Do You Need an Attorney? A Guide to Minor and Major Car Accidents

In some car accident scenarios, it can be obvious that you need an attorney to handle the consequences and overcome the incident. However, state laws vary, and sometimes, accidents that are minor or complicated leave the people involved unsure of what their next step should be.

Though this guide is not necessarily a list of hard-and-fast rules, in the following scenarios, a person involved in a car accident might need an attorney.


You Probably Need an Attorney When:

  • A fatality occurred
  • Someone was hospitalized
  • Someone sustained a permanent injury
  • A motorcycle was involved
  • A bicycle was involved
  • A drunk driver or someone under the influence of drugs was driving
  • Road construction caused the accident, or the accident was in a construction area
  • A commercial truck or eighteen wheeler was involved
  • A school bus was involved
  • Work and wages were lost and not compensated
  • A car part was defective
  • There is a dispute over who is at fault
  • Insurance does not adequately cover the damages or injuries

Maybe Consider an Attorney When:

There are gray areas regarding car accidents and the best legal practices. Sometimes, you may think you don’t need a lawyer, but circumstances can change at any moment. Be ready to call a lawyer if:

  • You suspect your insurance is not acting in your best interest
  • You don’t know whether handling a small case yourself defends your rights adequately
  • You need help with paperwork
  • When you’re seeking general advice about settling a claim or working with an insurer that the internet just can’t provide
  • You started the settlement process on your own, but new complications have arised

You Might Not Need an Attorney When:

Sometimes, getting an attorney is not necessary, or will cost you more money than just handling the damages of the incident yourself. Wait to contact an attorney if:

  • Damages or injuries were minor
  • The minor damages were sustained in a parking lot
  • The accident involved hitting an animal, like a deer or dog, but no people were harmed
  • You stand to receive a settlement that will total to less than about $1,000
  • The math doesn’t make sense, and you’ll pay more for the law process than just moving on
  • The insurance company is being fair and reasonable

Every year in the United States, three million people are injured in car accidents on the road. However, many more accidents happen that don’t necessarily involve injuries, which can make knowing how to proceed difficult. Use this guide to determine when to contact an attorney, and when to wait.

If you’re looking for a car accident attorney, a personal injury lawyer, or a workers comp lawyer in the Alpharetta area, contact McManes Law today.

Skip McManes

Skip McManes is a seasoned attorney with more than 20 years of experience in representing injured workers. Prior to dedicating his legal practice to this cause, he briefly worked as an insurance defense lawyer where he witnessed the unethical tactics of insurance companies. This motivated him to shift his focus to defending the rights of workers against these powerful entities. Skip obtained his education from Johnson High in Gainesville and the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in finance and a law degree. Despite his busy schedule, he remains an avid supporter of the Georgia Bulldogs. Currently residing in Alpharetta, Georgia, Skip has been married for over two decades and has four children. His commitment to his clients and passion for justice are evident in his work, and he is dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured on the job.

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