A lot of traffic passes through Pennsylvania every day, so it’s no surprise that traffic accidents are a daily occurrence. It’s all too easy to get numbed to the everyday toll of statistics on the news: a bus rollover on I-78 injures 17 passengers, a couple fender-benders in Lancaster County, one person critically injured when a car turns left in front of a motorcycle on Hale Avenue.
The fact is, though, that most car accidents in Harrisburg and surrounding communities are not fatal. On that basis, if you are involved in a Pennsylvania auto accident that is not your fault, you will probably be tempted to handle everything on your own. “After all,” you think, “if I hire a lawyer, that just means I’m going to have to split my insurance settlement with him in the end. If I take care of this myself, I get to keep it all.”
Here’s where we surprise you: you’re right.
It’s a good idea to hire a lawyer anyway
If your Dauphin County auto accident resulted in nothing worse that scratches and dings on your vehicle, then go ahead; get an estimate for the repairs, talk to the insurance companies, and get the body work done. This is precisely the sort of case that is best handled by the vehicle owner.
However, if there was any injury to a human being, you’re better off if you contact a Harrisburg auto accident attorney immediately. The risks to your future interests are so huge that you cannot afford to delay. You need a professional to evaluate the strengths of your potential case right away.
There are seven key reasons why you need to ask an attorney about your Pennsylvania car crash as soon as possible:
- You don’t know how to conduct an investigation into your case. What should you ask witnesses or the police? Do you know how to find out the driving record of the person who injured you? It’s routine work for a Pennsylvania injury lawyer to handle such investigations.
- You do not have a realistic idea of the value of your claim. You don’t have the depth of experience to estimate current and future medical costs, lost wages, and other losses that the other driver owes to you.
- You are easy prey for the insurance adjuster. The adjuster knows that you’re out of your depth—but he deals with medical claims every day. He can persuade you that your case is weak or that it’s worth much less than its true value.
- The insurance company has already hired a law firm to represent its interests. If you refuse to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, you’re going to end up in court. Are you really prepared to try your own injury case in front of a judge and jury?
- You don’t have a deep enough understanding of the law. Personal injury law is a complex topic. Pennsylvania statutes, local ordinances, federal regulations, and previous court decisions all interact in complicated (and sometimes unexpected) ways. Your attorney spent years at law school to learn this stuff, and still has to keep up with recent changes. You’ve spent just as much time learning your own profession, so maybe you haven’t had time to get the necessary level of expertise in the law to handle your case.
- You can’t afford to cover your expenses. Pursuing a legal claim can cost quite a bit of money and time. If your injuries have disabled you from work, you are likely to have some free time—but by the same token, without income, you might not be easily able to afford the expenses involved in a lawsuit. And you have to pay these costs even if you lose your case. In contrast, almost all personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency-fee basis, which means they present you with a bill only after they have won a settlement or a damage award for you. If they don’t get you a recovery, you owe nothing.
- You may take home a larger settlement with a lawyer at your side. Overall, plaintiffs who are represented by attorneys get a recovery that is three to four times that of plaintiffs who purse a settlement on their own. Even after you pay your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney his fee, you can end up with a much larger amount of money after your case is concluded.
So maybe you’re not convinced
Perhaps you still are skeptical about how important it is to call a Harrisburg car injury lawyer. Fair enough. Let’s compromise. Call Schmidt Kramer today at 717-888-8888 (locally) or 888-476-0807 (toll-free) and ask us to send you a FREE copy of Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured In An Automobile Accident?, our introductory book for new clients. We’ll even pay for the postage.
Read the book over the next few days, and think about what it says. If we still haven’t convinced you, then you’ve wasted a couple hours becoming more informed about Pennsylvania injury law—and that can’t hurt if you handle your case yourself. But if you have any uncertainty about whether you should go forward alone, call us again, and we will set up a FREE consultation with one of our lawyers, with no obligation.
You don’t have anything to lose. Call today.