When you have been in a car accident, you know you need to exchange auto insurance information with the other driver immediately—regardless of how minor or severe the accident is. You also know you need to phone the police as well as your auto insurance carrier if your vehicle needs repair.
However, depending on the severity of the accident, you may not know whether you need to get in touch with a car accident attorney or not. If no one is injured and the accident is just a minor fender bender, you probably just assume there is no need to contact an attorney. However, this may not actually be the case. The truth of the matter is it could turn into major litigation. So, how can you tell if you need a lawyer after an auto collision?
Should You Lawyer Up?
As a general rule, you will simply need to contact your insurance company, or the other driver's insurance company, to file an insurance claim. This will be the easiest and quickest way to have your vehicle damage repaired and have your medical expenses covered. If the other driver did not have auto insurance, you could take them to small claims court. Generally, you can do this on your own without the support of an attorney.
However, there are some instances when you may need the assistance of a lawyer like the following:
- When there is a dispute about who is at fault in the accident
- When there is a dispute over the amount that you should pay or the amount that you should receive
- When there is a serious or lingering injury from the accident, particularly injuries that will require consistent medical care
- When you are being taken to court by either the other driver involved or his or her insurance company
- When you simply do not want to handle your claim by yourself
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
Experienced attorneys are familiar with handling auto accident cases as well as the local court system. He or she will know what type of evidence is needed, how the evidence should be gathered, and how to effectively negotiate a settlement that is fair in your individual situation. Auto accident claims—even if they are minor—can take years to settle, taking a lot of time and effort on everyone's part. With a professional car accident attorney by your side, you won't have to worry about missing important deadlines or agreeing to an unfair settlement.