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Q: I keep reading that if I file my own Pennsylvania car accident claim, I’ll be outmatched by the insurance adjuster and her legal team. Is this true?

A:

Maybe nothing. Not all Pennsylvania auto accident cases need legal representation. Especially if nobody suffered injuries in the collision and the only property damage was to the vehicles, it’s perfectly okay for you to submit your claim to the insurance adjuster on your own.

More serious cases definitely benefit from hiring an attorney.

As auto accident lawyers in Harrisburg, we’ve heard all the common objections to that last statement. “Oh, they’re just trolling for clients,” is a frequent complaint. Other people are quick to point out that most cases are settled outside the courtroom, and they say, “If you’re not going to court, why hire a lawyer? Settle the case yourself and keep all the money.”

Before we go any further, we want to respond to those accusations.

Are Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers Evil? The Evidence says NO

  • We want you to get a lawyer who suits you. Although we certainly hope you will take the time to check out Schmidt Kramer, the essential thing is that you find a skilled, established attorney who inspires confidence. Don’t make your decision lightly: interview several lawyers—most Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys will give a free case consultation at no charge—and pick the one who seems to best represent your views and values.
  • Attorneys earn their paychecks. When an attorney joins your team, that signals to the insurance company that you have a legitimate claim, probably one that has a high value. It immediately raises the credibility on your side. Even though 80 to 95 percent of all personal injury lawsuits are settled without a trial, a good lawyer will prepare for a courtroom battle from the beginning.

Remember, too, that insurance adjusters are usually the most vocal in urging you not to hire a lawyer. Could that be because the insurance company would gain an advantage if you don’t have a legal adviser to guide you?

Studies show that car accident injury victims who hire lawyers are likely to receive compensation two to three times greater, on average, when compared with people who don’t retain legal counsel. We’d like to believe that this reflects a significant value added by the presence of an attorney on your side. Consider everything that your lawyer can do for you even before a trial begins:

  • Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine who was really at fault and to what degree.
  • Your attorney can deal with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
  • Your attorney will be able to recognize immediately when a settlement offer is unreasonably low.
  • Your lawyer can recommend specialists for your extraordinary medical needs, and can make sure those doctors will be available to testify if needed.
  • Your lawyer can develop realistic compensation estimates for your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and other hard-to-quantify losses.

Here’s the bottom line: You have the legal right to represent yourself. If you choose to do so, and if there is any complexity at all to the case, you are likely to lose your case in court or to accept a tiny settlement offer.

It costs nothing to explore your option to hire an attorney. Call Schmidt Kramer today at 717.888.8888 or 888.476.0807 toll-free to schedule a free, confidential case review.

At your request, we will also send you a FREE copy our informative book, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured In An Automobile Accident? We accept car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay any attorneys’ fees unless there is a settlement or verdict in your favor.

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