January 9

Should I Call a Lawyer or My Insurance Company After a Car Accident?

Car accidents aren’t unusual in Pasadena and often lead to costly and long-lasting consequences for those involved. If you are involved in a car accident, it is crucial to act fast to safeguard your rights and well-being. Swift action is essential for navigating the complex aftermath, from handling potential injuries to dealing with insurance claims.

The dilemma often lies in making one pivotal decision: when to call a lawyer. Choosing whether to consult a lawyer or first contact your insurance provider can significantly influence the outcome of your case, especially in securing adequate compensation. Understanding your options and rights is vital to making an informed choice that best serves your interests.

First Steps After a Car Accident

If involved in a car accident, it’s essential to stay at the scene, comply with law enforcement, and ensure everyone’s safety. Assess for any injuries; if you are able to, check on other passengers and drivers. 

Immediately call 911 for medical emergencies, even if you’re medically trained, as specialized auto accident emergency teams are better equipped. Contact the police to make sure that an official report is made, capturing crucial details of the incident.

Exchange complete contact and insurance information with all parties involved, maintaining calm and cooperation. This information should include names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, vehicle registrations, and insurance details. Witness information is also important.

Document the scene thoroughly with photos from various angles, capturing vehicle damages, the overall accident site, traffic signs, and obstacles on the road. These photos are helpful for insurance and legal claims.

Remember, your actions post-accident can significantly impact the outcome of any insurance or legal proceedings. Ensuring accurate documentation and adhering to legal requirements while prioritizing everyone’s safety is paramount.

Consulting with a Lawyer

Contacting an attorney first after a car accident is often more beneficial than immediately reaching out to your insurance company. Experienced lawyers provide essential legal advice for car accident cases, guiding you through the complexities of claims and compensation. 

A lawyer can effectively assess damages and potential compensation, factoring in long-term impacts like medical costs, lost wages, and emotional trauma. Insurance companies might seek to minimize payouts, and even seemingly innocent responses to their questions can unintentionally harm your claim. 

A lawyer will ensure you don’t compromise your position, maximizing your chances for rightful compensation. Although reporting to your insurance is necessary, usually within 24 hours, a lawyer might advise minimal communication until they can take over, safeguarding your interests right from the start.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

Reporting your car accident to your insurance company promptly is a crucial step in the claims process. Your insurance plays a pivotal role in addressing the incident, especially when you’re not at fault. By informing them quickly and providing the necessary details, you allow your insurer to start an investigation and make a liability determination.  b

Honest and clear communication about the accident’s circumstances helps in evaluating coverage options. It’s important to understand how the claim might impact your premiums and what coverage is available under your policy. This initial contact with your insurance is essential, irrespective of whether you decide to pursue a personal injury claim or not.

Determining Fault and Liability

Determining fault and liability in car accidents is a nuanced process involving both insurance companies and legal professionals. Insurance adjusters assess the accident details, considering factors like police reports, witness statements, and local traffic laws. 

When communicating with insurance adjusters, it’s essential to be informed and cautious. Understand your rights and avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be misconstrued. Provide factual information only and refrain from speculating about the accident. 

Legal experts look deeper, examining evidence to build a comprehensive understanding of the incident as fault determination directly influences insurance claims and legal actions. The responsible party’s insurer typically bears the financial burden. 

However, in some jurisdictions with comparative negligence laws, liability can be shared among parties, affecting final compensation. This complex interplay underscores the importance of thorough documentation and expert guidance from Pasadena car accident lawyers in accident cases.

Legal Time Limits and Statute of Limitations

Following legal timeframes governed by the “Statute of Limitations” is crucial in car accident claims. This statute specifies the terms under which you can legally file a lawsuit against the responsible party, which varies by state and litigation type. 

In personal injury cases, the time restriction is normally two years from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions and different statutes of limitations depending on who caused the injury and what type of damages were incurred.  Therefore, it is crucial to contact a Pasadena injury attorney to make sure you don’t lose your rights. 

Cost Considerations

Many attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that they charge a percentage of the compensation awarded only if you win your case. This structure can be financially reassuring, as it requires no upfront payment. 

However, understanding all potential costs, including court fees and expenses for gathering evidence, is important. Balancing these costs against the potential benefits of legal representation is key. 

Skilled Pasadena car accident lawyers can often secure higher compensation amounts, which can offset their fees, making their expertise a valuable investment in effectively navigating the complexities of car accident claims.


It’s wise to seek professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances after a car accident. Prompt action is key to protecting your legal rights and ensuring a smooth claims process. For dedicated and passionate legal representation, consider partnering with Grigoryan Blum and Grigoryan (GBG Law). 

At GBG Law, we bring you a mix of passion, empathy, and dedication to justice, ensuring your rights are well-defended. With our strong ethics and exceptional communication, you can trust us to secure the settlement you deserve. 

Contact GBG Law today for the support and guidance you need.

Click here for our complete guide to hiring a Pasadena car accident lawyer.


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Grigoryan Blum & Grigoryan
30 North Raymond Avenue, Suite #514
Pasadena, CA 91103
United States