News & Updates from Hodge & Langley

After a car wreck, do I really need a lawyer?

Written by T. Ryan Langley on February 23rd 2018.

If you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re likely wondering what the next steps are. First, review our 10 things to do after a car accident, as well as a list of Do’s and Don’t’s after an Accident. Then, you’ll need to make a decision – do you hire a lawyer?

Yes, lawyers charge a fee for their services. While the initial consultation with Hodge & Langley Law Firm is free and we won’t get paid unless you win, there is a percentage of your case settlement (called a contingency) paid to the lawyer. You may think that choosing not to hire a lawyer will save you money – but in most cases, having a lawyer fight for you can help you get better compensation overall. So how do you know when it’s “worth it” to hire a lawyer after a car crash?

In short, it’s important to have a lawyer if your car accident is in any way complex. These are the types of complex accidents where you should hire a lawyer:

  • The other driver was drunk, on drugs, or distracted by texting/phone use.
  • Injuries involve broken bones or fractures.
  • Your medical bills are more than $5,000.
  • Your medical treatment is extensive, either due to difficult injuries or a pre-existing condition made worse by the accident.
  • The other driver doesn’t have insurance.
  • A tractor-trailer (18-wheeler) commercial truck is involved. Truck accidents are different.
  • You’ve been asked for medical liens or insurance reimbursement.

In these cases, a lawyer will know best how to work with insurance companies – yours and the other driver’s. The lawyer will be able to navigate difficult paperwork, protect you from insurance companies who just want the case over quickly, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Sometimes, though, there are cases where you might not need a lawyer’s expertise. Car accident cases that you may able to handle without a lawyer include:

  • You recovered quickly from any injuries, and the gross total (the amount of all charges, not just your co-pay) of all medical bills is less than $2,000.
  • You didn’t have to miss significant time from work.

In these circumstances, you (as always) can have a free consultation with an attorney at Hodge & Langley Law Firm, but we may advise that the legal costs exceed the potential recovery and recommend handling the matter directly. But we’ll also advise you honestly if we think a lawyer could make a difference in the outcome of a case.

If you do need to retain a lawyer, here’s an explanation of what to expect after you hire a lawyer for a car accident claim.

If you’ve been in a car accident – whether you know you need a lawyer or aren’t sure yet – make an appointment for a free consultation with Hodge & Langley Law Firm today.

Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents