When to Get an Attorney After a Car Accident

Last updated on: August 21, 2020


A car accident can place an unwanted hold on your life.  You may suffer from injuries that prevent you from going to work.  You may no longer have a functioning car and have to deal with the police and insurance companies.  However, you do not have to deal with a car accident alone.  An experienced car accident lawyer may deal with insurance companies on your behalf and fight to get you the most compensation possible from an insurance claim.  If an insurance claim is unsuccessful, your attorney may take your case to court. 

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury from a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident 

Not all car accidents require the aid of an attorney.  In fact, if your car accident was minor, you may simply need to contact the opposite party and its insurance company and settle the claim cordially.  However, if your accident was severe, you may wish to get an experienced attorney to maximize the potential compensation you may be entitled to receive.  If your accident leads to extreme physical disability, for instance, you may want to seek an attorney.   


Serious Injuries

If you received serious injuries after a car accident, you should seriously consider seeking an experienced attorney.  A serious injury can prevent you from working or even lead to permanent disability.  In such cases, you will want to get the greatest compensation possible to ease the financial burden after the accident.  If you were seriously injured, it would make sense to consult with a car accident attorney.


Even if you were not the victim of a car accident, but a family member was a car accident victim and passed away due to the accident, you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your lost family member.  A wrongful death lawsuit is available if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived.  Because a wrongful death lawsuit can involve many legal intricacies, you may wish to consult with an attorney. 

Loss of Income

A car accident can lead to temporary or permanent disability.  In either case, it could mean that you would have to miss work while you recover.  Even a few missed paychecks can be extremely strenuous for many people.  Because in such cases it is important that you get the greatest compensation possible, you may wish to hire an experienced attorney to raise your chances of getting the greatest compensation possible.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are often the biggest expenses following a severe car accident.  If you do not have adequate health insurance, looking at the hospital bill post-accident can be shocking.  Bills for the ambulance, X-rays, and other medical procedures can add up to a significant sum. Again, like any of the above, if you believe that you will incur significant expenses due to a car accident, this would be an example of when to get an attorney for a car accident.

Clear Fault

Though most car accident attorneys deal with clients who were not at fault in the accident, it does not mean that a driver who may have been partially responsible for the accident should not hire a lawyer.  This is because even if you were at fault for a car accident, an experienced attorney can perhaps lessen your fault in the accident by finding out evidence that decreases your role in the accident.

Other Attorneys Are Involved

When there are multiple parties involved in an accident, this means that there will likely be multiple attorneys involved as well.  In such a scenario, you do not want to be the odd one out and not have an attorney to represent you on your behalf because this could result in you having an unfair disadvantage. 

Insurance Issues

Insurance companies are not known for giving accident victims generous compensation.  Because insurance companies work for their shareholders, they do not mind shortchanging victims if they are able to do so.  An experienced personal injury lawyer, however, may be able to identify a lowball offer and make a counteroffer in your best interests.  He or she may negotiate with insurance companies and organize evidence to present a compelling argument for your claim.   

Do I Have to Pay an Attorney to Consult with Them?

Not all attorneys require that potential clients pay them for consultation.  Attorneys vary in their fee arrangements.  Some attorneys work at an hourly rate, which means that they will ask for payment for every hour they work for you.  This may include consultation.  These attorneys may also require you to pay a retainer fee, which is a fee just to secure the lawyer’s services.

Some attorneys do not require their potential clients to pay them for consultation.  In fact, many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis.  A contingency fee basis means that the attorney is only paid if they win money for their client, or in other words, the fee is contingent on a settlement or verdict. 

When an attorney works on a contingency basis, it means that the lawyer is agreeing to work for you upon the condition that he or she will take a certain percentage of the compensation you receive if he or she wins your case. The reason why working on a contingency basis is popular for many personal injury lawyers is that they know that their clients do not necessarily have the funds to pay for a lawyer up front. Whether or not you should use a contingency fee depends on your ability to pay a lawyer for a long period of time from your own funds. Remember that insurance claims and lawsuits do not resolve very quickly. If you are unable to pay a lawyer for a long period of time, you may wish to consider seeking an attorney who accepts clients on a contingency basis.

For those who have been injured by the negligence of a third-party, hiring an attorney who accepts fees on a contingency basis is a good idea because you will not have to worry about draining your bank account. Zinda Law Group operates on a contingency fee basis.

How do Contingency Fees work?

When a contingency fee is used, the client pays absolutely nothing until the client wins the case and receives an award. Once a recovery is made, the lawyer’s fee is a flat percentage off the top. Case expenses are deducted and the rest of the recovery is given to the client.

Though contingency fees vary from firm to firm, most firms follow a standard rate system.  If you happen to win a case in the pre-litigation phase, which means no lawsuit has been filed, the general contingency fee is 33% of the total recovery.  Once a lawsuit has been filed, the fee often increases to 40%.  If you lose the case but decide to file an appeal, the fee can become 45%.  Initially, these percentages may seem high, but a client who pays at an hourly rate could pay an attorney much more than the percentages listed here, and those fees would be due even if they did not win any compensation.

What MAY I Expect from an Attorney in a Car Accident Claim?

An experienced lawyer can be a valuable asset in a car accident claim.  First, an experienced lawyer may deal with insurance companies, which are often reluctant to give out the money that a victim of an accident deserves.  An attorney may also give you leverage in an insurance claim because, unless they agree to a satisfactory settlement, your attorney may take your case to trial – an outcome that insurance companies do not want.  If your case goes to trial, having an attorney is essential.  An attorney may help you with the discovery process, which is the phase of the trial where evidence is collected and depositions are taken, and if needed, they may try your case in front of a judge and jury. 


It may seem confusing when to hire a lawyer after a car accident.  Generally, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you incurred a lot of expenses or were seriously injured.  It’s also important to remember that you must file car accident claims within the relevant statute of limitations in your state.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your personal injury claim.  After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis.  You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.      

Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.   

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