Your Guide on Why You Need a Lawyer after a Car Accident
An average of 10,108 motor vehicle accidents occur every year in Philadelphia resulting in an average of 154 deaths annually. Car accidents occur in a matter of seconds. However, the victims are left to deal with the consequences for a long time thereafter. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you may be asking ‘Should I get a lawyer for a car accident?’ Below, we discuss the pros and cons of hiring a car accident lawyer and how an experienced legal professional can help improve the outcome of your case.
Injured in a Car Accident?
Pros of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a car accident lawyer can be advantageous for a variety of reasons.
- Legal Expertise: Car accident lawyers specialize in personal injury law and have a deep understanding of the legal process, including relevant statutes and case law. They can provide valuable legal guidance and representation.
- Investigative Skills: Experienced car accident lawyers can investigate the accident thoroughly, gather evidence, and interview witnesses to establish liability and build a strong case on your behalf.
- Determining Liability: Determining fault in a car accident can be complex. A lawyer can help establish liability, which is crucial for obtaining compensation. They may also assess contributory negligence and liability issues.
- Negotiation Skills: Car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators. They can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- Maximizing Compensation: An attorney can help you identify all potential sources of compensation, including insurance coverage, and work to maximize the amount you receive. This may involve pursuing a settlement, filing a lawsuit, or exploring other legal avenues.
- Understanding of Medical Issues: Car accidents often result in injuries, some of which may not manifest immediately. A lawyer can help you understand the extent of your injuries, potential long-term effects, and the associated medical costs.
- Reducing Stress: Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, especially if you've been injured, can be stressful. Having a lawyer handle the legal aspects can relieve some of this burden, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- No Upfront Costs: Many car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement can make legal representation more accessible to individuals who may not have the funds to hire an attorney upfront.
- Access to Resources: Lawyers often have access to resources, such as accident reconstruction experts and medical professionals, which can be valuable in building a strong case.
- Courtroom Representation: If your case goes to court, having an attorney who is experienced in litigation can be essential. They can present your case to a judge and jury effectively.
- Legal Time Limits: There are time limits (statutes of limitations) for filing personal injury claims in every state. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims is two years. If you fail to file your claim within this period, your case will most likely be dismissed, and you will lose your opportunity to recover damages for your car accident. A car accident lawyer will ensure that you meet all deadlines and don't miss out on your right to seek compensation.
- Improved Odds of Success: Statistics show that individuals who hire lawyers in personal injury cases are more likely to receive higher settlements than those who try to handle their cases on their own.
van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin offer you the services of experienced car accident lawyers to ensure that you receive the best possible representation and maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
- Unmatched Support: Navigating the Fallout of a Car Accident
"I was involved in a car accident while 13 weeks pregnant. I didn’t know where to turn until a friend gave me a number and said “Hey, check out this lawyer”. I did just that, and even though the process was long, which I expected, it was the best decision I've made in a long time. In the end, we won! I have to thank Mr. Hartshorn and his team for everything they have done for not only me but my family as well. I could not have picked a better lawyer! Thank you all so very much! On a scale of 1 to 10, you guys are a 100!"- Deasia C. / Client★★★★★
- Seamless Experience: Legal Excellence Meets Compassionate Care
"Wonderful experience with this law firm after getting hit last summer. The whole staff is on top of things and communicates well. A special shoutout to the attorney who handled my case and negotiated my medical bills. I was able to get the care and treatment I needed with minimal stress because they handled it all!"- Amanda A. / Client★★★★★
- Effortless Recovery: Comprehensive Care and Exceptional Communication
"Going with this law firm for my auto accident case was the best advice anyone ever gave me. I was very impressed with my results and the way they handled my case and me."- Ant F. / Client★★★★★
- Prompt and Precise: An Automobile Settlement that Stands Out
“I wanted to thank you for the excellent work you did as my attorney with the settlement of my automobile accident. I know you have a lot of clients, so your prompt responses and attention to detail really meant a lot to me.”- Jarrett H. / Client★★★★★
Cons of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
While hiring a car accident lawyer can have many advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks you should consider:
- Legal Fees: Car accident lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a percentage of your settlement or award. Under Pennsylvania law, car accident attorneys are not limited when it comes to how much they can take as contingency fees. They can therefore charge up to 100% of the amount recovered. However, this is very rare. Most attorneys charge between 33 and 45 percent of the case recovery as their legal fees. While this fee arrangement means you don't pay upfront, it can reduce the amount of money you ultimately receive.
- Additional Costs: In addition to the contingency fee, you may be responsible for other legal costs such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, medical records, and administrative costs. These additional expenses can add up.
- Not Guaranteed to Win: Hiring a lawyer does not guarantee a favorable outcome in your case. The outcome of a car accident claim depends on various factors, including the strength of the evidence and the specifics of the accident.
- Time-Consuming: Legal processes can be time-consuming. While a lawyer handles most of the work, you will still need to be involved in providing information, attending meetings, and possibly testifying in court, which can be a time commitment.
- Settlement Delays: In some cases, the Philadelphia legal system is complex. The legal process can take longer when you hire a lawyer, particularly if the insurance company disputes liability or damages. Negotiations and potential lawsuits can extend the timeline.
- Potential for Conflicts of Interest: There may be situations where your lawyer has a conflict of interest, such as representing multiple parties involved in the same accident or prioritizing certain cases over others.
- Communication Challenges: Some clients may find it challenging to effectively communicate with their lawyer, leading to misunderstandings or unmet expectations. Clear and open communication is essential for a successful attorney-client relationship.
- Limited Control: When you hire a lawyer, you are entrusting them to make decisions on your behalf. While they should consult with you on major decisions, you may have limited control over the legal strategy.
- Small Claims Court Exclusion: In Pennsylvania, you can file your claim yourself through the Municipal District Court in your county. For minor accidents with minimal damages (not exceeding $12,000), it may not be cost-effective to hire a lawyer, as the legal fees may outweigh the potential recovery. In such cases, handling the claim independently may be more practical.
- Emotional Stress: Legal processes can be emotionally taxing. Revisiting the details of the accident, dealing with insurance companies, and the overall litigation process can cause stress and anxiety for some individuals.
How an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Make a Difference in Your Case
Having an experienced car accident attorney fighting in your corner can greatly improve the outcome of your case. Professional representation can make the difference between recovering sufficient compensation to secure your future and facing financial ruin. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, we’re committed to defending the rights of those injured in car accidents through no fault of their own. We have a proven track record of securing millions of dollars in settlements and judgments on behalf of our clients.
- $35.1 MillionPersonal Injury
- $10 MillionPersonal Injury
- $4.8 MillionPersonal Injury
- $4.25 MillionPersonal Injury
- $3.25 MillionPersonal Injury
Want to Take the Next Step? Schedule Your Free Consultation
The questions shouldn’t be ‘Should I get a lawyer for a car accident,’ but rather ‘How can I get started with the help of an attorney?’ We make it easy for you. Simply schedule a consultation with an attorney from our law firm and consult with us for free. We’d be glad to discuss the specifics of your case with you.