When to Involve a Lawyer After a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, the need for a lawyer could become apparent for several reasons. Even if the accident is not your fault, a qualified car accident lawyer can present your case to the court, or defend a claim against you. Damages can be sought by either party, and the result can cost you a fortune in repair costs from places like Jiffy Lube (see Jiffy Lube prices) and other franchised repair garages that insurance companies and individuals tend to favor. Now of course, not all car accidents necessitate the need for a lawyer. If you get in a simple fender-bender and both parties exchange insurance information, it is likely a lawyer will not be required (unless one party decides to take legal action).

Situations Where You Should Involve a Lawyer

While every situation is different dependent on the circumstances, some common situations where you should most likely involve a lawyer after a car accident would be:

  • You have been injured
  • The other party has been injured
  • A passenger has been injured
  • The other party is taking legal action against you
  • You or the other party had been under the influence of alcohol during the time of the car accident
  • You are driving with a felony conviction
  • There was significant damage to the other party’s vehicle, or significant damage to public property
  • There is a dispute as to who is at fault

While these situations may not require the expertise of a car accident lawyer, it is always best to be prepared. The more significant the damages/injuries that occur as a result of the car accident, the more likely it will be that legal action will be required.

Situations Where a Lawyer May Not Be Required

As mentioned, simple fender benders may not require the expertise of a lawyer. If you have exchanged insurance information, made it clear who was at fault, and gone about your day, it is likely that the accident can be resolved without the need for legal action. Car accidents happen every day, and a majority are resolved without legal consultation. Some other instances where you may not require a lawyer after a car accident are:

  • You have established who is at fault with the other party
  • No injuries have occurred
  • You or the other party agree to pay for the damages after admitting fault
  • The insurance company offers a fait initial settlement

These are examples of common car accidents that usually do not result in legal action being taken. Naturally, circumstances can change. If one party no longer wishes to fulfill an agreement made after the car accident, hiring a car accident attorney may be your best course of action.

Weighing the Need for an Attorney

When it comes to auto accidents, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If another party has taken legal action against you and you have not “lawyered-up”, you may be taken advantage of by an attorney who knows the law inside and out. However, if you are heavily considering disputing a claim against you, ask yourself if the damages that the other party is seeking is even worth disputing. If the costs of court and lawyers fees outweighs the costs of damages, you might be better off simply paying the damages. If your accident has resulted in serious injury/significant damages that may result in jail time, it would be wise to contact a lawyer immediately. A qualified car accident attorney can defend a claim against you, and can significantly help change the outcome of your case. The need for an attorney will always depend heavily on the details of your specific car accident, and no two cases are exactly alike. If you are still on the fence, consider contacting a lawyer with free initial consultations to determine if your claim is worth pursuing/defending.

About the Author

This article was written by Darryl Smith, an experienced car accident attorney based out of Orlando, Florida. Darryl has over a decade of experience pursuing and defending car accident claims, and is a founding co-partner of Smith & Eulo Law Firm in Orlando.


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