Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

In 2021, an estimated 6.1 million police-reported vehicle accidents occurred in the United States, and 39,508 were fatal. 

The deaths resulting from vehicle crashes may seem relatively few. However, they reveal a staggering number of roadside altercations that involve injuries, property damages, and insurance claims. 

Statistics show that an average person will get involved in a car accident three to four times in their entire lifetime. Some of those incidents may not even be the driver’s fault. 

However, even if the accident isn’t your fault, you may still face problems directly caused by a car accident. Given the odds, should you get a car accident lawyer, even if it’s not your fault?

This article explains why having a personal injury lawyer can help resolve car accident issues. It also tackles how to determine who is at fault and who makes such conclusions. 

Furthermore, this write-up explains the concept of negligence and its role in determining who is at fault in a car accident and calculating damages.  

If you’re involved in a car accident, contact a lawyer to help you out. Visit and access a database of thousands of lawyers nationwide. 

You only need to select your state and browse through the different legal professionals according to the type of case you’re involved in. 

“Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?”

One reason to get a lawyer is to ensure you get the best possible outcome in a legal dispute. If that’s the case, even if you didn’t cause the car accident, it’s best to get the services of a car accident attorney to get the best results out of an unfortunate incident. 

Securing Legal Representation After a Non-fault Car Accident

Legal advice or representation is crucial when you’re involved in a car accident. You may incur injuries during a collision, even if it’s not your fault. 

A personal injury lawyer may help you understand insurance policies, seek fair settlement or compensation from the party responsible for the accident, and get insurance coverage for medical bills.

Also, there are some cases when the person responsible for the accident tries to overturn the car accident case and pin the blame on you. An attorney or lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and identify your legal rights as an accident victim. 

What Happens When an Accident Wasn’t Your Fault?

Many things might happen in the aftermath of a car accident. One scenario is that the at-fault driver assumes responsibility, takes care of the damages and injuries, and pays them upfront or through the at-fault party’s insurance company. 

However, there are cases where you need to prove your innocence in the infraction, as the at-fault driver doesn’t assume responsibility. A personal injury or an auto accident attorney can help you in this situation.  

There are instances when your state is a no-fault auto insurance state. In these states, you must file any injury or property damage incurred during an accident with your own insurance company. 

Here is a list of no-fault auto insurance states:

New Jersey
New York
North Dakota

When You May Need a Lawyer

The following are some scenarios when hiring a lawyer to help you is a good idea. 

  • The accident resulted in you sustaining serious injuries or the death of a passenger or someone you love. 
  • The injuries sustained from the accident left you unable to work.
  • The insurance company gave you a lowball settlement offer.
  • The accident or vehicle collision involves more than one party.
  • The at-fault or negligent driver has no insurance or is underinsured. 
  • There’s a need to gather evidence to prove the other party’s negligence.

The examples above are a few situations when a lawyer might be helpful. Many things can happen in an accident that may not be included in this shortlist. Every car accident case is unique, which cements the need for people with legal experience in vehicle accidents.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

A car accident lawyer typically focuses on handling injury claims associated with a car accident. However, a personal injury attorney focuses on handling car accidents and personal injury claims.

If you need an experienced lawyer to handle complex cases like a car accident, visit You can find law firms in every state and get the information you need before you hire a lawyer. 

Your Attorney’s Job

Here are some of the main functions of an attorney who will handle cases like a car accident injury settlement. 

  • Investigate claims: An attorney helps determine a claim’s strengths and weaknesses. Through the help of an experienced lawyer, they can advise you on the best course of action, like when choosing to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or accept a car accident settlement. 
  • Gather Evidence: A successful claim or lawsuit depends on the evidence you have. An attorney can help you gather the evidence to tip the balance in your favor. 

    They may ask the police for reports of the accident scene and get the evidence needed to file an insurance claim. 

  • Negotiate With Insurance Companies: Sometimes, insurance policies seem all Greek for you. An attorney or lawyer can discuss these policies so that you can understand them and represent you to insurance companies when asserting the provisions you are entitled to by law. 
  • Send Demand Letters: There are instances where you need to demand fair compensation for an at-fault party that’s uncooperative. Letters involve legal language written in a way that’s easy to understand. 
  • Prepare Pleadings: There are instances where a car accident claim case needs to be settled in court. An attorney can help you prepare pleadings that point out your case. 
  • Conduct Discovery: A personal injury lawyer or attorney can help conduct a deposition, ask for specific information, and send formal questions or interrogatories. 
  • Represent Clients at Trial: Lawyers and attorneys can represent you and your best interests. These legal experts will speak on your behalf and guide you through the complex proceedings of a trial or settlement hearing. 

Reasons Why You Need to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

Sometimes, you may feel immune from counterclaims if it’s not your fault. However, you may encounter people or groups of people who, even if they’re at fault, will still pin the blame on you. 

You Can Focus on Your Health While Lawyers Focus on Your Case

An accident, especially a severe one, is traumatizing— not to mention the physical injuries you and the people who were with you may have obtained. 

Immediately worrying about medical expenses and the statute of limitations for filing charges can be stressful. You can get the services of an attorney or lawyer to handle these tasks while you rest and recuperate. 

A statute of limitations is a rule that claims will no longer be accepted after a specific amount of time after an injury. The exact amount of time varies depending on the state or jurisdiction and type of claim. 

Helps You Get the Compensation You Deserve From Insurance Companies

When you get the services of a personal injury lawyer, you can have them deal directly with the other party’s insurance company. Likewise, you can also have your lawyer talk to your insurance provider. 

The time after an accident is a time for emotional and physical recovery. Let your lawyer do all the necessary field work and talking while you focus on healing.  

Why Should You Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Filing an Insurance Claim?

When you get involved in an accident, the first thing that comes into mind is if your insurance covers the damage or injury and he derives the problem. 

Car insurance companies are for-profit companies that make money if they don’t pay out that much to every accident victim. So, their business model forces them to make the payout minimal. 

However, a personal injury lawyer works for your benefit and will do their best to get every cent rightfully yours according to your state’s policy and insurance laws. Lawyers will do this because if you don’t get paid by the insurance company, they also won’t get paid.

A Lawyer Will Help You Get No-Fault Benefits After a Car Accident. Even if It Wasn’t Your Fault

No-fault benefits give you the right to recover PIP (personal injury protection) to pay for your medical bills for injuries. 

Your PIP can also cover the following: 

  • Lost wages
  • Medical care provided by an attendant
  • Medical mileage
  • Transportation costs for medical appointments and checkups 

A lawyer can help you get these benefits, which may be too complicated to understand, especially after getting out of an accident. 

The Car Insurance Company Is Hassling You

Sometimes, car insurance companies make it a hassle to process car accident claims. The cases of hassling are especially so if you’re having trouble providing the necessary evidence to prove your claim. 

You can hire a personal injury lawyer to go through the possible course of action to get the car damage coverage you rightly deserve. Lawyers can do the following actions: 

  1. Talk with the other driver’s insurance company
  2. Obtain crucial evidence proving that the accident wasn’t your fault
  3. Gather and organize your medical treatment records and bills
  4. Talk with your healthcare provider if more documents are needed
  5. Cooperate with your doctor to get the required medical information to prove your claim further
  6. Negotiate with your insurance company to claim benefits
  7. Work on a satisfactory settlement with an insurance adjuster, defense lawyer, or attorney

Filling Out an Insurance Claim Can Be Tricky

You can categorize car accidents from minor to severe. In most cases, you can easily handle minor cases. 

However, in severe cases coupled with injuries to you and your loved ones, handling this kind of situation can be complicated. A lawyer can help you determine the best action with the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

How Does the Insurance Claims Process Get Complicated?

In an ideal world, the claims process is as simple as what the insurance company advertised on television or social media.

However, insurance claims can be complicated if the insurance company is uncooperative and asks too many requirements to prove that your injuries were due to the accident. Typically, you’ll need proof of the following:

  • You were injured because of the car accident
  • The altercation is not your fault
  • Your injuries are severe
  • The other driver is at fault and negligent

Furthermore, another reason why it’s best to have a legal expert handling your car accident claims, even if you’re not at fault, is that evidence gathering can be challenging. 

Lawyers know the legal methods to obtain the needed proof to support claims, which may not be accessible to people without legal knowledge. 

Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Figure Out What Damages You Are Eligible to Collect

Many kinds of damages are involved after a car accident. However, you can group them into two main types.  

  • Economic damages involve the financial losses caused by the accident. These include medical expenses, loss of income, and car repairs. 

    Determining the actual damage cost of an accident means calculating factors like medical bills, income lost due to loss of work or absences, and property damages.

  • Non-economic damages involve more subjective loss, like pain, harm, and trauma. Placing an amount of trauma, pain, and harm is difficult as there is no standard unit of measurement for feelings. 

Lawyers and attorneys with experience in these cases can work on these complicated evaluations and calculations. It gives more reasons for you to hire a legal expert to handle your insurance claims. 

A Lawyer Can Advise You on Filing a Mini Tort Claim for Vehicle Damage After a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

A tort is a claim for damages. Torts are compensation given to the victims of a car accident. A mini tort is a law implemented in states like Michigan. 

This tort law allows people less than 50% responsible for the car accident to file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the driver at fault for car damages.

A lawyer can help you file a mini tort claim, especially when determining the percentage of your responsibility in a car crash or accident. If you win a lawsuit or approve a claim, the mini tort law may allow you to recover up to $3,000 for car damages. 

Fault Rules in Your State Could Make Things Tricky

Pinpointing who is at fault during a car accident is tricky. Sometimes, a wrongful accounting of events may lead to you losing an insurance claim. 

Negligence typically determines who is at fault. The law defines negligence as conduct falling below the standard of care. 

However, there may be cases where both parties are at fault in varying degrees. Thus, it’s crucial to have legal advice on knowing one’s level of fault or negligence in a vehicular altercation.

The case must be settled before a judge when who is at fault is disputed. A good lawyer can be the deciding factor between getting the compensation you deserve or receiving punitive damages for an accident that’s not your fault alone.      

Negotiate With the Insurance Adjuster if Your Claim Is Undervalued

Insurance adjusters help reduce the amount paid to a car accident claimant by an insurance company. When the adjuster successfully reduces the needed payout, the insurance company profits. However, to reduce the payout, the adjuster must “poke holes” in your claims to undervalue it.

A lawyer can negotiate with the adjuster using legal means to prevent them from reducing your claims. Lawyers can do the talking for you when dealing with insurance adjusters. You don’t have to risk losing your claims by saying something that the insurance company can use as evidence against your claim. 

The Accident Resulted in Significant Losses

If you plan to claim significant losses, the at-fault party will most likely make a dispute. The other party may do the following:

  • Dispute their liability for the accident
  • Dispute the extent of the accident-related losses or damages 

A lawyer can help you through this legal process and ensure you get fairly compensated for the damages, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. 

What if the Settlement Offer Already Seems Fair?

In case the insurance company offers a seemingly fair settlement, you still need a lawyer to determine if there are any pitfalls further down the road. 

Intervene if Your Claim Was Denied

Lawyers can help you pursue your claims, even if the insurance company denies them. You may have provided incomplete information or needed more proper documents to prove your case. 

A personal injury lawyer can help you make sure all documents are available and reviewed by the insurance company before they make another decision. A lawyer can get the evidence to bolster your claim if the car accident is not your fault. 

Step In if You Are Blamed for the Accident

Sometimes, even if the car accident wasn’t your fault, you may be blamed by the other party. You can be in this situation if you don’t have ironclad evidence proving you are the victim of the car accident and not the cause. 

Lawyers should be your go-to person immediately after an accident before you make any statements to anyone. 

Sometimes, you may have said something that pinned the responsibility on you or unknowingly agreed with the at-fault party that you are also partly to blame, even if you aren’t.

Lawyers can “step in” and talk on your behalf, ensuring you’re not misrepresented or entangled in an unfair agreement. 

Proving Negligence

You need four elements to prove one is liable for negligence in a car accident. These four are the following:

  • Duty of care: This element establishes the relationship of the two involved in the accident. In the case of a car accident, the relationship between drivers is based on traffic laws, where the responsibility to operate the vehicle safely rests on the driver.  
  • Breach of the duty of care: When a person, despite being fully aware of his duty of care, blatantly breaches or disregards this duty. 
  • Causation: This connects the at-fault driver’s actions to the accident. Causation establishes that the accident directly results from the other driver’s action. 
  • Damages: This is the total amount of “loss” you suffered due to the accident. 

Hiring a lawyer can help you prove through these four elements that you’re the victim in the accident and the fault is with the other driver. 

If Fault for the Accident Is in Dispute

A lawyer can help prepare your story to improve your standing chance during a dispute. Sometimes, an at-fault driver will dispute your account, even if it’s true. A personal injury lawyer or attorney can assist you in building a case to overcome a dispute.

Collect Information

Gathering information is one crucial part of the insurance process that you must do after an incident like a car accident. However, if you’ve sustained an injury due to the accident, collecting information from the accident scene may become difficult.  

A lawyer can get information on the party involved in the accident. They can get contact information like phone numbers and addresses of the motorists and witnesses, photos of vehicle damage to your vehicle, photos of your injuries, and the accident site and medical records. 

Collect information can be used as evidence to support your insurance claims or your testimony in court. 

Financial Awards You May Receive

Car accidents can cause significant economic loss for the victim, and compensation for damages is needed to help them bounce back. An accident can result in time off from work, increasing medical bills, and, worse, disability or death of a loved one.

A lawyer can help determine the compensation you should receive from the at-fault party. These legal experts can assert these claims on insurance companies or file a lawsuit to demand compensation from the one who caused the accident.  

What if You’ve Suffered an Injury That You Can’t See?

Sometimes, the at-fault party is rushing into making a settlement, offering an amount before you know the full extent of your injuries and damages. 

The reason for this advice is that severe complications may appear later down the road. If that happens, you can no longer demand from the at-fault party as you have already agreed to a settlement. 

For instance, the accident damaged your eyes, but it only became apparent a few days after the accident. If you immediately agree to a settlement before the symptoms pop up, it would be difficult to demand again when you eventually can’t see. 

It’s best practice to consult your lawyer after an accident to guide you on the correct legal process to get the claims and payment for damages you deserve. 

Are There Other Ways You Can Benefit From Retaining a Car Accident Lawyer?

Filing a lawsuit is another way to obtain benefits when negotiations with the at-fault driver aren’t working. However, a lawyer must file a complaint and demand a trial before a judge. 

Filing a lawsuit is almost always an extreme case, commonly arising when the at-fault driver isn’t taking responsibility for the accident and pinning the blame on you. 

“The Rule of Thumb When Hiring a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault”

Here are some instances where you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. 

  • You want to get some money back but have sustained serious injuries.
  • You want to file an insurance claim, but the process is daunting, or the insurance company is trying to “stress test” your claim for fear that you’re trying to commit insurance fraud. 

If you need a personal injury lawyer to help you get the benefits you deserve after an accident, visit  

“Do I Have to Report a Minor Accident to the Police?”

States may differ in their classification of minor and major accidents. However, a minor accident usually doesn’t involve injuries, and the car damages are relatively low.

In such cases, state law determines whether you should report a minor accident to local law enforcement. However, it is typically unnecessary if you and the at-fault driver can resolve the incident through settlement and cooperation. 

When Do I Have to Report a Minor Car Accident?

You may need to report a minor car accident when there’s a dispute on who’s at fault. Disagreements can lead to heated arguments, so it’s best to call the police to help resolve the issue. It’s also best to hire a lawyer to help you during a dispute and potentially file a lawsuit if the case needs to be brought before a judge. 

What Happens When the Police Arrive?

When the police arrive at the car accident scene, make sure to do the following:

  • Take the names and badge numbers of the law enforcement officers for reference
  • Always cooperate with the police when questioned
  • Show pertinent documents like your driver’s license and car registration
  • Ensure that the police officer notes that you were wearing your seatbelt when the accident happened
  • Mention to the officer if the at-fault driver seems intoxicated or if the other party isn’t wearing a seatbelt

Here are the things that you should never do:

  • Never admit fault for the accident
  • Never tell the other party how much insurance you carry
  • Never sign anything given to you without advice from your lawyer 

Note that if the police give you a ticket, it’s a citation that you need to sign. Signing a citation or traffic ticket is not an admission of guilt. Instead, it’s acknowledging that you’ve received the ticket. 

Does a Police Report Say Who Was at Fault?

The police generally don’t have the power to determine guilt or implement punishment. Given this limitation, a police report doesn’t decide who’s at fault in a car accident. 

Even though a police report is crucial in the determination process, it’s not the determining factor for guilt, and a police officer’s opinion doesn’t establish liability.

What Else Do You Need to Do After an Accident?

Reporting to the police, contacting your insurance company, and exchanging information with the at-fault driver when possible are not the only things you should do.

Stay at the Scene

Don’t leave the accident scene, even if it’s not your fault, until the police arrive. Remember to properly document the accident.

Leaving too soon may result in you getting a hit-and-run charge, which can drastically tip the liability scale against you. However, if you or the other driver is severely injured, they should be taken to the nearest hospital immediately. 

Move Your Vehicle Out of the Way

It’s common courtesy for other motorists that you and the at-fault driver’s vehicles are moved out of the way. Pull your car to the side of the road, but don’t leave the scene. 

If your car is so damaged that it can’t move, you can ask the help of the local towing services when you report the incident. Local law enforcement can also tow you, though paying the towing fees is your responsibility. 

Seek Medical Attention

In a car accident, you or the other driver can be severely injured. In this case, you should seek medical attention for yourself or the at-fault driver. You might encounter the following situations during a car accident that require medical attention. 

If You Don’t Feel Injured After an Automobile Accident, Do You Have to See a Physician or Doctor?

It’s always good to make an appointment with your doctor after a car crash because of the following:

  • Not all injuries have immediate symptoms. However, doctors can detect hidden injuries and treat such conditions if they become serious.
  • A doctor’s check-up guarantees that you don’t have any other problems because of the crash. 
  • The doctor can help speed up healing, even for minor injuries. 

How Soon After a Car Accident Should I See a Doctor if I Do Not Feel Injured?

See a doctor as soon as possible after a car crash. You don’t need to go to the hospital. An appointment in a clinic, especially if you’ve sustained no injuries, is enough.

How Likely Am I to Have an Injury That I Cannot See or Feel?

Determining the likelihood of sustaining an injury that you can’t see or feel after a car crash is almost impossible. Many things happen during an accident, and each incident will result in a different outcome. 

How Can Seeing a Doctor After a Car Accident Help My Claim?

A check-up with a doctor after an accident can provide you with the medical records you need to file a claim. 

In “no-fault” states, both parties must seek compensation from their respective insurance providers. So, an appointment with a doctor can help provide the evidence for insurance claims approval. 

What Happens if You Get Into a Car Accident Without Insurance?

According to federal law, owning a car that doesn’t have insurance is illegal. In fact, most states have mandatory laws that obligate drivers to get insurance for their vehicles. 

The financial responsibility law applies in states that don’t have insurance requirements for driving. This law states that drivers must be able to pay damages if they cause an accident. 

What Are the Consequences for Uninsured Drivers?

Driving an uninsured car will eventually get you into trouble, especially if you’re in a state that mandates drivers to have car insurance. Penalties for not conforming to this policy may include:

  • Fines: The amount may depend on state laws, but it can range from $100 to $1,500.
  • Licenses suspension: Some states suspend license holders when caught driving a vehicle without insurance. However, in New York, you can lose your license for up to one year when your uninsured car gets caught in an accident. 
  • Vehicle impoundment: In California, the penalty for driving an uninsured vehicle is impoundment. Once impounded, you’ll have to resolve the reason for the impoundment before you can retrieve your car. 
  • Vehicle registration suspension or revocation: Some states may suspend and even revoke your car registration when you’re caught driving an uninsured motor vehicle. For instance, your vehicle registration remains suspended in Massachusetts until you provide proof of insurance. 
  • Jail time: In Michigan, if you drive or allow another person to drive your uninsured car or a car you know doesn’t have no-fault insurance, you could spend up to one year in prison. However, most states don’t have laws that send people behind bars for not having their cars insured. 

Can You Get Compensation Even if You Have No Insurance?

As mentioned above, if you get involved in an accident and drive an uninsured car, you can get into legal problems in some states. Aside from this, no insurance will cover your end, and you have to pay out of pocket for vehicle damages and personal injuries. 

However, if it’s established that the accident wasn’t your fault, having no car insurance can limit your compensation. You may need a personal injury lawyer to help you out of this legal predicament.

Can You Purchase Car Insurance After a Crash?

You can purchase car insurance anytime you want. However, you can’t have it cover a previous accident. In fact, “backdating” insurance coverage is illegal and can be considered insurance fraud. 

As mentioned above, you may need to provide proof of insurance before you can lift your license or registration suspension in some states. 

What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents?

According to the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following are the most common car accidents in America in 2019. 

  • Front Impact
  • Rear Impact
  • Left Side Impact
  • Right Side Impact

However, despite the type of collision, the reasons for these accidents are mainly related to speeding. The same institute released a 2021 report showing that one-third of all road accidents can be linked to speeding, which reached a 14-year high in the same year. 

Negligent Driving Changes Lives in a Heartbeat

Car accidents are fast, violent, and sometimes fatal events that last in mere seconds. As mentioned above, speeding is one of the significant causes of crashes, and an incident is over in a heartbeat. So, driving safely and alert on the road is crucial. 

Next Steps After a Car Accident

Car accidents are always serious, even if the damages are not severe. They must always be treated as a chance to learn, something you can just cast into memory. 

Remember always to call your personal injury lawyer when involved in an accident. If you need to find a lawyer to help you in a car accident, you can visit Our site gives you access to a nationwide database of personal injury lawyers who are able to help with your case. 

You can find law firms that provide free consultation and free case evaluations to foster a healthy attorney-client relationship. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What types of injuries can you get from a car crash?

The common injuries that you can get from a car crash are the following:

However, because car accidents are quick and dynamic, it’s hard to predict the type of injuries an involved person may sustain. 

2. Is it possible that both parties can be at fault in a car accident?

Yes, there are instances where both drivers can be at fault in a car accident. In most states, both drivers can’t pursue a damages claim from each other. On the other hand, some states allow pursuing claims from each other only at a certain level. 

3. Who determines fault in an auto accident?

One determiner of fault in an auto accident is an insurance adjuster. These adjusters examine police reports and other evidence to determine who is at fault and begin calculating the percentage of fault and damages that need compensation. 

4. Who’s at fault in a T-bone accident?

A T-bone accident typically happens in a junction, where a speeding vehicle hits the side of another vehicle crossing the intersection. It’s often considered one of the worst car accident types that often leads to severe injuries and fatalities. 

The driver at fault is the one who doesn’t have the “right of way.” When approaching an intersection, vehicles should stop and prepare to yield their right of way or the right to use the road to avoid accidents.  

5. What happens if you’re at fault in a car accident?

When the accident is your fault, contact your personal injury lawyer immediately so that they can help you go through the legal process and avoid paying punitive damage costs that are not supported by evidence. 

6. Should you never admit fault in a car accident?

It’s best to talk to your personal injury lawyer first because agreeing or admitting anything to anyone during a car accident. You’re advised never to admit fault initially to prevent making wrong statements that can cause problems. 

7. What’s the average settlement for a car accident?

According to Insurance Information Institute statistics, the average injury settlement for a car accident case is $20,235, while property damage settlement is $4,711. 


  1. Fatal car crash statistics 2023
  2. Statute of limitations
  3. How an Attorney Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
  4. Calculating Total Damages in Car Accident Claims & Lawsuits
  5. Is it legal to drive without insurance?
  6. Driving Without Car Insurance: What Happens?
  7. Almost One-Third of Traffic Fatalities Are Speed-Related Crashes

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