When Should You Hire an Auto Accident Attorney

Generally speaking, you should hire an attorney if you or a loved one has been 1) seriously or permanently injured in an accident or 2) lost a significant amount of time from work, school or household duties. Don’t entirely rule out contacting an attorney even if you don’t think that you or a loved one were seriously injured as the facts and circumstances of every accident are different and injuries may not become apparent right away. Simple “fender bender” type accidents where you’re certain that there was no injury can usually be handled by your insurance company. Accidents that resulted in some, even minor, injuries may require a bit more thought. While you should always use your best judgment, it is wise to err on the side of caution and contact an attorney for a consultation when you’re not sure what to do – especially in today’s litigious environment. The following examples might provide a bit more guidance:

It is best to contact an attorney when:

  • There has been, or is likely to be, a serious or permanent injury (anything requiring hospitalization)
  • Someone has died
  • Someone was at fault
  • Other vehicles or pedestrians were involved
  • The accident occurred in a construction area
  • A police report wrongly puts you at fault
  • The matter is complicated or technical
  • You have limited or no insurance coverage
  • Your insurance company has acted in bad faith
  • Your insurer corresponds through its own attorney, rather than a claims representative

Consider contacting an attorney when:

  • You need advice on settlement or negotiation matters
  • You suspect that other insurance may be available such as homeowners, travel, etc.
  • Fault may be an issue;
  • You think that your insurance company may be acting in bad faith
  • You don’t know your rights or how to read your policy