Small collisions may result in small insurance claims that you can work out amicably between yourself and the other driver and your insurance companies. But when things start to get sticky, bringing in a lawyer may be your best bet for damage control. If nobody was hurt and nobody is mad, saving money by skipping the lawyer may seem like the prudent thing to do. But in other situations, you may start to wonder if saving the lawyer fees is worth the money you'll lose in settlement. Here are three signs that you're likely to need a lawyer if you want to make the most of a bad situation.

1. Someone was injured in the collision

If you or the other party sustained injuries from the incident that required medical attention, things can quickly get more complicated. You'll want to hire a lawyer if you were injured so that he or she can corral your medical paperwork and all the evidence necessary to prove that you were injured in the accident. And if someone in the other car was injured, they become much more likely to have heated feelings about the case and to want to sue you for personal injury. You'll want to have a lawyer on your side to reduce the likelihood of this through great negotiation and to reduce its impact if you do end up getting sued.

2. It's not obvious who was at fault (or your state has complicated fault rules)

In some cases, such as rear endings, one driver is almost always at fault. In rear endings, the driver of the rear car is almost always at fault. But in other cases it's not so cut-and-dry. This can get especially complicated if you live in a state where fault is calculated with negligence, modified negligence, or other confusing things factored in. A lawyer can be a big help when you're trying to navigate these cases and prove that you weren't the one who caused the wreck.

3. You're worried you're going to lose a lot of money

If for some reason the other driver is really angry and threatens to sue you even though he or she is unharmed and damage to the car is minimal, you may need a lawyer. Expert negotiation skills are vital when dealing with angry people. And if both cars are severely damaged, you're too badly injured to represent yourself well in negotiations, or you're afraid the insurance adjuster won't see things your way, a lawyer can stand in for you and help ensure that you don't get the worst of things.

These three signs will help you sort through the circumstances of your recent collision and decide if you need a car accident lawyer. If you decide in favor of this option, try to get in touch with a lawyer as quickly as possible so he or she can get working on your behalf right away.

For a personal injury lawyer, contact a law firm such as Palmetto Injury Lawyers.