As a leading Denver and Cheyenne law firm we field questions every day from members of the public. One of the more common questions we hear is, “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident?” Many people want to handle their own claim but are worried that they will make a mistake or that the experience will be too stressful.
Generally, you should hire a skilled car accident attorney if there is a significant amount of money at stake. Otherwise, you might be able to handle your own claim.
How Much Has the Accident Cost You?
It’s not fun getting hit by another vehicle. However, accidents vary widely in the amount of damage they cause. Sit down and calculate the amount of money for the following:
- Damage to your vehicle. Do you only need $500 of repairs, or has your car been totaled?
- Medical care. Can you treat your physical injuries with a few ibuprofens, or have you incurred thousands of dollars in doctor’s visits, surgery, and prescription drugs?
- Lost wages. Were you right back into work the next day, or have your injuries forced you to take time off from work?
Sit down with your medical bills, receipts, pay stubs, and car repair estimates. Total up the amount this accident will cost you. Typically, if you have only a couple thousand dollars’ worth of economic losses, you can handle the claim on your own. You can submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which will want to see medical bills and proof of other loss.
You also need to realize that it will be hard to find a lawyer for a car accident when such a small amount of money is at play. Car accident lawyers charge on contingency, meaning they take a percentage of what you win in your case. But if you are only suing for a few thousand, then there is not enough money at stake.
However, you might be able to sue in small claims court, which is designed for motorists who do not have an attorney. The maximum in Colorado is $7,500.
How Have Your Injuries Impacted Your Life?
Not all losses are economic. For example, you might have suffered a disfiguring scar or burn on your face. To treat the injury, you might only have spent a couple thousand dollars. But the emotional effects of the injury are devastating. Many people with visible injuries withdraw from public and suffer from intense shame or anxiety.
In Colorado, you can receive compensation for
- pain and suffering,
- emotional distress,
- and disability.
These less-tangible harms are harder to calculate in dollars and cents but are nevertheless very real. If you are suffering from an injury like this, then you should also consider hiring an attorney. You might receive much more in compensation than just your economic losses.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
To speak with a car accident lawyer, please contact us today. We have helped countless motorists get the compensation they have needed to start repairing their lives after a devastating crash. Contact Olson Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.