You see ads all the time for law firms in the Pittsburgh area urging you to call them when you are in a car accident. But do you really need a lawyer to help you settle your car crash claim? It all depends on the circumstances of the crash. There are times when you can settle with the insurance company on your own, and there are times when you want to work with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to make sure you are fairly represented in a dispute. We explain the difference here.
When You Probably Don’t Need an Attorney
Is this really a lawyer telling you NOT to hire a lawyer? Yes! Believe it or not, there are times when we think you can handle a car accident settlement on your own. The following situations are examples of straightforward claims that you can probably successfully negotiate on your own behalf:
- No one was injured in the accident, but there was property damage.
- The other driver accepts fault and his insurance company offers you a settlement that fully covers your costs.
- You were injured, but your medical bills total less than $1,000.
In these situations, you can deal with the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster directly and settle the claim quickly. However, if the insurance adjuster gives you the runaround or your case is more complicated, you should call an attorney.
When You Should Call an Attorney
Insurance companies are not happy to pay out on claims, so if they have any grounds to push back, you can be sure they will. In these situations, having an attorney on your side can help enormously. Times when you will want to hire an attorney as soon as possible include the following:
- There is a serious injury requiring hospitalization or resulting in permanent damage, such as paralysis or traumatic brain injury.
- Someone died in the accident.
- A commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, was involved.
- Fault is in dispute, or you are wrongly accused of causing the accident.
- The accident happened in a construction zone.
- You are overwhelmed and confused about your rights.
When you hire an experienced car accident attorney, he will investigate the accident and gather the evidence needed to get you the settlement you deserve from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Yes, you will pay him a percentage of your settlement, but you will not owe any money until and unless he wins your case.