Legal Guide

When You Should and Should Not Hire a Car Accident Attorney

After a car accident, physical pain is usually accompanied by plenty of stress. While it may seem counterintuitive, hiring a lawyer can reduce your car accident stress. A lawyer has the potential to increase your car accident settlement while relieving you of stressful insurance negotiations and paperwork. Here, we discuss when you should and should not hire a car accident attorney

When You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

If you experience a serious accident, you most likely need a lawyer. It’s important to get legal advice when you have medical bills to pay and lost earnings to consider. An insurance company may try to settle your claim for a standard amount that doesn’t compensate you for the full harm you suffered. 

Consider hiring a lawyer in these circumstances:

  • You suffered injuries requiring extensive medical treatment;
  • You suffered permanent injuries;
  • You missed work during your accident recovery;
  • You won’t be able to perform your old job due to accident injuries; or
  • You have experienced severe emotional impacts from your injuries.

An attorney can help you calculate both your financial harm, like medical bills and lost wages, and your non-financial harm, like pain and suffering. An attorney can also identify claims your family members may be able to bring if they suffered harm (such as loss of support or loss of consortium).

Even with COVID causing delayed trials and many courts hearing cases remotely, Zoom juries are increasingly awarding “nuclear” (very large) awards. Hiring an attorney gives you the best opportunity to get a significant settlement or trial award. 

When You Should Not Hire a Lawyer

Filing a lawsuit can be an expensive process. While personal injury attorneys usually work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay them unless they win your case, they are unlikely to take a case that has little chance of success. You probably shouldn’t hire a personal injury lawyer if these circumstances apply to your accident.

You Suffered Only Minor Injuries

If you suffered only minor injuries, like bruises or scrapes that didn’t require medical attention, you probably don’t need to sue.  

The Accident Was Entirely Your Fault

When the accident is completely your fault, you are unlikely to recover compensation. This means a personal injury lawyer probably can’t help you. Of course, your car insurance and health insurance may cover these expenses. 

If you were partially at fault for an accident, you may still be able to receive compensation from the other party, depending on the laws of your state. 

The Person Responsible Is Uninsured and Broke

Unfortunately, all drivers don’t have the insurance coverage required by law. When a driver is uninsured, you could bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your harm. However, if they have no assets, it won’t do you much good to sue them.

If in Doubt, Contact an Attorney

If you think you may have an accident claim, contact a personal injury lawyer. These attorneys usually offer a free consultation, meaning it won’t cost you anything to get their opinion on your claim. To find a personal injury attorney, ask friends and family members for recommendations, look online for reviews, or consult your state bar association.

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