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Approaching Auto Accident Cases

If someone came to my office after a motor vehicle accident, I would ask them to describe the accident to me in as much detail as possible. I would want to get as clear of a picture of the accident as possible in order to determine both my client’s role in the accident and anyone else’s role in the accident. One of the first things I would do is figure out who is liable and whether there are any liability problems. Maryland, DC, and Virginia all have contributory negligence, which means that if someone is even one percent at fault, they cannot collect damages from the accident.

What are the first things that you look at in a motor vehicle accident case?

One of the first things I look at would be liability; I would look to see who is at fault. I do that by looking at the police report, interviewing my client, viewing any pictures that there may be, or looking at the location of the accident to get a better sense of the circumstances under which the accident occurred.

Why is it important to hire an attorney for an auto accident case?

An attorney deals with these kinds of accidents every day and will be well-versed in how to better present a case. The plaintiff has to present a case and prove their damages. They have to prove the property damage and document any injuries. An attorney can guide a person as to how to document their injury and how to present their claim. What they can recover is based on how well their claim is documented and presented. An attorney is better versed at presenting cases in a way that is clear, concise and acceptable to a court or jury. While an individual certainly can advocate on their own behalf, they might not be as well-versed in the process and the procedures.

What can an attorney do to help an individual?

An attorney can gather all of the facts, gather the evidence, and present their claim in the most favorable light in order to help the client get the best recovery available. They can advise the client as to whether an offer from an insurance company or defense attorney is reasonable and fair. If the offer is not fair, then they can negotiate by relying on their experience and determine what a case like that is worth based on past jury verdicts or past settlements. It is very helpful to have experience with those types of injuries and those types of cases. A person who is not used to the process, procedures, and lingo might not be aware of the subtle nuances that go into factoring in the liability and the damages aspects of an automobile accident case.

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