When To Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

Updated January 30, 2024
6 min read
When To Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

After a severe car accident resulting in personal injuries, lost wages, and expensive medical treatments, a personal injury lawyer becomes essential. However, if a car crash only results in property damage, you might need to decide whether to hire a car accident attorney to assist you with the claims process.

What To Do After a Car Accident

From the moment a car accident occurs, the clock starts ticking on a series of events that can have long-lasting effects on your life. Understanding how to handle these situations can make a difference. The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic and stressful. Still, it's essential to remain calm and follow these steps:

  • Check for injuries: Assess yourself and other vehicle occupants for any injuries.

  • Move to a safe place: If you're not injured, move to a secure location like a sidewalk.

  • Call 911: Regardless of the accident's severity, always involve the police for documentation and an accident report for your auto insurance claims process.

  • Exchange information: If safe, exchange basic information like names, insurance details, and driver's license numbers with the other driver.

  • Gather evidence: Take photos of the scene, vehicle damage, skid marks, etc, and note down the accident's date, time, and direction of vehicle travel.

  • Notify your insurer: Inform your insurer and inquire about the necessary evidence for your claim. Some insurance companies provide mobile app assistance for collecting evidence.

  • Seek medical attention: Some injuries are not immediately visible. Get checked by a doctor as soon as possible. A medical report often forms part of a successful personal injury claim.

After these immediate steps are taken, follow up on all medical treatments, contact your insurance company, and document every step. This detailed record could be immensely beneficial when calling a lawyer after a car accident, especially if you need to file a personal injury claim.

Lastly, always pay attention to the role of an experienced car accident attorney when navigating an accident's aftermath. Ensuring professional legal representation can grant you peace of mind and uphold your rights.

Should You Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

After managing the immediate requirements of the accident, your mind might default to dealing with insurance and getting your life back on track. During this recovery phase, you may need the help of a lawyer for your car accident claim. The thought of added legal complexities could seem daunting and overwhelming, which makes the decision quite personal.

However, personal injury attorneys can bring professional expertise to the table, including car accident legal advice and assisting in getting a fair settlement for your damages. They have the necessary experience to navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring the at-fault driver is held legally accountable. Furthermore, an experienced attorney can alleviate some stress by tackling the time-consuming tasks of handling insurance companies, paperwork, and legal proceedings, allowing you to focus more on your recovery.

What Not To Do After a Car Accident

Even minor accidents can lead to legally complex situations, with the identification of the negligent driver not always clear-cut. Avoid these common mistakes on the accident scene to ensure a smoother claims process:

    • Do not discuss fault: Without admitting or assuming fault, refrain from apologizing or debating the specifics of the accident with the other party.
    • Avoid emotional language and anger: Keeping a cool head is crucial; avoid intensifying the situation with hostile or confrontational language.
    • Do not enter pre-emptive deals without insurance: Avoid striking under-the-table agreements with the other party regarding damages that exclude your insurance company.
    • Refrain from discussing injuries: Immediate assessments of injuries may need to be more accurate since some injuries may take time to manifest. Avoid declaring yourself uninjured right after an accident.

These pointers are merely guidelines to keep in mind. Remember that every accident is different, and the recommendations above may not apply in all situations. Professional legal assistance is essential if you're in doubt or dealing with a complicated case. Legal expertise can prove invaluable in navigating the maze of claims, disputes, and potential legal ramifications following an accident.

Reasons To Consult a Car Accident Lawyer

If you're stressed and confused after a car accident, consider seeking legal representation, especially if:

    • Either party sustained an injury.
    • The at-fault party needs to be clarified.
    • The accident involves another party or vehicle.
    • The accident occurred in a school, construction, or work zone.
    • The other party was underinsured or uninsured.
    • The insurance companies involved are non-cooperative.
    • You dispute the police's accident report.

In addition to these circumstances, a lawyer's guidance may become invaluable if the accident's impact on your life is substantial, necessitating extended time off work or prolonged medical treatment. Remember, an experienced car accident attorney has the skills and knowledge to represent your interests best, dealing with insurance companies and legal procedures while you focus on your physical and psychological recovery.

What To Provide To Your Car Accident Attorney

Appointing a car accident attorney is a significant step toward asserting your legal rights and getting appropriate compensation. As you embark on this legal journey, the information and documentation you provide your lawyer will lay the foundation of your case. Here's what you should prepare:

    • Police report: The formal account of the accident reported by the police.
    • Medical records and invoices: include details of your injuries, treatments administered, and medical costs linked to the accident.
    • Insurance correspondence: All interactions with your insurance company that pertain to your claim.
    • Accident scene evidence: Any captured photos or videos from the accident scene.
    • Accident details: A detailed account of the incident as you remember it, including date, time, and location.

This information will give your attorney the tools to frame your case effectively and argue it convincingly. By meticulously gathering and organizing these details, you increase your chances of a successful claim and make your attorney's job easier, resulting in a smoother journey toward resolution and compensation. So, take the time to gather, document, and relay these vital details to your car accident attorney.

When To File a Claim for a Car Accident

Specific timelines bound legal proceedings and insurance claims related to car accidents. Each state specifies a statute of limitations that stipulates the period within which you can file a claim or, inversely, be charged for negligence following an accident. These limitation periods typically range from two to three years and start counting from the day of the accident, not from when you notice the injuries or damages.

Therefore, initiating your claim process as quickly as possible is of utmost importance to preserve your right to compensation and ensure that evidence is maintained and memories of the accident remain fresh. A swift start to your claim also allows your lawyer for a car accident to build a compelling case while all the information and evidence are readily available. So, while recouping from an accident, remember to set in motion your legal proceedings promptly to safeguard your best interests.

How Will a Lawyer Determine The Value of Compensation To Pursue?

When calculating the value of a compensation claim, an experienced attorney will consider multiple vital factors, such as:

    • Immediate and future medical costs.
    • Loss of earnings and potential future earning capacity.
    • Property damage.
    • Pain and suffering.
    • Emotional distress.

This comprehensive assessment ensures that both present and future complications and expenses arising from the accident are covered in your compensation claim, maximizing your chances of receiving a fair settlement.


Car accidents can be traumatic and lead to continuous stress and legal complications. However, when to contact a lawyer after a car accident is a critical consideration; an attorney can fight for you and ensure you receive the settlement you deserve. While the decision to hire a car accident attorney is personal, professional legal representation can ease your post-accident life.

Article by
Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the product or UX content for Lawrina, feel free to contact Yevheniia directly at y.savchenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.