deployed. There have also been cases in which a collision occurs and the airbags malfunction, and fail to deploy. If you were in an accident and your airbags failed to deploy, and if that failure caused you injuries, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of the vehicle or airbags.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

 

Hit And Run Accident Lawyer

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, we’re here to fight for you. You may think the only option is to either put a claim in with your insurance company or pay for your damages yourself. In fact, after a hit and run accident, North Carolina drivers have the option of accessing the Uninsured Motorist Coverage on their own policy. An experienced hit and run accident lawyer will help prove your case to the insurance adjuster and obtain the best results for you in this difficult fact pattern.

Establishing Liability After A Hit And Run Accident

Insurance adjusters see a lot of insurance fraud. Every day, someone claims to have a slip and fall claim or claims to be the victim of a hit and run. Before an insurance company will pay for damages to your property or pay for your personal injury, you must prove their obligation to do so. In a hit-and-run scenario, the only proof you have is the damage to your vehicle. Even with that, you have the burden to prove to the insurance adjuster that another driver caused that damage and that the incident was the other driver’s fault. You may have a police report, but again, that report will only contain your statement to the officer that another vehicle hit you. It is not strong evidence.

The Layton Law Firm will examine your fact pattern, photographs of the damage to your vehicle, and other pertinent information to help establish fault. In some cases, there is footage of the incident available through a request with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. This requires a hearing to obtain the footage but it can often make all the difference in whether you recover anything for your injuries from the hit and run accident.

Accessing Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If your personal injury lawyer can establish that another party was responsible for your damages and injury, and fled the scene, the lawyer will be able to successfully trigger a claim under the uninsured motorist provision of your policy. A claim placed under this designation should not have any negative consequences upon your insurance rates and allows you access to the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Fighting Your Own Insurance Company

For a time, while your underinsured motorist claim is active, you and your insurance company will be adversaries. For this reason, it’s extremely important to have a personal injury lawyer represent you. Most clients we speak with who have tried to make an underinsured motorist claim for a hit and run have been denied by their insurance company. We are usually able to reverse that decision.

Addressing Personal Injury Liens

Your personal injury attorney will also make sure that the medical providers who have liens against your injury settlement pursuant to N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50 are addressed as part of the settlement. Individuals who settle their own claims without addressing these liens may find out after the fact that they owe most of the settlement to third parties—this entirely undoes the benefits of having negotiated your own settlement.

Speak With A Hit And Run Accident Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?

It doesn’t cost anything to hire a personal injury lawyer when you work with The Layton Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm works on a contingency basis. This means we only get paid if we are able to reach a settlement or a jury verdict for you. If we are unable to reach a settlement or verdict for you, you will not receive a bill.

The contingency arrangement allows those injured in car accidents, workers’ compensation accidents, and slip and fall accidents to obtain legal representation without spending money to do so. This is an extremely important aspect of our legal system. By providing clients with legal representation, personal injury lawyers are protecting everyday consumers from large insurance companies and their corporate legal teams.

How Do I Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is easy. When you work with The Layton Law Firm, PLLC, you can complete most of the intake online. There are a few docs that need to be signed. We can meet with you in the office to sign that paperwork, or if it’s more convenient for you, we can mail or email it to you to sign. We’re flexible. Whatever is easiest for you works for us.

Once you have signed a contract with the firm, we will send a Letter of Representation to the insurance company for the at-fault party. The letter of representation will confirm we represent you in the personal injury matter. It also requests all transcripts or recordings of conversations or statements you may have made to the insurance adjuster for the other side.

Will The Layton Law Firm Take My Case?

We can’t take every case that we are presented with; however, you deserve to speak with a lawyer about your case so you can understand your rights. Our free consultations are meant to help us understand your case, and provide you with what we believe to be your options for moving forward. If we are unable to take your case for some reason, we will explain why, and try to refer you to another law firm we think would be a good fit for the case.

Is My Case Too Small For A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Many clients mistakenly believe that personal injury lawyers only take large cases. This simply is not true. We take on minor accident cases every day at our firm, and we are just as interested in helping and protecting those clients as we are in working on larger cases.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

 

Who Pays For Your Rental Car After An Accident?

Depending upon the situation, the at fault driver should pay for your rental car after an accident. However, the obstacle to this is that the at fault driver’s insurance company wants to investigate the claim. This is true even if it is a rear end accident with clear liability. The insurance investigation can take a few weeks—too long for you to wait for a them to approve a rental car.

Your Insurance Policy May Have Rental Coverage

You should check to see if your insurance policy has rental car coverage. Your North Carolina auto insurance policy may have rental car coverage. If it does, the rental car will be paid for by your insurance company. Then, your insurance company will pursue the at fault driver’s insurance company for a reimbursement. The good news is you don’t have to wait for an investigation to take place before being provided with a rental car after the accident. When you speak with the insurance company, you should also confirm whether you have Medical Payments coverage to assist with your medical bills and medical liens from the car accident.

You Can Pay For Your Rental Car After An Accident

Another option is for you to pay for the rental car after the accident. Not a good option, but if you do pay for the rental car, you can seek reimbursement from the at fault driver’s insurance company once their investigation is complete. Keep in mind, the at fault driver’s insurance company will do everything they can to pay the lowest daily amount for a rental car. It is a rare situation to be reimbursed in full for a rental car you paid for on your own.

Legal Representation Often Makes All The Difference

If you’ve been in an accident and you can’t get the other driver’s insurance company to pay for a rental car, call a lawyer. Having legal representation makes all the difference when it comes to personal injury claims. If our firm represents you for your personal injury, we will assist you with your property damage claim at no additional charge. This includes providing guidance as to how to get the at fault driver’s insurance company to pay for a rental car.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Lost Income From Car Accidents

If you’re in a car accident, chances are you will have lost income. Lost income from car accidents can be recovered in a personal injury claim. Your Charlotte personal injury attorney must establish or prove the amount of time lost, the wages associated with that time, and the connection to the accident. The key is documenting all aspects of your lost wages claim in order to recover lost income from your accident. You can significantly change how much your car accident is worth, with a successful lost wages claim.

Establishing Your Wages Prior To The Car Accident

In order to claim lost income from car accidents, you must first establish the wages you were making before the car accident. The personal injury adjuster will want to see proof of your wages, which can be established by some or all of the following:

Tax Returns

W2 Forms

Pay Stubs

A Signed, Notarized Wage Form From Your Employer

When you provide one or more of the above items to your personal injury lawyer, they can use that documentation as the foundation to prove the wage you were earning right before the car accident occurred. Unless there was a change in your employment status, it is safe to assume the same wage would have been paid to you if you continued to work and had never been in the accident.

Establishing Your Missed Hours

Your employer will need to complete a Lost Wages Form for your injury lawyer. Typically, someone at your job with authority to do so will complete the form. The form will need to disclose your average weekly hours, your hourly wage, the date range during which you missed work, and the total hours missed. With this information, your lawyer can calculate the total wages lost as a direct result of the accident.

Claiming Lost Earning Capacity

There are some instances in which your car accident may lead to a permanent reduction in your ability to earn wages. For instance, if your car accident leads to a permanent disability rating, it will most likely mean you can no longer work full time, or can no longer perform the job you performed prior to the accident.

In order to claim any sort of permanent lost earning capacity, you will need a doctor to verify your disability. Your personal injury lawyer can work with you in order to obtain an opinion from an independent medical examiner, which will indicate your lost wage earning capacity. This opinion will serve as evidence, whether your claim is a Workers’ Compensation claim or a personal injury claim.  It’s important to note that the attorney for the insurance company will most likely find a way to provide an opinion which argues there is not permanent lost earning capacity resulting from the accident. Both sides will argue these points as they negotiate the lost income from your car accident.

Claiming Lost Wages If You’re Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, you can expect a much more difficult process regarding a lost wages claim from a car accident. Self-employed individuals are often paid inconsistently due to the nature of being self-employed. Your attorney will work with you to gather as much information as possible in order to support your claim. What is most beneficial is to have a strong history of self-employment income which can be compared to your income after the accident.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Concerned about getting a fair offer from an insurance adjuster for your car accident? Get legal protection today—it’s only a phone call away. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article regarding “Lost income from car accidents” was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

If you have significant economic losses from a personal injury claim and you’re having trouble paying bills, you may consider a Bankruptcy filing. You can read about your options on our Bankruptcy Blog.

Passenger Accident Claims And Insurance

If you are a passenger in a car accident, you will potentially have numerous options available to compensate you for your personal injury claim. Except for in limited circumstances, passengers are not at fault for car accidents. This means liability (who is at fault) will not be contested. Instead, your claim will be fought over the injuries and which insurance company should pay for those injuries.

Pursuing Your Passenger Accident Claim

Working with a personal injury law firm will protect your rights as you attempt to recover from your injuries from a car accident. The personal injury lawyer will also help you sort through the liability associated with the accident. The first thing the lawyer will ask for is a copy of the police report from the accident.  Typically, the police report will contain statements from both drivers, together with a diagram of the accident. There are numerous sections of the police report where the attending officer makes notes which help tell the story of the accident. These notes contain everything from the estimated speed of the vehicles upon impact, to the road conditions. Lastly, the police report will also make note of any citations given to either driver, which can dramatically help or affect your case depending upon the citation.

If you do not have a police report from the accident, we can assist you with obtaining one at no cost. Just click HERE to request one.

Starting Your Personal Injury Passenger Accident Claim

Assuming the police report indicates the other driver is at fault, the most logical entity to pursue is the insurance company for the other driver. In North Carolina, there are insurance minimums that each driver must carry. The minimums in North Carolina are $30,000 for one person for bodily injury (“Personal Injury”) and $60,000 for injuries to two or more people in a single accident. Additionally, each driver must have $25,000 in property damage coverage; however, if you are a passenger the property damage aspect will most likely not affect you.

If you are a passenger, this means that the driver of your vehicle may also be injured. You can see how, depending upon the severity of the injury, the injuries for all individuals in your vehicle may exceed the amount of insurance the at-fault driver carries. If this is the case, you can also pursue an Underinsured Motorist Claim by starting a second claim with the insurance of the driver of your vehicle.

Your personal injury attorney will advise you as to the specifics of this claim, and you must be careful not to settle for less than the full policy amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy if you intend to pursue an Underinsured Motorist Claim. Lastly, the underinsured motorist limits must exceed the limits of the policy of the at-fault driver. If your claim comes to this crossroads, your personal injury attorney’s skill set in navigating underinsured motorist coverage will help you tremendously.

What If Your Driver Is At Fault?

If the driver of your vehicle is at fault, this will not prevent you from recovering from your injuries. Provided you did not contribute to the accident, your lawyer can start a claim with the insurance company for your driver. The minimums mentioned above will still be in effect.

Recovering With Medical Payments Coverage In Passenger Accident Claims

Your personal injury lawyer can also pursue a medical payments claim for you. If you or the driver of your vehicle have medical payments coverage on your auto policies, you can submit medical bills from the accident. You will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary medical expenses which stem from the accident. While these amounts are typically $1,000-$5,000 they can make all the difference in settling a personal injury claim. This is particularly true of a smaller claim.

If you are able to recover medical payments coverage, your lawyer should be able to successfully argue for you that your medical payments coverage is not subject to the Medical Liens in personal injury created by N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which helps you to retain more of your settlement funds.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today About Passenger Accident Claims

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article “Passenger Accident Claims And Insurance” was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Personal Injury And Medicare

Your personal injury claim may have a lien against it owed to Medicare. Your attorney will contact Medicare and receive a Conditional Payments Letter from CMS, which will tell you exactly how much of your personal injury settlement must be paid to Medicare.

Why Does Medicare Get Paid From Personal Injury Funds?

Medicare has an automatic lien against settlement proceeds if they derive from a personal injury accident that reaches a settlement or jury verdict. In this way, personal injury and medicare are necessarily tied to one another. While it is speculation, the underlying rationale for this is that if your health insurance provider pays for your medical treatment and you receive compensation for your injuries, you’ve been paid twice.

As a result, Medicare is granted a personal injury medical lien. Fortunately, that lien can often be reduced in accordance with the medicare procurement formula which is applied when your attorney provided Medicare with the settlement amount, attorney fees, and attorney expenses associated with reaching the settlement or jury verdict.

Reducing Your Medicare Lien In Personal Injury

Medicare will apply the procurement formula to reduce your personal injury lien. In doing so, they consider the attorney fees paid, and the out-of-pocket expenses the attorney incurred in obtaining your personal injury settlement. These expenses can be substantial especially if a lawsuit is filed and expenses for expert testimony and depositions are incurred.

If your case is settled for $5,000 or less, you can generally assume that Medicare will limit their recovery to 25% of the total settlement, regardless of the amount Medicare paid for treatment of your injuries related to the accident.

When Does Medicare Get Paid?

Your personal injury lawyer will provide you with a settlement sheet dictating where every penny of your personal injury settlement is going. You will see a line item to Medicare. This indicates that the personal injury lawyer is going to send a check to Medicare as part of disbursing settlement funds. Typically, a few days after you sign your settlement statement and receive a settlement check from your personal injury claim, your lawyer’s office will disburse all remaining funds as dictated on the settlement sheet.

There are times when your attorney will wait to disburse funds on the settlement sheet. For example, the attorney may allocate the highest amount possible to be paid to Medicare or other providers, with the hopes of negotiating or procuring reductions for some or all of the billing. If this is achieved, you will be asked to sign an updated settlement sheet. Presumably, as a result of any negotiated and lowered billing, you may receive additional funds from the settlement.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article on “Personal injury and medicare” was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

3 Steps: How To Choose A Personal Injury Attorney

The process of choosing a personal injury attorney can be a challenging one; however, we believe if you follow these 3 simple steps, you will end up with the right attorney. It’s important to choose the right personal injury attorney or personal injury law firm because most personal injury claims take much longer than expected to reach settlement or to go to trial. As a result, you will be in a long term relationship with your personal injury attorney—so make the choice count.

Step One: Speak With The Personal Injury Attorney On The Phone

Speaking with your personal injury attorney on the phone is Step One in how to choose a personal injury attorney. Here’s why: if you can’t get the attorney to speak with you on the phone before you hire them, chances are you will never be able to get them on the phone after you hire them. Personal injury law firms and attorneys in general are notorious for not returning phone calls. In fact, the American Bar Association has written about Lawyer Communication Skills extensively.  It’s not necessarily that they aren’t working on your personal injury claim, it’s just that they are busy. But that doesn’t change the fact that you deserve updates and communication.

Another reason to speak with the attorney on the phone is that you can tell a lot about an individual and a law firm, during a phone call. When you speak with the attorney on the phone, listen for the following:

Tone Of Voice: Is the attorney sympathetic to your situation, no matter how ‘minor’ your accident may have been? You should be able to hear it in her voice.

Length Of The Call: Is the attorney rushing the phone call by cutting you off while you’re trying to tell him your story? An attorney who is too busy to hear even the facts of your case is not a good fit.

An Expression Of Appreciation: While you may be speaking with a successful personal injury attorney at a successful personal injury law firm, that does not mean that you’re not important. There should be an expression of thankfulness and gratitude that you have chosen to share your story with the attorney and potentially hire them. The attorney should express this to you verbally. You should feel like your case matters to the attorney.

Step Two: Read The Personal Injury Attorney’s Reviews

Unless you have a direct referral from a friend or colleague who worked with this attorney or law firm, we believe the reviews for a attorney are reflective of the service you will receive. This is step 2 in how to choose a personal injury attorney. You need to be careful here, because like in any business there will be a disgruntled client or two—those individuals seem more inclined to leave a review, as we all know. If you like, you can read Our Reviews.

if you look at the reviews overall, you should see a trend. Are people complimenting the law firm on their communication? Are clients indicating they were made to feel important, and were kept abreast of the developments in their case? These things matter, and your experience will probably mirror the reviews your read.

Step Three: Trust Your Gut Instinct

If you have a good feeling about a attorney or law firm, it’s probably based on the interaction you had with that firm. They must have done something to provide you comfort or support, during that brief consultation. If so, that’s meaningful and we encourage you to trust your instinct. While this may be the first time you’ve chosen a personal injury law firm, it’s not the first time you’ve been a customer in a service industry. And don’t forget, the law is a service industry (Whether attorneys want to admit it or not). So, if you get a good feeling, and if you’re not ignoring a major red flag, we say go with your gut.

What About Results?

We know what you’re thinking—we didn’t mention investigating the results the law firm has achieved. We also didn’t mention asking the attorney to predict what they might be able to get for you, for your case. We may be wrong, but our belief is that most personal injury law firms with a good reputation (reviews, etc.) are going to do a good job for you. They will successfully identify Medical Payments coverage, negotiate Medical Liens, and submit a good Demand Letter for you. This includes getting the best results they can for you. If that’s true, once you feel comfortable that the firm or attorney is reputable, it makes sense to focus on how the relationship will develop with the attorney.

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you would like to speak with a Charlotte personal injury attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. And if you choose not to work with us, THAT’S OK! You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.