Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma and car accidents are common on Tulsa’s roads. In 2021, there were more than 1500 car accidents, and over 1800 people suffered minor or serious injuries. When driving to work, to do errands or visit friends, every driver expects to get to their destination safely. At worst, a car accident is a minor fender-bender that turns out to be an inconvenience, not a tragedy. However, there is no guarantee that a driver or passenger can avoid a serious accident that causes debilitating injuries and property damage.
In the aftermath of a car accident that was another driver’s fault, the victim could be eligible for compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. Filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, or a personal injury lawsuit, can be incredibly stressful when recovering from injuries, and without expert guidance, it can be very difficult to make sure all of the expenses the victim is entitled to are included. Hiring a lawyer means the victim can focus on their recovery while a professional builds a case and ensures their client receives a fair settlement under the law.
When making the decision to hire a car accident lawyer, there are a number of choices in Tulsa. But what should a car accident victim do to find the right lawyer for them?
Consider the Reasons for Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
- A Tulsa car accident lawyer ensures that state laws are enforced, and their client is treated fairly
- Communicating with insurance companies can be time-consuming and stressful, and a lawyer will handle these exchanges
- A lawyer has the expertise to evaluate the at-fault party’s insurance policy and claim every expense eligible for compensation
- Comprehensive medical records are needed to build a case, and a lawyer will know exactly which records to request
- If a case goes to court, a lawyer will represent their client’s best interests.
Car accident victims commonly make mistakes when trying to negotiate with insurance companies without a lawyer’s help. For example:
- The claimant might agree to a low offer just to get the process over with. A lawyer will know the amount of a fair settlement and has the patience to negotiate.
- Having incomplete information about the at-fault party. A sworn affidavit of their assets will show the total picture of their ability to cover the victim’s damages if the insurance limits are low.
- Being unaware of the amount of Uninsured Motorist coverage they are entitled to under their own policy.
Researching a Car Accident Lawyer
Law firms make good use of advertising to feature their services in a competitive market. A car accident victim living in Tulsa will probably be aware of personal law firms in the area through print advertising, online ads and billboards. An attractive website shows the law firm invests a lot in its image, but it’s important for a potential client to go further in investigating a car accident lawyer to see if it is the right fit. Reading reviews and testimonials from a number of sources – not just the positive ones on the firm’s website – will build a picture of what the lawyer does well. Have clients said the firm were good communicators, worked quickly and answered all of their client’s questions? Is there evidence the lawyer has won substantial settlements for their clients? The firm should also have a strong track record of experience in personal injury with years of experience winning cases.
When a potential client feels like a car accident lawyer meets the conditions described above, an initial consultation should be scheduled so the lawyer can review the case and see if there is a basis for a settlement. A lawyer will not accept a case if they find the car accident victim is not eligible for damages. For that reason, an initial consultation should always be free, and a potential client should never agree to an initial consultation if the law firm wants to charge for it.
In some cases, a car accident victim may not need to hire a lawyer to claim damages:
- There were no injuries sustained in the accident, and property damages can be claimed from the at-fault party’s insurance in a straightforward way.
- There were only minor injuries sustained in the accident. The victim was able to treat their injuries without hospital visits, surgeries or multiple doctor’s appointments.
- The victim’s insurance company has already offered the car accident victim a fair settlement that covers their costs.
A lawyer can also provide services after a settlement has been negotiated to read through the final agreement to make sure the victim is receiving all of the compensation they are legally entitled to. Some examples include:
- The victim required surgery and/or hospital stay to treat their injuries
- The victim suffered permanent injury
- The accident included drunk driving, or driving under the influence of drugs
If a car accident victim decides to hire a lawyer they have researched and consulted with, the lawyer should create a plan so both parties know what to expect. This can include the frequency and mode of communication, the amount of time for each appointment, and any other staff members, such as junior associates, that may also work with the client. The client should also be briefed on what kind of documentation or evidence they will need to provide, and what will be sourced or requested by the lawyer. Clear expectations make for a smooth relationship and a faster resolution to the case.
What Is the Lawyer’s Fee?
A car accident lawyer is motivated to get the highest possible settlement for their client. Therefore, many car accident lawyers will take a fee based on contingency. The lawyer does not take a payment until the settlement has been successfully negotiated. This shows the client that the lawyer is highly motivated to get the fairest settlement, and there is no need to worry about upfront fees or hourly charges.
Finding a car accident lawyer should be done carefully, taking the steps described above to make sure the lawyer is right for you. Contact us or call us at 918-359-6600 for a free consultation and we will discuss with you how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.