Car accidents aren’t just traumatizing and terrifying: they’re also incredibly exhausting events. Unfortunately, that exhaustion doesn’t go away when you finally get home, or even the day after the accident. When you’re already dealing with insurance companies, the police, and messages from family, adding a lawyer to the mix might be the last thing you want.

You might be wondering when you should hire an attorney after a car accident, or if hiring a lawyer after a car accident is really worth it. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the real value of a lawyer, and the rare occasions when you genuinely might not need a lawyer. 

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?

If you’ve suffered any injuries, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the crash. A personal injury attorney could be vital for getting you the compensation you deserve by doing the following.

  • Negotiating a fair settlement: While this is probably your first time fighting for a settlement from a car crash, your personal injury attorney has done it hundreds of times. Therefore, they have a better understanding of what your case is truly worth, and they’ll fight on your behalf to ensure that you get every penny you deserve.
  • Communicating with the defendant’s insurance company: After you file a claim with the defendant’s insurance, their representatives won’t waste any time trying to get statements from you that contradict your narrative or downplay the other driver’s role. When you hire a personal injury attorney, they can handle those communications on your behalf.
  • Determining fault: Wisconsin law follows comparative negligence. This means unless you’re more than 50% at fault, you can still receive damages. However, insurance companies will try to exploit this. By shifting the blame to you, they could reduce the amount of compensation they’re liable for. A personal injury lawyer will work to definitively establish fault, ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation possible, even if you are partially at fault. 
  • Representing you in a lawsuit: If you’re unhappy with the settlement offers made by the defendant’s insurance, your next step would be to file a lawsuit. However, this is an exceedingly complex procedure. Even if you’re able to file the suit and make it to court to represent yourself, your lack of experience will allow the defense to undermine your credibility and run circles around your arguments. Not only can a personal injury lawyer take the confusion out of filing a suit, they can represent you with skill and experience.

When Do You NOT Need a Lawyer?

In the vast, vast majority of cases, hiring a lawyer is always a prudent decision. However, there are instances when you might not need a lawyer. Here’s what that might look like:

  • You have no injuries: If you’re not injured, you might think hiring a lawyer is unnecessary. This may be true, but get cleared by a doctor before making a final decision or accepting a settlement. Some injuries like whiplash, abdominal wall disruptions, and internal bleeding can take days before symptoms show. Accepting a settlement early could prevent you from receiving the compensation needed for your recovery.
  • You won’t be able to recover much from property damage: If you’re not injured but your car is damaged, hiring a lawyer might not be worth it depending on the car’s value. If your car is 20 years old and has 200,000 miles on it, hiring a lawyer is unlikely to help you in a significant way.

Generally speaking, always take your time before making decisions following a car crash. Rushing to write off a personal injury lawyer, accept a settlement, or declare yourself injury-free can limit your ability to get the compensation you’re entitled to.

Why Hiring a Lawyer is Never a Bad Idea

After a crash, your health, income, quality of life, and financial wellbeing could all be on the line. Hiring a lawyer to protect your family’s livelihood is always a safe bet in this case. Here’s why:

  1. First, most lawyers work on a contingency. This means they’ll only get paid if you win. When you consider the fact that having a lawyer typically results in over four times the compensation you’d get without a lawyer, their services effectively pay for themselves.
  2. Secondly, as we established right away, handling the fallout of a car crash on your own is exhausting. While hiring a lawyer does add another person into the mix of parties you’re communicating with post-accident, it will only make your life easier. During a time when you should be focused on recovering, it’s well worth letting a lawyer take charge of handling your case, preparing and securing evidence, and dealing with the insurance companies.
  3. Finally, going without a lawyer is simply risky. Without a lawyer, you may as well flip a coin to see if you’ll receive any compensation. However, with a lawyer, your chances for receiving compensation are over 90%.

Need a Lawyer You Can Trust? Turn to Pasternak & Zirgibel

Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel have over 50 years of combined experience navigating legal waters to get people like you the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been in an accident and have any questions about your case, whether you need a lawyer, or how to deal with the defendant’s insurance, don’t hesitate to turn to us. You’ll have our undivided attention from the start.

To start the conversation, schedule your free consultation today.