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Is it Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident in California?

car and a van involved in a crash on a california street

In most cases, it’s definitely worth getting a car accident attorney after an accident, especially when dealing with injuries, insurance companies, and potential legal issues.

Hiring an attorney can provide invaluable support and significantly improve the outcome of your case. From ensuring you receive fair compensation to handling complex legal procedures, an experienced lawyer can be your strongest advocate.

While some may consider handling their car accident claim on their own, the benefits of having professional legal representation often far outweigh the costs. Attorneys bring expertise in negotiating with insurance companies, understanding local laws, and accurately calculating damages.

Let’s go into more detail as to why having an accident lawyer on your side is a good thing…

Why exactly getting an attorney for a car accident is vital

1. Expert legal guidance

Going through the legal process after an auto accident can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re recovering from serious injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer from our firm will provide expert legal guidance, helping you understand your rights and the complexities of personal injury law. We can advise you on the best course of action, ensuring you don’t make mistakes that could jeopardize your claim. This expertise is vital in building a strong case and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Find out how a Torrance car accident lawyer can help you navigate your next steps after a motor vehicle accident

2. Thorough investigation and evidence gathering

This includes obtaining police reports, medical records, witness statements, and, if needed, working with accident reconstruction experts. This comprehensive approach ensures that all aspects of the accident are examined, which can be vital in proving fault and securing the compensation you deserve.

3. Effective communication with insurance companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and complicated. In our experience, insurance adjusters will try to minimize your claim or deny it altogether.

An attorney acts as your advocate, handling all communications with the insurance companies. They have the experience to negotiate effectively, ensuring that you receive a fair settlement that covers all your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

4. Accurate calculation of damages

Determining the full extent of your damages is pivotal for securing appropriate compensation. Our attorneys have the expertise to accurately calculate all your losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future expenses related to the accident

This thorough assessment ensures that no aspect of your damages is overlooked and that you receive the compensation you need to fully recover.

5. Representation in court, if necessary

While we handle many car accident claims out of court, some cases may require litigation. If your case goes to trial, having an attorney represent you is vital. We can present your case effectively to a judge or jury, using our legal knowledge and courtroom experience to advocate for your best interests. This professional representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

6. Handling complex legal procedures and deadlines

Personal injury claims involve numerous legal procedures and strict deadlines. Missing a filing deadline or failing to complete the required paperwork can result in your claim being dismissed. For instance, the California car accident statute of limitations is usually 2 years from the date of the accident that caused your injuries.

While there may be exceptions to this timeframe, our attorneys will ensure all legal procedures are followed correctly and that all necessary documents are filed on time

7. Expertise in local laws

In California, the fault-based system determines liability in car accidents. This system, also known as a “tort-based system”, means that the driver who is found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for the damages and losses incurred by the other parties involved.

Here are some key elements that our attorney assigned to your accident case will use:

  • Determining Fault: Fault in California car accidents is determined based on the concept of negligence. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care, resulting in an accident. Factors such as violating traffic laws, distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence can all contribute to a finding of negligence. Police reports, witness statements, and evidence from the accident scene are used to establish who was at fault.
  • Comparative Negligence: California also follows the principle of comparative negligence, which can affect the amount of compensation you receive. Comparative negligence means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
  • Impact on Insurance Claims: Under the fault-based system, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for the damages and injuries caused by the accident. This includes medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The process typically involves filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and negotiating a settlement.

8. Maximizing your compensation

One of the primary benefits of hiring an attorney is their ability to maximize your compensation. We have deep knowledge of the tactics used by insurance companies to reduce payouts and are skilled at countering these strategies.

By thoroughly preparing your case, negotiating aggressively, and, if necessary, representing you in court, a car accident attorney can help you achieve the best possible financial recovery for your injuries and losses.

9. Peace of mind during recovery

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to recover from injuries. Hiring a lawyer after a car accident allows you to focus on your health and recovery, knowing that your legal matters are in capable hands.

In Southern California and need an experienced car accident attorney? We have a San Bernardino car accident lawyer on hand to help maximize the value of your claim.

When to get an attorney for a car accident

While you may think you DON’T need to get a lawyer, some of these incidents are incredibly common in our experience:

1. Significant injuries or fatalities

If you or a loved one has sustained significant injuries or if the accident resulted in fatalities, seeking legal representation immediately is even more important.

Severe injuries and wrongful death often lead to substantial medical bills, long-term rehabilitation, and lost wages. They can also make the legal process that more complicated and harder to handle on your own.

We can help ensure you receive the compensation needed to cover these extensive costs and to provide for future care.

2. Disputed liability

When fault isn’t clear or is contested by the involved parties, a thorough investigation to gather evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, and expert testimony is needed. We will work to prove the other party’s negligence and protect you from being unfairly blamed for the accident, which could otherwise reduce or eliminate your compensation.

3. Insurance company refuses to pay

If the insurance company is refusing to pay or is offering a settlement that is significantly lower than what you deserve, we can step in to advocate on your behalf. Insurance companies often employ tactics to minimize payouts, and without legal expertise, you might find it challenging to secure a fair settlement.

4. Uninsured or underinsured motorist

In such cases, your own insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may need to be utilized. We can help you understand your policy, file a claim, and fight for the compensation you deserve, even when the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance.

In California, insurance companies are required by law to offer Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage when you purchase an auto insurance policy. This is mandated by the California Department of Insurance.

This coverage is designed to protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who either does not have insurance or whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the damages.

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) pays for damages to your vehicle and for bodily injuries if the at-fault driver has no insurance. This coverage includes medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to bodily injury. UM coverage can also cover you as a pedestrian or bicyclist if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) comes into play when the at-fault driver has insurance, but the policy limits are not high enough to cover the full extent of your damages. In such cases, your UIM coverage will cover the difference between the at-fault driver’s policy limits and the total amount of your damages, up to your policy’s limits.

California law allows you to choose the limits for your UM and UIM coverage, but these limits cannot exceed the liability limits of your own policy. For example, if you have a liability limit of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, your UM and UIM coverage limits cannot exceed these amounts.

California does not allow “stacking” of UM/UIM coverage. Stacking refers to the ability to combine coverage limits from multiple policies or multiple vehicles on the same policy to increase the total amount available. In California, you can only claim up to the limits of the UM/UIM coverage on the specific policy that applies to the accident.

5. Complex or catastrophic accidents

Accidents involving multiple vehicles, commercial trucks, pedestrians, or cyclists are often complex and require specialized legal knowledge. These cases can involve intricate liability issues and higher stakes due to the severity of damages and injuries.

Our team is experienced in handling such complex accident cases and will manage all aspects of the claim, from gathering evidence to negotiating with multiple insurance companies.

6. Legal deadline closing in

Even though we recommend you hire a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your motor vehicle collision, if you’re getting close to the standard two-year deadline for filing a claim, all hope isn’t lost.

We can still ensure that all legal procedures and deadlines are met, protecting your claim from being dismissed on technical grounds.

7. Emotional and psychological pmpact

Car incidents can cause significant emotional and psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. These impacts are often harder to quantify but are highly important components of your overall compensation.

We understand how to document and present these non-economic damages effectively, ensuring that you receive compensation not just for your physical injuries but also for the emotional toll the accident has taken on your life.

young woman sat next to a crashed car and a man on the phone

What our experienced team can do for you

Remember that our overall aim is to advocate on your behalf and relieve the extra burden from you. When you hire a personal injury lawyer for a car accident, you gain access to the following:

  1. Expert Legal Guidance: Our experienced attorneys provide expert legal guidance to help you understand your rights and the complexities of personal injury law. We analyze the details of your case, assess the strength of your claim, and advise you on the best course of action to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
  2. Thorough Investigation and Evidence Collection: We conduct a comprehensive investigation to gather all necessary evidence, including police reports, medical records, witness statements, and, if needed, expert testimonies. This thorough approach ensures that every detail is considered, which is vital for building a strong case and proving fault.
  3. Handling Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging and frustrating. Our attorneys manage all communications with insurance adjusters on your behalf, negotiating aggressively to secure a fair settlement. We ensure that the insurance companies don’t take advantage of you and that your compensation reflects the full extent of your damages.
  4. Medical Assistance and Documentation: Injuries from car accidents can range from minor to severe. We help you get the medical attention you need and ensure that all injuries are properly documented. This documentation is critical for substantiating your claim and securing compensation for medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and future medical needs.
  5. No Win, No Fee – Contingency Fee Structure: We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us if we win your case. This “no win, no fee” arrangement eliminates financial risk for you and allows you to focus on your recovery without worrying about legal fees. Our payment is a percentage of the damages awarded, aligning our success with yours.
  6. Guidance Through Legal Procedures and Deadlines: California has strict legal procedures and deadlines for filing car accident claims. Missing these can jeopardize your case. Our attorneys ensure that all legal procedures are followed correctly and that all necessary documents are filed on time, protecting your right to compensation.
  7. Maximizing Your Compensation: We work diligently to maximize your compensation, covering all aspects of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and future expenses. Our goal is to ensure you receive a settlement or verdict that fully reflects your losses and helps you move forward.
  8. Emotional and Psychological Support: We understand that car accidents can cause significant emotional and psychological trauma. Our compassionate team provides support and resources to help you cope with the emotional aftermath. We ensure that these non-economic damages are also accounted for in your claim.
  9. Representation in Court: While many cases settle out of court, some may require litigation. Our skilled trial attorneys are prepared to represent you in court, presenting a compelling case to secure the best possible outcome. We handle all aspects of the trial process, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  10. Free Consultation: We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case, evaluate your options, and determine the best strategy for your situation. This consultation is an opportunity for you to get to know our team, understand our approach, and decide if we are the right fit for your legal needs.

By choosing our firm, you benefit from our extensive experience, dedicated service, and commitment to achieving the best possible results for our clients. Let us handle the legal complexities while you focus on healing and rebuilding your life.

How to find an accident attorney to suit you

While the majority of lawyers can help with your case, you need who that will strive to help you obtain the maximum compensation for your damages. As a general rule of thumb, take into account these factors:

1. Look for experience and expertise

When seeking an accident attorney, prioritize those with substantial experience and a proven track record in personal injury law. An experienced attorney will have the knowledge and skills to handle the complexities of your case, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies.

For instance, Feher Law has secured numerous successful verdicts and settlements, such as a $1.85 million verdict for a client with a traumatic brain injury.

2. Check client testimonials and reviews

Client testimonials and reviews provide valuable insights into an attorney’s reputation and the quality of their services. Look for consistent positive feedback highlighting the attorney’s professionalism, communication, and success in securing favorable outcomes.

Here are some of ours:



Amazing Support

“I want to express my gratitude for the amazing support from Feher Law. The professionalism, attention, and care are outstanding. At every step and in every detail, you can always count on them. Their team is incredible and helps you understand all your questions and concerns. I highly recommend them, best law firm in Los Angeles. Thank you Feher Law.”


Consistently Updated Me

“After getting rear-ended in a really bad car accident, I was referred to Feher Law. Tom and his team have paid full attention to the details of my case. They have represented me throughout the process of my injury, recovery, and total compensation. They update me on all my appointments, checking in on me to see how I’m feeling, and consistently showing there support, and professionalism. Their top-notch representation always has my best interest in mind. Their great efforts and service give me peace of mind.
I will refer this law firm to all my family and friends.”


3. Evaluate their success rate

An attorney’s success rate in handling similar cases is a strong indicator of their capability. Review their past case results to see the types of settlements and verdicts they have achieved. Feher Law boasts over $100 million recovered for clients in various cases, including significant victories in car accident and slip-and-fall cases, demonstrating their effectiveness in securing compensation.

4. Assess their communication skills

Choose an attorney who is responsive, listens to your concerns, and explains legal concepts understandaby. Positive reviews often highlight an attorney’s ability to keep clients informed and involved throughout the process. Our testimonials frequently mention excellent communication and a supportive approach, helping clients feel at ease during stressful times. These are cornerstones of how we treat accident victims.

5. Consider their accessibility and availability

An attorney’s availability can significantly impact your case’s progress. Ensure the attorney you choose is accessible and available to handle your case promptly. Feher Law offers 24/7 availability for consultations, ensuring that you can reach out whenever you need assistance and receive timely responses.

6. Look for personalized attention

Choose an attorney who will give your case the personalized attention it deserves. This means they should be willing to spend time understanding your unique situation and crafting a tailored strategy. Feher Law’s approach to treating each case individually and our commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for every client is a key aspect of our service.

7. Verify their credentials and memberships

Verify that the attorney is licensed and in good standing with the state bar. Membership in professional organizations can also be a sign of credibility and commitment to ongoing education in their field. Feher Law’s attorneys are highly credentialed and active members of various legal associations, reflecting their dedication to maintaining high standards of legal practice.

8. Understand their fee structure

Understanding the attorney’s fee structure is essential before hiring them. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement can provide peace of mind, knowing you won’t incur legal fees unless you receive compensation.

We work on a contingency fee basis, ensuring that financial concerns don’t prevent you from seeking justice.

9. Seek recommendations

Personal recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues can be invaluable in finding a trustworthy attorney. People who have had positive experiences with a particular lawyer can provide insights and confidence in your choice.

The process when working with your attorney

While the process of handling car accident cases varies between law firms, this is a standard process you can expect:

  1. Initial Consultation: Schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss the details of your case. The attorney will evaluate your situation and determine if they can help you.
  2. Case Assessment: The attorney will conduct a thorough assessment of your case, gathering all necessary information and evidence to build a strong foundation for your claim.
  3. Documentation and Evidence Collection: Your attorney will collect and organize essential documents, such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements, to support your case.
  4. Communication with Insurance Companies: The law firm will handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive a fair settlement offer.
  5. Legal Strategy Development: Based on the gathered evidence, your attorney will develop a tailored legal strategy aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
  6. Negotiation and Settlement: The injury lawyer will negotiate with the at-fault party or their insurance company to reach a fair settlement. If a satisfactory agreement is reached, you will receive your compensation.
  7. Filing a Lawsuit (if necessary): If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf and prepare for trial.
  8. Trial Preparation and Representation: Your assigned attorney will prepare your case for trial, including gathering additional evidence, deposing witnesses, and developing a compelling argument. They will represent you in court, advocating for your best interests.
  9. Resolution and Compensation: Once a settlement is reached or a court verdict is delivered, your attorney will ensure you receive your compensation promptly and handle any final legal matters related to your case.

Common misconceptions about hiring a lawyer

Hiring a lawyer can seem daunting, especially with the many misconceptions that surround the legal profession. These misunderstandings can deter those injured in a car accident from seeking the legal help they need, potentially jeopardizing their cases and compensation.

  • Lawyers Are Too Expensive: Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if you win your case, eliminating upfront costs and financial risk. This is certainly the case with Feher Law.
  • I Can Handle the Case Myself: While it’s possible to handle a case on your own, lawyers have the expertise to navigate complex legal processes and negotiate with insurance companies for better compensation.
  • All Lawyers Are the Same: Lawyers specialize in different areas of law. It’s important to choose a lawyer with experience and a proven track record in handling cases similar to yours.
  • Hiring a Lawyer Means Going to Court: Most personal injury cases are settled out of court through negotiation. Hiring a lawyer often helps resolve the case faster and more favorably without needing a trial.
  • I Don’t Need a Lawyer for Minor Injuries: Even minor injuries can result in significant medical bills and lost wages. A lawyer can help ensure you receive fair compensation for all your damages.
  • Lawyers Will Take Most of My Settlement: Contingency fees are a percentage of your settlement, and the goal of a lawyer is to maximize your compensation, often resulting in a higher net amount for you even after fees.
  • It’s Too Late to Hire a Lawyer: While it’s best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, many attorneys can still help if you’re already in the middle of the claims process or even after an initial settlement offer.


Need a lawyer for a car accident in California?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in California, our team is here for you. From dealing with insurance companies to understanding state-specific laws, having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference in securing the compensation you deserve. At Feher Law, our dedicated team specializes in car accident cases, providing expert guidance and relentless advocacy to protect your rights and interests.

Don’t let the aftermath of a car accident derail your life. Our compassionate and skilled attorneys are here to support you every step of the way, from initial consultation to final resolution.

Call us today for a free consultation, and let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.


Our team is standing by and ready to assist you. Consultations are completely free and confidential. We will help you determine if you have a case.

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While it's not always necessary to hire a lawyer for a minor car accident, consulting with one can be beneficial. Even minor accidents can lead to unexpected medical expenses and disputes with insurance companies. An attorney can help ensure you receive fair compensation for any damages.

Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if they win your case. The fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount, which ensures there are no upfront costs or financial risks involved in hiring legal representation.

Immediately following a car accident, ensure everyone’s safety and call 911 for medical assistance and to report the accident. Exchange information with the other driver, document the scene with photos, and contact your insurance company. Seeking medical attention and consulting with a lawyer are also crucial steps.

Additional reading: what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault in California

In California, you generally have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim. For property damage claims, the deadline is typically three years. It’s important to act promptly to ensure you protect your legal rights and gather necessary evidence.


Yes, you can still receive compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident. California follows a comparative negligence rule, which means your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. An attorney can help minimize your fault and maximize your compensation.

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