Why Should I Hire a Lawyer After Being Involved in a Crash?

by | Feb 16, 2024

Following an injury-causing motor vehicle accident, often injury victims are overwhelmed – injuries sustained in the collision may require life-long treatment, employment and income generation may be lost &/or significantly diminished, vehicles often need costly repairs and insurance companies will be contacting the victim in an effort to settle a potential claim as soon as possible.

Hiring a lawyer can help to remove some of the pressure from victims and their families while also helping to ensure that the victim’s rights and best interests are being protected. In this article, we’ll review some of the important decisions to consider when hiring an attorney, along with some counterpoints in an effort to help you make a more informed decision.

Table of Contents

What Are The Potential Benefits of Hiring an Accident Lawyer?

  • Legal Expertise: Injury lawyers have specialized knowledge and experience in personal injury law, which can help navigate the legal complexities of your potential lawsuit.
  • Maximization of Compensation: An experienced injury lawyer can help to seek the maximum amount of available compensation for injuries sustained in the crash – including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated damages that may include property damage and, taking into account future medical costs that may be incurred.
  • Protection of Rights: An injury lawyer will advocate and protect the legal rights of the victim throughout the claims process, ensuring fair treatment by insurance companies and other parties that may be involved in the litigation process.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Lawyers have resources to conduct thorough investigations and gather evidence to support the claim, including witness statements, accident reports, and expert opinions. In particular, expert witnesses can help to further validate the claim being filed.
  • Negotiation Skills: Good, experienced lawyers are skilled negotiators, capable of handling discussions with insurance adjusters to seek a fair settlement that adequately compensates their client for injuries and losses that may have been sustained as a result of the accident.
  • Litigation Representation: Should a case go to court, an accident lawyer can provide skillful representation and advocate for the interests of the plaintiff at trial – presenting evidence and arguing legal issues to pursue the best possible outcome for the case.
  • Peace of Mind: Hiring a lawyer can provide peace of mind during a stressful time, allowing the victim to focus on recovering while knowing that you have a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side.

Not sure if you have a case?
Contact us today.

Back To Top

What Are The Potential Downsides of Hiring an Accident Lawyer?

  • Legal Fees: Hiring a lawyer involves costs, including attorney fees, which – in the instance of injury lawyers – are usually paid on what is called a “contingency basis”> This means that a percentage of the settlement or court award is paid to the lawyer for the services provided. This amount is negotiated between the lawyer and their client before firstly – the lawyer agrees to handle the case and secondly, the service contract is signed by both parties. As an estimate – in most instances, the lawyer obtains 30% of the amount of financial compensation recovered.
  • Time and Effort: Legal proceedings are often time-consuming and require active participation by providing information, attending meetings, and participating in the legal process.
  • No Guarantee of Outcome: While an injury lawyer can work to maximize your compensation recovery, there is no guarantee of a favorable outcome in your case, and settlements or court decisions may vary. In these instances, often the lawyer will also not be paid – this is why the review of the potential claim before they agree to handle the case is so important to the lawyer.
  • Potential for Stress: Legal proceedings can be stressful, especially if the case involves litigation, court appearances, or negotiations with insurance companies. While an accident lawyer can help to represent a client, that client may be required to be present at hearings and, should the case go to a judge and/or jury, the plaintiff may be required to attend those sessions.
  • Client-Attorney Relationship: It’s essential to find a lawyer you trust and communicate effectively with, as the success of a given case may depend on the quality of your relationship and collaboration with your attorney.

As every case is different, ultimately, the decision to hire an injury lawyer after a car crash depends on the individual circumstances of the victim, the severity of their injuries, and your comfort level with navigating the legal process.

Have some questions?
We can help you find answers.

Back To Top

Will The At-Fault Party in a Car Crash Have a Lawyer?

Yes. It is highly likely that the defendants’ insurance company will have a lawyer representing them if you, as the plaintiff, file a lawsuit. Insurance companies typically retain legal representation to defend their interests in cases where their policyholders are being sued for damages. To be clear, the primary goal of insurance companies is to deliver profits to their shareholders – they are unable to do this if they keep paying compensation claims.

Therefore, the insurance companies often have teams of lawyers, often referred to as defense attorneys, that specialize in defending against personal injury claims and other legal actions brought against their clients. In this instance, “their clients” is defined as people that have an insurance policy with that specific insurance company.

Back To Top

What is The Role of a Defense Lawyer in An Auto Accident Lawsuit?

The defense attorney’s role is to represent the insurance company and the insured defendant throughout the legal process. Much like a plaintiff’s lawyer, they will review the allegations made in the lawsuit, gather evidence, formulate legal defenses, and advocate for their client’s interests in court proceedings. They may also negotiate with the plaintiff’s lawyer to reach a settlement or represent the defendant at trial if necessary.

Back To Top

What Tactics Might An Insurance Company Use If I File a Damages Lawsuit?

There are a number of levers that the lawyers working for an insurance company may pull during the course of litigation. It’s important to remember that commonly, they will have teams of support staff where their primary goal is to have your claim denied and therefore, not pay out ANY compensation to you, as the accident victim.

Some of these strategies may include:

  • Denial of Liability: The insurance provider might contest responsibility for the incident, asserting that their insured party was not liable or that the plaintiff’s injuries didn’t result from the specific accident in question.
  • Disputing Damages: Insurance companies may attempt to minimize the extent of the plaintiff’s damages by challenging the severity of their injuries. This strategy may involve disputing if medical treatment is necessary and if so, how much medical treatment is needed. They may also question the impact of the injuries on the plaintiff’s life and on their livelihood. All of which may have a significant effect on the outcome of a case unless the plaintiff is able to counter the argument.
  • Comparative Negligence: If permitted under state law, the insurance company may allege that the plaintiff contributed to the accident through their own negligence, thus reducing the amount of compensation they are entitled to recover.
  • Statute of Limitations: The insurance company may argue that the plaintiff’s lawsuit was filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations, barring them from seeking damages for the accident. If this is proven correct, there is a high likelihood of the lawsuit being dismissed.
  • Pre-existing Injuries or Conditions: Insurance companies may attempt to attribute the plaintiff’s injuries to pre-existing medical conditions or injuries unrelated to the accident, thereby reducing their liability for compensation.
  • Offering a Low Settlement Amount: Insurance companies are known to make low settlement offers to plaintiffs in an attempt to resolve the case quickly and for minimal cost. In the legal industry, this is often referred to as “swoop and settle” where the aim is for the insurance company to take advantage of the plaintiff’s potentially compromised situation and have then close the claim for an amount that may not adequately compensate the plaintiff for their injuries and losses.
  • Delaying Tactics: Insurance companies may use delay tactics, such as requesting multiple extensions for filing responses or motions, in an attempt to prolong the legal process and pressure the plaintiff into accepting a low settlement offer.
  • Vigorous Defense at Trial: If the case goes to trial, the insurance company’s legal team may vigorously defend their position, cross-examining witnesses, presenting expert testimony, and arguing legal defenses in an attempt to persuade the judge or jury to rule in their favor.

An experience accident lawyer will be prepared for these potential strategies in advance and ready to respond effectively and decisively on behalf of their client.

Need help reviewing a claim?
Contact us today.

Back To Top

What To Look For In a Good Car Accident Lawyer

When looking for a good car accident lawyer to represent your claim, you may like to consider the following:

  • Experience: Look for a lawyer that has significant experience handling car accident cases. Ideally, they should have an established track record of success in negotiating settlements and litigating cases similar to your own.
  • Expertise: It is advisable to choose a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law, particularly car accident cases. They should have in-depth knowledge of relevant laws, regulations, and legal strategies specific to car accident claims in your state.
  • Reputation: Research the lawyer’s reputation in the legal community and among past clients. Read Google reviews, Facebook reviews, testimonials from prior clients that may be published on the law firm’s website, and peer ratings from websites like Martindale.com to help determine their professionalism, ethics, and effectiveness as a legal advocate.
  • Communication Skills: A good lawyer should be an effective communicator who listens to the concerns of their clients and is able to explain complex legal concepts in plain language, keeping you informed about the progress of your case as it progress.
  • Resources: Accident victims looking to hire a lawyer may also like to consider the lawyer’s resources, including their access to investigative tools, expert witnesses, and support staff. A well-equipped law firm can conduct thorough investigations and build strong cases on behalf of their clients.
  • Track Record: Look for a lawyer who has a proven track record of obtaining favorable outcomes for their clients. Ask about their past case results, including settlements and verdicts, to assess their ability to achieve successful outcomes in car accident cases. Often, this information will be published on the law firm’s website.
  • Client-Centered Approach: Choose a lawyer who prioritizes the needs and interests of their clients. A lawyer that takes the time to understand the unique circumstances and goals of each of their clients. Lawyers and their support teams should be responsive to questions and concerns and provide personalized attention throughout the legal process.
  • Fee Structure: Discuss the lawyer’s fee structure upfront, including how they charge for their services (e.g., contingency fee or, an hourly rate) and any additional costs or expenses that a customer may be responsible for. It is CRITICAL to Be certain to understand the financial terms of the representation before hiring the lawyer.
  • Compatibility: Finally, trust your instincts and choose a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable and confident. Lawsuits can last a long time before they are resolved – in most auto accident cases, it can be a year or more from the data of the crash. Therefore, building a strong attorney-client relationship based on trust and mutual respect is essential for the success of your case.

By considering these factors, you can select a car accident lawyer who is well-equipped to advocate for the rights of their clients and help to pursue the maximum amount of compensation available for your injuries and losses.

Searching for a lawyer?
We can help.

Back To Top

How Are Damages Determined in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Determining damages in a car accident lawsuit involves assessing the losses suffered by the plaintiff that were incurred as a result of the accident. Commonly, damages in a car accident lawsuit can be categorized into two main types: economic damages and non-economic damages. A definition of these include:

Economic Damages

These are tangible, quantifiable losses that can be calculated with a fair degree of precision. These damages may include:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs associated with emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical care related to the injuries that may have been sustained in the accident.
  • Lost Wages: If the accident resulted in the plaintiff being unable to work or earning a reduced income due to their injuries, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or loss of earning capacity.
  • Property Damage: This addresses potentially-recoverable damages to the plaintiff’s vehicle or other personal property as a result of the accident. This often includes repair or replacement costs.
  • Other Financial Losses: This category may include out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident, such as transportation costs to medical appointments, home modifications (to accommodate mobility of the plaintiff due to injuries sustained), or the cost of hiring household help during recovery.

Non-Economic Damages

These are intangible losses that are more challenging to quantify but are nonetheless compensable. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Reparation for bodily discomfort, pain, and emotional suffering endured due to the accident and subsequent injuries.
  • Emotional Distress: Damages for psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, and other emotional consequences of the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the loss of ability to engage in activities and hobbies that the plaintiff enjoyed before the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: In cases where the accident results in the loss of a spousal relationship or companionship, the non-injured spouse may be entitled to compensation for the loss of consortium.

It’s important to note that the amount of damages awarded in a car accident lawsuit often depends on various factors, including the severity of the injuries sustained in the collision, the impact of those injuries on the plaintiff’s life, the level of negligence of the parties involved, and the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed. Expert testimony, medical records, witness statements, and other evidence may be used to support the plaintiff’s claim for damages. From the perspective of the legal system – ultimately, the goal is to provide each side with an opportunity to present their case in a neutral environment, where fair compensation to the plaintiff is potentially available to help them recover and move forward after the accident.

Injured in a crash?
We can help.

Back To Top

What Type of Information Will a Lawyer Gather For a Car Crash Lawsuit?

While building a case to litigate a car crash lawsuit, a lawyer and their support team will gather various types of information and evidence in their effort to to build a strong case on behalf of their client. Following are some of the key types of information that may be compiled:

  • Accident Reports: Obtaining copies of accident reports filed by law enforcement officers who responded to the scene of the accident can help to provide more insight into what actually happened. Memories of events often fade and as these reports are taken at the actual scene, they commonly contain accurate, important details about the circumstances of the crash, including statements from drivers and witnesses, diagrams of the accident scene, and preliminary assessments of fault.
  • Medical Records: These may include hospital records, emergency room reports, diagnostic test results, surgical notes, and records from follow-up appointments with healthcare providers.
  • Photographs and Videos: Lawyers will gather photographs and videos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any visible injuries that may have been suffered by their client. This visual evidence can help demonstrate the severity of the crash, the extent of property damage, and the nature and extent of the client’s injuries.
  • Witness Statements: While not always 100% accurate, having interviews with eyewitnesses to the accident and written or recorded statements detailing what they saw and heard can be valuable in a car accident case. Such testimony can provide valuable corroboration of the client’s version of events and help to establish liability for the crash.
  • Expert Opinions: Consulting with accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, economists, and other experts can help to provide information that is highly relevant to the case. For example, accident reconstruction experts can help recreate the sequence of events leading up to the crash, while medical experts can provide insight into the nature and extent of the client’s injuries and their long-term effects.
  • Employment and Financial Records: Employment and financial records maybe requested by the plaintiff’s lawyer to help document the impact of the car crash on their client’s ability to work and earn income. Information obtained from this process may include pay stubs, tax returns, employment contracts, and records of lost wages or benefits.
  • Insurance Policies: Garnering insurance policies of all parties involved in the accident may include liability insurance policies, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payment coverage. All of which are valuable in determining the true extent of available coverage for damages.
  • Communication Records: Collecting and reviewing any written or electronic communications related to the accident, including emails, text messages, and social media posts may provide additional insights into the circumstances surrounding the crash and the parties’ actions and intentions.

By gathering and analyzing this information, an accident lawyer has the opportunity build a comprehensive case on behalf of their client, establish liability for the accident, and pursue fair compensation for the client.

Back To Top

Who Will Negotiate The Settlement in an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

After being hired to handle a case, the lawyer will typically negotiate a settlement on behalf of their customer. Negotiating a settlement is a common part of the legal process in personal injury cases, including those arising from car accidents. Learn more about what goes into a negotiation below:

  • Assessment of Damages: Before entering into negotiations, the lawyer will assess the full extent of damages resulting from the car accident. This usually includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other losses that the plaintiff may have incurred as a result of the collision.
  • Demand Letter: A demand letter is prepared, outlining the details of the case, including the facts relevant to the accident, the injuries sustained and the damages being sought after. The demand letter will typically include a specific settlement amount that the plaintiff is willing to accept to resolve the case.
  • Negotiations with Insurance Companies: The lawyer will engage in negotiations with the insurance company representing the at-fault party (or parties) involved in the accident. They will present the case and argue for fair compensation based on the evidence and legal principles involved.
  • Counteroffers and Responses: The insurance company may reply to the demand letter by presenting a counterproposal, suggesting a reduced settlement sum or perhaps, disputing certain aspects of the claim. It is the responsibility of the lawyer to review these counteroffers and negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair and acceptable settlement.
  • Legal Strategies and Tactics: Throughout the negotiation process, legal strategies and tactics are often employed by the plaintiff’s lawyer to maximize the settlement amount and protect the interests of the plaintiff. This may include highlighting the strength of your case, addressing weaknesses in the opposing party’s arguments, and leveraging relevant legal precedents or statutes.
  • Settlement Agreement: If a mutually acceptable settlement is reached, the plaintiff’s lawyer will help draft a settlement agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the settlement. Once both parties agree to the terms, the settlement agreement is signed, and the case is resolved without the need for further litigation. The disbursement of funds will follow shortly thereafter.
  • Litigation Preparation: If negotiations are unsuccessful in reaching a fair settlement, the plaintiff’s lawyer will be prepared to escalate the matter to litigation and advocate for the case in court. However, the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved through settlement negotiations without the need for trial.

Throughout the negotiation process, good lawyers will keep their client informed of any developments and provide guidance on the best course of action based on the goals and priorities of the client. An example of this is if the client requires a fast settlement. In this instance, it is likely the lawyer will provide their recommendation and then proceed based on the instruction of the client. Ultimately, the goal of a plaintiff’s attorney is to secure the maximum compensation possible for any injuries and losses sustained by their client, while minimizing the stress and uncertainty associated with litigation.

Questions about a car accident lawsuit?
Contact us today.

Back To Top

After a Car Crash Lawsuit Has Been Resolved, Can Additional Compensation be Available To Recover?

Yes, under certain circumstances. However, it largely depends on the specific details of the case and any subsequent developments that may arise. Following are some examples where additional compensation may be pursued after a claim has been closed.

  • Appeals: If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the lawsuit, the decision may be appealed in a higher court. If the appeal is successful, the case may be remanded for further proceedings, which may potentially result in a different or modified judgment.
  • Discovery of New Evidence: If new evidence comes to light after the resolution of the lawsuit and that information was not available during the initial proceedings, it may be possible to seek additional compensation based on this new information. However, the process for introducing new evidence post-judgment can be challenging and is subject to strict very legal standards.
  • Violation of Settlement Agreement: If one party fails to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement reached after the lawsuit, the other party may pursue a legal solution to enforce the agreement and seek additional compensation for any damages resulting from the violation.
  • Subsequent Injuries or Damages: In some cases, the full extent of a plaintiff’s injuries or damages may not be immediately apparent at the time of the lawsuit’s resolution. If new injuries or damages emerge after the case has been resolved, the plaintiff may be able to pursue additional compensation through legal action, depending on the circumstances.
  • Insurance Coverage Issues: If there are disputes or issues related to insurance coverage that were not fully resolved during the initial proceedings, it may be necessary to pursue further legal action to address these matters and seek additional compensation if appropriate.

A qualified accident attorney can help to to assess the potential for seeking additional compensation after a car crash lawsuit has been resolved. By reviewing the specific details of a case, potential avenues for further legal action may be uncovered. Based on that information, the lawyer may be able to provide guidance on a suitable course of action based on the individual circumstances and objectives.

Back To Top

What Does It All Cost To Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

Most accident lawyers in the United States work on a contingency fee – this means they only get paid if they successfully recover compensation for the client. In a contingency fee arrangement, the lawyer’s fee is usually a percentage of the amount recovered through settlement or trial. This percentage can vary but is typically 30% of the total recovered amount. If the lawyer does not win the case, the client does not owe any attorney fees, although they may still be responsible for certain expenses incurred during the legal process.

However, there are some alternative payment methods that are employed:

  • Hourly Rate: Some car accident lawyers may charge an hourly rate for their services. This means that the client is billed for the time spent working on the case. Hourly rates can vary widely depending on the lawyer’s experience and location but may range from $100 to $500 per hour or more. Clients are typically required to pay a retainer upfront, which the lawyer deducts from as they bill for their time. This is uncommon for injury lawyers and more common for other types of lawyers – an example may be a bankruptcy or divorce lawyer.
  • Flat Fee: In some instances, a car accident lawyer may offer their services for a flat fee, particularly for simpler or routine cases. The flat fee is agreed upon upfront and covers all legal services related to the case. Flat fees can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer’s experience but may range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
  • Hybrid Fee Arrangements: Attorneys may also offer hybrid fee arrangements that combine elements of contingency fees, hourly rates, and flat fees. For example, a lawyer may charge a reduced hourly rate along with a reduced contingency fee, or they may charge a flat fee for certain services with a contingency fee for successful outcomes.

Discussing fee arrangements with a lawyer BEFORE any documents are signed is highly recommended. Clients are also encouraged to inquire about additional costs or expenses that they may be responsible for – these may include court filing fees, expert witness fees and costs associated with obtaining medical &/or accident records.

Back To Top

We Are Here To Help You

At Injury Law Support, we can help to connect accident victims to injury lawyers that have been vetted by our onboarding team. We can help to take the guesswork out of finding a good lawyer – a lawyer that is experienced handling your type of potential case, that will competently handle your claim and work hard to recover the maximum amount of compensation available on your behalf.

To learn more, complete the “Free Case Review” form on this page and we will out you in contact with a vetted, local lawyer from the Injury Support network.

Contact Injury Law Support today.

Back To Top

Free Case Review

No Upfront Fees. No Obligation.

"*" indicates required fields

Zip Code*