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When To Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

You or a close family member were involved in a motor vehicle collision in or around Philadelphia. You’ve given it some thought, but you’re unsure when to hire an attorney after a car accident.

The appropriate answer may be right away. Let us explain when and why (and when) that needs to be the case.

Why You Need to Connect with a Lawyer Quickly After a Crash

We mentioned above that you might need to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after a wreck. Why did we say that? There are a few reasons, including to ensure you:

  • Understanding your rights: You have certain rights that are enshrined in the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions, as well as in each jurisdiction’s respective laws. You can expect a lawyer to know and advise you of these.
  • Knowing traffic laws: From traffic laws, light distracted driving, or right of way laws to understanding how our state’s modified comparative fault rule works. Attorneys should be well-versed not only in terms of what these laws state.
  • Know the implications of your words and actions: Not only does legal counsel understand your rights and traffic laws applicable to your specific situation in your accident case, but they have a comprehensive understanding of how taking certain actions when the wreck was in progress, making certain admissions to police at the scene of the crash, doctors when being assessed, insurance adjusters when they call, or posting certain content on social media can impact your case. Your attorney can advise you of this and how it may impact your ability to file a car crash claim or have a successful one if you do.
  • Preserve critical evidence in your case: Attorneys who handle car accident cases involving catastrophic injuries or fatalities are tasked with building strong cases that command top-dollar compensation. Knowing what evidence to obtain and how to best secure it is elemental to achieving an optimal settlement in more serious accident cases like these.

When Is Hiring an Attorney After a Wreck Generally Unnecessary?

There are certain situations where getting legal counsel involved may be unnecessary, such as:

  • You’re familiar with how the claims process works: Getting an accident lawyer involved may not cost you upfront, but it does cost you a percentage of your settlement (if you receive one) on the back end. If you have successfully built a claim by yourself before and feel comfortable doing so again given its parallels to your earlier case, you may opt to remain pro se (represent yourself) once again.
  • If you’re involved in a non-reportable crash: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation describes intentional collisions occurring on private property or ones that happen in public places but don’t result in towing of the vehicles involved and no injuries or fatalities as this.
  • You don’t have any significant, pursuable damages: This logic may apply if you didn’t get seriously hurt and have no plans to seek medical attention or if the damage sustained to your vehicle is so little that you plan to forego getting repairs performed.
  • Insurance has already covered any sustained losses: If all your accident-related bills have been covered and you’re happy with the settlement offer offered by an insurance adjuster, then having a legal representative step in and advocate on your behalf in an attempt to squeeze out additional compensation may be unwarranted.
  • You were at fault for your crash: Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means you tap into your $5,000 minimum mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage if you were involved in a crash. However, if your medical bills, for example, exhaust the limits of that portion of your policy, barring you having any other coverage, you would potentially be eligible to file suit against a motorist who struck you, provided your degree of fault aligns with the modified comparative negligence rule, which prevents you from holding another party liable for the wreck if you were 51% or more to blame for its occurrence.

Sorting Out Whether You Should Consult with Legal Counsel About Your Pennsylvania Car Accident

In reading over the points above, you probably can tell that one of the main reasons to hire an attorney after a car accident is if you’ve suffered a tremendous loss in a crash, whether that involves you sustaining a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, or some other serious injury or a loved one has died.

In these cases, knowing your rights and when others’ actions violated the law is critical, as this all plays into liability determinations in cases like these.

Whether you’re confident that you need an attorney or want to pass your case by an experienced legal team, like ours at Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco, for a free case assessment, a law firm can help point you in the right direction for your Pennsylvania car accident case.

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