A frequent question I hear is whether someone should hire an attorney if they have been involved in a car accident. Many people do not realize the intricacies involved in the claim process, and they believe the insurance company when it acts like their friend and says it will "take care of everything". This leads some people to avoid hiring an attorney altogether, or if they do decide to hire one later, sometimes the damage has already been done.
If you decide to go it alone, there is a high likelihood that you are going to make some mistake that will cause you to lose out on valuable compensation. The bottom-line is the insurance company does not have your bests interests at heart. Its goal is to pay you as little money as possible. Before making the potentially costly decision to represent yourself, you should at least consult with a personal injury attorney. Most injury attorneys offer free, no obligation consultations. A brief consultation can provide you with some basic information about the process and help you make the decision on whether to hire a lawyer.
As to whether you should go the next step and hire an attorney after your free consultation, I strongly believe that anyone who has been injured in a car accident should hire one. An attorney will likely be able to get you considerably more money than you could get on your own, and an attorney will be able to navigate the claims process, notify the proper insurance companies, analyze the complicated issue of whether any health insurance or other benefits providers are entitled to be paid back, and negotiate any unpaid medical bills. At the end of the day, you will almost always end up with a better result if you hire an attorney than if you try to handle it yourself.