When You Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident, and When You Don’t

Yes, hiring a lawyer for a car accident can significantly increase your odds of receiving a fair settlement if you are injured in an accident. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide legal guidance, negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary. They are familiar with the complexities of car accident cases and can help you understand your rights and options.

When Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

While it’s always beneficial to consult with a lawyer for a car accident, there are certain scenarios where hiring legal representation becomes especially crucial. Here’s when you should consider getting a lawyer for a car accident:

  • Injured:  If you sustained injuries from the accident, it’s wise to hire a lawyer. Medical bills can pile up quickly, and the compensation you receive should adequately cover these costs along with any future medical expenses related to the accident.
  • Not at Fault:  If you weren’t at fault for the accident, a lawyer can help you prove this and get the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
  • Low Settlement Offer:  If the insurance company gives you a settlement offer that doesn’t cover all your expenses, a lawyer can negotiate on your behalf for a higher payout.
  • Disputed Liability:  Sometimes, the other party or their insurance company might dispute the liability and claim that you were at fault for the accident. In such cases, a lawyer can often help gather evidence to prove your innocence and shift the liability onto the responsible party.
  • Lost Wages:  If the injuries sustained from the accident have caused you to miss work, a lawyer can help you prove and calculate lost wages and ensure they are included in your compensation.
  • Complex Circumstances:  If the accident involves complex scenarios like multiple parties, pre-existing conditions, commercial vehicles, or pedestrian injury, seeking legal advice can help navigate these complexities.

Remember, a car accident lawyer is your advocate. They’re there to protect your interests and ensure you’re treated fairly throughout the whole process.

Man in the background at a desk writing, with a gavel and Lady Justice statue in the foreground. Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident

When Don’t I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

While it is often beneficial to consult a lawyer following a car accident, there are scenarios where hiring legal representation might not be necessary:

  • You are at Fault:  If you are at fault for the accident, it might not be necessary to hire a lawyer. In this case, your insurance company will most likely handle the claim. However, if there are serious injuries involved or if the other party is disputing the fault, it could be beneficial to consult with a lawyer to understand your best course of action.
  • No Injuries:  If no one was injured in the accident and the only damage was to your vehicle, you might not need a lawyer.
  • Minor Accidents:  If the accident was a minor fender bender and didn’t result in any injuries, it might not be necessary to hire a lawyer. Instead, you could handle the insurance claim process yourself.
  • Clear Liability:  When the other party has clearly accepted the liability for the accident, their insurance company agrees, and you are not injured, you may not need a lawyer.
  • Adequate Settlement Offer:  If the settlement offer from the insurance company covers all your expenses, including medical and property damage repair costs, you may not need a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.
  • Deep Understanding of Insurance:  If you have a solid understanding of insurance procedures and feel comfortable navigating the claim process, you may not need a lawyer.
  • Subrogation:  If you plan to subrogate, meaning you will allow your insurance company to step into your shoes and recover costs from the at-fault party’s insurance.

In many cases, having legal representation can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. However, in less complicated scenarios where there are no injuries or disputes, managing the situation yourself can be a feasible option.

Two toy cars that look like they've been in a wreck next to a gavel on top of 3 hundred dollar bills. Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident

Advantages of Legal Representation

Legal representation can provide significant advantages in navigating the daunting process of car accident claims. Drawing from survey data published by the legal research site Nolo, the benefits of hiring a lawyer for a car accident lawyer are quite evident:

  • Higher Payout Percentage:  Lawyers boost the chances of securing a payout for their clients. The survey revealed that 91% of injury victims with legal representation received a payout, compared to just 51% of those who chose to represent themselves.
  • Higher Dollar Payouts:  Lawyer-represented victims tend to receive a higher payout, even after attorney fees are deducted. The data showed that payouts after attorney fees were nearly 3 times higher for victims with legal representation. Specifically, the average payout with a lawyer was $77.6k, versus $17.6k without a lawyer.
  • Higher Negotiated Settlements:  Victims who had their settlements negotiated by lawyers received offers that were 3.6 times higher on average than if they had accepted the first offer. Specifically, the average lawyer negotiated payout was $42.5k, versus $11.8k when self-represented victims accepted the first offer.
  • Benefits of Threatening a Lawsuit:  Legal representation can add substantial pressure on the opposite party, leading to increased payouts. The survey data substantiates this, showing that filing or threatening a lawsuit led to a 198% increase in payout amounts. Specifically, filing or threatening a lawsuit increased average payouts from $23k to $45.5k.

These compelling statistics underscore the value of hiring legal representation, particularly in circumstances involving personal injuries and disputes regarding liability. Engaging a qualified lawyer can significantly enhance your chances of obtaining fair and just compensation.

Man in a suit sitting behind a desk speaking to a woman and another man. Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident

Disadvantages of Legal Representation

While the benefits of hiring a lawyer after a car accident can be significant, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks as well. These considerations, drawn from data on Nolo, should factor into your decision-making process:

  • Time-Consuming:  Legal proceedings involving personal injury claims can be lengthy. In the Nolo study, the average time to resolve a claim was 11.4 months, though the payout outcomes were far superior with a lawyer.
  • Stressful Experience:  The legal process can be emotionally draining and stressful. You’ll be required to revisit the accident repeatedly and deal with adversarial parties, which can add to the trauma of the event.
  • Possible Trial:  If settlement negotiations fail, the case may go to trial. This can be a daunting experience, requiring time and emotional investment.

While legal representation can significantly boost your chances of securing fair and full compensation, it’s equally important to weigh these against the potential downsides. The key is to make an informed decision, considering both the advantages and disadvantages of legal representation.

Contact a Lawyer for a Car Accident at Thompson Law Today

The Thompson Law legal team only collects compensation once you win. Our legal experts are here 24/7 to assist with your case so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We are happy to answer any questions during your FREE CASE EVALUATION.

All 50 states have a statute of limitations for personal injury claims that limit the time you have to file a claim for an auto accident injury. In Texas, the personal injury statute of limitations is 2 years, but what matters is where your accident occurred, not where you live.

Many complex factors are at play, including dealing with insurance companies, determining fault, and estimating fair compensation. Our skilled car accident attorneys will use their expertise and knowledge to pursue the total compensation you deserve.

No Win No Fee for Personal Injury Case

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident

What Should I Do After an Auto Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s crucial to take the right steps to protect yourself and your interests.

  1. Safety First:  Make sure everyone involved is safe and call for medical assistance if needed.
  2. Report the Collision:  Contact the police to report the accident.
  3. Get Information:  Gather as much information as you can about the accident, including the other driver’s information, witness testimonies, and pictures of the accident scene.
  4. Contact Your Insurer:  Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
  5. Limit Communication:  Limit communication with the other driver to exchanging information, and never admit fault at the scene, even if you think you might be responsible.
  6. Call Thompson Law:  We offer FREE CONSULTATIONS and charge NO FEES unless we win.

Should I Call 911 After a Wreck?

Yes, it’s advisable to call 911 after a car wreck, especially if there are injuries or significant property damage. In fact, Texas law requires drivers to report any crash that results in injury, death, or property damage over $1,000 (Texas Transportation Code Section 550.026).

If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, you may be able to handle the situation by simply exchanging information with the other driver. However, calling 911 ensures that a formal report is made and may be beneficial later on if legal or insurance issues arise.

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Crash, and Why?

Seeking medical attention following a crash is highly recommended, regardless of whether or not you feel injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not exhibit symptoms immediately but can have serious consequences if left untreated. Further, a medical record established soon after the accident provides documentation that links your injuries directly to the accident, thereby strengthening your case. Lastly, prioritizing your health after such a traumatic event is crucial for your overall well-being.

Can I Afford a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

Our attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, we agree to accept a fixed percentage of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. This means that if you lose your case, we do not get paid for our work. On the other hand, if you win, our fee comes out of a portion of the money awarded to you. If your case fits the criteria above, you have nothing to lose, so get a lawyer for a car accident from Thompson Law today.

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Thompson Law Guarantee

Thompson Law receives an attorney fee and you pay no legal fees as our client unless we pay you. Thompson Law has 350 years of combined experience in legal representation and has won over $1.8 billion dollars in cash settlements for our clients. We master the art of managing client cases with empathy, compassion, respect and, of course, prodigious skill. Contact us today for a free, risk-free consultation to discuss your accident and your options.

State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.