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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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