If you or one of your passengers was injured in a car accident, obtaining a lawyer might be the best way to protect yourself from paying for someone else’s negligence. While many insurance companies do an excellent job of simplifying the process following a car accident, a surprising number of legal issues can arise from an accident—from fault disputes to property damages. For this reason, it’s important to recognize the signs when it’s time to call an accident attorney.

Consider calling a lawyer if you or one of your passengers was injured.

Injuries are the most common reason to find yourself in need of a lawyer after a car accident. This is why there are so many car accident lawyers out there—because there’s a business for it! After a car accident, your first priority should always be to get medical attention for anyone who needs it. Often, personal injury lawyers will meet you at the hospital so that they can immediately begin servicing your needs.

Reach out to an attorney if there was an immediate dispute with the other driver.

If you and the other driver immediately disagreed on who was at fault, or if there is major vehicle or property damage involved (not to mention any personal injury), it might be smart to consider reaching out to a lawyer almost immediately. Insurance companies do their best to mediate in the event of an accident, but an attorney will work to protect you in ways the insurance company cannot. Depending on your situation, an attorney can help you obtain a settlement or even take your case to court, if necessary.
Remember: your time frame to take legal action after a car accident is limited.

In many states, the law sets a time limit on the amount of time that can pass between an accident-related injury and legal action pertaining to that accident. If you suspect that your situation might call for legal advice, it’s best to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.

Some are skeptical about reaching out to an attorney in the event of a car accident because it’s likely your costs would be lower had you dealt with the issue yourself. But it’s important to realize that without legal advice, you might find yourself paying for another driver’s negligence, in which case an attorney becomes a valuable asset that you can’t afford to go without.