When Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?


According to Forbes, there were over 5,000,000 car accidents in the US in 2020 — a year when many people were staying home and not driving their cars. With that many accidents per year, the odds that you will eventually be involved in a car accident are unfortunately high.

If you are injured in a car accident, you will need compensation from an insurance company to pay for your medical bills and other expenses. An experienced car accident attorney can make it easier to get the compensation you deserve.

But how do you know when you need to hire a car accident attorney, and can you hire one at any point in the process?

When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney

Unless you work for the car insurance industry or a law firm that handles car accident cases, the insurance company knows more about the claim process than you do. This difference in knowledge can cost you money if you aren’t careful, and it can even result in your claim being denied.

Hiring a car accident attorney is critical to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive maximum compensation. Having a dedicated car accident lawyer on your side can benefit you at any point in the claims process, including:

Immediately After the Accident

In nearly all cases, the best time to hire a car accident lawyer will be immediately after the accident. This makes it easier for your attorney to investigate your case and reduces the amount of effort you have to put into your claim.

By consulting with a car accident attorney immediately after an accident, you can learn about your legal options and get valuable advice about how to approach your claim. This advice can help level the field and mean the difference between securing compensation that covers your expenses and compensation that falls short.

Typically, a car accident attorney will start investigating as soon as they are hired. This is important because evidence can disappear quickly. The accident scene usually gets cleaned up in hours, and witnesses might forget details in as little as a day. Even video footage might be deleted if it isn’t obtained quickly.

And since this evidence is vital to maximizing the compensation you get from the insurance company, the sooner you hire a lawyer, the more likely they can uncover evidence that supports your claim.

Additionally, your attorney will take over communications with the insurance company. This means that instead of dealing with countless phone calls, emails, and texts yourself, your attorney will do the work. This leaves you more time to focus on recovering from your injuries.

After You Receive an Offer

Some people prefer to trust the insurance company to do what is right. Sadly, all too often, this turns out poorly. Most insurers are looking for any excuse to undervalue your claim. And there is a good chance your initial offer will be less than you deserve.

If you haven’t hired an attorney yet, you should retain one before accepting a compensation offer. Even though the car insurance lawyer is coming into the process late, they should be able to determine whether the offer is fair within a reasonable time frame.

If the offer isn’t fair, your attorney will tell you and provide evidence of why it isn’t fair. And even if it is fair, that doesn’t mean it is the maximum compensation you are eligible for. Generally, a car accident lawyer can identify additional compensation that you can get and help you obtain it. Either way, you end up with more money by hiring a lawyer.

If Your Case Goes to Litigation

Finally, if you disagree with the decision of the insurance company, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and/or your insurance company. At this point, if you haven’t already retained an attorney, you should hire one immediately.

Litigation can be extremely complicated, and insurance companies have their own legal teams at their disposal. A car insurance lawyer will give you the best chance of winning damages from a trial.

Once a litigation starts, your attorney will handle all the court filings and motions that are integral to the legal process. With an attorney on your side, you won’t have to worry about meeting any deadlines for these proceedings.

A court case may take longer to complete compared to a standard claim. And throughout that time, your attorney will need to respond to court inquiries. A good lawyer will keep you updated about the progress of your case and only request minimal effort from you.

Hire an Attorney Early

While you can hire a car accident lawyer at any point in the process, if you want the best results, you should hire one as early as possible. When you hire one early, your case will have a much higher chance of proceeding smoothly and quickly.

And if you receive a bad offer or need to go to court, then having a lawyer will make each of those steps easier. Your attorney will already be familiar with your case, having worked on it for weeks or months.

Contact the Knowledgeable Team at Schiff & Associates Today

If you have been injured in a car accident, you shouldn’t be on the hook for your medical bills. The skilled attorneys at Schiff & Associates can help you get the maximum possible compensation from the insurance companies. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a skilled car accident attorney in Columbus.