After a car accident, you probably wonder if you should hire an attorney. Generally, unless you or someone else was hurt in the accident, you probably do not need an attorney to assist you with your claim.
For minor damages and injuries that do not interfere with your day to day activities and can heal within a week or so, you can usually the claim with your insurance company.
If you are going to receive a settlement for minor injuries and damages of less than $1000, you can usually successfully negotiate a settlement with the adjuster. These are ‘small claims’ and usually hiring an attorney will cost you more than you will recover. If you are not having serious difficulty getting the small claim money out of the insurance company, it is unlikely an attorney is needed.
However, things change when you have more than $1000 in damages and medical bills. This usually means you had a more serious accident with serious injuries. If you have any of the below types of accidents, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve:
- Motorcycle accident
- Pedestrian or cycling accident
- Drunk driver accident
- Head on crash, which usually involves serious injuries
- Tractor trailer crash
- Any crash that results in permanent injury
- Accident with missed work time that you have not been reimbursed for
If you were in any of these types of accidents, you should not delay hiring an attorney. The longer you take negotiating with the insurance company, the more likely they will build a case against you.
Beware of the insurance company offering you a small settlement right after the crash to get you to settle. You may have injuries that have not fully appeared yet. That is why it is wise to be checked immediately by a doctor after a crash to see if you have any substantial injuries you may not be fully aware of.