If you're thinking about contacting an auto accident attorney to file a claim, you may be wondering what exactly they're going to do for you. Lawyers can assist clients with a variety of issues that go far beyond explaining how the law works. These three aspects of the job are critical to helping clients pursue their claims.

Evaluating an Injury Claim

At its core, the filing of auto accident claims is the work of a personal injury attorney. An auto accident attorney happens to be an injury lawyer who focuses on cases involving passenger vehicles. Notably, injury attorneys do not assist clients with cases that involve damage to vehicles without any injuries to people.

The first question in a typical case is whether there is a basis for a claim. An attorney has to evaluate whether there were sufficient injuries to justify a claim based on the state's laws, if an at-fault party can be identified, and how it might be possible to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. This requires looking at police and medical reports to learn how catastrophic an incident was, and it also entails speaking with insurance adjusters about the details of the case.

Deciding Whether a Settlement Offer Is Good Enough

In the vast majority of cases, the goal is to settle with an insurance carrier. If a settlement is offered, the next step is deciding whether the offer is in the client's best interests. Generally, attorneys want to give the settlement process some time to play out to ensure that their clients' medical issues have been completely uncovered. The worst scenario for a client is to sign off on agreement and cash a compensation check too early, because this likely means they'll never have grounds to seek money in the case ever again.

Clients usually have between two and three years from the time of accidents to file their claims. While the desire to settle quickly is understandable, especially if bills are piling up, an attorney can help you enter into agreements with hospitals and utility companies to try to forestall collection pending the settlement. This will give the lawyer enough time to build a case and conduct negotiations to maximize your settlement.

Going to Court if Necessary

The threat of a trial is always in the background of every injury claim. About 5% of cases ever go to court, but having an attorney lets the insurance company know you're serious about potential litigation.

Contact an auto accident attorney in your area for more information.