Woman in a car accident wondering if she should call a car accident lawyer

When Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

When you get into a car accident, your first instinct is to make sure you and anyone else involved are not seriously hurt. Then, many people assess the damage to their vehicle and what measures they need to take for repair and insurance. In the process, there also comes the determination of whether you need a car accident lawyer to represent you.

Not every fender bender is going to need a car accident lawyer. But, when the injuries and damage are more serious you’re going to want someone on your side to represent you and your best interests.

Situations to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Getting into a car accident can not only be an inconvenience, but it can also lead to serious injury and expense. These are just two of the instances when you’ll want to hire a car accident lawyer. Here are several others:

  • Serious injury
  • Debilitating or permanent injury
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Psychological harm
  • Involved with an uninsured driver
  • Involved with intoxicated or distracted drivers
  • To help determine who was at fault for the accident

If you find yourself in any of the above situations, you’ll want to have a lawyer on your side that is experienced in car insurance laws and can advise and represent you. This will give you a greater chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.

At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we help car accident victims in many types of collisions such as:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Side-swipe crashes
  • T-bone accidents
  • Left turn/right turn crashes
  • Intersection collisions
  • High-speed accidents

Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer to Determine Fault in an Auto Accident

When you’re in an accident and it isn’t immediately clear who was at fault, you should hire a car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can help to collect evidence and look at various sources to determine who was at fault. These pieces of evidence can include:

  • Witnesses’ testimonies
  • Police reports
  • Physical evidence at the scene
  • Angles of impact on vehicles
  • Video or camera footage

Many people aren’t going to have the time or the resources to gather this type of information on their own, especially if they are seriously injured. Hiring a car accident lawyer makes sense because they know how to get the evidence quickly and how to sort through it. Depending on the severity of the accident they may even hire accident reconstruction experts to help determine what happened. These types of resources are invaluable when it comes to determining who was at fault for your accident and getting the right compensation.

It’s important to note that Virginia is an at-fault car insurance state. This means that drivers are responsible for paying for the accidents they cause. This is usually done through bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. For an injured person to receive compensation for the accident, fault must first be established. This is another reason why you would want to hire a car accident lawyer.

Dealing with an Uninsured Driver

Although the state of Virginia requires drivers to carry both bodily insurance and property damage liability insurance as part of their auto insurance plan, some people still get behind the wheel without the proper insurance. When these people get into an accident it can be very difficult to get the compensation you deserve. Having a car accident lawyer on your side can help you look into all ways to get some type of compensation. Some people who are injured in these types of accidents turn to their own policies to cover some of the expenses. But, sometimes this is not enough. A car accident lawyer can help you look into different ways to receive compensation.

Filing a Lawsuit in an Accident

If you end up needing to file a lawsuit in a car accident, you will need an attorney on your side. Filing a lawsuit is usually not advised until all settlement opportunities have been exhausted. Your car accident lawyer will go through all of the proper steps of filing a lawsuit after the following process is completed and a settlement cannot be reached:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Filing a claim with the insurance company and corresponding about damages
  • Trying to negotiate a settlement

When the parties cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer will bring your case to the court. The court will ultimately decide if you are owed any compensation and if so, how much.

Contact Us if You Need a Car Accident Lawyer

If you need a car accident lawyer, contact the offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. We can help you get the compensation you deserve when it comes to personal injury cases resulting from car accidents. We represent people involved in all types of accidents including rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, side-swipe crashes, T-bone accidents, intersection collisions, high-speed accidents, and left turn/right turn crashes. If you have been involved in any of these types of accidents, call our office. We also help people who have been involved in accidents involving intoxicated or distracted drivers. We have a team of experienced lawyers who have earned a solid reputation in the legal community.

Call us today at (703) 361-1555 to schedule your first appointment. We will review your case and answer any questions you may have. During this time we can navigate which route will be the best to deal with your accident. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

A vehicle's broken window while the owner wonders if they need a car accident lawyer

A Guide on When to Get a Car Accident Lawyer

Accidents happen. Following a car crash you may experience feelings of shock, anger, nervousness, and even fear. As you work through the mental stress, dealing with the aftermath of an accident can go on for days, months, or, in some cases, years. Between arranging to have your vehicle repaired or replaced, communicating with insurance companies, and possibly recovering from injuries, there are many tough decisions you will need to make. In some cases, you can handle the aftermath of the car accident yourself. If you need help getting through the process, a car accident attorney is the best resource for you.


Car accidents can leave you with mental and emotional scars. But, as with any major decision, the most important thing is to keep a level head throughout the entire process. If you are unsure on whether you need an attorney following your accident, ask yourself these questions:

  • How Serious is my injury?

One of the first things you will do following an accident is determine if anyone has any injuries. If so, you’ll want to call 911 for help. Even if it was a minor accident, calling the police is a good idea. This way, you’ll have a report to hand over to the insurance company.

While visible injuries, like broken bones or cuts and bruises, heal with time and care, other injuries aren’t as obvious. So, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor in case there are any lasting effects from your accident. For more serious injuries that could take long-term care to heal or have life-altering affects, contact an accident attorney.

  • How did the accident affect my financial situation?

Depending on the severity of the injuries you received as a result of the crash, there may be medical costs associated with your treatment. Worrying about how to pay these bills only adds to the stress after an accident. If you feel like the insurance company is not offering enough to cover your care, you may want to contact a car crash attorney to help sort it out.

A car accident lawyer can also help if the injuries from your crash resulted in you having to miss work, by filing a claim to have the pay you missed paid to you through insurance.

  • Is the insurance company meeting my expectations?

Dealing with insurance companies following an accident can be a complicated process, and if you’re unfamiliar with it you may not realize you are not being compensated fairly. There are many factors that go into how much an insurance company will offer you. An accident attorney can help you navigate the steps you need to take, and the evidence required, while keeping your best interests in mind.



Do you know how long you have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver? Do you know all of the information you need have to prepare a case against an insurance company? If not, having a knowledgeable attorney can help prepare you for all the legal proceedings of a settlement or taking your case to trial.


If you are seriously injured as a result of your accident, you may not have the strength to handle an insurance settlement on your own. Even if you are able, these negotiations can be time-consuming if you’re not familiar with navigating the process.

An experienced accident attorney is already familiar with the lay of the land and has knowledge of the information you will need to file a successful claim. If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, your attorney will help organize and prepare your case for trial.


In any legal proceeding, having having an experienced advocate is key. An accident attorney will not only stand up for you in court, they can be sure that your side of the story is heard by all parties to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.


If you’ve been in an accident and made the decision to seek legal help, finding an experienced and reputable attorney is your next step. Before contacting an attorney, there are some things to keep in mind.

  • Experience: Your attorney should have a background working specifically in this kind of law.
  • Investment: Look for an attorney that will go over your case with you for free. Often, an attorney will meet with you to go over your case.
  • Attentiveness: When meeting with your attorney be mindful if your lawyer is listening to you and remembering the details of your case.
  • Understanding: Your attorney should be able to grasp the severity of your injury and take your claims and care seriously.

While you don’t always need a lawyer following an accident, obtaining one can make the process much smoother. With your car accident lawyer’s knowledge and experience in these matters, you can concentrate on the things that are most important to you – repairing any damages, recovering from any injuries, and staying connected with your friends and family.

Call Olmstead & Olmstead P.C. today at (703) 361-1555 for more information on hiring a car accident lawyer you can trust.