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When to Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident

When to Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident.When to Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident.

Dealing with the consequences of a car accident can be overwhelming. The last thing you will want to deal with is the legal process of pursuing compensation for your damages. However, acting quickly after your accident to begin the claims process is crucial for a successful claim. In this blog post, we take a look at key moments after a car accident when legal counsel should be sought and the benefits of acting quickly.

Injured in a Car Accident?


Post-accident Timeline

Seeking legal advice after a car accident in Philadelphia is crucial to ensuring that you protect your rights and maximize your potential claims. The "golden hours" immediately following an accident are particularly important. Here's a timeline showing key points when legal advice should be sought:

Immediately After the Accident

  • Ensure everyone's safety and call 911 to report the accident.
  • Seek medical attention for injuries.
  • Document the accident scene, take photos, and gather witness information.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s).

Within the First 24 Hours

  • Report the accident to your insurance company, but be cautious about making detailed statements.
  • Contact a Philadelphia car accident attorney to discuss your case.

Within 72 Hours

  • Continue to seek medical treatment for any injuries.
  • Preserve all evidence related to the accident, such as medical records, repair estimates, and correspondence with the insurance company.

Within One Week

  • Follow up with law enforcement to obtain the official accident report.
  • Notify your insurance company of your intent to file a claim if you haven't already.

Within One Month

  • Continue medical treatment as necessary.
  • Consult with your attorney to discuss the details of the case and determine the strength of your claim.

Within Three Months

  • Your attorney may start negotiations with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
  • Document any lost wages or income due to the accident.

Within Six Months

  • If negotiations are unsuccessful, consider filing a lawsuit before Pennsylvania's statute of limitations (typically two years) expires.


  • Cooperate with your attorney in gathering evidence and providing information.
  • Attend all necessary medical appointments to document your injuries and recovery.

During the Legal Process

  • Your attorney will help you navigate the legal system, including pre-trial preparations, depositions, and negotiations.
  • Be prepared to participate in the legal process, potentially including a trial, if a settlement is not reached.


  • If a settlement is reached, your attorney will help you finalize the agreement and ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • If the case goes to trial, your attorney will represent you in court.

Seeking legal advice promptly after a car accident in Philadelphia, especially within the "golden hours," can significantly enhance your chances of securing a successful claim and obtaining the compensation you deserve. Consulting with an experienced attorney is crucial to protecting your rights and navigating the complex legal process.

Written Reviews

  • Unmatched Support: Navigating the Fallout of a Car Accident
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    "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!"

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    "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
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    "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."

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    “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

Seeking legal advice as soon as possible after a car accident is crucial for several important reasons:

  • Protection of Your Rights: Consulting with an attorney immediately ensures that your rights are protected. They can advise you on what to say and do to avoid inadvertently admitting fault or making statements that could harm your case.
  • Preservation of Evidence: The earlier you involve an attorney, the better they can help you gather and preserve crucial evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs, witness statements, and accident reports before they are lost or destroyed.
  • Insurance Company Tactics: Insurance companies often attempt to minimize payouts by offering quick settlements or pressuring accident victims into accepting lowball offers. Having an attorney by your side can help you resist such tactics and negotiate for a fair settlement.
  • Understanding Your Rights: A car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options. They can explain the applicable laws and guide you on the best course of action, whether that involves filing a claim, negotiating with insurance companies, or pursuing a lawsuit.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Lawyers have experience in evaluating the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They work to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
  • Timely Filing Deadlines: There are strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims and lawsuits, known as statutes of limitations. Failing to file within these time frames could result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. An attorney can ensure you meet all necessary deadlines.
  • Complex Legal Processes: Legal procedures can be complex, and navigating them without legal assistance can be overwhelming. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, including filing paperwork, gathering evidence, and representing your interests in negotiations or court.
  • Peace of Mind: Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Having a knowledgeable attorney can provide peace of mind by handling the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  • Professional Networks: Attorneys often have established relationships with experts, investigators, and medical professionals who can provide valuable support and testimony to strengthen your case.
  • Risk Mitigation: Early legal advice can help you make informed decisions, reducing the risk of making costly mistakes that could negatively impact your case.
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Get the Help You Need

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, it’s important to act quickly to protect your rights and recover the compensation you rightly deserve. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation. The attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim are available to review your case and discuss your rights and options with you.

Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers by dialing (215) 486-0123 today.

Notable Case Results

Always Pursing the Best Possible Outcome

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$1 Million

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$10 Million

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$4.8 Million

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Throughout the years, our firm and our individual attorneys have been recognized in both local and national media for our extensive legal knowledge, experience, and record of success. Our attorneys frequently appear in the media to provide insights and information on various legal matters, including high-profile cases.

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Choosing the Right Firm Can Make All the Difference

  • Unrivaled Record of SuccessWe have won tens of millions of dollars for injured victims, and have achieved countless "not guilty" verdicts for clients faced with criminal charges.
  • No Challenge too BigOur firm has handled some of the biggest cases in country, including representing the President of the United States.
  • Personalized RepresentationWe understand that every case is unique. Therefore, we tailor our approach based on the facts of the case and the needs of our client.
  • Uncompromising PassionOur competitive nature is one of our strongest qualities. You can be confident that no other firm will outwork our team.
  • Holistic ApproachNot only do we want to excel legally for the client, but we also want to make sure we are strengthening their mind, body and spirt.
  • Supporting the CommunityOur team engages in many community events and regularly donates time and resources to many charitable organizations in Philadelphia.

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Home to Philadelphia’s most accomplished attorneys, van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim pairs diverse practice experience with a passion-driven, comprehensive law practice—all for the client’s benefit.

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