Should I Hire an Attorney for My Virginia Car Accident Case

One of the first decisions to make after you are involved in a car accident is whether to hire an attorney, or just deal with the insurance company on your own. In some cases, people believe they can handle their claim on their own and do not want to pay an attorney. In other situations, an insurance company is telling the injured party that they don’t need a lawyer and that the insurance company will take care of them.

While these seem to be valid thoughts for not hiring an attorney, there are other issues you must address before making a final decision.

There ARE instances where you may NOT need an attorney.


  • You were not hurt but were taken to the emergency room to be check out and never received any further medical treatment.
  • You were sore after the accident and went to your family physician the next day and the soreness quickly went away.
  • There was little or no property damage and little or no injury to you.
  • These situations most likely do not call for attorney.

There are also situations where it would be very difficult to receive full compensation from an insurance company and be able to navigate the interplay of different types of insurance and different insurance policies.

Examples where you should strongly consider hiring a lawyer:

  • Significant Injuries that require surgery and being admitted to the hospital.
  • Injuries that include fractures or scarring.
  • Medical Bills over $10,000.
  • Injuries caused by a drunk driver where punitive damages are an issue.
  • Injuries caused by a tractor trailer accident.
  • Situations where the person that caused the accident had no insurance or not enough insurance.
  • Accidents where determining who caused the accident is not obvious.

Reasons for Hiring an Attorney

Remember that the insurance company has one goal, to pay you as little money as possible. They may tell you they will treat you fairly, but their interests are the opposite of yours.

Insurance Companies have trained adjusters that negotiate claims all day long and know what a fair settlement range is and what tactics to use to pay you as little as possible.

Insurance companies have attorneys that are experienced and knowledgeable about the law and insurance claims. They are working to find ways to not pay claims or pay as little as possible. You need someone who is also experienced and knowledgeable on your side to give your case the best chance of success.

Attorneys will know how to address the following issues:

  • What will a jury likely compensate you at trial?
  • What medical liens are there and what bills or liens must be paid back?
  • What deadlines must be met to keep you case from being barred by Virginia Statutes?
  • Is the best settlement offer going to be made if an insurance company knows you don’t know how to file suit on your own?

I only handle car accident cases and other injury cases. If I have a real estate closing, believe it or not, I hire a real estate attorney to handle the closing. I would prefer to have the closing done by someone who has experience in real estate closing.