When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

A personal injury lawyer suiting up to help a client

If you sustained a personal injury because of a car accident, you might be trying to decide if you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. You may have heard that an attorney can help increase the likelihood of receiving fair compensation for the physical pain and mental stress that your personal injury has caused you.

A car accident lawyer can assist you in gathering supporting evidence such as a police report, witness testimonies, and accident scene photos and videos. Overall, an attorney can make it easier for you to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver and insurance company or pursue a personal injury claim in court.

However, you might be hesitant to hire a personal injury lawyer because you’re worried about the potential legal expenses. It’s not surprising if you are concerned about additional costs since you are probably experiencing financial challenges due to your injury’s growing medical bills.

Read on to learn when to hire a lawyer after a car accident. Find out how a car accident attorney can help you in various aspects of your personal injury claim. Finally, discover which well-respected law firm in Southern California offers a free consultation and operates on a no recovery, no fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying lawyer’s fees immediately.

When To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident

Different factors can determine whether you should hire an attorney or attempt to pursue your personal injury claim on your own after you get injured in a car accident.

It is technically possible for you to handle your car accident claim by yourself if:

    • You only sustained a minor personal injury because of the vehicular accident.
    • You have a legal background, so you can collect supporting evidence and handle the legal paperwork.
    • You are prepared to negotiate with the guilty party and insurance companies on your own.

Some cases are best handled by legal professionals, though. It is highly recommended that you hire a personal injury lawyer under the following circumstances:

    • You sustained a moderate to serious personal injury because of the car accident. Legal representation is vital if your injury has limited your ability to work or incurred major medical expenses.
    • You do not have the legal expertise to gather supporting evidence or prepare legal documents.
    • You understand that you do not have sufficient legal knowledge to successfully conduct settlement negotiation offers or file lawsuits on your own.

Regardless of your circumstances, it is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer after you become injured in a vehicular accident. Legal expertise can be highly beneficial to you, whether your personal injury is major or minor in nature.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injuries, according to the American Bar Association. If you got injured because a driver does not exercise proper caution on the road, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your financial losses related to your injury.

Car accident claims have a major impact on tort law in the U.S. in terms of claims pursued, lawsuits filed, cash amounts paid, and trials concluded, based on a Stanford Law School publication. A car accident lawyer from a reputable law firm can help you with your own car accident claim.

Attorneys specializing in personal injury law can guide you in every stage of the claims process as you seek fair compensation for your car accident injury. Here’s how a car accident lawyer can help.

1. Lawyers Can Assess Your Car Accident Claim

Attorneys can evaluate the merits of your car accident case to analyze the chances of negotiating a settlement offer or winning an award in court. During your initial free consultation, they will ask you to describe the accident that led to your injury from your own perspective.

The legal team may encourage you to share pertinent information and answer relevant questions about the car accident and other factors related to it, including the traffic signs, speed limits, and traffic signals. They may also discuss the details of your physical injury, medical treatments, and recovery period with you.

If the lawyers choose to take on your case, they will tell you the next steps you can take as an injured party. They can recommend whether you should negotiate a settlement or pursue a personal injury claim in court.

2. Lawyers Can Provide Valuable Legal Knowledge

Attorneys can serve as a source of valuable legal information as you explore your options. Here are some of the vital areas where attorneys can offer you helpful legal knowledge:

    • Legal Rights: Lawyers can increase your awareness regarding your legal rights as an injured party. Depending on the severity of your personal injury and the extent of your financial loss, they can guide you as you set your expectations on what form of compensation and what amount you may receive.
    • Shared Fault Rules: Attorneys can explain how shared fault rules work in your state. They can assess the potential effects of these rules on your claim in case your own negligence was also a factor in the accident.
    • Statutes of Limitations: Lawyers can update you regarding the statutes of limitations in your state. Some states require you to file a lawsuit within a certain period of time after your car accident occurred. Attorneys can remind you to bring the matter to court before the expiration of the time limit allotted by your state.

3. Lawyers Can Gather Supporting Evidence

Attorneys can help you in collecting supporting evidence for your car accident claim. They may compile photos and videos of the scene of the accident and collect documents such as a police report, property damage paperwork, and medical bills.

This supporting evidence is critical to your case’s success because it confirms the liability of the at-fault driver and the extent of your injuries.

4. Lawyers Can Handle Legal Negotiations on Your Behalf

The legal team can negotiate with the guilty party and insurance company on your behalf so that you will receive reasonable financial compensation. As they negotiate with other parties, lawyers can perform various communication tasks such as:

    • Letters of Representation: They can draft and disseminate formal letters of representation to the at-fault driver, insurance companies, and other parties who played a role in your car accident.
    • Demand Letters: They can write and send demand letters to insurance companies after completing claim investigations. A demand letter states the specific settlement amount you expect to receive as an injured party.
    • Legal Complaints: They can create legal complaints if the guilty party and insurance company do not offer a fair settlement. A legal complaint indicates the legal arguments that explain why the at-fault driver is responsible for the car accident which caused your injury. It also states the amount of compensation you believe you are entitled to as the injured party.

5. Lawyers Can Serve as Your Legal Representation

In case the results of settlement negotiations are not satisfactory, attorneys can function as your legal representation if you decide to formally file a lawsuit against the guilty party and the insurance company. Once you file a lawsuit, the legal theories, evidence, and allegations become formalized. Hereafter, the at-fault driver will be known as the defendant, while you will be called the plaintiff.

If your car accident case proceeds to trial, the lawyers will make the necessary preparations so they can present your case in court. They will share your supporting evidence in front of the jury or judge to establish the legitimacy of your personal injury claim.

6. Lawyers Can Act as Your Advocates

An attorney can serve as your advocate as you fight for your legal rights as an injured party. Aside from conducting the claims process on your behalf, they will act with your best interests in mind as they negotiate a settlement offer or present your case in court.

Lawyers will ensure that the jury or judge will have the opportunity to learn about the circumstances of the car accident from your point of view. They will do everything they can to recoup the losses you encountered because of your injury.

Get the Legal Assistance of a Car Accident Lawyer From the Law Office of John J. Perlstein

A car accident can adversely affect your life regardless of whether you sustained a major or minor injury. It is a wise decision to hire a personal injury lawyer from the Law Office of John J. Perlstein, who can guide you as you pursue a personal injury claim.

An attorney specializing in personal injury law can help you receive the highest settlement offer or court award possible from the at-fault driver and insurance company. We operate on a no recovery, no fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying legal expenses until your financial compensation is disbursed.

Call (213) 252-1070 or schedule your free consultation on our law firm’s website if you need expert legal assistance from a highly qualified car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, and other areas in Southern California.