Updated on 11/9/23
Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA
Short answer: Yes, Californians should get a lawyer after a car accident that wasn’t their fault.
Getting a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t your fault in California can be beneficial because a lawyer can help protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries you sustained.
A lawyer can investigate the accident, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Additionally, a lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and avoid common pitfalls that could jeopardize your case.
Overall, having a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side can increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve and help you move on from the accident.
|Type of Accident||Should I Hire a Lawyer?|
|Minor with no injuries||Hiring a lawyer is not necessary|
|Moderate with minor injuries||Consider hiring a lawyer|
|Severe accident requiring medical treatment||Hire a lawyer|
Below are five advantages auto accident victims can expect when hiring a lawyer after a car accident that wasn’t their fault.
One of the biggest benefits of having the legal expertise of a car accident lawyer is they can provide you with guidance and support throughout the legal process. They can analyze the details of your case, assess the strength of your claim, and advise you on the best course of action.
Their legal expertise can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. Most importantly, a car accident lawyer on your side can help you navigate the legal system with confidence and ease.
Having a car accident lawyer for settlement negotiations means that they’ll use their legal expertise and experience to help you obtain a fair settlement. A lawyer can assess the value of your claim, identify and quantify all of your damages, and negotiate with insurance companies to obtain the maximum compensation possible.
They can also handle all communication with the insurance company and prevent you from making mistakes that could hurt your case. Additionally, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, a lawyer can represent you in court and fight for your rights. A car accident lawyer on your side can help you receive a settlement that reflects the full extent of your damages and losses.
It is often recommended to hire a lawyer after a car accident even if injuries aren’t apparent because some injuries may not be immediately apparent and can surface days, weeks, or even months later.
Additionally, some injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries, may not have obvious symptoms at first but can have long-term effects on your health and well-being. A lawyer can help you obtain medical treatment and ensure that you receive compensation for any future medical expenses or lost wages resulting from the accident.
It is important not to wait to file a car accident claim in California because there is a statute of limitations, which is a time limit for filing a claim. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from a car accident is generally two years from the date of the accident.
If you wait too long to file a claim, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your damages and losses.
Additionally, waiting to file a claim can make it more difficult to gather evidence, locate witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies. By filing a claim promptly after a car accident, you can protect your legal rights and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
If someone’s initial claim was denied when filing by themselves, it’s important to hire a car accident lawyer because a denial does not necessarily mean that you are not entitled to compensation.
Insurance companies may deny claims for various reasons, including a lack of evidence, a dispute over liability, or a disagreement over the value of the claim. Car accident lawyers will review your case, gather additional evidence, and provide legal arguments to help secure any settlement amount that is possible on your behalf.
There are times where insurance companies will claim an accident was your fault when in reality, it was not. Having a car accident lawyer on your side can help you prove you are not at fault and that you are entitled to compensation.
One of the best ways lawyers can do this is by reviewing the evidence and witness statements to determine the true cause of the accident and who is at fault. Then, if necessary, they can hire accident reconstruction experts to help prove your case.
In California, car accident lawyer fees typically work on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyer only receives payment if they win your case or obtain a settlement on your behalf. The fee is usually a percentage of the compensation you receive and can range due to a wide variety of factors. The percentage may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of work required.
Each fee is agreed upon in writing before the lawyer starts working on your case, and you will not be responsible for any fees or expenses if the lawyer does not win your case. Additionally, many lawyers may offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine if they can help you.
Not sure if you have a valid car accident claim? Take our short quiz to gather more information about your accident and to see if it’s worth hiring a lawyer.
California is a “fault” state for car accidents, which means that the driver who is found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the damages and losses of the other parties involved. In California, fault is determined based on the legal concept of “negligence,” which means a failure to exercise reasonable care while driving.
If you are found to be at fault for a car accident, your insurance company may be responsible for paying for the other driver’s damages, including medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. However, if the damages exceed your policy limits, you may be held personally responsible for paying the difference.
In California every car accident is unique and the settlement amount depends on various factors such as the severity of injuries, property damage, liability, insurance coverage, and other damages.
Settlement amounts can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. Having a car accident lawyer who can assess the value of your claim and help you negotiate a fair settlement based on the specific circumstances of your case.
LawLinq is an attorney referral service that is free for all California residents to use. We have relationships with some of the best car accident lawyers across the state of California.
By giving us a call, we can get your case started so you don’t have to do the homework of hiring an attorney. Don’t get stuck on hold with a law firm’s front desk, call LawLinq today.