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Do I Need A Lawyer For A Car Accident Settlement?

January 27, 2023 by Steven M. Gursten

Do I Need A Lawyer For A Car Accident Settlement?

If you or a family member has been seriously injured or you have lost a loved one from a car crash in Michigan, you will likely need a lawyer to maximize a car accident settlement. An attorney can significantly increase the amount of your settlement, find additional parties and layers of insurance that may be implicated to increase a total settlement, and prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you, such as with low-ball offers and overly broad legal releases.

The fact is, you don’t always need an attorney after a crash in Michigan, and we’re often the first ones to say that to people. In fact, in most cases you likely won’t ever need to hire one.  Most cases involving vehicle damage can easily be resolved without having to hire an attorney.

But when a serious injury occurs and an insurance company is trying to take advantage of you by making low-ball settlement offers for far less than what your case is actually worth – you will definitely need a lawyer for your Michigan car accident settlement.

An experienced Michigan car accident lawyer can protect you by adding significantly more money to your car accident settlement. An attorney can also help you get the auto No-Fault insurance benefits you are entitled to, such as medical care, medical treatment, attendant care benefits, and wage loss reimbursement. 

Finally, and maybe most importantly, a lawyer can often find additional negligent parties or hidden layers of insurance that can add literally millions of dollars to a Michigan car accident settlement for a very serious injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

To learn more about what the settlement value of your case may be, please check out our “Car Accident Settlement Calculator.”

Why do I need a lawyer for a car accident settlement?

In Michigan, you need a lawyer for a car accident settlement to ensure the settlement amount reflects the true value of your claim for pain and suffering compensation. An attorney can also help you secure your No-Fault insurance benefits, including medical bills and other economic damages such as wage loss and replacement services.

The insurance industry’s own data also supports the need for a lawyer for a Michigan car accident settlement. An aververage car accident case will settle for up to 4 times more money when an accident victim is represented by an attorney. Keep in mind that is an average amount. An experienced auto accident attorney can increase that settlement by far more than that. Insurance companies also give adjusters far more discretion to settle cases for higher settlement amounts if the claim involves a brain injury or a large commercial truck.  

This data is why so many insurance companies attempt to contact a driver who one of their insureds has hit as soon as possible right away after a car crash. These insurers know it will cost them considerably more money to settle the case if a car accident victim hires an attorney.

Hiring a lawyer to maximize a car accident settlement in Michigan works because of how insurance companies evaluate claims. All insurance companies evaluate a claim based on risk and exposure. Your choice in hiring a lawyer for a Michigan car accident settlement is actually one of the biggest factors an insurance company evaluates when determining what kind of settlement offer to make. An attorney who has a proven record of car accident settlements and, more importantly, being willing to take cases to trial considerably increases both the risk and the exposure to that insurance company over an attorney who does not specialize in car accidents, has no track record, and hasn’t taken a case to trial in years.

It’s important to understand that a big part of evaluating risk and exposure for insurance companies means that these insurers evaluate the lawyers and law firms as part of the settlement process.  A billboard lawyer or a TV lawyer whose law firm is known as a “mill” that settles cases in volume for a discount can never recover the full settlement value for a car accident in Michigan. The insurance companies know this, and depend on this as a way to save tens of millions of dollars by getting a significant discount on settlements every year. 

How do you maximize a settlement? 

Let’s use our own law firm, Michigan Auto Law, as an example. Our attorneys specialize in motor vehicle crash litigation. We have a proven track record that includes more million-dollar car accident settlements, trial verdicts, and judgments on behalf of our clients than any other personal injury attorney or law firm in the entire state. These settlements and verdicts also include several record-breaking settlements, including the largest ever settlement by a Michigan attorney or law firm for an auto accident and a truck accident. It also includes the top verdict or settlement for a car or truck crash nearly every year for the past two decades. Our attorneys have also recovered the highest ever verdict in several different counties in the state – something that insurance companies carefully evaluate as part of their evaluation of risk and exposure when making a car accident settlement.  

Precisely because the insurance companies know of our track-record and reputation, and because this in turn increases the risk and exposure to the insurance company, this leads to adjusters putting more settlement money on cases. This in turn allows our law firm to settle cases faster and for considerably more money than other law firms.   

To learn more about what the settlement value of your case may be, please check out our “Car Accident Settlement Calculator.”

How much does a lawyer cost for a car accident settlement in Michigan?

In Michigan, a lawyer for a car accident settlement will cost you nothing unless there is a recovery first.  This is because lawyers work on what is called a contingent fee, meaning any attorney fee they make is first contingent on a financial recovery for the client first. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. In other words, unless you only pay if you win. A contingent fee will vary in amount by state. In Michigan, the contingent fee on a personal injury case is set by the Michigan Supreme Court at one-third of whatever the total recovery is for the client, after costs. Costs can include the costs for litigation and discovery and experts, and are always advanced by the attorney and then reimbursed from the car accident settlement. In many states, the contingent fee that a lawyer can charge is higher than in Michigan.  

Our nationally recognized auto accident attorneys always work on a contingency-fee basis, so we only get paid when our clients get paid. If our clients do not win, there is never an attorney fee.  

Our guarantee to you is that we will never ask you to write us a check for costs or pay us unless and until we recover for you first.  

Our award-winning auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee, and this always includes our 100 percent client satisfaction guarantee.

Do I need a lawyer for a car accident settlement after a “minor” crash in Michigan?

If you never suffered an injury, or your injury involved very minor discomfort that quickly resolved, you likely do not need to hire a lawyer for a minor crash. However, if you have suffered a serious injury but the insurance company is calling your crash a “minor” crash to avoid paying you or to low-ball a settlement for your car accident in Michigan, then you will need a lawyer for your car accident. Labeling a crash as “minor” is just a negotiating tactic adjusters often use to try to settle cases for less than the full and fair value of a person’s injuries.

No emergency room in America asks to look at pictures of car vehicle damage first before giving medical care and treatment, and there’s an important reason why. Pictures of so-called “minor” damage to a car fender do not necessarily reflect the damage that an auto accident can do to the human body.  

In fact, doctors are trained that forces of impact based on things like whether a head was turned or not, seat position, age, gender, susceptibility, pre-existing conditions, etc. matter a lot more than damage to a bumper. Medical-school books have many examples of people who are permanently disabled, even killed, in what could be considered a so-called “minor” car accident.

Remember, just because the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company calls your crash a minor car accident doesn’t make it so. The truth is that major injuries are caused by so-called “minor” accidents every day. There’s a reason you open up the egg carton to look at the eggs inside when you go shopping. How a vehicle looks doesn’t always reflect the damage done to the occupant inside.

The only people who think you don’t need a lawyer for a car accident settlement in Michigan after a so-called “minor” crash are at the insurance company that insures the driver who rear-ended you. They use this as a tactic to minimize and to avoid having to pay out compensation and damages because their insured’s negligence has hurt someone.

Injured in an automobile crash? The attorneys at Michigan Auto Law can help

If you have questions about whether you need a lawyer for your Michigan car accident settlement, you can call us toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. We will answer your questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages, auto No-Fault insurance PIP benefits, and settlements in cases like yours. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced injury attorney by visiting our contact page or chat feature on our website.

Do I Need A Lawyer For A Car Accident Settlement?

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