In most cases, a lawsuit isn’t needed after a motor vehicle collision (MVC). If one driver is clearly responsible and no one is injured, the at-fault insurance company will most likely settle without having to go to court. So, when does someone need a lawyer after a car accident?
If you think the other driver is at fault and have grounds to seek a settlement, you should think about retaining a lawyer. A reputable attorney can help you figure out how to get the most money for a car accident. Even if you don’t take your case to court, it may be in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Especially if the insurance company makes a low settlement offer and negotiations are necessary.
When Do You Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
If you are at fault for an accident and the other driver decides to sue you, you will need a lawyer to defend you. In this case, it is likely that your auto insurance company will provide a car accident attorney for you, but keep in mind that an insurance company’s lawyer works first in the best interest of the insurer and in your interests secondarily. Even if your insurance company provides a lawyer, you may want to hire your own attorney if you can afford it.
If you are not responsible for an accident and feel that the at-fault driver’s insurance company has not offered you enough compensation, you may decide to take the case to court. Suing after car accidents is more common for cases when drivers incur pain and suffering damages and high medical bills. You may also decide to open a wrongful death suit if anyone in your vehicle was killed in the crash.
If any of the following things happened in your accident, you may want to speak with a lawyer:
- Your injuries required you to miss work.
- Someone was killed.
- You sustained major injuries or required medical treatment as a result of the crash.
- The injuries you sustained during the crash are expected to have a long-term impact on your quality of life.
When Don’t You Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
If you are at fault for an accident and nobody is suing you, there is no reason to hire a lawyer.
If you are not at fault, you still may not need a lawyer. After you file an insurance claim, you’ll only need to hire an attorney if the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay what you believe you are owed.
If the following is true of an accident, it is unlikely that the insurance company will “low ball” you:
- There was only property damage, and nobody was hurt or killed.
- You suffered minor or no physical injuries.
- The settlement you deserve is relatively small.
Should you hire an attorney after a car accident?
You are not required to hire an attorney after a car accident. In most cases, in fact, it is unnecessary. Start by filing an insurance claim and proceed from there. If you are offered a settlement that you feel is unjustly low, you should hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.
You may also need a lawyer after a car accident if you were injured in the crash or if you were at fault and another driver is suing you.
How long do I have to get an attorney after a car accident?
All states have statutes of limitations that determine how long after an accident you have to sue. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal auto injury suits is two years.
Do I need an attorney for a minor car accident?
It is unlikely that you’ll need an attorney after a minor car accident in Denver. Typically, unless you are being sued, there is no reason to hire an attorney.
In Colorado, medical payment coverage (also called “med-pay”) can provide coverage for medical expenses that you or your passengers incur when you’re involved in an auto accident. Since 2009, all Colorado insurance companies must offer their customers a $5,000 medical payments policy. If you want to opt out of this coverage, you must sign a form stating that you are choosing not to have that coverage. As we’ll discuss in this article, opting out of medical payments insurance can be a costly mistake.
In Colorado, the cost of med-pay coverage is roughly $5 a month for $5,000 of coverage. If you’d like more coverage, you can purchase more at a additional cost. Also, there ‘s no deductible to pay before you can use this coverage. Med-pay insurance is also not required to be paid back from any settlement you may receive. Obviously, med-pay insurance is very important if you are involved in a MVC.
Is it worth getting a car accident lawyer?
It is worth getting an attorney if the insurance company offers a “low ball” settlement to settle your claim. An attorney is helpful when negotiating with your insurance company. They work on your behalf to get fair settlement and will be able to represent you in court if necessary.
The more serious your injuries, the more valuable a personal injury attorney will be. For minor MVCs where no one is hurt, it’s unlikely that you will need to a lawyer. If you suffered a serious injury that has impacted your quality of life, a lawyer is a great idea.
Concerning attorney fees, many lawyers will work on a contingency basis, asking for around a third of the final settlement. Most lawyers also offer free consultations.
Do You Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
You are not legally obligated to hire a lawyer after a car accident. The only reason you need a lawyer after a car accident is if you are being sued or decide to sue the other driver.
If you are unsure as to whether you should hire a lawyer, contact one of our preferred personal injury attorneys. They offer free consultations in which they can review your case and give you advice on how to proceed.