What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Auto Accident Lawyer?

In 2020, the average auto liability claim for bodily injury came in at over $20,000. Meanwhile, property damage averages over $4,000. In California, the average car accident settlement comes in around $21,000. Whether this is fair or not is determined by a variety of factors.

Hiring an auto accident lawyer can help you win a settlement that offsets costs associated with an accident. Keep reading to learn why choosing an auto accident lawyer to fight for your rights is one of the best steps you can take after an accident.


Prevent Making Damaging Statements

The insurance company of the other driver does not want to pay for damages. In order to avoid paying, they will try to gather the information that can hurt your case. A common way to do this is to ask you for a written or recorded statement about the accident.

While it may seem innocent, they may ask trick questions or even take what you say out of context. It’s not uncommon to accidentally say something that you shouldn’t during a discussion like this.

Before you talk to the insurance company, you should always speak with a lawyer. Auto accident lawyers can help make sure that you share necessary information without saying something that could hurt your case.


Help You Overcome Scare or Strong-Arm Tactics

If you’ve sustained injuries you may be in pain or on medications that could make it hard to think clearly. You may also be vulnerable and scared of the situation. Unfortunately, this recovery time is also when insurance adjusters may contact you and utilize strong-arm tactics.

They may try to get in your head with an insurance adjuster pressuring you to settle. They could even threaten to go after you, legally or financially. These conversations can be overwhelming and scary. However, partnering with a lawyer can restore confidence in your case so that you don’t give in to these tactics.


Determine Fault in the Auto Accident

Determining fault in an auto accident can greatly affect whether you can collect compensation.

One way to prove that the other driver was negligent under the rules of common law is to show that the other driver had a duty of care. This means they are under obligation to operate their vehicle with sufficient care.

You also need to show that there was a breach of this duty, meaning they did not operate the vehicle with reasonable care. This breach of duty needs to be shown as the direct cause of the accident and that it caused you to sustain physical or mental injuries or financial loss.

In order to prove common-law negligence, you’ll need to have evidence including police reports and witness statements. Sometimes, it can be easier to prove statutory negligence as a way to prove fault. This means that you show that the other driver violated either the California Vehicle Code or some other statute.

If the driver was found in violation and it is stated on the police report, they will be presumed negligent. If this happens, it’s up to the other driver to prove that they were not negligent, and therefore at fault.

Gathering and interpreting the information regarding fault can be confusing and overwhelming for the average person. An auto accident attorney has the knowledge and experience needed to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support your claim and the best way to present this information.


Avoid Settling Too Early

If you’re in an auto accident, you probably want to get back to your normal life as quickly as possible. After all, going through a legal battle is overwhelming. Insurance companies also want to take care of the issue as soon as possible, before you have an attorney to advise you. In addition, they also want to give you the smallest settlement possible.

Because of this, many people hear an insurance offer and take it right away. Unfortunately, this is a critical error. Once you accept a settlement, you no longer have any rights for additional money. It’s not uncommon for the full impact of the accident on your health, work, and life to become apparent until a while after the accident. There could be additional costs that will develop.

Waiting to settle can earn you maximum compensation. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine if the offer is fair and takes into account money you could need in the future for various medical treatments and other necessities.


Calculate Possible Compensation

Compensation after a car accident can be difficult to determine if you’ve never been involved in the award process. Compensation is determined by what kind of damages occurred and how much of those damages the liable party’s insurance will pay back. For example, you may collect damages to cover your current and future medical costs. However, the insurance company will not agree to the supposed pain and suffering a victim claims to be experiencing.

If you missed work due to recovery, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your lost wages. If the at-fault driver was grossly negligent in their behavior, they may even be liable for extra damages. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to tally up the compensation you deserve. The best auto accident lawyer has the experience necessary to determine what a fair settlement amount would be.


Protect Yourself by Hiring an Auto Accident Lawyer

If you hire an auto accident lawyer, you can protect yourself, get the compensation you deserve, and make the process go much smoother. Contact the team at Belmont Accident Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.


7 Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring Personal Injury Attorneys

Did you know that over 39 million people live in the state of California? The influx of drivers on the road can lead to an increase in car accidents. In the event of a car accident, victims will require the services of the top personal injury attorneys to help them file a claim. Hiring an attorney you can trust after an injury from an automobile accident can make your road to recovery better and faster. Here are the top questions to ask before hiring a personal injury attorney.


1. What Are Your Fees, and How Do You Calculate Them?

This is a great question to help you understand the impending costs of your case. There are a few common ways personal injury attorneys issue fees to clients.

A contingency fee is a percentage of the plaintiff’s award after the case is resolved. A flat fee is when an attorney charges a set fee for their work on the case. An hourly rate is also common, where the attorney will charge a certain amount per every hour that they work on your case.

A retainer fee is another arrangement, where the client will pay the lawyer a deposit based on the lawyer’s hourly rate, which will cover a certain amount of services. Understanding the types of fees an attorney may charge is helpful when discussing costs.


2. What Is Your Communication With Clients Like?

Depending on their practice and the number of clients attorneys are working with, communication can vary vastly from firm to firm. While some attorneys will do a weekly update with clients to keep them in the loop, others will only reach out when the case has a status update.

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, it is important to decide what style you prefer for your personal injury case. Do you want someone keeping a consistent stream of communication, or would you rather just discuss when things change? Think about the service you would like while consulting attorneys.


3. Which of the Personal Injury Attorneys Will Take My Case?

Law firms can come in many sizes. While some are run by a solo practitioner, others may have dozens of personal injury attorneys collaborating on cases. When consulting, ask who will be the lead on your case and if anyone else may be involved.

This will give you a better sense of the strengths that your attorney will be in advocating for your best outcome. As top accident lawyers in Long Beach, Belmont Accident Lawyers would be happy to provide a free consultation and discuss your case. A personal injury lawyer will walk you through who may be working on your case, and provide a level of comfort for you and your loved ones.


4. Have You Litigated a Similar Case?

When choosing a personal injury lawyer, it’s helpful to understand if they’ve had experience litigating a similar case. When the facts and circumstances are alike, the attorney will have a great sense of what worked in past cases, and what they would like to implement in yours.

The great thing about personal injury lawyers that specialize in automotive accidents is that they are experts on road-related matters. They will know the ins and outs of the law, and how you can receive the best outcome. Often, the best personal injury lawyers are those that know their niche craft in and out.


5. What Is Your Assessment of the Case’s Value?

Though it will be difficult for your personal injury lawyer to tell you exactly how much a case is worth, it can be helpful to get an estimate as you consider how to pursue the issue. For example, a bumper-to-bumper rear-end crash will likely hold less value than a truck accident with a smaller motor vehicle. Or, a personal injury case you thought would not have a high case value could result in a high settlement built around the evidence and a strong claim built by your attorney.

Asking this question can also show you the attorney’s confidence in your specific case. If they can easily estimate a settlement value, they have likely worked with many similar cases.


6. Do You See Any Challenges Arising With This Case?

The process of litigation, especially with automotive accidents, can be very stressful. To combat this, it is helpful to have an honest outlook about what may be difficult in resolving your case.

For example, a challenge that your attorney may point out is if you had any percentage of fault for the accident. If you were side-swiped but had driven through a red light, that would present a challenge in your resolution. A great personal injury attorney will show you the highlights and challenges of your case.


7. What Is the Process if This Case Goes to Trial?

While most cases do settle, there is a chance that your automotive personal injury case may go to trial. This will require preparation by both you and your personal injury lawyer, as it can be a long and daunting process.

Before choosing a personal injury lawyer, ask them what changes if the case proceeds to trial. Will the fee structure change? How long will it likely take to resolve? Understanding these things early on can help to ease stress levels.


Resolving Your Personal Injury Case 

Hiring personal injury attorneys after an automotive accident can be very stressful. While trying to recover from your injuries, you are seeking the best legal counsel to help you through the difficult time.

We invite you to reach out to our team at Belmont Accident Lawyers. We are well equipped with the education and practical experience to find a resolution to your case. Contact us today for a free consultation, and get on the road to recovery.


How to Pick a Personal Injury Lawyer

how to pick a personal injury lawyer
Between 20 and 50 million people annually suffer non-fatal injuries in auto accidents. If you have been involved in an auto accident, you could have a personal injury case to pursue. But you do not have to go through this alone; you can pick a personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

It can be hard to know where to begin with how to pick a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer provides legal representation and support for individuals who have sustained physical, psychological, or emotional injuries, such as in auto accidents. Hiring a personal injury lawyer has many benefits, but only if you pick the right one. Here’s a guide on what to look for when selecting a personal injury lawyer for your case.


Recommendations and Reviews

You want to check a lawyer’s reputation matches their service. When choosing a personal injury lawyer, a good place to start is to ask for referrals from loved ones or colleagues. Hopefully, loved ones have not had to experience an accident, but asking for recommendations can be a good place to find a lawyer you can trust. Also, it can be valuable to ask for referrals to learn about what law firms to avoid.

Another option is to check personal injury lawyer reviews online. It is helpful to start by searching “personal injury lawyer near me” and reading reviews. Other sites like Avvo and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are another good resource for reliable reviews.

Look out for reviews from people who had similar cases to your own. This can give you peace of mind that you are using the right lawyer. Once you have found a personal injury lawyer, you can ask for client testimonials.


Certifications and Accreditations

When picking a personal injury lawyer, be sure to check that they are permitted to practice in your state and that they have a law license. You can check sites such as the American Bar Association to check if they graduated from a law school accredited.

Requirements for practicing lawyers often depend on your state; however, requirements can include taking the bar exam in their state and board certification in personal injury litigation. You can also ask the personal injury law firm directly. A reputable firm will be transparent about accreditations and educational backgrounds.


Experience and Track Record

A personal injury lawyer can have a license to practice law and accreditations, but do they have the experience to take on your case? An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge to navigate your case, such as:

  • Negotiating with auto insurance companies
  • Gathering witness and accident evidence
  • Going to trial
  • Having a network of law experts and contacts
  • Building and presenting robust personal injury cases

One of the main reasons to pick a personal injury lawyer is so that you can focus on your recovery from an auto accident while they navigate the claims process with ease. You want a personal injury lawyer who has successfully dealt with personal injury cases, even if they go to trial.

The majority of personal injury cases are settled before trial. However, if your case does have to go to trial, you want a lawyer with the experience to manage your personal injury lawsuit in court. An attorney with a track record of presenting solid cases that get victims the compensation they deserve will be reassuring.


Fees and Services

Once you have found a personal injury lawyer you are interested in working with, it is essential to consider fees. Not all personal injury lawyers charge for services, in the same way, so you need to know what is included and if it fits your budget.

Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only charge fees if they win your case. This can be a good option for most injured victims, because they will not have to pay legal fees if their cases are not won. Some factors that can impact costs include:

  • The complexity of your case
  • Whether you reach a pre-trial settlement or go to court
  • Time spent on the case
  • Severity of injuries

You should also check what is included in fees and if there are any extra costs, such as for gathering witness testimonials or if you do not win your case. You want a personal injury lawyer that can handle all aspects of your case without you needing to find other services to help.


Schedule a Consultation

A crucial part of picking a personal injury lawyer is scheduling a consultation to review your case. Often, these are offered for free but are invaluable to establishing a working relationship. You will be able to discuss:

  • Their availability
  • The best ways to communicate
  • Their working approach
  • Who will be working directly on your case
  • Whether they can take on your case

You will also get a feel for whether you get on with the personal injury lawyer. It is crucial that you feel able to communicate openly and work together for the best chance of success. A consultation can help determine this.


Learn How to Pick a Personal Injury Lawyer

Spending time choosing a personal injury lawyer can be the last thing you want to do after an auto accident. But investing the time to learn how to pick a personal injury lawyer will help you find the best one for your case. Follow these tips to help you get started.

Have you experienced an auto accident in Long Beach? We are here to help. Belmont Accident Lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured in auto accidents. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


Filing Car Accident Claims: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Each year, an estimated 2 million drivers in the United States suffer lifelong injuries as a consequence of an automobile collision. If you’re one of them, you may consider filing a personal injury claim. Filing car accident claims require knowledge and foresight. Continue reading to learn about seven of the most frequent auto accident claim errors and how to prevent them.


1. Not Getting Documentation of the Scene

It’s easy to underestimate the necessity of paperwork before filing car accident claims in the aftermath of an automobile accident, especially one that resulted in injuries. However, your first and most important move should always be to call the police. The police will issue a police report, which you may use to gather evidence to support your claim.

If at all feasible, take pictures and videos of the accident site. You should photograph the automobiles involved from several angles, as well as any location identifying information such as surrounding street signs and other signage. Without visual evidence, determining who was at blame will be considerably more difficult.


2. Not Seeing a Doctor Immediately

It is typical for automobile accident victims to believe they do not require immediate medical assistance. They may be free of apparent injuries such as bruises or cuts. They are also likely to be in shock, which can give brief relief from pain signals.

Regardless, seek medical assistance as soon as possible to acquire an accurate diagnosis of any injuries. This is critical to the result of both your health and your claim. Keep in mind that the major source of financial compensation in a car accident claim is for expenditures linked to your car accident injuries.


3. Putting Off Filing Car Accident Claims

Don’t wait to file your personal injury claim. The statute of limitations restricts the length of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against a defendant. Unless you were not reasonably aware of the consequent injuries, the clock starts ticking at the time of the accident. In California, the statute is two years from the date of the accident. While the lawsuit does not have to be settled within that time, the suit must be filed before the two-year deadline.


4. Not Confiding with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Personal injury claims, such as vehicle accident claims, are brought in civil court rather than criminal court. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. Is this to say that hiring a lawyer to defend you isn’t necessary?


While it may appear that the stakes are smaller and the regulations around a personal injury claim are less severe, the fact is that winning one still demands a thorough grasp of these sorts of cases. The defense will very certainly have legal representation provided by their insurance carrier, and you will need your own car accident lawyer to maximize your chances of obtaining recompense.


5. Not Collecting Evidence

You shouldn’t have to worry about making this error if you’re dealing with an experienced automobile accident attorney. Failure to gather the right auto accident claim documentation and proof, on the other hand, is a sure way to lose your claim, therefore it’s crucial to address.

You will also be required to provide proof of your injuries, medical costs, and any other sources of financial losses. This might include automobile damage, lost income, and any further emotional or mental harm you have suffered, like pain and suffering.


6. Talking to the Insurance Companies

Take advantage of your car accident lawyer after you’ve engaged one. They are there to assist you with legal advice every step of the way, which means they should be engaged in all claim pre-settlement conversations.

If the defendant’s insurance company contacts you, do not answer without first talking with your attorney. If they ask for any information, such as your medical records or any proof you’ve gathered, consult with your lawyer first. You don’t want to say or do anything that would jeopardize your prospects of earning complete compensation.


7. Accepting the First Offer You Recieve

If you and the other motorist exchanged information after an automobile accident, you will almost certainly hear from the other driver’s insurance company. If it’s obviously evident that the other motorist caused the collision, their insurance company may pay you money before you make a claim.

Resist the impulse to accept an early offer. It may appear more appealing to collect money now rather than later, but by accepting an early offer, you are waiving your ability to seek compensation for things like medical costs and lost income.


Avoid These Mistakes When Filing Car Accident Claims

If you’ve been in a vehicle accident, our law offices can help with your car accident case. Click here to schedule a 100% free consultation. A legal team member from Belmont Accident Lawyers can assist you.


Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Personal Injury Law Firm

personal injury law firm

There are more than 1.3 million lawyers in the United States alone, but that doesn’t mean that all those lawyers are fit to handle your unique legal problems. If you have recently been in a car accident and need to find a good personal injury law firm, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid when choosing.

Otherwise, you might end up with a lawyer who does more harm than good for your case. But what kind of factors should you avoid when choosing the best personal injury lawyer for you? Keep reading more below to find out.


Waiting Too Long To Hire a Lawyer

Soon after you’ve been in a car accident, you shouldn’t hesitate to find a good personal injury lawyer. That way, you can get legal representation as soon as possible. This is important for a variety of reasons.

For example, if you wait to find legal representation, some might find that your case is not all that credible. After all, if you can afford to wait to get legal representation, is your problem really that important? On the other hand, if you hire a personal injury lawyer right away, this will show that you have some incentive and that you do care about the outcome of your case.

Waiting too long to hire a lawyer can also have certain consequences depending on what state you’re in. This is because some states enforce time limits when it comes to filing personal injury claims. If you wait too long to get started on your case, you and your lawyer might not have much to work with.

More than that, hiring a lawyer as soon as possible makes it easier to gather all the pertinent information. For example, your lawyer will be able to gather important information from those who witnessed your accident.

The Details

Your lawyer should also have the chance to look over the scene of the auto accident to see how serious it really was. By hiring a lawyer right away, the lawyer will be able to get a head start on the necessary documentation. But how soon should you hire an attorney after your accident? As soon as you are physically able, you should hire one. Also, give yourself enough time to do enough research to choose a good attorney, which is what we will explore next.


Hiring an Attorney Without Doing Your Research

Another mistake that many people make involves hiring a lawyer without doing any research. There are many lawyers to choose from, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all fit to represent your auto accident case. For that reason, you will need to consider your choices seriously before you decide to hire a lawyer.

To start, you need to look at a lawyer’s training and education. A good lawyer will need to have a 4-year degree as an educational foundation. On top of that, a lawyer will need to go to law school for 3 years. After this education, a lawyer will get a juris doctorate (J.D.) degree. After that, the lawyer will still need to take the bar exam, which is unique to the state where the lawyer intends to practice.

Lawyer Credentials

Many lawyers also need to take additional exams as well as go through internships. When looking for a good lawyer, you should make sure that the lawyer has all of these credentials. The number of years the lawyer has been practicing is also important.

A lawyer who has only been working too long might not have all the experience to represent you very well in court. Once you account for all of these different factors, it will be much easier to choose a skilled and experienced lawyer to represent your case.


Hiring a Lawyer Based on an Advertisement

Advertisements are meant to be persuasive rather than true to life, which is why you shouldn’t let yourself be persuaded by ads when choosing an attorney. Suppose you see a lawyer’s ad a few times a day almost every day after your accident. The more often you see this ad, the more likely you will be to connect with it.

The ad might also appeal to your emotions. The ad might even claim that the lawyer in question is guaranteed to win your case no matter what. All of these are just claims, and you shouldn’t let them sway you.

These ads and commercials are only designed to sell a lawyer’s services. They do not speak to the skill, education, or experience of the lawyer. As mentioned before, you will need to do extensive research to know just how good a lawyer is. So, don’t fall into the trap of lawyer advertisements, whether they be on TV, radio, or billboards.


Choosing the Right Personal Injury Law Firm

Choosing the right personal injury firm doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are certain factors you need to consider and mistakes you need to avoid. For example, you should avoid waiting too long to hire a lawyer, you should always do your research when choosing, and you should avoid hiring a lawyer just because you saw him or her in an advertisement.

If you’re looking for legal representation, contact us here to learn more.