When we think about hiring a lawyer, it’s typically about some sort of personal injury claim. Someone has been hurt because of another person’s negligence. The victim needs legal assistance to recover compensation for medical and other related costs, as well as pain and suffering.
But what happens when the tables are turned? What happens when you’re the one who is involved in an accident and someone brings in a lawyer as a preemptive defense measure? Do you still hire yours?
Or do you let their lawyer scare you off? You might be thinking that having some pro-legal advice on your side would be beneficial in this scenario, especially if they’re willing to work pro bono. However, it might not always be that simple.
The Basics of Car Accidents and Legal Representation
The most common scenario in which someone might choose to hire a lawyer is following an accident. What happens in this scenario? What are the basics? You’ve just been involved in a car accident. You’re a little shaken up, but okay – and you exchange information with the other driver.
You both agree that it was a minor accident and go on your way. At some point in the next few days or weeks, you will receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company. They want you to provide more information about the accident, as well as a copy of your medical records if you’re claiming any injuries.
Why would they want your medical records? To prove that you didn’t sustain any injuries in the accident, of course! The other driver’s insurance company may also request a recorded statement from you in which you deny any injuries. They might even ask you to sign a form stating that no damages were sustained as a result of the accident.
Why would they want you to deny that you sustained any injuries? Because they don’t want to pay your medical bills! Why would they want a recorded statement?
To try to catch you in a lie. Why would they want you to sign a form? To try to prevent you from suing them in the future. In a nutshell, this is what happens after an accident. Legal representation is commonplace in this situation, as it can help both parties navigate the process more easily.
When Someone Brings a Lawyer to an Accident Meeting
What happens when the other person brings a lawyer to the accident meeting? Should you do the same? This is the situation that we discussed at the beginning of this article – where the other party has hired a lawyer before you even met.
They will typically accompany their client to the meeting, as they want to make sure that the other party fully understands their legal rights including the right to remain silent and not give any statements. They will also want to get as much information from you as possible – as they don’t want you to withhold any facts that could be beneficial to your case.
During the meeting, you can expect the lawyer to ask you a lot of questions. They may want to know the exact date and time of the accident, as well as the names of all the people involved. They might ask how your health has been since the accident, and they might want to see any documentation regarding your injuries.
Why would they ask about your health? To determine whether you sustained any injuries as a result of the accident. Why would they ask to see your documentation? To confirm that your injuries are legitimate. If you don’t have any documentation, you don’t have to worry.
You can simply tell the lawyer that you don’t have any medical records yet. Should you hire a lawyer after the other person brings one to the table? That all depends on your situation. If you sustained major injuries in the accident and you don’t have a lot of money to pay for medical bills, it would be a good idea to hire a lawyer.
This way, you can focus on getting better instead of stressing about how you’re going to pay your bills. If you suffered minor injuries and you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees, you don’t have to hire a lawyer. The other person’s lawyer won’t have any bearing on your case – even if they are pro bono.
Why Would Someone Bring a Lawyer to an Accident Meeting?
Why would someone bring a lawyer to an accident meeting? After all, it’s pretty uncommon, and it’s possibly unnecessary. Why would someone do this?
To intimidate you, of course! After all, lawyers are typically associated with being aggressive and tough. Not to mention that lawyers can sometimes go to great lengths to get their clients a win. Why would someone want to intimidate you? Tour into accepting their settlement offer. By bringing a lawyer to the meeting, they are hoping that you will get spooked and accept their offer.
Why would someone want you to accept their offer? Because they don’t care about paying for your injuries – and they don’t want to take the time or effort to fight your claim in court. In short, someone may bring a lawyer to the accident meeting if they want to scare you into accepting a lower settlement offer.
Should You Hire a Lawyer If Someone Else Brought One?
If the other person happens to be a lawyer and you don’t have any legal representation, you may start to wonder if you should hire a lawyer – even if you were planning to represent yourself. Why should you hire a lawyer if the other person already has one? Because you want to make sure that your side of the story is heard.
What do you mean by that? If you don’t have a lawyer, the other person’s lawyer will likely try to twist your words to make their client appear innocent. They might also try to scare you into accepting a much lower settlement than you deserve – or into not filing a claim at all.
Why would they try to scare you? Because they want to make the process as easy as possible for their client. After all, their client is the one who is footing the bill.
Why would they try to twist your words? To make it seem as though you are lying. Why would they try to get you to accept a lower settlement? Because that’s how they make money. Lawyers get paid a percentage of whatever settlement you receive, which is why they want you to accept a lower offer – so they can make more money.
Why would they try to get you to not file a claim at all? Because they know that their client would lose if a case went to court. They don’t want to put their client through such a stressful ordeal. The best way to combat all of these things is to hire a lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to properly represent your interests and make sure that your side of the story is heard.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: when someone brings a lawyer to an accident meeting, don’t let it intimidate you. You should be thankful that they brought a lawyer, as it shows that they are taking the situation seriously and want to do everything they can to protect their client. This is a good thing, as it means that you can focus on getting better and not have to worry about fighting with an insurance company.