Should You Hire an Attorney After an Accident?

October 20, 2020 Posted In Car Accidents

What you do and do not do after a bad accident can determine your future. Taking the right steps, such as collecting evidence against the at-fault party and hiring an attorney for serious injuries, could give you the money and peace of mind you need to move forward. Not all accident claims require attorneys, however. Find out whether you should seek assistance from a legal professional in Riverside after your accident.

When You Need an Attorney

Hiring a lawyer could strengthen your claim to damages depending on the circumstances of your accident. A Corona car accident attorney can walk you through confusing legal matters such as insurance settlement negotiations or an injury trial. If you are unsure whether you need an attorney, ask yourself if any of the following apply.

You Have Serious Injuries

Serious injuries are the number one reason clients need to hire attorneys to see them through their civil claims. Severe injuries that will impact you for the foreseeable future, such as broken bones, concussions, other traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and internal organ damage, deserve legal representation. Otherwise, you could end up settling your case for less than it is worth.

The Insurance Company Is Trying to Take Advantage of You

A lawyer will not let anyone take advantage of you, including insurance companies, during the claims process. This is important, as insurance companies often try to deceive claimants into accepting less money for their claims than they deserve. Your lawyer will stand up to powerful insurance companies on your behalf to ensure they treat you fairly.

You Have a Complicated Case

Many injury claims involve complex legal matters that require oversight from lawyers. Common examples include split liability, liability disputes, comparative negligence, waivers of liability, uninsured drivers and hit-and-run accidents. A lawyer can be a source of information and advice for a claim that is too complicated to handle on your own. Hiring an attorney could help you overcome challenges.

When an Attorney May Not Be Necessary

While a lawyer can be helpful during any claim, one is often not necessary for small and simple civil cases. Representing yourself (pro se) during a simple case could make for an easier and cheaper legal process.

You Have Minor or No Injuries

If the accident barely injured you or did not injure you at all, you may not need to hire a lawyer. You should be able to follow the directions of filing a claim against the at-fault party and obtaining a settlement from an insurance agent. Most personal injury attorneys will not accept cases that are too small for them to be worth their time.

You Have Experience Negotiating With Insurance Companies

If you are particularly confident in negotiating with insurance companies and their hired claims adjusters, you may be able to achieve a satisfactory settlement on your own. You will need to obtain an accurate estimate of the value of your case first, either on your own or by consulting an attorney. Then, you will negotiate back and forth with the insurance provider until receiving a fair and accurate settlement. If you cannot settle successfully, call an attorney for advice about what to do next.

You Caused the Accident

If you know you caused the accident that injured you, you most likely will not need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Your insurance company will do the negotiating for you. It will provide a lawyer to speak on your behalf without you needing to hire one on your own. As the person who caused the accident, you will not have grounds on which to base a personal injury claim. An important exception, however, is if you only partially caused the accident along with someone else. In this case, you could benefit from hiring a lawyer to navigate California’s doctrine of comparative negligence for you.

Discuss your recent accident for free with a personal injury lawyer in Riverside, California today. We can evaluate your case and let you know whether you need an attorney.

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