When should I get an attorney for a car accident?- Personal Injury Lawyer answers your questions.

June 22, 2021

We’re with John Kelly,John is a Personal Injury Attorney in Phoenix, ArizonaHe’s agreed to answer an online question, that was postedSo John, let’s get into the questionThis question was posted from Samantha

It’s related to when she should hire an attorneyfor a car accidentSo, her question was, “Mr Kelly,”I’d like to know when you recommend hiring an attorney,”after a car accident,”and what situations you need an attorney;”and in what situations you can avoid hiring an attorney”and just work with the insurance company directly?”- Okay, thank you Samantha, for the questionIt’s a good questionand Samantha’s actually ahead of the game, a little bit,in understanding that there are casesand she’s smart to ask thatit may make sense to represent yourself

There are a lot of factors though,that you wanna look at,before you make that decisionSo I’ve kinda laid out some of these factors,that I think people who were consideringrepresenting themselves, should look atAnd if they apply to themthey may want to move forward in that waySo one of the things that I first would look atis what type of case they have

So if we’re talking about an auto accident;pedestrian accident; something simple,that is very easy to explain;doesn’t have a lot of parties involved,that’s a candidate for a casethat you may be able to represent yourself inCases that are difficult to represent yourself in,medical malpractice; you do not want to proceed forward,typically, by yourself in a medical malpractice caseLots of times experts are needed,there’s a lot of complicating statutesthat get involved in that kind of thingAny kind of case that’s, say a wrongful death;very serious injuries and we’ll talk about that;you know, things that probably a little bit of common sensebut if it’s a simple auto accident;maybe a rear end accident,that’s a type of casethat you may be able to represent yourself in

Then we gotta go to the next factor,which is, how severe are the injuries?So, if we have a case that haswhat we call soft-tissue injuries,as opposed to broken bones;head trauma; spinal cord injuries;severe burns;you know, anything that required hospitalizationand surgery; those kind of cases,you would not probably want to represent yourselfBut if you’re talking, you know, whiplash;little back pain;something that doesn’t require a lot of medical expenses,that’s another type of casethat you may be able to represent yourselfand get a good result withYou always have to keep in mindthese insurance companiesthey wanna minimize the amount that they pay out,for your claimThere’s a lotta good adjusters out there,and some of ’em are honest;but there’s a lotta adjustersthat want to minimize the amount that they’re paying outso that they can save their boss money,their boss’ boss’ boss money really

You know, and these are big corporationsand they have bottom lineAnd so that’s what they’relooking out forYou’re looking out for your own interestand sometimes cutting out the attorney’s feesis something that you want to considerThe final thing,or one of the other ones I guess,and there’s two other thingsis what are the medical expenses?And we kinda talked about that,with the severity of the injuries

If you have a hospital visit,that visit alone typically is well over a 1,000 dollarsand sometimes is up to20000, 30,000, 100,000 dollars and beyondObviously if you have a hospital visit,and it’s thousands of dollars,that lean alone may warrant having an attorneyget involved to see ifhe can reduce those billsThere’s health insurance that gets involved

The hospital has a rightto try to come back to you and say,after your settlement,we received some compensation from your health insurancebut we know you have an injury settlementand we want more of that moneyThat’s something that you’re gonna wantan attorney to look at’Cause that’s a lean issue,and that can get very complicatedFrom every state there’s different lawsand your attorney can save youhundreds of thousands of dollars,literally in a big case;or, you know, something more practical,a couple thousand dollars more in your pocketafter you had paid off your attorneyand the leans were taken care of properly

You also can then feel rest assuredthat your attorney has looked at every possible providerand made sure that there’s no outstanding leansSo that after you’ve settled your caseone of these doctors isn’t gonna come forward to youand say look I still need to be paid,and here you thought that they were taken care ofSo that’s another issue that comes upFinally, you’re held to the same standardas an attorney when you’re dealingwith these insurance companies and their lawyers

So if you’re representing yourself,you’re representing yourself as your own lawyerIf you make a mistake,that costs you your case completely,or costs you to lose a lot of money,you can’t go back and say hey, you know,I now want an attorney to look at this to review itThere’s very few instancesthat you’re gonna be able to do thatSo it’s kinda high stakesand so you wanna make sure you’re doin’ it correctly

The final thing I would tell Samantha is look lawyers, almost every one of us, will sit down and at least talk to you about your case, give you the factors you need to consider There’s cases that I talk to clients, I give ‘me all the information they need, they end up representing themselves Some of ‘me come back to mean they, you know, had problems representing themselves I’m happy to look at it then and pick up where they were but it’s a free consultation

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