bookmark_borderWhen To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer

It’s generally straightforward and routine dealing with the consequences of a car accident if you live in a no-fault state or it was a minor accident. Typically, your deductible is the only out of pocket expenses you’ll incur and of course, you’ll have to notify your insurance company who will then investigate exactly what happened. However, it isn’t quite so simple if the other party sustained injuries or there was significant damage to property, or you carry the absolute minimum in coverage on your car insurance. The other party involved may well choose to hire a car accident lawyer in any of these scenarios. However, you can rely on your insurance company to help you out most of the time, and you don’t necessarily need to hire a car accident attorney yourself.

Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

In cases where the fault is yours, your car insurance company will help to defend you, which comes as a surprise to many of us who think all they do is pay your claim. Always contact your insurance company immediately following an accident; like you, they want to avoid paying more than they have to settle a claim.

If the insurance claim doesn’t compensate for the total amount lost, another driver may choose to sue using an ICBC Personal Injury Lawyer Vancouver. The other driver may assume that you are going to be responsible for the difference if the personal injury protection limits of your policy don’t cover the entire cost of their medical bills. They may be thinking about suing you if the accident means they can’t work, are losing wages or income, have a high deductible or co-payment or don’t have any health insurance.

You should be aware that you will be responsible for paying the difference if your insurance company can’t settle within the parameters of your coverage and if the judge rules for the other party. And you will also be responsible for the costs of hiring an attorney if you decide you need a car accident lawyer, even though your insurance company will defend you.

Have Adequate Car Insurance

State limits for coverage are often just not adequate, making it a must to carry high liability insurance. An umbrella policy or the extra coverage can make a big difference and can potentially avoid a lawsuit. Take a look at our article explaining clearly and simply just how car insurance works if you find the whole subject confusing.

When To Hire a Defense Attorney

Unfortunately, sometimes you need to hire a defense attorney, regardless of any protection that may be offered by your car insurance company. If criminal negligence or manslaughter or other criminal charges are pending as a result of the accident, you will need to find a good attorney to represent you. You will have one appointed by the court if you don’t or can’t hire a good car accident lawyer yourself.

However, the defense of your case can be handled adequately by your car insurer unless there are criminal charges against you. And you always have the right to pay for the services of an attorney who is comfortable defending personal injury cases, if you just aren’t happy with the defense offered by your own car insurance company.

If you do retain your lawyer to help you, it’s important to remember that from that point on, all communication will be through your attorney. Your car insurance company won’t communicate with you about the accident or the case.

bookmark_borderChoosing The Right Law Firm: Tips To Consider

You may not know how to choose an attorney until you need legal representation, and these guidelines can help.

Abilities and Customer Service

Getting good service is one of the most important requirements, as well as working with a law firm that has the ability and expertise to get the result you need. As well as browsing the websites of one or more lawyers, call their office or go in and talk to them in person to see how the experience is. Contacting previous clients for a reference is also a good idea, and any good law firm should be able to provide you with client names.


It’s important for any lawyer you work with to have substantial experience of attending trials and a strong track record of resolving wrongful death and personal injury cases is also something to look for. If the other side knows that your lawyer has plenty of trial experience, they may not be quite so willing to take your case to court. Keep in mind that many lawyers don’t have a lot of trial experience, although the majority of cases are settled before they get to court.

Relevant Knowledge

Some law firms are just more experienced and better than others, and of course, you want to work with a lawyer who comes across as knowing what they are doing. Although most cases don’t go to trial, if yours does, you’ll want to be represented by a lawyer who is skilled and experienced at negotiating to get you a better deal. Ask the lawyer about any specialized training they may have had in this area, and how important they feel negotiating is. And of course, the law firm’s results should reflect their expertise in negotiating and getting results.

The Martindale-Hubbell Rating

Other lawyers use this well respected international rating system to evaluate lawyers and law firms. If their peers have decided that a particular law firm consistently practices the highest ethical and professional standards, they are given the highest rating of AV. You can see for yourself at

Bigger May Not Be Better

Some clients find the workings of a large firm rather difficult to navigate. Also, the large overheads of larger firms need to be paid by simply processing as many cases as possible as fast as possible. And the unique needs of a client can get lost amid cases that are processed in batches at a larger firm. It all means that bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to choosing the right law firm, and it’s easy to become frustrated and upset if you feel your lawyer isn’t paying attention to you. You should be made to feel as if you were their most important client.

Strategic Partners

Sometimes it’s in the best interests of the client for a law firm to partner with another firm, and a good lawyer should not be reluctant to do that. Resources and expertise can all be shared as long as it helps you, the client. A good law firm with national experience can help you win your case; it isn’t necessary to work with a locally based law firm.

Contingency Fees

If you only pay fees if and when your lawyer gets compensation for you, it’s known as a contingency basis, and you should look for a law firm that works on that premise.

bookmark_borderWelcome To Van Johnson Law

With insurance companies stubbornly resisting to pay out fair compensation to the injured, there are certain damages that are often overlooked when submitting a demand in an injury claim. This article will address the claims that should be included in a settlement demand.

To simplify matters, we will apply these damages to an auto accident case; however, most of these damages apply to other injury matters as well.

In auto accidents, years ago, one could estimate the final settlement amount to be the equivalent of three times the medical specials (medical bills). For example, if the injured party had a total medical/chiropractor/ambulance bill of $4,000.00, settlement could be expected to top out in the range of $12,000.00.

However, this is no longer the case. Injured parties are more frequently finding that insurance companies are maxing their offers out at two times the medical specials. Utilizing the above example, this would mean that the settlement amount would be in the range of $8,000.00 (a $4,000.00 decrease).

And why is it that insurance companies believe they can get away with lower payouts in injury claims? The most prevalant answer would be that there is a strong likelihood that the attorney would not be willing to risk the expense and time of filing a lawsuit and litigating the matter before a jury. And although there is expense and time involved in litigating an injury matter, it would be wise to retain an attorney willing to do just that, if the need arose. Insurance companies are also aware of attorneys willing to take the case to trial and those who are not willing to litigate an injury case. This alone can make a difference in the settlement of the claim.