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Can I Recover Compensation After a Car Accident Without an Attorney?

Car accidents can bring about costly repairs and painful injuries. After being involved in a car accident, you may be looking to hold the other liable driver accountable for possible compensation. Do you need a lawyer to recover compensation? Is legal representation beneficial for your claim? Let’s explore the answer now!

Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident? 

The short answer to the question of whether you need a lawyer after a car accident is no. However, many people do find themselves consulting with a San Diego car accident lawyer for a number of reasons. After a car accident, you will likely be filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance.

 It is important to note that many insurance companies will try a variety of ways to lower or altogether not have to pay compensation for a car accident claim. Insurance companies often lowball the driver that was injured in the accident, and it can be an overwhelming process to navigate.

Personal injury lawyers have the experience of dealing with insurance companies. They are highly skilled legal experts that have the negotiation skills to represent an injured driver in the hopes of getting rightful compensation. Some of the main reasons why hiring a lawyer after a car accident would be crucial include:

A High-Value Claim

If your car accident claim has a high value, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer. By hiring a lawyer, you are working with an experienced negotiator who will be in your corner trying to get you the highest compensation amounts possible. Many people do not always know the value of their claim, but a lawyer can help you calculate damages to get the best-estimated value for reference.

Insurance Company Negotiations

Talking with the other driver’s insurance company can be an intimidating process. There are some key tips that help with talking with insurance companies, such as never admitting fault, giving straightforward answers, and having evidence to support your claim.  however, you may find yourself getting nowhere with the insurance company, or your claim may even be denied. A personal injury lawyer can take over the negotiation process and guarantee you peace of mind. 

Comparative Fault 

California is a comparative fault state. This means that an injured party can still be found partially liable for an accident. Though some states may not allow an injured person to be able to gather compensation due to liability, California still allows compensation to be obtained.

However, an injured person who is found liable will be assigned a percentage of liability. the percentage of liability ultimately reduces the compensation amount they are awarded. For example, a driver who is found 20% liable for their injuries would have their compensation amount reduced by the same percentage. If they are pursuing $10,000, they would be given $8,000. Getting legal representation can help respond to claims of liability from the insurance company.

Filing a Lawsuit

In some cases, the insurance company may refuse to provide a settlement that accurately fits your claim amount.  In this situation, a lawsuit is inevitable. 

Filing a lawsuit can be a tedious process, involving paperwork, communications, and evidence-gathering. You are still recovering from injuries and emotional havoc caused by the car accident, so what can you do? When it comes to filing a lawsuit, you will want to have the help of a lawyer who can guide your claim successfully and with unbeatable knowledge. 

How is Negligence Proven in Car Accidents? 

The basis of any personal injury case involving car accidents is proving negligence and/or recklessness of the liable driver. How can you prove the negligence of the other involved driver after a car accident? 

In order to show negligence, you will have to provide evidence that:


  • The driver had a duty of care (this can be as simple as proving the party was driving at the time) 
  • The driver failed to uphold that duty of care
  • This breach in care caused your injuries 
  • You sustained injuries and damages as a direct result of the other party’s breach of care


As drivers, we each have a duty to our other fellow drivers and pedestrians to uphold a certain level of care and precaution. However, some drivers will act in negligent and reckless ways. This puts other innocent drivers at risk.

 If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident directly caused by another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to pursue compensation. Talking with a personal injury lawyer can help you learn more about the value of your claim and next steps. 

What Compensation Can I Receive? 

What compensation may you be eligible to receive after a car accident? Car accidents often result in painful injuries and damage to a vehicle. Not to mention, the suffering and pain of the injured driver and their passengers.

Compensation can be awarded to cover a multitude of expenses resulting from the accident. Some damages you can receive after a car accident include:


  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses, such as surgery, physical therapy, and in-home care
  • Repairs for your vehicle
  • Loss of income
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or scarring


There are also punitive damages, which are typically awarded as punishment for the liable driver. This is in order to actively prevent liable drivers from committing the same or similar mistakes in the future. For example, a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol could be ordered to pay punitive damages to drivers who were severely injured in a car accident the impaired driver caused at the time.

Compensation helps bring some level of ease to an injured driver. Don’t pay for damages from your own pocket. 

What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do For Me? 

You have just been involved in a car accident. What can a personal injury lawyer do for you? Some of the steps personal injury lawyers can handle on your behalf include:


  • Taking over all the details of your claim (i.e. paperwork, communications, negotiations) 
  • Hiring experts to serve as witnesses and support your claim
  • Continuously advise you on your legal options as the claim progresses
  • Protect you from allegations of liability
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf


There are many things a personal injury lawyer can accomplish on your behalf. By having an expert legal representative on your side, you can focus on the journey to recovery. Though you could technically recover some compensation after a car accident without a lawyer, many injured people hire a lawyer for additional expertise, representation, and savvy negotiation skills.

Need a San Diego Lawyer After a Car Accident? 

Have you been involved in a car accident and need a San Diego personal injury lawyer? Sit down with the team at HHJ Trial Attorneys! Dealing with insurance companies can be a hassle, and you may find yourself facing countless obstacles when it comes to obtaining compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Our personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for your claim and will always be in your corner. Contact us now to learn more about our team and how we can help with your car accident claim!

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