Do I Need an Attorney after a Car Accident in Philadelphia?
No, you don’t need a lawyer after every car accident in Philadelphia. Instead, you should analyze the circumstances surrounding the crash.
In some situations, you might be better off submitting a claim to an insurer on your own, since that will save you time and money.
If you are unsure of when to hire an attorney after a car accident, contact us. We can discuss your options, including whether you would enjoy our services. Reach out to us as soon as possible.
When You Don’t Need a Car Accident Attorney
In the following cases, you can most likely handle your claim on your own:
You only have property damage
For example, a car might have struck you, damaging your rear fender. But if you did not suffer any injuries, then you will only submit a claim for vehicle damage. Often, insurers have no problem approving claims for property damage. Of course, sometimes personal injuries like back injuries or concussions take a day or two to develop, so watch for symptoms to develop.
You aren’t suing for much money. Attorneys work on contingency, meaning they take a percentage of your settlement or jury verdict. If you are suing for only $10,000, then it is most likely hard to get a lawyer to represent you. In this case, you can represent yourself in small claims court, where an attorney is not always necessary.
The insurer makes a fair settlement offer. The only real reason to hire a lawyer is to maximize the amount an insurer will pay. If the insurer immediately agrees to your settlement amount, then a lawyer might not be necessary.
Realize most attorneys offer a free consultation where you can talk about your case. In our experience, the vast majority of lawyers are very upfront about whether you should hire a lawyer or whether you can handle a dispute on your own. Instead of trying to answer, “Should I get an attorney after a car accident” on your own, seek out legal counsel.
Situations Where a Lawyer is Helpful
These situations are pretty much the inverse of the reasons listed above:
You have serious injuries. If you have broken bones, whiplash, nerve damage, soft-tissue injuries, or brain injuries, then a lawyer can help you calculate how much your injuries are worth.
You have significant expenses. Medical care is expensive, and many car accident victims can’t work. If you are suing for a large sum of money, you can expect an insurer to push back. A lawyer is an invaluable asset for negotiating with an insurer.
The insurer is giving a lowball offer. You’ll need someone experienced to negotiate the amount of compensation up. You can try to do this on your own, but you might become frustrated or intimidated. Lawyers do this every day.
Do I need an attorney after a Car Accident?
Timing is key. Of course, you can benefit by hiring an attorney as soon as possible. Doing so allows the lawyer to investigate your case and begin compiling evidence that you can use to get a settlement or bring a lawsuit.
In other situations you might wait. The ideal time to settle is after you have reached largest medical improvement. This is the point where you can’t get any better , and when you will know how much money you have spent on medical care.
But, you should not sign any settlement agreement without running it by a lawyer first. Every agreement will require you to release the defendant from further legal action, which means you won’t get any more money once you sign. Make sure to protect your rights before agreeing to accept a settlement.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia
When to get an attorney for a car accident is a difficult decision, one which you should not make alone. At PhillyLaw, our car accident attorneys have helped many motorists get compensation to cover their expenses, such as medical care and lost wages. Avoid delay.
When you hire us, you will be in safe hands. We can handle all aspects of your claim, including negotiating and filing a lawsuit if necessary. To schedule your free initial consultation, submit a contact form today and talk to a PhillyLaw personal injury attorney.