Car accidents are a fact of life. Most drivers will be in an accident at least once, if not more, in their course of driving. If you’ve never been in a car accident until now, maybe you’re wondering if you need an attorney. Many drivers don’t actually know when hiring an attorney is a good idea and a great number of car accidents do not require the help of an attorney.
However, there are many other cases that proceeding without an attorney would be unwise. Even if an accident was relatively minor, you may still wish to consult with a lawyer if you are unsure of who was at fault.
Deciding If You Need An Attorney
Whether or not you need an attorney depends largely on the specifics of your case. Before hiring an attorney take a look at the specifics of your accident. If any of the following are true, you should probably work with an attorney:
- There were serious injuries or fatalities involved – If you or another passenger sustained injuries that were serious enough for hospitalization and require long periods of recovery, hiring an attorney is probably the right move. An attorney can help calculate the amount of compensation necessary for lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
- The fault of the accident is contested – Any time fault is contested in an accident it’s worth looking into getting an attorney. If you are unable to prove another driver is at fault, you risk not collecting anything for damages.
- The out-of-pocket expenses are too high for you – This is an amount that varies depending on the individual. You have to decide how much is too much for you to choose to pay yourself. While you may have no problem handling a couple thousand dollars, you may balk when the figures passes 10 thousand.
- Your case involves complex litigation – If you decide to settle a car accident claim yourself, you’ll have to invest at least five-10 hours getting the facts and developing your case. For cases that involve extra legal complexities, it’s worth your time to hire an attorney.
While settling your own case may give you the right to the full settlement, tackling a case that’s too big for you to handle can leave you with nothing.
Questions to Ask an Attorney
If you’ve decided to work with an attorney, you’ll want to make sure they are qualified to take your case. Attorneys will often offer free consultations to better understand the specifics of your case and whether or not it is worth taking on. Before you hire anyone, ask them some of the following questions:
- If they have experience with the type of accident/injury involved;
- What percentage of their practice is dedicated to auto accidents;
- How much they estimate the settlement would be for the type of case;
- How much of the case they would handle; and
- What their fees are and how their fees are structured.
Ready to Work With An Attorney?
If you’ve been in a car accident and aren’t sure if you need an attorney, let us help you. Call Krause and Kinsman Law Firm to speak to one of our attorneys about your case and how an experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer can help you reach a settlement. With extensive experience in car accident law in Kansas City, Missouri we have worked in all types of motor vehicle accident cases.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.