If you have gotten into a car accident then you may wonder if you need an auto accident lawyer. Not all auto accidents require legal assistance but it’s good to know when lawyers are needed. You should be able to figure out which cases you can handle by yourself and which ones mean you need to contact a law firm. Here are a few things to ask yourself before making a decision.
Do the other driver as well as their insurance company agree with you that they are at fault or are they contesting who’s fault it is?
If fault for a car accident is being contested and you have no proof that it was the other drivers fault, you will likely lose the case. A fight in court requires evidence and having an auto accident lawyer on your side will help you to recover proof that you may not have even realize it was there. Even if the case does not go to court, you will need legal representation during mediation meetings and settlement conferences.
Can you afford the out-of-pocket expenses caused by the accident?
These are things like medical bills or lost income because of not being able to work due to injury. If your expenses are less than $5000, you might try to settle your own claim because an auto accident lawyer Will likely be more expensive. However if your expenses are exceeding $15,000 or $20,000, then the case maybe too much for you to take care of. If you hire a lawyer under contingency fee basis this means that the lawyer will not charge you unless he wins your case. At that point he will take a percentage of your settlement as payment.
How serious were your injuries and how long was the recovery?
Serious injuries like broken bones can affect you for a long time. Of course, permanent injuries will remind you of the accident for the rest of your life. In these cases you might have a large claim and will definitely need an auto accident lawyer to represent you and give you legal advice. Basically, the larger your claim is and the more you have at stake, the more you need an attorney. This is because in these cases, the other party will usually fight much harder to resist the claim. However, if you were only bruised or sustained minor injury, you will probably be able to handle that yourself.
Are you going to have to go to court?
If you were going to court then you will need a lawyer who knows the court rules. This is the only way to give yourself a fair chance and make sure that all your rights are being protected. Representing yourself is not a good idea unless you are using an alternative dispute resolution like a small claims court. Even then, if the other party has a lawyer, they may have the upper hand.
Are you willing to invest the time to learn how to settle your car accident claim and then present it?
If you do not want to spare the time to learn how to properly present your claim and settle it then it might be better to hire a lawyer and let them take care of everything. Of course you will have to help by doing things such as sitting through questioning, attending doctors appointments and getting medical documents.
If you don’t know when to call a law firm, you can always go ahead and call but not make a commitment. Most law firms will allow you to set up an initial free consultation. After explaining your situation to them, they can let you know if you have a case. Of course, it is in their best interest for you to hire them so they may try to push you in that direction. This is why you need to make sure to do your research before going into see a lawyer. On the other hand, if you just simply do not want to deal with the headache of it all or you know for a fact that the situation is to dire then go ahead and start your search for a good automobile accident lawyer.