When to Call a Lawyer After an Accident

Picture this: you’ve just had a serious collision with someone on the road. Maybe it’s your fault, or maybe it’s theirs. What’s the first thing you do?

You check to make sure you’re alright. You check to see if anyone else in your car is alright. Then you check the other guy. And then what?

Do you call the police, your insurance…your lawyer?

It crosses everyone’s mind, but when exactly is it right to get a lawyer involved after an accident?

Basically, you should call for any of these five reasons:

  1. Someone’s been injured
  2. Someone’s died due to the accident
  3. The police report is putting the wrong person at fault (especially if it’s you!).
  4. There’s a lot of property damage
  5. You’re afraid your insurance isn’t going to pay out fully

Those are all pretty serious nightmare scenarios but don’t just assume this can’t happen to you and skip on to the next article. Around three million people are injured in car accidents every year in the U.S. That’s about one percent of the whole population. The number of accidents is about six million.

In addition, CNN says America has the highest road death rate in the world, and road crashes are the largest cause of death for citizens going abroad.

But even if those facts are too scary for you, just let this one give you pause: according to asirt.org, America spends $230 billion EVERY YEAR on car accidents. Do you really want to have a chunk of that money coming from you?

That doesn’t mean that you need to have a lawyer on speed dial for every fender bender, but make sure you have someone in mind just in case things are a bit more serious.

According to Munley Law, facing a car accident without a lawyer can mean you end up with:

  1. Increased pain and suffering
  2. Serious medical bills
  3. Lost wages (or even losing your job)
  4. Potentially diminished earning power (if you end up with a chronic injury)
  5. Being on the hook for long-term rehabilitation or therapy (for you or the other people injured)

Like every other kind of law, the laws around car insurance are complicated and hard to navigate if you’re a novice. So don’t just expect you can handle everything coming because you’re pretty clever. Remember that the other guy may be lawyering up even if you think you can reach a deal on your own.

If you’re worried about that lawyer money, Munley Law says that a lot of places will give you at least a free consultation—they may even base all charges on whether you win the lawsuit or not. When looking for lawyers, make sure you find someone who is upfront about being flexible like that, so you don’t end up worrying about payments on two ends.