Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Auto Accident?
California is a driving culture, and car accidents are very common: on average, there’s a car accident somewhere in California every three minutes. Some of those accidents are severe, and become complex legal cases that require adept legal representation. However, when it comes to less severe auto accidents, the average person is often confused as to when legal counsel is and is not necessary.
Do I need to hire an attorney for any sort of car accident, no matter how minor?
No, you will not necessarily need legal representation for all car accident cases. Some car accidents, like minor fender benders, can be pretty easy to handle on your own. You will simply need to document the scene of the accident, exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, notify both insurance companies, and go from there.
How do I know what sort of car accident cases I can handle without an attorney?
There is no ironclad rule for whether or not a case requires an attorney. However, there are a few general characteristics that usually make a case easier to handle on your own.
Cases that can be handled without an attorney are usually cases that are:
Undisputed (i.e., there is no disagreement about what happened and who was at fault).
It is also far easier to handle a car accident case on your own if both parties are sufficiently insured. When both parties have sufficient coverage, there are far more official and effective avenues in place through which to pursue reimbursement and compensation—as well as money available to make those reimbursement and compensation payments.
In addition, the less serious the damage (both in terms of personal injury and damage to the cars/any other property), the easier a car accident case will be for you to handle without an attorney. The less money involved in a potential claim, the less the insurance companies will be inclined to fight it.
Are there any minor accidents I will need an attorney to handle? If so, what are the signs that I should hire an attorney in a minor accident case?
Yes, there are seemingly minor accidents in which it is absolutely advisable to hire an attorney. This is largely because there are many car accidents that initially appear to be minor, but which then spiral out into very serious, very involved, and sometimes very contentious cases.
There are many different indications that you should hire an attorney in a minor car accident case. Some examples include:
Disputed cases, where there is disagreement about what happened, who was at fault, how much money ought to be paid, and any other major disagreements.
Cases where at least one driver is uninsured or underinsured (i.e., where you may be required to pursue damages in small claims court)
Cases with very expensive property damage
Cases that result in serious personal injuries that require ongoing and/or expensive medical treatment
In order to ensure the best possible outcome and to protect yourself from being taken advantage of, it is also very highly recommended to hire an attorney if the other driver, their insurance company, or any other party is taking you to court over the accident. Representing yourself in court rarely—if ever—works in a person’s favor. Car accident cases are no exception to this rule. If a case is going to court, you are best served by hiring an attorney to represent you there.
Even if your car accident case doesn’t necessarily meet the above requirements, you may still want to hire an attorney to help you. Handling the aftermath of a car accident can be incredibly confusing, frustrating, and easy to botch. Insurance companies often have purposely confusing claims processes that are designed to deter people from successfully pursuing and accessing payments. A car accident attorney can do this part of the process for you, and ensure that it is done quickly and correctly.
Are you or a loved one handling the aftermath of a car accident in Los Angeles, CA? Are you unsure about whether you need an attorney, or looking for the right attorney for your case? Attorney John Rosenberg at Law Offices of John Rosenberg A Professional Law Corporation is here to help. Attorney John is an experienced, knowledgeable, and tenacious Los Angeles car accident attorney. He can help you pursue the best possible outcome as quickly, efficiently, and effectively as possible. Don’t wait: call (818) 530-1770 for a free, personalized consultation today.