If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, you’re probably wondering whether or not you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. The decision to hire a lawyer will be based on the extent of your injuries. We’ve developed a decision guide to help you determine if you have a case. If you are still unsure if you need legal assistance, sign up for a free consultation with a qualified lawyer to help you decide.
Consider the Injuries
If another driver, a passenger or you were injured in the car accident, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer. However, if no one was injured, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a lawyer to handle the claim. Even minor injuries don’t necessarily require the help of a lawyer. If your injuries heal in a couple of weeks and don’t impact your daily activities during that time, there’s probably no need for a lawyer.
Remember, your insurance company should cover the cost of your medical bills and car repairs, as well as some other related financial matters. Even without a lawyer, you’ll have help through the claims process thanks to your insurance company. You’ll be able to speak with an insurance representative in order to have your questions answered.
If you suffered minor injuries from the accident, resulting in bills that are under $1,000, you’ll be able to work out the terms of the settlement on your own. However, if you are uncomfortable representing yourself, a lawyer will be a valuable asset in your settlement. If your insurance company pays the necessary amount to cover your car repairs and medical bills, you won’t have to hire a lawyer to pursue a further settlement.
Settling vs. Lawsuits
In an effort to avoid court, many insurance companies will pay the settlement right after an accident. It’s tempting to take a few thousand dollars right away, but doing so could mean not getting the full amount in damages that you deserve. What seems like a minor injury now could cause pain and suffering for weeks or months down the road, and if you accept a settlement at the beginning, you may not get everything you deserve. If you’re unsure of the extent of your injuries, consider consulting with an attorney.
Hiring a Lawyer
There are times when a car accident with related injuries will require you to hire a car accident attorney. If you have a serious injury from the accident or if your injuries exceed $1,000 in medical bills, you may have trouble getting your insurance company to pay you what you deserve. In these cases, it’s time to hire a car accident attorney.
Additionally, you may want to hire an attorney if your car accident involved any of the following:
- Defective car part
- Bicyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian
- Driver who was under the influence
- Road construction
- Head-on collisions
- Bus or truck
- Permanent injury
On top of paying for your car repairs and medical bills, insurance should also cover lost wages from work you had to miss because of the accident. If you are unsure of what you are entitled to, it is best to contact a car accident attorney for clarification.
Before you spend a lot of time trying to work things out with the insurer, consult an attorney. They can jump in at the beginning of the process to ensure you get the reimbursement you deserve. The longer you deal with the insurance company on your own, the more time and access to records they have to build a strong case against you.