At the Rockafellow Law Firm, we are asked this question almost daily. It is an important question that must be carefully considered. As you may expect, the answer depends on multiple factors, including the following:
1. Fault: Who caused the crash? In many cases this is an easy question. In others, it can be difficult to determine who was responsible for the crash. Fault is often shared among multiple people. If the crash was caused by someone else, or if there is shared fault, you may consider hiring a lawyer.
2. Extent of damage: Was your car totaled? Was damage minimal? The more serious the collision, the more you should consider hiring a lawyer.
3. Injuries: Are your injuries mostly “soft tissue”? Will you need surgery? Do you have scarring? The more serious your injury, the more you should consider hiring a lawyer.
4. Medical bills: Will your medical bills include a few chiropractor visits or will you be treating for a long time? Longer courses of treatment and multiple medical providers should have you thinking about a lawyer.
While the lawyers at the Rockafellow Law Firm work hard to maximize the value of an accident victim’s case, in certain circumstances, the cost of having an attorney on your side can be difficult to justify. Therefore, we will occasionally tell a potential client that they are better off handling the claim on their own.
If no one was injured, then you probably do not need a lawyer. Most insurance companies are quick to pay for vehicle property damage.
If you caused the crash, then you do not need to find a lawyer. Rather, if necessary, your car insurance company will hire a lawyer to represent you.
If your injuries require more than a few sessions of therapy, then you may need to hire a lawyer. An experienced lawyer will understand how to control the narrative of your claim. Your lawyer will know how to maximize the value of the claim and will be able to relieve many of the pressures that insurance companies apply to un-represented persons.
Severe injuries mean your claim is worth significantly more than if you only had sprains and strains. The higher the value your claim, the more resources an insurance company will use to lower their payout. An experienced personal injury lawyer will understand how to fight back and how to litigate the claim, should a lawsuit need to be filed.
By hiring a lawyer, you send a message to the insurance company that you take this claim seriously and that you are willing to file a lawsuit should the insurance company fail to offer a suitable settlement.
The Rockafellow Law Firm currently has car accident cases ranging from $5,000 to $1 million+. At the end of the day, the decision to hire a lawyer must be yours and yours alone. A skilled lawyer should be able to add enough value to your claim to pay for his/her fee and add money to your bottom line.