8 Questions to Ask a New Mexico Car Accident Lawyer During Your Consultation
There are hundreds of car accident lawyers in New Mexico. If you have determined that contacting an attorney is right for you, how do you determine which firm is best-suited to handle your case?
Asking a car accident lawyer the right questions will provide you with the answer.
If you are like many people, getting into a car accident and sustaining injuries is the first time you have had a reason to contact a lawyer. Knowing practical questions to ask will help you make a more informed decision.
Here are six questions you should ask a New Mexico car accident lawyer about your case:
1. “Do I Have a Valid Car Accident Injury Case? If so, what are my options?”
Determining if your case is actionable starts by examining a few legal elements of what constitutes a personal injury matter. All drivers on the road owe each other a duty of care. If this duty is breached and causes you an injury associated with a financial loss, you have a valid car accident injury case in New Mexico.
Your options after sustaining a car accident injury include negotiating an insurance settlement or litigating a civil court award (if your case gets that far). More than 95 percent of personal injury claims settle before ever going to trial.
2. “How Much Is My Car Accident Injury Claim Is Worth?”
Equitable compensation for injuries that someone else caused you is the capstone of a car accident injury claim. Even seemingly minor injuries can result in expensive treatment, missed work, and physical therapy.
That said, the value of your case is determined by several factors, many of which are unknown at this time. During your free case strategy session or consultation with a New Mexico personal injury lawyer, ask his or her legal opinion regarding what your car accident injury case is worth.
3. “Do I Have to Talk to the Insurance Adjuster that Is Calling Me?”
After a car accident, you will receive a telephone call from the other driver’s insurer. It is vital that you speak carefully since anything you say can be used against you to deny your claim later.
You are not required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. However, you do have to act in good faith to complete the claims process. Instead of leaving things to chance, hiring a car accident attorney in New Mexico will help you to avoid self-incriminating statements.
4. “How Will You Deal with the Insurance Company on My Behalf?”
Whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or dealing with another’s, you need to know what your attorney will do as he or she represents you. Find out if your lawyer will take care of the paperwork and negotiations.
Your car accident attorney should go to bat for you and ensure that you are getting an adequate settlement for your losses. The insurance company is NOT representing your interests, so make sure they take you seriously.
5. “What Deadlines Apply to My Case?”
New Mexico, like all U.S. states, has a statute of limitations—or civil deadline—that governs the timeline of your case. Make sure that you inquire about these dates.
These deadlines vary depending upon the type of claim you are filing, such as general personal injury, wrongful death, and product liability. Therefore, it is critical that you know what these dates are.
6. “Will You Help Me Recover an Award for Future Losses?”
Car accident injuries can take months or years to develop. Insurance companies understand this aspect and will be quick to offer you and settlement to close out the claim.
Accepting an inadequate settlement offer prohibits you from receiving future compensation!
An experienced and strategic car accident lawyer will focus on mitigating damage further while analyzing what your future losses may be. He or she will factor this information into your settlement negotiations or civil court lawsuit if your case gets that far.
7. “What Do You Need from Me?”
The amount of participation in your car accident case largely depends upon the severity of your injuries. However, if you can help your case, you should.
Inquire as to the types of documentation you need to provide, how to document future losses, and what you can do to avoid hurting your case. If you are too injured to assemble this information, your attorney will help you through the process.
8. “How Much Do You Charge?”
Lawyers offer their services using multiple pricing models. However, for a personal injury matter, like a car accident injury or wrongful death claim, the contingency fee agreement works well.
Simply put, a contingency fee agreement does not require you to pay attorney fees upfront. Instead, the attorney will only collect his or her payments after making a recovery in your claim.
Otherwise, you are potentially stuck taking out a large loan or burning through your retirement. It should not and does not have to work this way. Make sure you find a personal injury lawyer who works on contingency fees to avoid this problem.
Take Advantage of a Free Case Strategy Session
Ultimately, the decision to hire a car accident attorney in New Mexico is up to you. There are distinct advantages of hiring one versus going self-represented or with a general practitioner.
Before committing, you should take advantage of a lawyer offering a free case strategy session. You can address the questions mentioned in this post, plus additional concerns you may have, as well.