February 9, 2023
Does Car Insurance Cover Lawyer Fees

Does Car Insurance Cover Lawyer Fees

Spread the love

Does car insurance cover lawyer fees? Having a lawyer by your side in a car accident can make all the difference. Still, many people are afraid to hire a lawyer to represent them, mainly for fear of high attorney fees. What many do not know is that these costs can be covered.

If you have car insurance, your insurer may cover some of your attorney’s legal fees. This largely depends on whether you are the defendant or the plaintiff claiming damages. For example, you only pay legal fees if you receive a settlement or judgment in some cases.

Does Car Insurance Cover Lawyer Fees?

Auto insurance is there to protect our wallets and vehicles when the worst happens. While many of us have this reliable coverage, not all of us understand what is and isn’t covered. Lawsuits are a normal part of a car accident, and many drivers sue others for damages and injuries. All too often, motorists aren’t sure if they can trust their auto insurance company to help with legal fees. Does car insurance cover lawyer fees?

Most drivers have liability insurance. This coverage consists of two basic components, including:

  1. Personal Injury Liability Coverage: Covers the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses of anyone injured as a result of the actions of the driver at fault. It can also help cover legal costs if the injured party files a lawsuit against the defaulting driver.
  2. Property Damage Liability Coverage: Covers damage resulting from a covered accident in which you were at fault, including costs to repair or replace the other party’s vehicle or any additional damage to another person’s property.

Car insurance can help cover some legal costs. If you are sued, your auto insurance company should cover the legal costs and be able to hire an attorney on your behalf.

However, if you are suing someone, you will need to find your attorney and pay the associated legal fees. However, if you win the lawsuit, you may be able to recover these legal fees from the defaulting party.

When Your Insurer Can Cover Legal Costs

If you are accused of causing a car accident, the other party can file a lawsuit against you. This kind of legal action is called a personal injury claim, where the other party demands that you compensate them for their injuries and losses. In this case, your insurance company will hire a lawyer on your behalf and pay the legal fees.

See also  Does life insurance have GST?

However, if you are the one filing a lawsuit against another driver, you should find your lawyer. While you will have to pay the attorney’s fees in this case, most personal injury law firms have a contingency fee* policy.

Auto insurance can sometimes pay legal fees

In some cases, your auto insurance policy can help pay for a lawyer. For example, if the other driver sues you for an accident, your auto insurer generally has a “duty to defend you” based on your liability insurance.

Under those terms, they can pay a lawyer to defend you if you are sued after the accident. However, there are circumstances where you may not be covered.

The damage exceeds your policy limit

If the damage your insurance company paid for the accident exceeds your policy’s coverage limits, they usually won’t pay more. So legally they have no other duty to you as the policyholder, meaning they don’t have to provide the money for a lawyer.

Do not report the accident

Here it is essential to read your insurance policy carefully after an accident. This states how quickly you must report an accident to the insurer. Do not wait any longer, as this limit is sometimes no longer than 5-10 days after the accident.

If you do not have a good reason for not informing the insurer within the appropriate period, they may refuse to cover you for the costs of the accident. Unfortunately, that would mean they won’t give you a lawyer either if the other driver sues you.

Intentionally causing the accident

If you are charged with intentionally causing a car accident, the insurer may also deny you coverage. This would fall outside the scope of negligence on which personal injury claims are based.

Will My Insurance Company Pay My Legal Fees If I’m Not At Fault?

Many insurance policies cover costs incurred after an accident, including medical bills and property damage. However, once your insurance company pays up to the legal limit of your insurance coverage, you are no longer legally required to pay any additional fees, including legal fees.

Therefore, if you have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should seek legal assistance. With an experienced team of personal injury lawyers, you can hold the driver in default for compensation to help cover the damage caused. This is particularly useful when the damage suffered by the claimant exceeds the limit of the insurance policy.

HOW DO CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS WORK?

Essentially, car insurance helps cover some legal costs. These lawsuits can work in 2 ways: you get sued or someone else gets sued.

If a third party suffered bodily injury and property damage from an accident you caused, you can file a lawsuit against them to cover your medical bills and repair costs. In such circumstances, your insurer will hire a lawyer to defend your case and cover legal costs.

See also  Do I Need Public Liability Insurance UK?

If you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you can sue for compensation. However, in this situation, you must hire and pay your lawyer and all associated costs.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer?

When you hire a law firm that only charges contingency fees, it means you don’t pay anything upfront or out of pocket. Instead, the legal fees are a percentage of the amount you receive as compensation.

The percentage varies from company to company, but is usually between 25 and 40%; the percentage could rise if it goes to court. The average compensation in the United States is 33% of the settlement amount. This means that if you got $100,000 in a settlement, your legal fees could be a third of that amount, which works out to about $33,000.

It is important to analyze the law firm’s fee structure and what percentage of the fee you can expect to pay for representation. You can usually get this information during a free consultation before agreeing to hire the company.

Why Put A Car Accident Lawyer In Your Corner?

By hiring a legal team to handle your car accident case, you can free up time and energy to focus on healing. Since there are virtually no financial consequences, you can leave the handling of the case to your lawyer.

For example, a car accident attorney can protect your case from potential setbacks or delays and ensure that your damages are properly valued. They’ll do all the legwork while you recover, including:

  • Gather police reports, medical records, witness statements, photographs of the scene of the accident, and any other evidence that may help your case.
  • Assemble a team of experts and investigators to support your claim
  • Negotiate with the insurance company
  • If necessary, file a lawsuit and represent you in court

How To Find The Right Car Accident Lawyer?

The best candidate to take on your case should have experience in similar cases and a track record of success. Here are some ways to find a good lawyer:

  • Get a referral from another attorney you’ve worked with before
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations.
  • Do your research online and use reviews from previous customers to learn more about their experience.

When you find an ideal candidate, ask questions during your free consultation to determine if they are suitable to handle your case. Here are some questions to ask to help you make a decision:

  • Do I have a case?
  • How much will it cost me to claim compensation?
  • Are you available during my entire case?
  • What will you do to help me win the case?
  • What damage am I eligible for?

Do I have to go to court?

No problem. You don’t have to go to court if your car accident claim can be settled out of court. It is often in the interest of the insurance company to settle claims before they go to court. Legal proceedings are expensive and the insurance company can save a lot of money on court costs. It also saves you a lot of time and puts your lawyer in control of the settlement negotiations.

See also  How Long Do You Have To Declare Points For Insurance

However, if the two parties disagree on essential issues, your car accident attorney can sue and prepare your lawsuit.

Always Be Assisted By A Lawyer

Don’t worry if you don’t have the money to pay a lawyer. There are countless ways to file a claim with legal representation without having to pay exorbitant amounts. Insurance companies like to lie and say that hiring a lawyer is expensive and not worth it. In reality, they are just trying to get you to settle for less.

Remember that most attorneys offer free case reviews and consultations. There’s no harm in popping in to see what your legal options are and how the payment will work. You should not blindly trust insurance companies. Always take the initiative to get proper legal help quickly after a car accident.

Never Pay Legal Fees Upfront

As mentioned above, some car accident lawyers never collect out-of-pocket fees for legal services. Instead, we consider part of your settlement as legal fees. In that sense, the insurance company indirectly pays your attorney’s legal fees since the settlement covers you.

If we are unable to collect compensation for your claim, you owe us nothing at all. The last thing our lawyers want is to become another financial burden after your car accident. You don’t have to worry about hidden costs or surprise costs. You only pay if we win a settlement for your claim.

Conclusion – Does car insurance cover lawyer fees?

Does car insurance cover lawyer fees? It depends on the specific conditions of your car insurance policy. Auto insurance generally does not cover attorney fees. However, some types of auto insurance, such as personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payment coverage, may cover the cost of legal services related to a car accident. PIP and medical payment coverage are optional types of auto insurance that may be available in some states. This kind of coverage can help pay legal fees resulting from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. It’s important to review your auto insurance policy and understand the types of coverage you have. If you have any questions about your policy or are unsure of what types of coverage you have, you should contact your insurance company or agent.