Car accidents occur every day and range from a minor fender bender to a catastrophic crash. Many accidents can be handled through insurance companies alone and won't require legal assistance. Some accidents will require the use of a car accident or personal injury attorney. How can you tell whether or not your situation will require the use of an attorney?
Things to Know Before Securing an Accident Attorney
When considering whether or not to hire an attorney to assist you in your accident claim, keep in mind that your attorney will require a portion of any settlement you might get. A typical fee in these cases is about 1/3 of your total settlement.
If you decide that your situation requires an attorney, be sure to find one who specializes in accidents and insurance claims. They will be the most likely to help you obtain the appropriate settlement.
Your attorney will do several things for you, such as:
- Investigate the accident
- Gather evidence and take photos
- Work with insurance companies
- Take care of handling medical bills and paperwork
- Protect you throughout the process
Does your Case Require an Attorney?
Many auto accidents can be settled through insurance companies outside of a courtroom, and won't need an attorney. However, insurance companies are a business, and are looking out for their best financial interests. The following list includes situations when it is in your best interest to have an attorney assist you with the accident investigation and insurance claims.
- The insurance company has denied your claim, and you are confident that the claim should not have been denied.
- The other party has served you with a lawsuit, or your case is set to go to court.
- The other party is contesting fault in the accident.
- You have considerable medical bills, lost income, and other financial losses that you have to pay for out of pocket.
- You had serious injuries that required a lot of medical intervention and your quality of life has been compromised.
- An insurance adjuster has made an offer that is well below what you think the offer should be.
- An insurance adjuster has asked for past medical bills and records.
- You are uncomfortable settling on your own, and feel like you are not knowledgeable enough to handle the situation without assistance.
If you choose to involve an accident or injury attorney, it is best to hire them as soon as possible from a firm like Armstrong & Surin. They will likely recommend that you refrain from signing any paperwork and that you don't allow yourself to be recorded by the insurance companies until they are active in your case and can guide you.