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Car Accident Claims: Do I Need My Own Lawyer?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 13, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You might think about handling a simple fender bender on your own. After all, it's just a couple quick calls to insurance companies and paperwork from the repair shop, right? But even the most straightforward car accident claims can go sideways in a hurry. For more serious cases where someone is injured, the fallout can be complex and intimidating.

Going it alone can mean forfeiting your legal rights, getting a smaller settlement, or even being found liable for the accident yourself. Here are just a few reasons why you need your own lawyer for a car accident claim:

Conflict of Insurance

Often, your insurance company may provide legal counsel after a car accident. But be careful -- that attorney is often hired by the insurance company and tasked with protecting the insurance company's interests. So if those interests don't align with your own (like if the insurance company thinks you're at fault for the accident) that lawyer may be doing you a disservice.

Also, what happens if the insurance company denies your claim, or if the insurance money isn't enough to cover your damages? You need an attorney on your side.

Causing Injuries

If you or someone else involved in the car accident suffered injuries, it will likely also involve a lawsuit or two. Defending you in a lawsuit, proving you weren't at fault, and even sorting out special damages from general damages are tasks for an experienced car accident lawyer, not a layperson.

And even if lawsuits are filed, that doesn't mean your car accident claim is going to trial. The vast majority of car accident lawsuits are settled before ever seeing a courtroom. You might think this is a reason you don't need a lawyer, but the opposite is true. A good attorney will be able to more accurately assess the value of your claim, know whether a proposed settlement amount is worth accepting, and advocate on your behalf for a better deal.

Even the simplest car accident claims can involve complicated legal proceedings. If you've been involved in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today.

Related Resources:

  • Find Personal Injury Lawyers in Your Area (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
  • 5 Questions to Ask Your Car Accident Lawyer (FindLaw's Injured)
  • 3 Tips to Prepare for a Car Accident Claim (FindLaw's Injured)
  • Car Accident Investigations: How Do They Work? (FindLaw's Injured)
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