Do all lawyers in Michigan know how to handle auto accident and injury cases?
No. The insurance laws in Michigan regarding motor vehicle accidents are very confusing and change on a daily basis. The No-Fault law was created in 1973 and there have been over 2,000 written court opinions regarding these laws.
The fact that Attorney Ernie drafted a will for your uncle or that Lawyer Linda handled your cousin’s divorce case does not make them qualified to handle an auto accident case. Many attorneys who claim to be specialists in auto accident cases do not know the intricacies of these laws.
While many lawyers will offer to represent you in your case, it is important to choose a lawyer to represent you that handles serious motor vehicle accident injury cases everyday and has significant experience and expertise in representing injury victims. Lawyers without this knowledge and experience may not be familiar with or even understand these laws and its many technicalities, which could cause you to lose your benefits and your opportunity to obtain a settlement in your case.
The best way to find the right lawyer is to know the right questions to ask the lawyer before you hire the lawyer for your case. These questions are a good start:
1. What percentage of your practice is devoted to handling serious auto accident injury claims?
2. Have you ever written a book on auto accidents and insurance claims?
3. Have you ever spoken to groups of other lawyers and professionals about auto accident cases and auto insurance laws?
4. Do you have a website with information on auto accident cases and free forms that I can print to make my insurance claims?
5. Have you ever taken an auto accident case to trial and won a verdict for your client?
6. What kinds of settlements have you received for your clients?
You may have other questions to ask, including questions about your own Michigan car accident case. An experienced car accident lawyer must be able to provide you with answers to the above questions and information about your specific case, because you obviously care about your case the most. The lawyer must be able to tell you:
1. If you are entitled to receive Michigan No-Fault Insurance benefits
2. Who must pay your medical bills and expenses
3. How much you can receive for lost wages
4. If you are entitled to have your home modified
5. What type of compensation you can receive for your case
The lawyer that you choose for your case is often the difference between receiving a fair settlement or no settlement at all. Remember, picking the first lawyer you see on television or the lawyer with the biggest telephone book advertisement is rarely ever the best way to choose a lawyer. Regardless of how you find your attorney, you must make sure that he or she can answer all of the questions above to your satisfaction.
Lawrence J. Buckfire is a Michigan car accident lawyer that represents victims of car accident cases. You can also request a free copy of our book, “The Ultimate Car Accident Handbook“, to learn more about your legal rights after being injured in a Michigan car accident.