If I hit another car, should I work with an attorney?

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If I hit another car, should I work with an attorney?

I was in an auto accident at an intersection. I hit someone who ran a red light. Their car then careened in to a parked car, so 3 cars were involved. I have a stiff neck and upper back and the stiffness is now starting to go in to my right hip. Would you recommend just working with the insurance company; we both are covered by the same insurer, or would hiring an attorney be a good idea? My first accident as a driver

Asked on July 12, 2018 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to give a blanket recommendation. Generally, a lawyer will help you get a larger settlement or judgment--BUT then will either get 25% - 40% (if you were working on contingency) or you will pay thousands of dollars for his/her help (if they are billing you on an hourly basis). There are times when the extra money you could get will much more than justify the cost of a lawyer and time when you will come out behind due to the cost of the lawyer.
If your injuries cause significant life impairment (disability, for example) lasting months or longer, you probably want an attorney: a lawyer will be much more effective than you at maximizing what you can get for "pain and suffering" and future medical expenses. But if you don't have significant, long lasting life impairment and large anticipated medical bills, you may do well just working with the insurer and avoiding legal fees.


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