Nothing about a car crash is easy. They’re scary, dangerous, and painful. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell right away whether or not any serious damage has been done. And, in any event, the emotional toll can be overwhelming.
To make matters worse, the days and weeks that follow are mired by insurance issues, trips to the doctor, co-pays and medical bills, countless phone calls, and hassle that seems to never end. Time away from work, trips to the mechanic, arranging for rental cars… the list goes on and on.
Some people are so sick of the stress that they want to hand the whole matter over to a lawyer right away. Others fear that getting an attorney involved will only invite more frustration into their lives, prolonging an ordeal they’d rather see come to an end.
But who’s right?
When do you really need to hire an attorney after a car accident?
And when don’t you?
The truth is that not every vehicle collision requires an attorney’s attention, but many — if not most — will unfold much more smoothly and successfully for you if you have an experienced professional on your side.
So how can you tell whether your car crash really warrants a lawyer’s aid?
At Hagelgans & Veronis, we understand that the decision to hire an attorney is an important one, and no one should ever rush into litigation. But we also want you to know that simply talking with a lawyer doesn’t have to carry an obligation. Indeed, you’ll often find that hiring a legal advocate will eliminate a lot of the hassle you’d have to deal with otherwise.
In fact, hiring an experienced attorney puts you in a much better position to recover more money than you might have on your own — and in most auto accident cases, you don’t have to pay a penny until there’s a successful outcome in your case.
So, how does it all work? And when is calling a lawyer worth your while?
When You’ve Suffered Injuries
A great many auto accident victims experience some degree of injury. Tragically, many of these accidents cause catastrophic injury or even death. Meanwhile, others are more moderate in nature. Victims sometimes feel they’re in a “gray area” — they’ve been hurt, but how severe is “severe enough?”
Don’t underestimate your injuries. The insurance industry has gone to great lengths to convince car accident victims that “slight” damages like whiplash, bone fractures, concussions, lacerations, and deep bruising aren’t “real” injuries. But that’s not true.
The fact is that whiplash, concussions, and other such injuries often cause complications or require prolonged healing, almost always resulting in hefty medical bills and time away from school or work. You deserve to be compensated for those losses.
An experienced Central Pennsylvania auto accident attorney can help you seek financial compensation for a wide range of injuries, which may include:
- Medical expenses
- Hospital bills
- Time away from work / lost income
- Future impairment or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage (including vehicle damage)
- Loss of companionship and support (in the case of wrongful death)
- Substantial hardships or changes in your life caused by the accident
- And more, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
When You Can’t Trust the Other Side
This one always applies. Insurance companies do not represent your best interests. They may express concern and sound fairly reasonable over the phone, but you must remember that their only job is to pay you as little as possible.
Never accept an insurance settlement offer without talking to an experienced Central Pennsylvania auto accident attorney.
Insurers are notorious for offering “lowball” settlements, which seem attractive at first glance but actually pay out far less than you really deserve. Working with an aggressive lawyer will allow you to hold insurance companies accountable and ensure they treat you fairly.
When Your Claim Is Complicated
Of course, most auto accident claims are complicated — even if they seem like they shouldn’t be. Insurance adjustors will leap at every possible opportunity to reduce your payout or even deny your claim. Without an advocate on your side, you may be offered less than you deserve for everything from rental cars and repairs to medical bills and lost wages.
It’s hard for victims to know whether they’re taking the proper steps along the way. Simply providing the right answers in paperwork can make all the difference in your claim. An experienced Central Pennsylvania auto accident attorney can help you understand what to expect, how much to expect, and when you’re being treated unfairly.
When You Want Peace of Mind
Peace of mind might just be the single most valuable thing we can offer as a Pennsylvania personal injury firm. We know first hand how stressful a legal battle can be, and that’s especially true when you need to focus on healing.
Our goal is to shoulder that burden for you. We can handle everything from basic paperwork and negotiations to settlement talks and even trial. Meanwhile, you’ll stay well informed and completely in control all along the way. We can’t promise you’ll never have to stop by our office — or that you’ll never have to step foot in a courthouse (though in many cases, it is possible to avoid court) — but we will do everything in our power to protect your peace of mind. It’s our job to fight for you.
Car Crashes That Do Not Require an Attorney’s Attention
While the vast majority of auto accident victims stand to benefit significantly from an attorney’s advocacy and advice, there are some car crashes that don’t necessarily demand legal counsel. You might not need to hire an attorney after a car accident if all the following are true:
- The accident was a low-speed, very gentle collision.
- Your only injury was temporary soreness that quickly faded after the incident.
- You’ve been seen by a doctor you trust and were given a clean bill of health.
- You didn’t spend any time in the hospital.
- You didn’t have to take time away from work.
- There is little to no property damage to your vehicle, and your insurance company is paying for all of the costs.
- The police report did not document any significant injuries or damages.
- You have not experienced any psychological trauma.
- You’ve allowed enough time to pass since the accident to ensure that there are no hidden injuries (warning: don’t allow more than a few weeks to go by before getting legal advice, as time limits can later bar your claim!).
- All of the parties involved in the accident are adequately insured.
- All of the parties involved in the accident were non-commercial drivers.
Even if each statement above applies in your case, it’s always a wise idea to talk with an experienced Central Pennsylvania auto accident attorney before reaching any conclusions about your rights under the law.
Get Advice from an Experienced Central Pennsylvania Auto Accident Attorney
Still not sure whether you need to hire an attorney after a car accident? Call us and ask! Or simply contact us online. Either way, the initial consultation is free of charge, and there’s no obligation whatsoever. We’ll let you know whether we might be able to help and, if so, how.
If we do take on your case, we won’t a charge a dime for our services unless we’re able to recover an advantageous settlement or judgment on your behalf.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your injuries aren’t serious enough, or that fighting for justice is too costly or difficult for you. It’s not. We’re here to help.
Our team offers years of experience, effective legal strategies, and a compassionate shoulder of support. We’re dedicated to giving your case the passion and respect it deserves — and that means attention directly from our attorneys. Get in touch with us right away to learn more about what we can do for you.