Many drivers are in car accidents that are minor enough that no attorney is needed. If you are in a fender bender and there is little property damage and no personal injury, your insurance company will likely be able to help you. However, you will certainly want to contact a qualified attorney if:
*A serious injury has occurred, such as a burn injury, spinal cord injury, brain injury, or other serious problem. If anyone requires hospitalization or needs to take time away from work, you should seek a qualified attorney. If there is a chance that any of the injuries caused by the car accident will cause a permanent disability, you need to seek a good attorney right away.
*There has been a fatality as a result of the accident.
*There are accusations of recklessness or negligence
*Other cars or pedestrians are involved
*The police report filed after the accident is not accurate and suggests that your actions caused the accident.
*The accident took place in a construction area
*You have no insurance or your insurance provider is telling you that you are not covered because an insurance payment was late.
*You have very small liability coverage on your car insurance.
*Your insurance provider engages an attorney to deal with you or suddenly stops taking your calls or answering your questions.
Why do you need to hire an attorney in these cases? Quite simply, all of the above are red flag warning signs that the accident may be causing larger legal issues that may create problems for you. In all of the above cases, it is technically possible that you might be able to sort out the problem without the help of an attorney, but you do not want to involve yourself in a messy legal case so it really is safer to seek legal advice right away.
In addition, there are some circumstances which warrant a consultation with an attorney, although they are probably situations which might require attorney advice rather than intervention:
*You need advice on how much you could reasonably expect to get from a claim.
*You’re not sure if other types of insurance (such as personal coverage or homeowners insurance) apply in a claim.
*You’re not sure if your insurer is really helping you.
*You need help negotiating with an insurance provider.
*You don’t understand your insurance policy or your rights.
*You’re confused by a maze of forms and paperwork and need help making sense of it all.
In all of these cases, an attorney is not an absolute essential, but professional legal advice can certainly make you feel more at ease, can help you protect your interests, and can help ensure that hassles and problems won’t come up.