Hiring a Lawyer
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
It’s never a bad idea to at least consult with a personal injury attorney after an accident. The consultation is generally free, and it’s difficult for a layperson to tell if their case will need special attention.
In fact, in most cases it’s a good idea to do so as soon as you’ve gotten treatment for any injuries sustained in an accident.
It’s not uncommon to be uncertain about whether to call though. Many people are afraid they’ll waste the attorney’s time, or that they’ll end up losing money after the lawyer gets paid.
Here is a guideline to help you determine whether it’s a good idea to call. Note: if you decide to call an attorney, do it before you speak to any representative from either insurance company.
You might not need a car accident lawyer if…
The accident resulted in nothing more than minor property damage.
In a case where fault was clear and the damages are minor, you may be fine calling the other insurance company and filing your claim. Many insurance companies will simply send out their adjuster to look at the car and take care of the problem.
While some insurance companies will dig in their heels to avoid paying even the smallest claims, most find claims like these to be less trouble and expense to simply handle as quickly as possible. The other driver’s insurance should pay for repairs, and for your rental vehicle while repairs are taking place.
You might need to hire a car accident lawyer if…
You sustained any injuries whatsoever.
Even a “simple” fracture can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will scramble to avoid paying them.
The moment injuries get involved, you need an auto accident attorney. Get treatment for your injuries, follow all of your doctor’s instructions, then call.
You were in an accident with a commercial vehicle of any kind.
A commercial vehicle case can get complicated immediately. Commercial insurers may put up an even bigger fight, just to avoid any admission of wrongdoing on behalf of their insureds.
In addition, there are usually multiple parties who are responsible for some portion of the damages. You’ll want to make sure you’re holding all of these parties accountable.
If the commercial vehicle was a truck, your injuries are likely to be so extensive that they’ll cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. When this much money gets involved, you can bet that the fighting will be intense. Don’t hand the other party an advantage by failing to protect yourself.
If it’s unclear who is at fault.
Texas is a comparative negligence state. This means each party is assigned a percentage of fault. Your recovery amount is reduced by that percentage.
So if a jury awards you $100,000 and you were considered to be 5% at fault, you would receive $95,000 instead of $100,000.
The other insurance company is going to do its best to increase your percentage of fault while decreasing the other driver’s. You’ll want an attorney to conduct an investigation on your behalf and to advocate for you.
If you’re even a little bit unsure about whether or not to call.
It doesn’t cost anything to make a call. By contrast, a denied claim can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars and may force you into bankruptcy.
You aren’t wasting the attorney’s time. We’re happy to tell you if this is something we can help with or if you would be better off handling it yourself. We’re also happy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses in your case.
You’ll be glad you called, if only to end any uncertainty you may have about whether you do or don’t need an attorney.
Fill out the form to get started with your free evaluation of your auto accident case today.