In certain situations, a car accident may have a devastating effect on victims and their families.
Between the financial, physical, and emotional struggles, it may be difficult to know what to do next.
However, some crashes are less serious—perhaps there was minimal vehicle damages and minor injuries or none at all.
Here are some tips on when to hire an attorney after a car accident based on your situation.
When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident
Immediately following your crash, you may be wondering, Should I call a lawyer after a car accident?
While it’s not always necessary to hire an attorney for a claim, there are a few signs that your case may benefit from legal representation.
Here are some situations where hiring an experienced car accident attorney may be beneficial for your claim.
1. The Accident Resulted in a Serious Injury
If the car accident results in a serious injury, whether to yourself, a passenger, or another driver, you should contact an attorney immediately.
There are a variety of injuries that may qualify as severe, including but not limited to:
- Broken bones,
- Spinal cord damage,
- Amputations, and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
These injuries often result in long-term difficulties or, in some cases, permanent disability. As a result, it’s unlikely that the settlement offered by the insurance company will cover those future costs or your pain and suffering.
2. The Driver Responsible is Underinsured or Uninsured
Unfortunately, some people drive their vehicles without the required minimum insurance coverage set by the state.
Getting into an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver makes it much more difficult to pursue compensation on your own since they have no coverage.
At the Cottrell Law Office, our attorneys explore other avenues to seek compensation in cases like this, whether it’s through your own auto insurance policy or the driver’s personal finances.
3. The Accident Report Contains Major Errors
When you get into an accident, the responding police officer usually files an accident report. This report contains several details about the crash and even the officer’s investigative findings.
While the report is mostly accurate, sometimes the officer makes mistakes in the report that might make it difficult to establish fault.
In some cases, their investigation may find you at fault for the accident based on incorrect information or statements from the other driver.
While it’s not always possible to change the original report, our Arkansas car accident attorneys may be able to request an amended report or bring in experts to help disprove erroneous claims in the report.
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When You Shouldn’t Hire an Attorney
While it may not always be clear when to hire an attorney after a car accident, there are a few instances where it might not be your best option. Here are some situations where calling an attorney isn’t necessary.
1. The Accident Didn’t Have Any Injuries
One of the most common questions people ask after their crash is, Should I hire a lawyer for a minor car accident? Generally, the answer is no.
Accidents with no injuries don’t usually command the same compensation as those with serious injuries, and it’s usually easier to get the insurance company to pay the full value of your claim.
In addition, most personal injury attorneys won’t take a case that doesn’t involve injuries.
2. There Is Little Damage to Any Vehicles or Property
Minor fender benders, especially those that result in only a few thousand dollars worth of damage, don’t require the help of a lawyer.
In most situations, the insurance company handling the claim offers a settlement that covers all damage to the vehicle.
This is because the only damages in the accident are tangible and may be easy to estimate based on repair/replacement quotes.
So Should I Get an Attorney for a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident and don’t know whether you need an attorney, call the Cottrell Law Office today.
Our skilled car accident lawyers can help gather evidence for your case and handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call our office at 855-503-8140.