When To Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

when to hire a car accident lawyer

There are many reasons to get a lawyer after a car accident, such as securing help navigating the complexities of state laws, handling insurance claims and negotiations, and fighting for you in court if necessary. Remember, some cases are more complex than others, and insurance companies are not on your side—not even your own.

Knowing when to hire a car accident lawyer is critical to improving your chances of securing fair compensation. Partner with our award-winning attorneys at Warner Law Offices. We will handle your car accident lawsuit from start to finish. Call us at (304) 345-6789 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

If You're Unable To Work

If you cannot work after a car accident, you may face mounting medical bills and other financial difficulties. It is worth getting an attorney for even a minor car accident. Injuries such as whiplash and concussions from a minor crash can lead to missed time at work and are compensable. If you experience pain after seeing your doctor, schedule another appointment. Otherwise, you won’t have the medical evidence necessary to claim missed work time or other damages.

Following a motor vehicle accident, you can claim both lost wages and lost future earnings. Proving your inability to work in the future can be tough. The other party’s insurance company and attorneys will scrutinize your evidence closely and may accuse you of deliberately choosing not to work.

Our West Virginia personal injury law firm has a long history of successfully securing compensation for lost wages and future earnings through car accident claims. We will help you collect the medical evidence and employment records you need to justify the compensation we pursue.

Thorough Evaluation of Your Physical and Emotional Damages

Potential car accident damages also include compensation for physical, financial, and emotional losses. You need evidence of the damages you have suffered and that you will face in the future. Both physical and emotional harm are possible in car accidents, and if you don’t secure full compensation through your original settlement, you cannot go back and ask for more.

For example, a back injury may prevent you from working for an extended period. Some physical trauma, such as traumatic brain injuries, can lead to secondary conditions such as migraines and cognitive impairment. Emotional trauma, such as PTSD, can affect you immediately or take weeks or months to manifest. You should not accept a settlement until an experienced car accident attorney reviews your case and determines the full extent of your losses.

Professional Help Gathering and Preserving Evidence

There are a few steps to take after a car accident to start building your claim for damages. Pictures, videos, and information collected from the scene can help your attorney determine if you have a case. However, the most important thing is protecting your health, and you may not be able to collect everything on your own.

One reason to get a lawyer after a car accident is to gather and preserve critical evidence that you could not collect yourself. Our attorneys can also find additional evidence by interviewing witnesses, securing police reports, and obtaining traffic camera footage and security videos. Our attorneys know how to deploy evidence to build a compelling case for damages.

Legal Advocacy When Dealing With Insurance Companies

West Virginia is an at-fault insurance state, so the liable party’s insurance company is responsible for compensating injured victims The other driver is unlikely to accept responsibility, and it is in the insurance company’s best interests to blame you for your accident.

Many insurance adjusters have handled hundreds, if not thousands, of claims. They will strive to deny compensation or offer less than your actual damages. Insurance companies have large teams working to fight your claim, and you deserve a skilled legal team to fight back.

Avoiding Pitfalls in Your Car Accident Case

If you don’t have a skilled attorney assisting you with your car accident claim, you risk making mistakes that could cost you some or all of your compensation. These cases are complex, and there are many pitfalls.

Admitting Liability

It is very easy to say the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster, and they will twist your words to blame you for the accident. This can seriously impact your case, as West Virginia uses a modified comparative negligence standard in personal injury cases. Under this law, you can collect compensation for an accident if you were not more at-fault than the other driver. However, your damages are reduced by the percentage of liability you hold for the crash.

Missing the Statute of Limitations

Insurance adjusters may also delay settlement negotiations in the hope that you will run out of time to file a lawsuit. West Virginia’s car accident statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of injury to file. If you do not file on time, the presiding judge will dismiss your case. Insurance companies hope you put off filing your claim so your right to compensation is eliminated.

Accepting Initial Offers

Do not accept an insurance company’s initial offer without consulting with an attorney, especially early on in your case. Insurance companies make lowball offers at this stage because they know you can’t ask for more after accepting. If your injuries worsen, new conditions arise, or the crash impacts your home and work life more than you realized, it will be too late to demand more compensation.

Failure to Identify All Liable Parties

Parties other than the other driver might also be responsible for your accident. It is critical to identify all of them, as each may be liable for a percentage of your damages. In addition to the other driver, you may have a claim against:

Our accomplished attorneys will fight claims that you were to blame for the crash. With over twenty years of experience working with car accident victims, we also know when a settlement offer is fair or not. Our skilled lawyers will identify all parties liable for your crash and file the appropriate paperwork on time so you don’t miss your chance to secure full and fair compensation.

What To Consider When Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer


When it comes to pursuing damages for injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions, there are a number of complexities involved. For example, state law specifies that the recovery of any personal injury awards be predicated on the percentages of fault assigned to each side. Therefore, when considering legal representatives, people may find it helpful to look into the types of cases their potential candidates generally handle. Researching attorneys before making their decision may help ensure they choose an experienced litigation attorney, who is well versed in navigating the procedures and statutes involved with car wreck injury or fatality claims.

Level of Comfort

Communication between people who are injured in car collisions and their attorneys is essential throughout the legal claims process. In addition to discussing their options and the progress of their cases, they may also have to tell their lawyers about what happened, their injuries and any specific issues they may have experienced as a result. Therefore, before choosing a legal representative, people may find it helpful to consult with the attorneys they are considering. This may help them assess if they feel comfortable with their candidates and will be able to work with them.

Reviews From Prior Clients

Even after sitting down with potential personal injury lawyers, it may be difficult for people to fully understand how they work. In reading the reviews of past clients or speaking with people who have previously used an attorney’s services, however, they may get a better picture of the approach each of their potential candidates use and what types of strategies they employ. Having this type of inside knowledge may help those seeking legal representation determine if their own styles, and those of the lawyers they are considering, mesh.

Fees and Billing Structure

The fees and billing structures may vary widely from one personal injury attorney to the next. Some may bill by the hour, others may require a retainer and some may work on a contingency basis. Until their cases are resolved, funds may sometimes be tight for those injured in motor vehicle collisions as they may be losing income while they are off work recovering and incurring undue expenses, such as medical bills associated with treating their injuries.

While they may be entitled to damages, the process of obtaining them is not always a cut and dry process for those injured in West Virginia auto accidents. Navigating the legalities may further complicate an already difficult time. Working with a personal injury lawyer, however, may help them understand their rights and determine how best to proceed given the unique circumstances of their cases.

Get Help From an Experienced West Virginia Car Accident Attorney

Our experienced attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of West Virginia’s insurance and personal injury laws and can help prevent mistakes that cost you compensation. Founding partner Bobby Warner and his carefully selected team of award-winning attorneys are top-tier legal advocates known for their aggressive negotiation skills.

At Warner Law Offices, we pride ourselves on our ability to handle even the most complex car accident cases. We’ve secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and have received countless glowing reviews noting our professionalism, dedication, and ability to get results.

Don’t face the legal aftermath of a car accident alone. Call us at (304) 345-6789 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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Attorney Bobby Warner
Content Reviewed by:
Bobby Warner

Bobby has received many accolades throughout the years from both his peers in the legal community, as well as the media. The National Trial Lawyers association named Bobby a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and he has been selected as a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent. Additionally, he has been named a Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings, which also named Warner Law Offices to its Best Law Firms of America.