When Do I Need a Motor Vehicle Defect Lawyer?
If you have been in a car accident or any other type of vehicle accident that resulted in injury and significant damages, talk to a lawyer. Many accident cases are considered a personal injury case. If someone else can be found negligent, you can take legal action to hold them liable for damages.
In the case of a defect in a vehicle or part, you may also be able to take legal action for products liability. The law states that manufacturers, distributors, and sellers have a responsibility to provide consumers with products free of defects. You may hold someone liable for the defect if you can show it resulted in the accident. The laws can get very complicated, so even if you aren’t sure you have a case or want to take any action, you need a lawyer to clarify your options.
What Can a Motor Vehicle Defect Lawyer Do for Me?
The law can be difficult to understand for non-lawyers. With multiple categories of law involved, a case of vehicle defect is even more confusing. Explaining the law, your options, and your rights is the most important thing the right lawyer can do for you.
A motor vehicle defect lawyer can also do several other things to help you after an accident:
- Evaluate Your Case.
Reputable law firms provide free case evaluations. This initial consultation will clarify your situation and give you a reasonable idea of your options and the likely outcome of legal action.
- Estimate and Maximize Damages.
Expert lawyers understand all the costs associated with vehicle accidents. They can find costs you didn’t consider and maximize the amount you may be able to recover. They can also give you a good estimate of the total.
- Talk with the Insurance Company.
In any type of vehicle accident, you may be contacted by an insurance adjuster. Their job is to avoid paying you, so having a professional on your side is a major benefit. They may be able to get you a reasonable settlement so you can avoid further legal action.
- Provide Experts.
Law firms specializing in these kinds of cases have experts on staff or in their network. They provide resources you could not find on your own, such as accident investigators and medical experts to provide testimony.
- Take Defendants to Court.
Most negligence and products liability cases end in settlements, but when a defendant does not pay what is fair, you may have to go to trial. A lawyer can take all the necessary steps for you and use their expertise to litigate on your behalf.
Finding and Hiring the Right Lawyer
Once you know you need to talk to a lawyer, it’s time to find the right one. Start by looking for a firm or an attorney who specializes in personal injury and products liability. Don’t settle for a general lawyer or someone with a different area of experience. You need an expert to make and win your case. Also, look for the following:
- A law firm that can provide you with testimonials from past clients
- Proof of wins in similar cases, including damages amounts
- Willingness to take on your case and put resources behind it
- Lawyers who are easily accessible and happy to answer all your questions
- Experience negotiating settlements and litigating in court
- Free initial consultations and contingency payment plans so you do not have to pay anything upfront
- Someone who makes you feel confident in their ability and willingness to work hard on your behalf
While interviewing lawyers, also keep in mind these red flags and beware:
- A lawyer or firm who guarantees you a certain outcome
- Someone who asks you to exaggerate or lie about injuries and costs
- Up-front fees, which usually indicates they do not have the resources to really investigate and win your case
- Someone difficult to get on the phone or in the office to answer your questions
- A firm with a lot of cases, which may be stretched too thin
Working with a Motor Vehicle Defect Lawyer
Your role in taking on defendants in a motor vehicle defect case is less involved than your lawyer’s but equally important. Partner with your lawyer to provide them with all the information and resources they need to best help you:
- A police report from the accident
- Witness testimony and contact information
- Contact and insurance information from any other drivers involved in the accident
- Information about the vehicle, including purchasing information, repairs, and service records if it is your car
- Any contact or interactions you have had with insurance companies, the defendants, or manufacturers
- Your medical records and all bills and expenses related to the accident
A motor vehicle defect may be simple and harmless, but it can also be a safety issue that causes serious harm. If you or a family member suffered injuries after an accident and you suspect a defect played a role, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.