How to Know When You Need an Accident Attorney

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Do you need an accident attorney every time you file an insurance claim? If you think there’s an easy answer, you’re mistaken.

Every accident is different and this affects the insurance claim. If you dent your side view mirror pulling into your garage, you can probably handle the insurance paperwork without legal help. If someone’s negligence causes your accident, it’s probably a good idea to call an accident attorney.

If you’re not sure if you need an accident attorney or can handle the process on your own, here’s what you should know.

When You Probably Don’t Need an Accident Attorney

Using the above example of damaging your vehicle pulling into your garage, if you’re entirely to blame for the accident there’s probably no reason to hire an attorney.

You simply get over the embarrassment of hitting your garage and contact your insurance provider. Yes, your insurance agent may give you some grief, and warn about an increase in your monthly premiums, but you’ll also get a check to cover the repairs.

Most of the time, you’re not going to need to hire an attorney if you’re the only one involved in the accident and no one else’s property is damaged. Obviously, if your accident doesn’t result in property damage or injuries, there’s no reason to file an insurance claim. This means that, in this scenario, hiring an attorney is a waste of everyone’s time.

Sometimes, an accident results in minimal property damage. For instance, you may have a tiny scuff mark on your bumper that you can probably buff out at home. Once again, since there’s really no reason to file a claim for a scuffed bumper, you probably aren’t going to need to hire legal representation.

When You Should Hire an Attorney

Unfortunately, not all accidents result in minor property damage and zero injuries. If you suffer injuries and your property damage is more than a barely visible ding, you’re probably going to want to retain legal representation.

The medical expenses resulting from your injuries are probably going to be high. There’s also a good chance your insurance is going to balk at paying these expenses. This typically applies when the accident isn’t your fault

Working with an experienced accident lawyer can help ensure you receive full compensation for your damages. This can also include compensation for your property damage, lost wages, and even your pain and suffering.

You may have a more extensive list of damages that you realize and your attorney can help you go through each one.

You’re Not Responsible for the Accident

Texas follows both at-fault and modified comparative negligence rules. Yes, this can be a little confusing even when you have a passing familiarity with both rules. In an at-fault state, you turn to the individual responsible for the accident insurance provider for compensation.

So far, it seems pretty straightforward. Your vehicle was hit by someone not yielding the right of way so there shouldn’t be any issues.

Now, modified comparative negligence may come into play. This rule allows more than one party to be partially responsible for the accident. You can still file an injury claim if you’re assigned a percentage of the blame as long as it’s less than 51%.

However, your percentage of the blame reduces your compensation. To help ensure you’re not assigned more than your fair share of the blame, it’s almost always best to work with an accident attorney.

The Insurance Company Is Only Offering a Low Settlement Amount

Insurance companies are in the business of turning a profit and hate paying out maximum claim amounts. You can be good friends with the insurance adjuster and have all of your bills, receipts, and estimates ready to provide as proof and still be stuck with a low offer.

Regardless of how many rounds of negotiations you go through, the insurance company is still refusing to budge. In this case, your best option is to hire an accident attorney. Your attorney is familiar with the common tactics insurance companies use to try and reduce claim amounts.

From ensuring you have plenty of proof to handling the negotiations, your attorney can take care of everything. If an agreement can’t be reached, your attorney is ready to file a lawsuit in civil court. Sometimes, the threat of going to court is enough to get the insurance company back to the negotiating table.

Also read: Unraveling Insurance: Navigating the Claims Process

Sometimes It’s Best to Work with an Accident Attorney

There are times when you don’t need an accident attorney. However, if you suffer injuries and/or property damage, it’s best to have legal representation. This way, you can focus on your recovery and let your attorney handle the insurance company.

An experienced attorney can also help ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses, alleviating the stress of dealing with legal and financial matters on your own.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

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