skip to Main Content

Attorneys Answer: When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

Home » Personal Injury Resources » Attorneys Answer: When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

Not all car accident cases require a lawyer. If your crash was straightforward without serious injuries, you can probably handle your claim on your own. However, it’s important to recognize when it’s in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer.

Insurance adjusters have one goal: minimizing payouts on claims. To do this, they will look for anything they can use to deny a claim, lowball damages, or shift liability to someone else. The more your case is worth, and the less clear liability is, the more effort the insurance company will put into fighting your claim.

A personal injury lawyer’s job is to act in your best interests to fight back against these tactics and pursue the full compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will build the strongest case possible with the evidence and negotiate on your behalf. You may recover more money with legal representation than you could on your own.

Here are the most important scenarios in which it makes sense to hire an experienced car accident attorney.

You Are Being Blamed For the Crash

After an accident, most people involved (or their insurance companies) are likely to deny fault. Sometimes, this doesn’t matter: when the cause of the collision is clear or there is ample evidence of negligence, their insurance company won’t waste money fighting.

However, many accidents are not so clear-cut. If you are being blamed, it’s important to consult a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer will investigate your accident to determine how it happened and gather evidence. Your lawyer will counter attempts to shift blame to hold the responsible party accountable.

This is particularly important if you were partially at fault for the crash.

South Carolina uses a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this system, each party is assigned a percentage of fault based on their role in the accident. Even if you share blame, you are still entitled to recover money as long as you are not more than 50% at fault. However, every share of fault that’s assigned to you reduces your financial recovery.

If you are up to 50% to blame, your recovery is reduced in proportion to your share of fault. For instance, if your damages are $50,000 but you are found 25% at fault, your compensation is reduced by 25% to $37,500. If you are 51% or more at fault, you are barred from recovering anything.

You Suffered Serious Injuries

The more serious your injuries, the more your case is likely worth. Severe and catastrophic injuries cause significant medical expenses and may result in permanent disability. Long-term medical costs alone can top several hundred thousand dollars before considering future lost earnings and non-economic losses like reduced quality of life.

Insurance companies are willing to invest time and resources into fighting these high-value cases, particularly when there is shared fault. In complex cases, recovering fair compensation can be a years-long process.

Another important factor in these cases is accurately calculating your total damages. It’s easy to undervalue your losses without medical, labor, and economic experts. A personal injury lawyer will work with experts as needed to determine the value of your lost or reduced income capacity, future medical needs, and more.

Remember: once you sign a settlement agreement, you cannot recover additional money, even if you turn out to be more seriously hurt than you thought. An experienced car accident lawyer will determine a fair amount for your current and future losses. They will pursue the full compensation you are counting on with honed negotiation skills and legal insight.

Your Accident Was Complex

The more complicated your case, the more important it becomes to hire an experienced car accident attorney.

Some types of car accidents are inherently more complicated, such as:

  • Commercial vehicle and large truck accidents
  • Workplace accidents while driving on the job
  • Accidents involving government vehicles like school buses and city buses
  • Multi-vehicle accidents

If a commercial vehicle or truck was involved in your crash, a thorough investigation is necessary to determine which parties are liable. These accidents may involve multiple liable parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of a defective part, or the company that loaded the cargo.

A commercial liability policy usually has a very high coverage limit, unlike most personal auto policies. That means a greater chance of recovering full compensation but also more effort by the insurance company to limit your payout.

If you were hurt in a crash while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury and/or workers’ compensation claim.

Accidents that involve a government vehicle are complex. Under the SC Tort Claims Act, claims against the state, county, or city can only be brought in limited circumstances.

A personal injury lawyer will understand the unique statutes and case law relevant to your claim. They will work with experts and gather evidence to pursue compensation from all parties who share responsibility.

The Insurance Company Denied Your Claim

Insurance adjusters will try to limit or deny a claim whenever possible. They may even delay processing your claim to pressure you to accept a lower settlement. In some cases, claims for car accident injuries are denied unfairly.

If your claim was denied, the insurance company may say the accident isn’t covered by the policy or the policyholder was not at fault. They may even argue your injuries weren’t caused by your crash.

When your claim is denied, a car accident lawyer can help. Your lawyer can appeal the insurance company’s decision with supporting evidence. If they refuse, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the next step to hold the negligent party accountable.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With an Experienced Columbia Car Accident Attorney

Still not sure if you need to hire a lawyer? You can discuss your case with a personal injury attorney during a free consultation. The lawyer can help you understand what your case may be worth and the challenges you may encounter. They will give you an honest assessment of your case and your legal options.

At Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You benefit from legal representation with no out-of-pocket attorneys’ fees. Contact our law office at (803) 373-1706 for a free case review with a Columbia car accident lawyer to learn more about how we can help you.

Contact Us Today!


It's free to speak with us about your case, and if you hire us, we don't get paid unless we win.

Awards & Associations

Our Locations

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

1333 Main St #510,
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 373-1668

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

5465 Sunset Blvd Suite B,
Lexington, SC 29072

(803) 373-1302

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

161 Elliott St SE Suite B,
Orangeburg, SC 29115

(803) 373-7593

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

749-2 University Village Dr,
Blythewood, SC 29016

(803) 592-6553

! NOTICE ! No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues or problems.

Files are primarily handled in our main office in Columbia.

Back To Top