There is no exact science as to when you should and when you should not hire a lawyer to represent you in your car accident case. As a general rule, if at any time you do not feel comfortable handling your claim on your own, for any reason, you should consult with and hire a car accident lawyer. Beyond that there are no hard and fast rules.
We have come up with a few of our own that we advise potential clients on to help them make a decision whether to hire us or not. Below are a few of those.If you were not injured in the accident and therefore only have a property damage claim, you likely do not need to hire a lawyer. This is because insurance companies typically do not play games with the value of the property damage.
If you were injured in the accident then it is more likely that you will want to hire a car accident lawyer. Still there may be instances where you can handle the claim on your own. For example, if you have relatively minor injuries that do not require or did not require more than a few weeks of conservative treatment (i.e. no surgery etc.), then you may be able to handle that claim on your own.
Much like the property damage claim, insurance companies tend not to play games with the value of minor injury claims. We typically tell potential clients that if your medical expenses are less than $10,000.00 then it is something you may be able to settle on your own without the need for a lawyer’s help.
If you were severely injured and/or your treatment has lasted well beyond just a couple of weeks, it is probably time to hire a lawyer. As your claim increases in value, so does the chances that the insurance company is going to dig in and fight to minimize your claim as much as possible. So if you have bills over $10,000.00 or found out you have a major injury like a herniated disc or broken bone, it is probably time to hire a lawyer.
In conclusion, remember the first rule that if at any point in the claims process, regardless of your injuries or the amount of your medical expenses, you feel uncomfortable handling your claim on your own, it is time to seek legal representation.
U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit; U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia; Georgia Supreme Court; 2005, Georgia
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