The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer to Help File Your Auto Accident Claim 

do I need an auto accident attorney?

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer to Help File Your Auto Accident Claim

Quite often, people handle auto accident injury cases on their own, saving on legal fees. However, even a simple case may become more complicated, and not having a professional lawyer by your side may be a mistake. We at Legal Chiefs, specialize in connecting individuals with the right type of lawyer they may need, anywhere in the United States. You can always request a meeting with an auto accident attorney and decide whether you want to keep going with a personal lawyer. However, we try to educate our readers as much as we can. Below, you can find more information on the cases where it’s recommended to have an auto accident lawyer by your side.


When to Consider Hiring an Auto Accident Injury Lawyer

Keep in mind that, when filing a claim against any insurance company, there will be professional attorneys involved, representing and fighting for the rights of that company. Lack of experience is something to consider. Keep reading to see when and why hiring an attorney is recommended. 


Major Injuries (or at least not as minor as you thought)

It’s understandable if you feel reluctant to hire a lawyer for an auto accident injury that seems relatively minor. For example, a bruise on your arm or suffering a few scrapes seems like something not worthy of hiring an attorney. It’s most likely that the other driver’s insurance company will make an offer to pay the medical bill and give you a few hundred dollars extra on top of that. While this may seem like a reasonable deal, here’s what can go wrong without a lawyer by your side. 

  1. Minor Injuries May Turn into Major Ones: If you have already accepted a settlement offer, there will be nothing you can do if your injuries turn out to be worse than expected, and you’ll have to give up any future claims arising out of the accident. An experienced auto injury attorney, on the other hand, will advise waiting until you know the full extent of your injuries, helping you determine the right time you have to accept a given offer. 
  2. You’re Entitled to “Pain and Suffering” Damages: If you were to bring your case to court, the jury would consider pain and suffering or emotional distress damages that are not usually included in settlements made outside of court. Your lawyer will explain all damages you may be entitled to and will advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive a satisfactory settlement. 

Small Cases VS Serious Injuries

When suffering from major injuries, getting a professional lawyer is a 100% must because: 

  1. An attorney will ensure you get the full spectrum of damages you’re entitled to (there’s always something you may miss when lacking the experience and knowledge). 
  2. Professional attorneys are masters of negotiation and can maximize your recovery. 
  3. Insurance companies and defendants will take your claim more seriously when a lawyer represents you.

Represented Plaintiffs Tend to Receive Larger Settlements

A study by the Insurance Research Council states that the average person receives a settlement 3 ½ times larger with legal assistance than without it, which makes a huge difference in auto accident injury cases.


Can You Trust Your Insurance Company?

Another common reason people cite for not hiring a professional attorney is that they have insurance. Insurance companies already work with experienced lawyers; therefore, you may believe that your insurance company is there to look out for you. However, in most cases, the insurance company’s interest is directly at odds with their customers because they have a primary goal of paying out as little as possible. 

Managing Your Own Case Scenarios

We, at Legal Chiefs, recommend always speaking with an attorney first before making up your mind whether to hire them or represent yourself in court. However, here are a few possible scenarios that you might be able to handle without a professional by your side.

Minor or No Injuries at All

With a minor scratch on your vehicle, there could be no need to call an attorney or seek further legal advice, and filing a claim with your insurance company or that of the other person will most likely be efficient and enough to cover the medical and car repair expenses. However, do not forget that an auto accident lawyer will always try to maximize your compensation. 

No-Fault States

11 states offer no-fault insurance. This means that drivers have insurance to cover only their injuries and damage rather than insurance to pay out to the other person/people. Regardless of who caused the incident, all parties are required to file a claim with their own insurance (having a personal injury protection coverage is usually part of the auto insurance policy in most no-fault accident states). Hiring a lawyer would seem unnecessary, considering that you are limited to recovering damages from your personal injury protection coverage in a no-fault claim. However, if you’re suffering from severe injuries, you may qualify for stepping outside of the no-fault system, and speaking with an auto accident injury attorney is recommended. 

You Are Already Receiving the Maximum Amount Available

Suppose a defendant who injured you has a $150,000 maximum insurance policy and you were offered a $150,000 (the same amount) settlement. In that case, there is no need to hire a lawyer, as this is the maximum that the insurance company can pay you. 

Affording a Lawyer: Contingency Fee Agreements

One of the main reasons why people don’t even consider hiring lawyers is the fear of paying legal fees. However, it’s important to note that most injury lawyers work on a contingency basis which means that your lawyer won’t be paid unless you win your case or settle outside of court. This alone is a good reason to always hire a lawyer, because you won’t have to pay for the services if you lose (and rest assured, if a lawyer can’t help you, you won’t be able to do it on your own) but also, opting for a 100% win is a good enough of a motivation for the lawyer to do their best and win your case. 

We, at Legal Chiefs, hope that this information has helped you make a decision. If that decision involves contacting an auto accident injury attorney, we’ll make sure to connect you with the most reliable lawyer in your area. 


Find An Auto Accident Attorney In Your Area




Auto Accident FAQ

Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation. There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver. Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include: ● Current and future medical bills ● Property damage ● Emotional duress ● Lost wages ● Loss of enjoyment of life ● Loss of future earnings potential On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.