Studies by the Insurance Research Council (an insurance organization) consistently show, injured victims who hire attorneys to represent them in their car accident cases, recover 40% to 350% more than those who don't. Why? Because insurance companies hire adjusters to pay you as little as they can get away with. So if you don't hire an attorney, they will often refuse to pay you reasonable value for your injuries. Without a reasonable threat of a lawsuit, they will offer unreasonably low amounts, hoping you get frustrated and settle. Unfortunately this happens enough for them to keep with this strategy.
There are times when perhaps hiring a lawyer will not help. When the accident, injuries and medical costs are relatively minor, you might not gain a financial advantage by hiring an attorney. When the amounts are smaller, there is a better chance of getting a reasonable offer. Even if the amount they offer is lower than what you truly deserve, you won't have to pay for a lawyer.
A lawyer's fee is usually a percentage of the total settlement. If you don't have to pay this fee, it makes up for the slightly lower settlement offer.
But be careful here. No matter how small the accident, I wouldn't put it past the insurance company to try and cheat you out of your money anyway. Insurance adjusters have been known to participate in contests to see who can negotiate the lowest settlement offers. One adjuster boasting they obtained a $10 settlement!
So be aware of your rights, and try to figure out what a reasonable offer for your accident would be.
If you are involved in a serious accident, with significant damage to your car, visits to the emergency room, and extensive medical treatment lasting months or even years, then you need to speak to an attorney right away.
The higher your medical bills are, the more likely the insurance company is going to pull out every dirty trick in the book to keep from paying you fairly. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. It is their sole purpose to take in as much money as possible, and pay out as little as possible. It's their business model. So you have to fight for your just and fair compensation.
Too often I see victims trying to handle their case on their own and being tricked or forced to accept a lower settlement offer. It is your right to handle the case on your own. Just make sure you understand what a reasonable offer should be, and compare that number to the one offered you. If your medical bills total $20,000, $50,000 or more, then I highly recommend you contact my office to discuss your rights. If you suffered a lot of damages, it is imperative you tell your story. The stronger the story, the bigger the settlement or jury verdict.