Anyone can get in a car accident, even the most careful and responsible drivers. When an accident does occur, the severity of the accident determines if a car insurance lawyer is needed. For minor bumps or fender benders, the situation is often resolved quickly and with little fuss. For more serious accidents, however, a car insurance lawyer may be needed.
How to Tell If You Need a Car Insurance Lawyer
While accidents are serious matters, there are certain situations that add the complexity to a car accident claim necessary for a lawyer’s involvement. These situations usually include one or more of the following things:
- Significant damage to a vehicle
- Significant damage to other property
- Personal injury
In such circumstances, it’s a good idea to seek a consultation with a car insurance lawyer regardless of who is at fault. This should be carried out quickly (within a week or two at most from the time of the accident) before the insurance companies make any decisions or settlements that could adversely affect you.
What to Look for in a Good Car Insurance Lawyer
A good car insurance lawyer should be well-versed in the field of car insurance law as well as personal injury law. He or she should have experience in similar cases, have a positive reputation in the industry, and show a genuine interest in your situation.
It also helps if the lawyer is located near you, not just for convenience but for familiarity with the area of the accident. Do not hesitate to ask for references and actually check them to learn about others’ experiences with that lawyer.
The fee structure is another important consideration because that can affect the amount of an award or the magnitude of your losses.
What to Expect in Lawyer’s Fees
If you are at fault, there is likely a set fee system, based on total hours devoted to your case. In most cases where an individual deals directly with a car insurance lawyer, however, the driver is not at fault or the fault is undetermined. Here, a vehicle insurance lawyer does not typically collect payment unless they win the case. When the case is won, the lawyer takes a percentage of the total award, often between 30% and 40%.
Fortunately, the majority of car insurance lawyers provide consultations free of charge. This allows you to ask questions and feel out if that person is the right fit for your needs. You can also explore if you need a car insurance lawyer at all.
Generally, if the lawyer asks for no money up front and is enthusiastic about your case, there is a good chance at receiving an award. When the lawyer seems disinterested, that is likely because the chances are low of a positive outcome to your case.