When Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If your car accident claim is simple or routine, you may probably study your way into the claims processing system and not have to hire a lawyer. What you have to do is to determine if you can settle your claim on your own, or if you require the legal expertise of a lawyer.
To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the other party driver claiming they weren’t responsible?
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If fault is contested and you can’t show proof that the other driver was responsible for the mishap, you’ll receive nothing. Surely, hiring a car accident lawyer will raise your chances of a win.
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2. How much have you spent out-of-pocket (hospital bills, lost wages, etc.)?
If it’s around $2,000 or even $5000, you might consider handling your own claims. In the $15,000 to $20,000 range (maybe more), that’s a different story. You should hire a lawyer. A bigger claim is always harder to get.
3. How serious were your injuries, and how long was your recovery period?
If you broke a bone or were told by your doctor that your injury is irreparable, you’re looking at a large claim. In this case, you’ll want a lawyer to take charge so you can get the highest amount possible. Larger cases are again more challenging to win, so if you have a legal expert working on your claim, you have a better chance of success.
4. Are you bound for the court?
Must you take your case to court and be unable to use a small claims court or any other alternative dispute resolution, you have to hire a car accident attorney how is an expert in court rules. This will boost your chance of winning and guarantee protection for your rights.
5. Finally, are you willing to spend time studying how to handle an auto accident claim and actually presenting it?
Remember, it takes a while to get to know the system works, aside from the time you have to spend on the claims-settling process itself. The total amount of time required to do all these actually varies from one case to another. If you don’t think you can do it or spend enough time doing it, there is no doubt about the fact that you must hire a lawyer.
Some people hesitate to hire an auto accident lawyer, thinking they can’t afford the fee. But these professionals usually get paid a certain percentage of the total awarded amount. If the case is lost, the lawyer gets nothing. This is why lawyers will usually not take cases that are not winnable by their expert assessment. The initial meeting is also often free, so you need not worry about that first consultation.