After an accident, the last thing on your mind is hiring a lawyer. You're likely shaken up, confused, and concerned about the safety of everyone involved. Unfortunately, sometimes car accidents get more complicated before you even leave the accident scene. From insurance issues to potentially severe injuries to financial implications that leave you wondering if you'll ever recover, car accidents can be extremely uncertain and scary. If you have been injured or sustained damages in a car accident, consulting a lawyer will help you understand what the best next steps are to facilitate your physical, financial and emotional recovery and healing.
In this article, we'll discuss the steps you need to know to hire a car accident lawyer in New Mexico or Arizona. From the first meeting to the settlement offer and beyond, here are the steps to hiring a car accident lawyer.
Schedule a Free Consultation and Case Review
At Impact Legal, we offer free initial consultations and case reviews. We can set up a virtual Zoom meeting, or we can come to you in the case that you're in the hospital or otherwise injured. A free initial consultation allows you to get to know your car accident lawyer, ask questions, and clarify the best next steps based on the specific facts of your case.
To schedule this initial meeting with our lawyers at Impact Legal you can text or call 602-345-1818 if you're in Arizona or 505-386-2807 if you're in New Mexico. You can also fill out the form on this page, and we'll reach out to you.
If you're wondering if you should even contact a lawyer, the answer is “yes” if you're in any of the following situations due to your accident:
- You've been injured
- Your injuries are preventing you from returning to work
- Your case isn't straightforward (Is there a disagreement over fault? Are you up against the government or a trucking company?)
- The other party has filed a lawsuit against you
- The insurance company is trying to trick you, offer you a low and inappropriate settlement, or has refused to pay your claim entirely
Consider Hiring a Tech-Savvy Law Firm
A large differentiator in the legal world today is technology. Is your lawyer barely able to send an email, or do you get regular updates via quick email or text communications from your lawyer? Do you have to drive to a crowded downtown office to have a meeting with your car accident lawyer, or are you able to capitalize on technology and have virtual meetings no matter where you are? These things will make a big difference when your car accident case is ongoing.
Discuss Car Accident Lawyer Fees
One of the most important things to know about your lawyer is how he or she structures legal fees. At Impact Legal, you won't pay anything upfront. In fact, you won't pay any legal fees at all unless we win your case by settlement or jury verdict.
Bring Relevant Information to Your Consultation
To get the most out of your initial free consultation, make sure to bring all relevant information and documentation to this appointment. Your lawyer will need to know as much as possible about your case, what evidence you already have on hand, and what evidence still needs to be gathered. Some examples of important information that you'll need to have include:
- Name and address of any ambulatory services you may have used
- Name and address of the emergency room you visited
- Dates you visited the emergency room or were admitted to the hospital
- Names and business addresses for all of the medical professionals who examined you
- Names of all parties involved in the accident
- Names and addresses of all people who witnessed the accident
- Dates you were absent from work due to your accident and injuries
- Names and contact information of any insurance adjuster you've spoken with about your accident
- A list of all people with whom you've discussed your accident
The documentation you'll want to have on hand includes:
- The official accident report
- Copies of any eyewitness/written statements
- Photos or videos of the scene of your accident, property damage, any injuries you sustained (get photos of your injuries as soon as possible – as injuries heal over time, they may not “look” as bad as they are)
- A copy of your insurance policy
- Any medical or disability policies you may have either on your own or through an employer
- Any other policies which may include hospitalization, major medical, or veteran coverage
- Copies of all of your medical bills about your accident thus far
- Receipts for any expenses incurred by you as a result of your accident (car damage, rental car expenses, etc)
- Medical reports, including x-rays, MRIs, doctor's reports, etc
Review our complete checklist of items to bring to your initial car accident lawyer consultation here.
Know the Typical Personal Injury Timeline
Understanding the personal injury process and timeline is a good idea when taking legal action following a car accident. Take a look at our in-depth review of the car accident claims process here. You can also look at our brochure on the personal injury timeline here. Generally, the steps in the claims process will include:
- Setting up your free initial consultation
- Developing and building onto your legal strategy
- Commencing settlement negotiations
- Filing a lawsuit (if needed – if there's no way to get a fair and appropriate settlement, this may be the next step to get you the compensation you need and deserve)
- Going to trial (if a lawsuit is filed, your car accident lawyer will prepare to present your case in court)
Be Present and Communicate Regularly with Your Lawyer
Having clear and consistent communication with your lawyer will make the process much easier. Keeping your appointments with your lawyer and other professionals is a must. If you need to consistently see doctors or physical therapists, it's important that you make these appointments and keep them. Additionally, ensure that you are keeping all of your documents and records organized and accessible. You'll likely need these to prove your damages and get the best outcome in your case.
Start the Process Today - Talk with Our Lawyers
If you've been injured and sustained damages in a car accident, give us a call or text at Impact Legal today. Our car accident lawyers are in Arizona and New Mexico, and we're waiting to help you heal and recover. Get a free case review by contacting us at 602-345-1818 or filling out our quick and easy online form.