In most car accidents you do not. I know that sounds strange coming from a lawyer who is trying to make a living but it is true. Now before I give you my rules of thumb about when you need to hire an attorney and when you do not, let me begin by stating that you should always consult with an attorney first. We give free consultations in personal injury matters and thus it costs you nothing to get a free information. You will become better educated about your situation and you will make better decisions as a result.
So when do you need to hire attorney and when do you not?
If the personal injury claim has been wrongly denied by an insurance company and you are going to fight it out in court, then you need an attorney. Trust me the insurance company is going to have an attorney and you do not want to be in the courtroom without an experienced attorney on your side.
If the personal injury claim has been accepted by the insurance company and your injuries are minor, you can probably handle the resolution of your claim on your own. What qualifies as minor? If you go to the emergency room or an urgent care and then within a couple of weeks you are back to normal, then you should be able to handle the settlement of your claim on your own.
However if the personal injury claim has been accepted by the insurance company and your injuries require more medical attention such as therapy or surgery, then you are better off hiring an attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you toward a fairer settlement of your claim than the one you might be able to accomplish on your own. The insurance industry’s own studies have confirmed that they pay more on these claims when there is attorney representation.