You’re going about a regular day when suddenly you’re blindsided in a car accident. Traumatic and jarring, the experience may leave you bewildered about what to do next. Often, one of the first questions is, “Do I really need a lawyer?”

The answer depends on a myriad of factors. Let’s start with something we can say unequivocally: There is no law anywhere in Florida statutes that says you must hire a lawyer if you’re involved in a crash. However, there are numerous situations in which it would be prudent or even strongly advisable to do so.

Here, we offer the top three questions to ask before deciding if you should hire a car accident lawyer in Florida:

1. How badly are you hurt? Are your injuries of a severe and/or permanent nature?

2. Who was at-fault?

3. How much insurance coverage is available to collect?

One final thing to note is that injury lawyers in Florida are paid on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay attorney’s fees at all unless and until you win. If you prevail, your attorney collects a portion of that amount. The goal is specifically to ensure there aren’t financial barriers to justice when someone who is seriously injured tries to go up against a huge insurer, corporation or powerful, deep-pocketed defendants. The other benefit of this type of arrangement is that it provides an incentive for attorneys to be upfront about your chances for success. If they aren’t paid unless you win, they aren’t likely to advise you to fight tooth-and-nail on a weak or long-odds case. For this reason, we typically advise anyone who has been in a crash and is unsure about whether to hire a lawyer: At least talk to one before making any final decisions.