One of the questions that car accident victims ask us most frequently is “Do I need a lawyer for my car accident, or can I handle my own car accident claim.” Of course, the answer to that is that it depends on many factors. Sometimes it makes sense to handle your own car accident case without a lawyer, but there are times when hiring a lawyer is the smart thing to do. Here’s what you need to know:
When Should You Handle Your Own Car Accident Case?
I’m going to tell you something that most car accident attorneys won’t tell you — you may not even need an attorney for your car accident case. In fact, we tell potential clients this quite often. In certain circumstances, you would be better off handling your car accident case by yourself, without a lawyer.
The following are common examples of when you would likely not need a lawyer, and could probably handle your car accident case on your own:
- You were not injured, but your car was damaged.
- You suffered only minor injuries that did not require an immediate ER visit.
- You suffered only strains or sprains that were easily treated with a few chiropractor or physical therapy visits.
- You did not use your health insurance to pay for any of your treatment.
- You did not use Medicaid or Medicare to pay for any of your treatment.
- You didn’t break any bones, or herniate any discs in your back, neck, or thoracic spine.
- You didn’t sustain any cuts that required stitches.
- You have no injuries that will bother you in the future.
- The insurance company offers you a fair settlement that covers all of your medical bills and property damage (this doesn’t happen very often in Texas because Texas laws are stacked in favor of insurance companies, and stacked against you, the injured person).
12 Situations When It Makes More Sense to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Of course, there are times when an injured person would be crazy to try to handle their own car accident case, and other times when it just makes sense to have a good attorney fighting for you (it usually doesn’t cost anything up front to hire an injury attorney, click here for more info).
In Texas, the laws are are stacked in favor of insurance companies, and stacked against injured people. Because of these laws, insurance companies tend to be difficult to deal with, which often times requires the assistance of an experienced injury attorney to get fair compensation. Here are some of the situations for which you should have an experienced attorney on your side:
- Your injuries were serious, such as broken bones, cuts, herniated discs in neck or back.
- You required surgery because of the collision.
- You had to seek immediate medical attention, or were taken to the hospital by ambulance.
- There were more than two people injured in the crash, or more than two vehicles involved (if this is the case, you need to contact an attorney quickly because of Texas law).
- You missed more than 3-4 days of work because of the accident.
- The insurance company is giving you the run around (download a free guide that exposes their sneaky tricks here).
- The insurance company has denied your claim.
- The insurance company claims you were at fault, but the evidence puts the other driver at fault.
- You used your own health insurance to pay for some of your medical care (you may be obligated to pay them back, an attorney can help defend against this).
- You used Medicaid or Medicare to pay for some of your medical care (again, you may be obligated to pay them back, an attorney can help with this).
- The insurance company is trying to rush you into a quick settlement (this is a huge red flag).
- The police report is inaccurate, doesn’t truly describe the way the accident happened, or puts you at fault when you weren’t.
If you have a situation where you aren’t sure whether or not you need a lawyer for your case, just give us a call at (210) 910-4357. We offer a FREE 5-Point Case Analysis, which can help you understand the important factors affecting your case, and guide your decision. If you don’t need a lawyer, we will tell it to you straight – no games.
Hiring a lawyer can have benefits you may be unaware or. For more on this, check out our article on “The Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney.”
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