Technically speaking, you do not need a lawyer for a minor car accident. However, it can be a wise idea to do so.
You have every right to represent yourself “pro se,” meaning that you act as your own attorney. However, in the aftermath of an accident, whether serious or minor, you should consider your legal options––and that includes seeking representation.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Consider retaining representation for your case, as it is in your best interest. This is because:
- You don’t know whether the collision was minor until you visit a healthcare professional.
- It can be difficult to navigate the claims process alone.
- The insurer or other party may neglect to pay what you deserve.
- State laws and regulations could play a role in your case’s progression.
The American Bar Association’s Stance on Pro Se Litigation
The American Bar Association (ABA) warns prospective litigants against pro se representation because:
- Without knowing courtroom protocol, you could make a mistake that invalidates or hinders some aspect of the legal process.
- You may not fully understand how state law pertains to your situation.
- You may not understand how various filing deadlines (in addition to the general statute of limitations) apply to your case’s progression.
You don’t have to forgo retaining an attorney because of cost concerns. Our firm works on a contingency-fee-basis, so you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket for our help.
Ways Our Firm will Help You After Your Car Accident
You may think that your case is relatively straightforward. However, you might find that the insurer doesn’t treat you fairly or undervalues the cost of your damages. They may even accuse you of causing the accident, ultimately affecting your final settlement.
In these situations, our firm can aid you by:
Calculating Your Losses
By using your medical bills, employment records, and property damage receipts, our firm can determine the total of your:
- Healthcare expenses
- Lost income, commissions, and employee benefits
- Tips, bonuses, and promotional opportunities
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Impaired quality of life
- Transportation expenses
- Childcare costs
- Funeral costs, burial/cremation, and loss of consortium (if you lost a loved one)
If you don’t understand the value of your case, this will work to your disadvantage. The insurer could offer less money than you need, forcing you to pay out of pocket for your losses. A lawyer from our firm can prevent this from happening in your case.
Negotiating a Settlement Offer
Ideally, you want to settle your case outside of court. Going to trial can be beneficial for many injured claimants. However, it could ultimately take some time, and you want compensation now.
You could negotiate a settlement on your own, but you have no idea whether an offer is fair. Moreover, the insurer might use aggressive tactics to pressure you into an unsuitable resolution.
Our firm has been serving people since 1997. We can use our knowledge and resources to seek the award you deserve.
Establishing Fault in Your Car Accident Case
You might know for a fact that you did not cause the crash. However, the claims adjuster may say otherwise. Texas operates on a “contributory negligence” system, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001. If you contributed to the collision in any way, this could reduce your final settlement. To accurately prove fault, our law firm will:
- Investigate the collision
- Interview witnesses
- Subpoena traffic camera recordings (if available)
- Consult with accident reconstruction experts
- Review the police report
- Study the points of impact on each vehicle
Do not let the claims adjuster argue that you are at fault. Let our team make that determination and handle your case accordingly.
Managing Your Case’s Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations simply refers to the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Failing to abide by this deadline could hinder your ability to seek damages. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 notes that you generally have two years to file a car accident lawsuit.
The claims adjuster knows about the statute of limitations. Negotiating, gathering evidence, and determining fault do not extend how long you have to file. Our firm can work to build your case promptly in case you need to take the matter to court via a lawsuit.
Filing Your Lawsuit in Civil Court
If negotiations fail, we will file your case in civil court. From here, we can:
- Cross-examine witnesses
- Abide by all legal deadlines
- Communicate with the other party’s legal counsel
- Argue your case
If we cannot resolve your case in this manner, you do not pay our attorney’s fees.
Explore Working with a Car Accident Attorney in Texas
We offer all prospective clients free case reviews. Today, with a single phone call, you can explore what representation could do for you.
If you are unsure whether you need a lawyer for a minor car accident, contact Underwood Law Office. We offer a free consultation, where we will review the facts of your case and provide advice about moving forward. To get started, call today.