Car accident lawyers protect their clients’ rights and fight for fair compensation in the form of a settlement or jury award. This is only a broad description of all that a car accident lawyer can do for you, though, and a more detailed description of their services may be helpful.

Car accident lawyers also cover the cost of their clients’ cases. This is important because many car accident victims do not have the financial ability to pay for an attorney.


What, Exactly, a Car Accident Lawyer Will Do for You

Every car accident case comes with unique demands and details, but lawyers perform the same slate of responsibilities for most clients. These duties include:

Dealing with Insurers on Their Client’s Behalf

Insurance companies are an integral part of most car accident cases. Your attorney will:

  • Help file your claim
  • Communicate with insurers to move the claims process forward
  • Craft a statement to insurers
  • Lead negotiations with insurance companies

Dealing with insurers can be risky for a car accident victim. The insurance company’s financial motivations may oppose yours, so you may face efforts to undermine your claim. Having an attorney on your side will protect your claim.

Investigating the Car Accident and Securing Relevant Evidence

Car Accident Dealing with Insurers on Behlaf of Victiim

Motor vehicle accidents in America cause tens of thousands of deaths and several million hospital-worthy injuries each year. Each of these accidents happens under unique circumstances for different reasons. One of your lawyer’s jobs is to determine exactly how and why your accident happened, and they may do so using:

  • Video footage (which can come from cellphones, traffic cameras, security cameras, or other sources)
  • Eyewitness accounts of the car accident
  • Expert testimony detailing the cause of the accident (and who is at fault)
  • Photographs of the accident scene, including damaged vehicles
  • Digital reconstructions of the collision
  • The police report related to the accident

Your attorney will have a methodical, step-by-step approach to investigating your accident. Such an approach will ensure your attorney finds all relevant evidence.

Hiring Experts to Contribute to Your Case

Law firms hire experts at no additional cost to the client. Experts who may aid in a car accident case include:

  • Law enforcement officials who understand the duties of motorists to operate a vehicle safety
  • Engineers or other professionals who understand crash dynamics and how to interpret accident-scene evidence
  • Economists who can help project the total cost of lost income and other financial damages
  • Medical experts who can substantiate your injuries, treatment needs, and medical costs
  • Mental health professionals who can evaluate your pain and suffering and speak to the toll of that pain and suffering on your quality of life

It is common for both sides in a civil case to have experts. Having a law firm retain and pay for an expert can help even the playing field (or even tip it in your favor) as you seek a financial recovery.

Documenting the Client’s Damages

Your car accident lawyer will seek proof of each of your accident-related damages, and such proof may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Images of injuries
  • Doctors’ testimony about injuries and healthcare needs
  • Bills related to vehicle repairs
  • Estimates or bills for replacing a totaled vehicle
  • Mental health professionals’ diagnoses of your pain and suffering
  • Bills for mental health treatment

Attorneys must evaluate your damages individually because your damages will be unlike anyone else’s. They will create and update a detailed record of your damages, seeking proof of each.

Calculating the Exact Amount of Compensation the Client Deserves

Attorneys do not guess about what their clients’ damages cost. Instead, they:

  • Identify all recoverable damages
  • Total the cost of economic damages (like vehicle repairs and lost income)
  • Calculate the cost of non-economic damages (namely pain and suffering)
  • Project any future damage that won’t be resolved before the case is complete

The average cost of a car accident case involving disabling injuries is $155,000, though your case can be even more costly. Your lawyer will enter settlement negotiations knowing exactly how much money you deserve.

Negotiating Settlements with Insurers

Settling is the most common way for car accident lawyers to secure client compensation. However, securing a fair settlement takes work, and your lawyer will:

  • Prepare all evidence of negligence and documentation of damages
  • Prepare to explain how they reached the calculation of settlement demands
  • Engage in settlement negotiations with liable insurers (either remotely or in person)

Your attorney should be resilient in the fact of bad-faith negotiation tactics from insurers. The insurance company may be resolved to pay you as little as possible, while your lawyer will have the opposite mission.

Filing a Lawsuit (if Necessary)

A lawsuit is an alternative means of seeking compensation for a car accident if a settlement claim does not produce the outcome your lawyer seeks. Your attorney will discuss the trial if it becomes relevant to your case.

Going to Trial (if Necessary)

If you and your attorney agree to pursue a trial, your attorney will:

  • Prepare you for the process ahead
  • Engage in pre-trial proceedings
  • Prepare witnesses, evidence, and other trial elements
  • Represent you in every step of the trial

Most experienced car accident lawyers have secured both settlements and trial verdicts for clients. Such varied experience means all options will be available as a lawyer leads your case.

Why Is It Necessary to Have a Lawyer’s Protection After a Car Accident?

You can choose not to hire a lawyer, but you will be without the valuable protection an attorney affords. You may want to have a lawyer on your side because:

  • Insurance companies have resources and experience: While insurers are not always hostile, you may be seeking money that insurers would rather keep. Therefore, you can expect an insurance company to use its resources against your best interests. A lawyer can be a considerable resource in your own favor.
  • Your health may be a significant hindrance: The toll of a car accident may include physical injuries, stress, and psychological conditions you’re still recovering from. Dealing with such problems may make it difficult for you to handle an insurance claim or lawsuit.
  • Your learning curve may be steep: If you are not intimately familiar with insurance claims and lawsuits, you may have much to learn. However, most car accident victims do not have the time or energy to learn the ropes of claims and lawsuits. Instead, you can hire a lawyer whose job is to lead cases like yours.
  • You need a law firm’s financial support: The promise of a law firm to cover the cost of your case may be the sole reason to hire an attorney. The firm will pay for experts, the investigation, and every other case-related resource. Most importantly, your lawyer will invest their time and effort into securing the compensation you deserve.
  • You trust a lawyer to secure the compensation you deserve: You may determine that, when considering all factors, a lawyer is better suited to handle your case than you are. Between their experience, health, training, and financial support, there are many reasons to trust a car accident lawyer with your case.

Once you decide that a lawyer is a resource you want to tap, the next question becomes which attorney or firm to hire.

How Do I Select a Car Accident Attorney?

Your goal shouldn’t be to hire an attorney but the right one. You can find a qualified car accident lawyer by:

Reading Reviews from Former Clients

Hiring an Attorney for Car Accident

The internet provides a wealth of information about local law firms, and reviews from former clients may be the most informative. Former clients can tell you:

  • Whether they generally feel positively or negatively about the law firm
  • Whether the law firm takes cases to trial
  • Specific details about a law firm that only former clients would know

Consider the totality of reviews, weighing both the good and bad feedback. This should give you a balanced perception of how the law firm will treat you.

Reviewing the Firm’s Results (Especially in Car Accident Cases)

Case results are the most objective metric for evaluating a lawyer or firm. As you review a firm’s results in other car accident cases, consider the following:

  • Whether the law firm has a combination of both settlements and jury awards (this will prove the firm will take cases to trial)
  • The size of any settlements and judgments the firm has secured
  • The number of large settlements and verdicts
  • Results in cases that seem similar to yours

While results are not the sole metric of a law firm, they are one of the most important criteria you can consider.

Speaking with a Firm’s Representative During a Free Consultation

Free consultations are the norm among car accident attorneys. These are:

  • Phone calls between potential clients and law firms that represent car accident victims
  • Opportunities for the law firm to review a prospective case
  • Car accident victims to ask questions of law firms they are considering to lead their cases
  • A chance for the prospective client to interact with the law firm’s team

You can ask the firm’s representative straightforward questions, including why the firm is qualified to handle your case. If you know anyone you trust who has used a personal injury firm in your area, you may ask them if they recommend the firm.

What to Expect If You Do Not Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Should you decide to handle your own insurance claim or lawsuit, you may:

  • Lose the case: Inexperience and injuries are not solid footing for leading a car accident case. While you have a right to handle your own claim, be realistic about the limits your injuries and psychological trauma may place on you.
  • Worsen your health: Every car accident victim must focus on their health first and foremost. If you take on too much after the accident, your recovery process may be slowed, halted, or even reversed. Allowing a lawyer to handle your claim or lawsuit may provide far more time for you to focus on rest and treatment.
  • Face unneeded stress and trauma: Handling an insurance claim or lawsuit may require you to re-face the details of your car accident. This, along with the other demands of your case, may impose stress and even be traumatic. This is especially true if your accident is severe.
  • Face long-term financial consequences: If you do not obtain the compensation you deserve, you may face immediate and long-term financial harm.

No lawyer will tell you that they will secure the compensation you deserve. However, considering your injuries and the many benefits a car accident attorney offers, it is no wonder why countless accident victims hire a lawyer to represent them.

Expect Your Lawyer to Seek Compensation for These Damages

Your attorney will pursue compensation for the many types of harm a car accident can cause, including:

  • Medical costs: The severity of your injuries will, in part, determine the cost of your accident-related medical bills.
  • Pain and suffering: Your attorney will consider any physical pain, anxiety, depression, lost quality of life, and other types of harm resulting from your accident. They may hire a mental health expert to evaluate such harm and recommend a treatment course.
  • Employment-related harm: Any lost income, diminished earning power, and other professional harm will be part of your claim or lawsuit.
  • Property expenses: Your attorney will calculate the cost of repairing or replacing items damaged during your accident, including your vehicle.
Steven A. Bagen, Attorney for Car Accident
Steven A. Bagen, Car Accident Lawyer

Car accident lawyers also represent clients who have lost loved ones because of traffic accidents. If you are in these circumstances, your recoverable damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of financial support, and many other types of harm.

Whether you have injuries you’ll recover from, disabling injuries, or you have lost a loved one, allow a personal injury attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Don’t Wait to Hire Your Car Accident Lawyer

Your attorney may face a statute of limitations for filing your car accident lawsuit, so do not wait to find the lawyer to lead your case.