After you have been in a car accident, it can be very challenging to decide whether you need to hire a lawyer. You may be conflicted over spending the extra money when you could just be offered a settlement, and want to get the whole thing over with quickly. If you are seriously injured and have overwhelming medical bills, it can be difficult to justify spending more money for legal representation.
Sometimes, cases can be simple enough to handle on your own. On the other hand, when there is an added layer or two of complexity—such as a dispute over liability—having representation can help you ensure that you have all of your bases covered, so to speak. Below, we offer a simple look at when you may or may not need to hire a lawyer.
When Self-Representation Could Be in Your Best Interest
While it may seem strange to have a law firm tell you that you do not need to hire them, there are certain scenarios when you can get the job done yourself. If your car accident was straightforward and no one was seriously injured, both parties’ claims will likely reflect that. How can you tell if your case fits the bill?
- Minimal property damage or injuries: If your accident was a simple “fender bender” that left both cars drivable and all vehicle occupants with minor injuries like scrapes or bruising, the claims involved from both parties will likely only include car repair costs and a follow-up doctor’s visit.
- Clear and uncontested liability: Certain accidents leave very little room for debate over liability, such as rear-end collisions or left turn accidents. If liability for your accident clearly lies with one side or another, or you have very clear witness statements or traffic camera footage, there will not be much room to argue about “whodunit.”
If you can confidently say that both of the above apply to your case, you may be able to obtain favorable results on your own, without the help of an attorney.
When to “Lawyer Up” After an Arizona Auto Accident
Just as in poker, when the stakes are high after a car accident, you will want to be sure that you go in with the best hand possible. Unlike poker, however, you can change your hand for the best by hiring an experienced, trial-ready lawyer.
What constitutes high stakes in a car accident injury case?
- Serious injury or death: From broken bones to more permanent injuries, your medical bills will likely be sizeable.
- Significant property damage: If your car was totaled in the accident, your claim will be much higher than a simple rear-end collision.
- Contested liability: If the other party denies wrongdoing, you are likely going to be placed with the burden of proving that they are at fault.
- “VIP” defendants: If the other party in your accident was a commercial driver (from a taxi cab to a tractor trailer) or a government employee in a government vehicle, they will likely have legal heavy-hitters in their corner.
If any of the above scenarios apply to your accident, you will likely fare much better with an attorney.
At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers want you to get the best result possible for your case, whether that means hiring us or settling the matter on your own. If you are unsure if you need an attorney for your case, call us at 692-258-1000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today.