You Don't Always Need An Attorney
There are many reasons to hire an attorney after an accident, and in many cases, they can help you recover damages and represent you if the case goes to court. However, sometimes it is unnecessary to hire an attorney when filing a lawsuit after an accident.
Here are a few commons reasons why you do not need to hire an attorney after an accident.
1. No One Was Injured
If no one was injured, and the only damage was to the vehicles, you may not need an attorney to resolve the accident. In some cases, there may not have even been people in the vehicles at the time of the incident.
However, even if you appear to have no injuries, if you were in the vehicle at the time of the accident, you should always double-check that you are physically clear. This is because what may seem harmless can develop into an issue later on. So, have a doctor clear you to make sure you have no broken bones or any lingering injuries. If a doctor clears you of medical risk, then it’s probably not necessary to pursue a legal claim with an attorney.
2. When the Math Doesn’t Work to Your Advantage
If you were injured and are pursuing a legal claim, make sure the damages you can receive are greater than the cost of hiring an attorney. Some accidents with older, high-mileage cars return a low value for damages and aren’t worth using an attorney. Of course, many attorneys will not tell you this themselves, which is why you need to do the math yourself. And even if you will receive $10,000 in damages, if you have to pay $5,000 in legal fees, you need to determine if that is worth it for you.
However, if your case is in the small claims court, you are entitled to have legal counsel, but it may not be worth it. An attorney would likely expect a fee of an average of 33% of your expected recovery. Meaning, they would keep about one-third of whatever damages you receive.
3. When the Insurance Company Is Offering a Fair Amount
If the insurance company is already giving you a decent deal, you must decide if it’s worth it to pursue legal claims for more or if you take the deal offered.
When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident
Here are a few good reasons to hire an attorney after a car accident:
- If you have broken bones, need to stay in the hospital overnight, or it affects your long-term health
- If someone died from the accident
- If medical bills are more than a few thousand dollars
- If you had to miss several days of work, school or normal life
- If there is emotional trauma, pain, or loss of companionship involved
- If there is a dispute over who was at fault
- If multiple people were harmed in the accident
- If the accident took place in a construction zone
- If the paperwork, like the police report or insurance investigation, seems inaccurate
- If the insurance company is not offering a decent deal on damages
When in doubt, you can seek counsel and quotes from multiple attorneys on whether or not it is worth it to hire one after an accident. Most law firms offer free initial consultations. But, don’t be afraid not to hire an attorney if that is best for your situation.