A personal injury lawyer meets with a client following a motor vehicle accident

4 Reasons to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 9 minutes

4 Reasons to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident

Car accidents, even seemingly minor ones, can leave victims with serious injuries. You can walk away from your accident with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

When a car accident isn’t your fault, you deserve compensation for your damages. The best way to determine if you are eligible to receive damages is by retaining an attorney. Ideally, you should hire an attorney for personal injury claims arising from car accidents.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you retain a lawyer. Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to speak to an attorney about your case. Consultation is free and no-obligation, so you don’t have to worry about costs or other requirements. At the very least, it is worth contacting us to get in touch with an attorney in our network to see if you have a case.

Should I Call an Attorney After a Car Accident?

If you are on the fence about working with a car accident attorney after an accident, here are four reasons why you should:

  1. Positive for your health and well being
  2. Maximized accident compensation
  3. Protection from the insurance company
  4. Meeting legal deadlines

1. Positive for Your Health and Well-Being

When you retain a lawyer, they handle every aspect of the case for you. You don’t have to worry about gathering evidence. Your attorney will handle getting your medical records and negotiating with the other side. They may even take care of speaking to the insurance company.

You get to focus all your energy on recovery, which is good for your health and well-being.

Your attorney will keep you updated with the progress that’s being made on your case. That includes any settlement offers you receive. Ultimately, legal representation saves you loads of time, energy, and frustration.

The first step a lawyer takes is to investigate and build your case. A car accident attorney will develop a strong sense of what your claim is actually worth. They are incentivized to maximize the payout, as they are paid on contingency.

In other words, they get paid more if they get you more money. Win-win.

Without a lawyer, you run the risk of settling your claim for much less than what it is worth. Your attorney will usually highlight the strengths in your case. They will ensure that all possible avenues of financial recovery are explored. In fact, data shows that car accident injury claimants with legal representation receive more compensation.

3. Protecting You From the Insurance Company

Insurance companies love dealing with claimants who haven’t retained a lawyer. Insurers will use all kinds of tricks and tactics to devalue or deny your claims . For instance, they might:

  • Delay the processing of your claim 
  • Tell you that you must agree to give a recorded statement (this isn’t true) 
  • Twist your words to suit their goal of not paying you fairly for your claim 
  • Try to get you to settle right away for an amount that is much less than what you deserve 

When you retain an attorney, they will take over all communications with the insurance company and their legal team. You won’t need to speak to them directly. If they do need to talk to you, your lawyer will be present with you to protect your interests.  

Like most legal matters, personal injury cases have deadlines known as the statute of limitations. This is a deadline by which time you have to file your lawsuit. The specifics of the deadline varies from state to state. In some states, it’s only one year from the date of injury; in others, it’s as much as four years. 

Your car accident attorney will be highly knowledgeable about the deadlines that apply to your case. Most will go above and beyond to ensure that the deadlines are met. 

Why is this important? If you miss the deadline, you will lose the right to pursue compensation. When you retain an attorney to handle your case, you don’t have to worry about these deadlines because they have a legal duty to adhere to deadlines and be timely intheir representation.

An insurance agent assesses damage following a car accident

What Does it Mean to Retain a Lawyer?

When you retain an attorney, you hire them to represent you in a specific matter. For example, you retain them for a specific car accident dispute.

You and the attorney both sign an agreement that details their services and the contingency fee details. It will explain your rights and obligations, as well as the attorney’s rights and obligations under the contract. Once you sign this contract, your car accident attorney can get to work on progressing your accident claims.

When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

When you ask yourself, “Should I get an attorney after a car accident?” it’s important to consider your unique circumstances. Most people aren’t aware of what accident circumstances qualifies and what sort of damages they could be entitled to until they speak to an attorney.

While we always stress that you contact an attorney, here are come reasons for considering hiring a lawyer, especially if your accident meets the following conditions: 

  • Your accident resulted in injuries requiring medical attention
  • Your accident resulted in property damage
  • You missed work as a result of the accident
  • There were multiple parties involved in the accident and liability is unclear
  • The fault is in dispute
  • There is a complication with your insurance claim
  • Your accident occured in a No Fault state
  • There is a mistake in your police report

Many individuals wonder how long they have to retain the services of a lawyer following an accident. Most states have a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you sustained injuries during your accident, you should hire a laywer as soon as possible. You likely have between one and three years to file a claim.

When Do you NOT Need an Attorney after an Accident?

Even if no injuries are present, it is ALWAYS a good idea to speak to an attorney. Get a second medical opinion or see a medical specialist. It’s possible that you could still have injuries arising from the accident that are yet to be diagnosed.

As such, it’s always in your best interest to discuss your car accident claim with an attorney. A professional will tell you if you have a viable claim worth pursuing. Simply put, getting legal advice is never a bad idea.

How Much Does it Cost to Retain a Lawyer?

Most personal injury lawyers don’t charge retainer fees. Instead, they work on contingency.

In a contingency fee arrangement, you don’t pay anything upfront or out-of-pocket. Instead, you only pay if and when you receive compensation. This means that hiring a car accident attorney is basically free, and comes at no risk.

Many car accident victims mistakenly believe they must have the money upfront to hire an attorney to represent them. This simply isn’t true. Most personal injury lawyers are aware that many car accident victims don’t have that kind of money. That’s why contingency fees exist.

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is the type of fee structure most personal injury lawyers use . With this arrangement, clients don’t pay any money to hire an attorney. No payment is involved until their attorney successfully settles the case or obtains a court award. At that time, the attorney receives a percentage of that compensation.

The contingency fee is pre-determined. It will be written into the contract that is signed when the client retains the attorney.

Note that if your attorney is unsuccessful in obtaining compensation, you don’t have to pay them anything. They don’t get paid for failure.

What are the Qualities of the Best Car Accident Lawyer?

Having a lawyer is imperative to getting the compensation you deserve. It is also key to having your claim or lawsuit run smoothly. How often you should hear from your attorney depends on what is going on with your case. If it’s just starting, you may only hear from them or their staff a few times a month.

Suppose your case is farther along, and settlement negotiations are ongoing. In that case, you may hear from them every day or several times a week. You also always have the option to call and check in on the status of your case.

The best car accident lawyers:

  • Return calls and emails promptly
  • Are compassionate and understanding
  • Work on contingency and don’t charge a lawyer consultation fee
  • Have time to work on your case now
  • Are in good standing with their state bar
  • Aren’t under any disciplinary action
  • Have earned the respect of their peers and colleagues
  • Are skilled negotiators
  • Are willing to fight on your behalf and go to trial if one becomes necessary
  • Focus on personal injury cases

Questions about Retaining an Attorney after a Car Accident? Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have questions about retaining a lawyer after a car accident, we are here for you. Contact us by phone at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an auto accident lawyer, or online. Your attorney will discuss the details of your accident. Then, they can determine if you have a valid legal claim, and how to go about next steps.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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