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When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident?

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February 9, 2024 Car Accidents

A car accident can be a distressing and frightening experience. As a victim, you might be facing many difficult decisions. One of them includes the decision to hire an attorney. Given that people involved in a car crash may incur significant financial losses, the additional cost of legal representation may seem like the last thing they need. However, getting an attorney may still be beneficial for various reasons. Below, we will discuss the situations when you need a Denver car accident lawyer and explain the benefits of retaining legal counsel to help you make an informed decision.

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Situations When You Need a Car Accident Attorney

When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

Every year, about 5.4 million Americans suffer medically-consulted injuries in car crashes. Are you one of those who have suffered an injury in a traffic crash and are unsure whether you need an attorney? Many people are left confused and uncertain and end up not hiring an attorney because they think they do not need one. While it is always a good idea to seek the assistance of an attorney, contacting a car accident attorney is certainly your best course of action if any of the following applies to you:

The Other Driver Denies Responsibility

If you believe the other driver involved in the crash was at fault but they deny their responsibility, the situation can become very complex. It may require the assistance of an attorney. Your attorney can collect the necessary evidence to prove the other driver’s liability, including witness statements, video surveillance footage, testimony from accident reconstruction experts, and more. By working with an attorney, you can bring the at-fault driver to justice and ensure that they or their insurance company do not shift the blame onto you.

The Insurance Company Requests a Statement from You

Once you file your insurance claim after the crash, you will likely receive a call from the insurance company asking for a statement. While a request for a statement may not seem like a big deal, remember that insurance companies are profit-driven businesses and may try to use your statements against you. Your attorney can ensure you do not say anything that can hurt your claim.

The Accident Involved More Than Two Vehicles

Accidents involving more than two vehicles can become complicated. With multiple parties involved, determining fault can be difficult. It may also be challenging to get the compensation you need. In this situation, an attorney can navigate the complexities of this situation, assign fault to each party involved, work with each party’s insurance companies, and help make sure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

The Accident Involved a Government Entity or Structure

If an accident involves a government entity or structure, you may face additional obstacles to getting compensation due to the concept known as “government immunity.” For example, if the accident occurred due to poor road conditions, you may need to file a claim with the local government responsible for maintaining that road. Your attorney can prepare a claim against the appropriate government entities and will comply with the specific legal requirements for suing the government.

Note: Many states, including Colorado, set special requirements for filing claims against government entities. Under Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-10-109, injured victims must file written notice within 180 days of the date of injury to pursue legal action against a government entity.

The Insurance Company Is Unresponsive or Delays the Claims Process

One of the reasons why it is essential to contact an attorney after a car accident is when your insurer stops responding to your emails or calls or delays the claims process. Insurance companies aim to minimize their losses, and some may try to use tactics to delay the process. They think that the longer you wait and the more expenses you incur as you wait, the more likely you are to agree to any compensation. With an attorney’s help, you can navigate the complex insurance industry and hold your insurer accountable for their actions. Your attorney can apply legal tools to streamline the claims process and ensure you are treated fairly.

Too Much Time Has Passed Since the Date of the Accident

It may take some time to discover the full extent of your injuries after an accident. Suppose you have delayed seeking medical attention and waited too long to file a claim for compensation. In this situation, it is best to contact an attorney to get assistance with your claim and address the issues that may arise. An experienced attorney can establish liability, collect evidence, and expedite your legal procedures to avoid missing out on compensation. If too much time has passed, the insurance company is more likely to deny your claim by arguing that your injuries are not as serious as you claim or were the result of something else.

Note: Every state has a statute of limitations, which limits the time you have to pursue legal action. In Colorado, injured victims may lose their right to pursue compensation if more than three years passed from the date of the accident (Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-80-101).

Negotiations with the Insurance Company Can Be Difficult

Negotiating with insurance companies can be a daunting experience mainly because insurers do not have your best interests in mind. Often, insurance adjusters try to rush you into accepting a low settlement amount or may deny your claim altogether, leaving you without any compensation. However, with an attorney’s help, you can have someone negotiating on your behalf and advocating for your best interests when dealing with the insurer. It’s always wise to have a lawyer handling your claim from the start. However, if you initiated a claim and your negotiations with the insurance company are not going in the right direction, it is time to lawyer up to improve your negotiation power.

How Can an Attorney Help You if You Were in a Car Accident?

How Can an Attorney Help You if You Were in a Car Accident

Now that you understand when to get an attorney for a car accident, you might wonder, “What will an attorney do when I hire one?” That is a good question. You will pay your attorney for their service, so you deserve to know exactly what they will do to win for you. Here’s an overview of some of the things an attorney will do when working on your case:

  • Build a more convincing case for you. An attorney will understand the mechanisms for building a strong and convincing case to secure a favorable outcome. The attorney will work to collect and preserve evidence, hire accident construction experts, and prepare effective legal arguments to prove every aspect of your claim. Your attorney will also avoid mistakes that can hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation.
  • Accurately calculate your accident-related expenses. Knowing how much your claim is worth is the key to getting the compensation you deserve. However, it is not always easy to calculate your damages and losses without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. Your attorney has the tools necessary to calculate your past expenses and estimate future expenses to recover an appropriate settlement amount. Without the input of an attorney, you risk settling your claim for less than you deserve.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company. Dealing with insurance companies is one of the most stressful and frustrating aspects of the claims process after a car accident. Once you file a claim for compensation, the company will assign an adjuster to your case. Adjusters are trained to protect their company’s interests, which often means offering lowball settlements or denying claims altogether. Attorneys know how insurance companies operate and can handle negotiations with the insurer on your behalf to improve your chances of getting maximum compensation.
  • Take your case to trial if necessary. Statistically, only a small percentage of personal injury cases go to trial. While, in most cases, people involved in a car accident settle their claims out of court, some situations require a trial to achieve a fair resolution. If your case is headed to trial, it is critical to get the assistance of an attorney. Your attorney will advise you on whether taking your case to trial makes sense and, if so, prepare for the court proceedings and filings. Your attorney will be by your side to present the strongest case possible before the trial date and deliver arguments to the judge and jury in the courtroom.
  • Provide you with guidance and support throughout your case. The aftermath of a car accident can be just as overwhelming and stressful as the accident itself. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this process alone. Your attorney will provide you with the knowledgeable guidance and legal support you need to understand your options and make informed decisions throughout the case. Knowing that your case is in good hands can give you much-needed peace of mind and a sense of relief during this turbulent time.

When you have an attorney on your side, you can rely on their experience and concentrate on your health and well-being while they work to secure the best possible resolution of your case.

Qualities to Look for in an Attorney

Many people are not very meticulous when choosing an attorney to represent them in their car accident case. If you hire just any attorney without considering their professional background, qualifications, experience, and personal traits, you risk hiring the wrong attorney and missing the opportunity to receive fair compensation. Here are some of the top qualities a good car accident attorney should possess:


Experience is arguably the most important characteristic a good attorney should have. Ideally, you want someone who has handled cases similar to yours before and has a proven track record of success in those cases. An attorney with sufficient experience will streamline the legal process and ensure that all aspects of your claim are handled efficiently.


Another quality to look for in a prospective attorney is reputation and recognition in the community. You want an attorney who has earned a reputation for being trustworthy, assertive, and ethical. You can look at reviews online or visit their website for testimonials. A good attorney will typically have a solid reputation and a history of securing favorable outcomes for their clients. Checking a prospective attorney’s track record of success and reputation helps you avoid hiring a big talker who never delivers results.

Strong Negotiation Skills

In most car accident cases, there will be some negotiations with insurance companies. That’s why strong negotiation skills are an important trait for an attorney. Your attorney should stand up for your rights and represent your best interests when negotiating with the insurer on your behalf.


Empathy is just as vital as an attorney’s experience, reputation, and negotiation skills. You want an attorney who truly empathizes with your situation, can listen to your concerns, understands what you are going through, and can provide the emotional support you need. When choosing an attorney, keep in mind that you need someone you feel comfortable working with.


Ethics are also crucial when hiring an attorney. You want someone who will represent you ethically and uphold the highest ethical standards when representing their clients. You do not want to be represented by an attorney who is okay with engaging in unethical practices.


Transparency is often overlooked when it comes to looking for an attorney. However, transparency and honesty are the foundation of an effective attorney-client relationship. An attorney who possesses this quality will be honest about the potential outcomes and your chances of success and can provide you with realistic expectations in your case. You do not want to hear you have a viable claim when, in reality, your case is doomed to failure.


Keith Fuicelli

Keith Fuicelli, Car Accident Lawyer

The legal process can be long and difficult, and you need to hire someone who will be in your corner until the end. Your attorney should be tenacious about getting you the compensation you deserve, no matter how complex the case may be, and be willing to go to great lengths to protect your rights.

Call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose.