How do I settle my own Pennsylvania Car Accident case without hiring a lawyer? That may seem like a silly question to ask a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer who would surely tell you that it would be foolish to try to settle your case yourself and without professional legal representation. But, even though I am a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer, I won’t say that is a dumb question.
You have the legal right to settle your claim yourself without hiring a lawyer and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to hire a Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney.
For Some Pennsylvania Car Accidents You Don’t Need a Lawyer
It’s true that for some Pennsylvania Car Accident Cases, you don’t need to hire a lawyer.
If the accident was your fault, you probably don’t need to hire a lawyer. In fact, if you get sued, your own insurance company will hire and pay for a lawyer to defend you.
If the accident was someone else’s fault and you are not injured, you probably don’t need a lawyer. You can deal with the other insurance adjuster directly to get your car fixed or get fair compensation if your car is totaled.
If you sustain very minor injuries, you probably don’t need a lawyer. Instead, you can likely negotiate a small settlement on your own, but be careful not to settle and sign a Release until you are absolutely sure about the full extent of your injuries because the Release will extinguish your claims.
In Other Pennsylvania Car Accident Cases It’s Important to Hire a Lawyer
If you are not at fault for a car accident and have sustained anything more than a very minor injury, it’s a good idea to get advice from and retain an experienced Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer.
I like to use the analogy of when you can provide your own medical treatment versus when you need a doctor. For a minor cut, you don’t need a doctor. You can clean it and put on a bandage yourself. For a common cold, you can drink orange juice and rest, you don’t need a doctor.
However, if you break your arm or have cancer, you need a doctor, you just can’t deal with those types of health issues yourself.
Car Accidents and the need for a Lawyer is similar. For a minor injury, you can probably deal with the Car Insurance Adjuster on your own and don’t need a lawyer.
But, for more serious injuries, it’s beneficial to have a Car Accident attorney for several reasons. First, Car Accident Lawyers know the insurance laws and claim process and they know how to navigate it. They know who has to pay for what in terms of Medical Bills, Lost Wages, and Pain and Suffering.
Experienced Car Accident Lawyers also know what the fair value of a car accident case and how to go about presenting a case to maximize fair recovery for the victim.
Car Accident Lawyers also have the leverage of being able to file and pursue a lawsuit if the case does not settle out of court.
Technically, you could file your case yourself in court without hiring a lawyer, but you would likely have great difficulty handling the paperwork and following Court Rules and Procedures. An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer is well-versed in both settling cases out-of-court and pursuing Personal Injury cases in litigation and through a Trial.
Hiring an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer shows the insurance company that you are serious about the claim and are ready and willing to litigate the case if it cannot be settled.
Statistics show that injured victims who hire lawyers generally get a settlement three times as much as victims who represent themselves.
There are No Up Front Fees or Costs to Hire a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer
Unlike other lawyers who charge by the hour and charge clients litigation expenses, most Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers will handle cases on a Contingent Fee Basis, which means that there are no up front fees or costs.
The only way a Car Accident Lawyer will get paid is if he/she wins a settlement or verdict for the client. Then the lawyer will receive reimbursement of any costs plus a percentage of the settlement or verdict as a fee. If there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost reimbursement.
So, there is no up front financial cost or risk to hiring a Car Accident Lawyer, which is another reason why you should seek legal representation unless your injuries are very minor.
Tim Rayne is a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer with the law firm MacElree Harvey. For over 25 years, Tim Rayne has been helping injured victims of Pennsylvania Car Accidents understand their legal rights and the insurance claim process and receive fair compensation from insurance companies. Tim has law offices in Kennett Square and West Chester Pennsylvania. You can contact Tim for a Free Consultation at 610-840-0124 or [email protected] or check out his website www.timraynelaw.com.