When to Hire a Lawyer in a Car AccidentJuly 5th, 2011 by Gabriel Z. Levin
Potential clients often ask us whether they should hire a lawyer for their car accident case. They feel as though they were hurt, but not too badly. They car was damaged, but not too badly. They have insurance, but they don’t want to use it because of fear their premiums will go up. They are scared to go into a courtroom and go to trial because of some type of stage fear and missing time at work. Lawyers seem expensive. How can someone decide whether to hire a lawyer with all of these factors hanging over their head in the thought process?
Obviously we are lawyers, so our answer is going to be that you should always hire a lawyer if you were in a car accident, no matter how minor. However, my answer will be geared more towards minor car accidents where an injury did occur.
Let’s start with the “expense” of hiring a lawyer. In fact, it costs you nothing to hire a lawyer in your car accident case. We do all of our car accident cases on a contingent basis. That means that our clients don’t ever pay us a dime. We only get paid a fee if and when we recover for our clients. If we do not recover for our clients, we never get paid. The money that we spend on prosecuting the case is only reimbursed to us if we recover for our clients.
Regarding injuries, if you are injured in a car accident case, you probably have no idea the extent of your injury. Sometimes, the most minor fender benders can cause catastrophic injuries that do not show signs of the injuries for days or weeks after the accident. By hiring a lawyer, the lawyer should make sure that you are properly checked-out for all of your injuries to ensure that your medical needs will be met.
Your car should be repaired and you should be made whole. If the accident wasn’t your fault, why should you incur the expense of repairing it? When car accidents happen, someone has to foot the bill for the repairs to your vehicle–why should it be you? By hiring a car accident lawyer, your bills will get paid on your case and your car will be repaired. If you go at it alone, you will foot the bill for the car accident, or at least the deductible, and you may have to take your car to your insurance company’s mechanic.
If you are not at fault in the car accident, your premiums may not go up. Period. I often hear people complain that they are scared to have a case regarding a car accident because they are worried their premiums will go up. Not only is this position a complete myth, its illegal and in bad faith for an insurance company to raise your rates if you are not at fault in a car accident.
Lastly, going to trial. At the Philadelphia car accident law firm of Levin & Zeiger LLP, we have lawyers that go to trial often. However, most minor car accident cases settle because the lawyers on the defense side understand that we will go to trial on our clients’ cases no matter how big or small. Accordingly, on a small car accident case, the chance of going to trial is less than 5%–not much of a risk. Even if your case does go to trial, our seasoned team of trial lawyers will prepare your for court and dissipate all of your fears.
In conclusion, hiring a lawyer in your car accident case is a must. Contact us now at 215.825.5183 for a free consultation to discuss your matter and get started with your recovery.