It’s just a little fender bender, right? Doesn’t look like anyone was really hurt, so we can just exchange some insurance information and be on our way, right?
Well, maybe not. Depending on the accident, the damage to the vehicles, and any potential injuries, a minor car accident can turn into a major legal battle. So how do you know if you need to hire an attorney after a car accident?
In most minor car accidents, simply filing an insurance claim with your insurance company — or the other drivers’ — is the easiest and quickest way to repair vehicle damage or cover any medical expenses. You could also take a claim to small claims court, if the other driver was not insured, or if their insurance company declines to cover damage or injuries. Most of which can be done without the assistance of an attorney.
But there are some situations when you might want a lawyer’s help:
If there’s a dispute about who’s at fault;
If there’s a dispute over how much you have to pay or how much you’ll receive;
If a serious or lingering injury resulted, especially injuries that require ongoing medical care;
If you’re being taken to court, by the other driver or their insurance company; or
If you just don’t want to have to handle your own claim.
Disputes over liability or compensation may need to be resolved in front of a judge or jury. And if you’re going to court, a lawyer can definitely help. And if you’re being sued after a car accident, defending yourself in court may sound a lot easier that it actually is.
An experienced lawyer will know the local court system and how car accident cases are handled. She’ll know what evidence is needed in court, how to gather it, and how to best negotiate a fair settlement with the other side. Car accident claims, even minor ones, can take years to resolve and may require a significant amount of time and effort. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can take the pressure off, prevent you from agreeing to an unfair settlement, and make sure you don’t miss an important deadline in your case.
If you want to talk to an experienced car accident attorney about your case, they are only a click or call away.