Man on the phone after a car accident


Winter Law Group April 5, 2021

Some people are hesitant about speaking with a car accident attorney after they have been in a crash. Perhaps their injuries are minor. Maybe they think that because they have insurance and the at-fault driver has insurance, there is no need for a personal injury lawyer.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, and you are not sure whether you should talk to an attorney or not, you are not alone. Consulting with an experienced California personal injury attorney is always a sound strategy because, while it’s not every day you experience a car accident, an experienced auto accident attorney spends time every day representing individuals who are.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in or around Fresno, California, talk to the Winter Law Group daily. We can help you seek the justice you deserve regarding your injury claims. If you are not sure whether you should call us or not, here are 3 important reasons why you should:

1. You Must Prove Negligence

California is considered a fault state for auto insurance, which means the person who caused the crash can be held liable for compensating others for their injuries and other damages. Sometimes, who caused a crash is obvious. In other incidents, you will need to prove the other driver’s negligence to assert a claim against their auto insurance liability coverage.

An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to investigate a crash and gather the evidence necessary to prove negligence. This is particularly important when a crash report is misleading or incomplete. Unless you have the knowledge and experience to prove negligence, you should leave that task to your personal injury attorney.

2. Adequate Compensation Can Be Difficult to Calculate

Even minor injuries take time to heal, and serious injuries take even more time. You should not accept a settlement offer from an insurer until you have reached maximum medical improvement from your injuries and know how those injuries will affect you throughout your lifetime. If an insurance company accepts its insured’s negligence, they will want to settle your claim as soon as possible to avoid paying for further treatment for your injuries. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot ask for more later.

While the cost of your medical treatment may be easy to calculate, the cost of any additional pain and suffering is not. Pain and suffering can include damages such as fear, anxiety, worry caused by pain or financial stress, as well as damages to your physical and mental health. These damages are very real, however, they are also extremely difficult to quantify. An experienced personal injury attorney can help document your pain and suffering and place a monetary value on them for your settlement demand.

3. Insurance Companies Require Tough Negotiations

In the same way, a personal injury attorney deals with accident victims every day, insurance companies deal with claims every day. Most of the time, they do not have your best interest at heart. Instead, insurers are motivated to devalue your claim and convince you to settle for as little as possible.

An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. Unless you know how insurers value claims, you should leave the negotiations to someone who knows how to advocate for a fair settlement.

3 Important Questions to Ask an Attorney

When you interview a potential attorney, there are 3 important questions you should ask:

  1. What is your relevant experience? Merely having a law degree is not enough. Ask the attorney how many times they have represented clients who have been in similar auto accidents with similar injuries and insurance coverage. Having an experienced attorney in your corner can be the difference between a small settlement and a significant one.

  2. How much will this cost me? Most personal injury attorneys work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that they will agree to front all expenses incurred during the pursuit of your claim and collect a fee at the end if they win compensation for your case. The fee is usually a percentage of your settlement. After your claim is settled, you will reimburse your attorney for all expenses they paid upfront plus the settlement percentage. Your attorney should have a contract, which you both sign, that details the representation agreement.

  3. How much will I get? If an attorney gives you a specific figure when you ask this question, you should walk out the door. An experienced attorney may be able to provide a range of potential figures based on similar cases they have settled for clients, however, no attorney can tell you definitively how much compensation you can win with any level of certainty.

Hire an Experienced California Personal Injury Attorney Today

Many personal injury attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case at no charge. It provides an opportunity for you to learn about the process of pursuing a claim and for the attorney to learn about the circumstances of the auto accident and the extent of your injuries. The meeting will cost you nothing except some of your time, which is often worth the effort.

At the Winter Law Group, we encourage meetings with those who have been injured in auto accidents in Fresno, Clovis, Visalia, Madera, and Merced, California, as well as in Madera and Merced counties. If you have been injured, we may be able to help. Call or reach out to our office today to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss the details of your case.