published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than 2 million
people on average
are injured in car accidents each year. Of those 2.5 million, 200,000 require
hospitalization after their accidents. In addition to injuries, more than 32,000
people lose their lives in car accidents each year.
individuals, they may suffer from catastrophic injuries that affect them for
the rest of their lives. If you are
seriously injured in a car accident, then it is imperative to seek legal
counsel as soon as possible.
not only incur medical bills, they may keep you from working, temporarily or
permanently. Compensation from a car accident lawsuit can help you pay for these
expenses, or for
costs associated with a loss in your family.
When Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
In addition to
determining whether you need an attorney, you should also know when you need
one. Never wait after a car accident to contact an attorney. There are several
reasons why waiting is a bad idea.
First, evidence can
disappear from the scene of the accident in hours or days. You would not want
evidence crucial to a car accident claim to be altered or destroyed, as it will
impact your ability to recover compensation. An attorney can preserve evidence
and uncover additional evidence shortly after the accident occurs.
Second, there is a
statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania. If
you wait too long and end up going past the statute of limitations, then you
may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries or loss. An attorney
can help you determine if you are past the statute of limitations.
The last reason you
should never wait is because it is very easy to make mistakes that could
jeopardize your claim. For instance, some people may talk with the other
party’s insurance adjuster. Keep in mind, what you say to the adjuster could be
used against you later to reduce the value of your claim or to deny the claim altogether.
The same rule is true for social media. Be extremely, extremely cautious about
what you put in writing.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
You should never
make the mistake of being your own legal counsel. This rule also applies to car
accident lawsuits. Simply put, an attorney with experience can use his or her
knowledge of the law to argue for a settlement or verdict.
attorney also knows how to uncover and use evidence against the defendant (or
defendants) on your behalf. Doing this on your own, especially if you are
injured are grieving, is not a good idea.
What Should I Look for In a Car Accident Attorney?
You should look for
an attorney with experience handling car and truck accident
Experience with product liability
lawsuits could also
help, especially if your accident was caused by a defective vehicle.
In Pennsylvania, it
is important to choose an attorney with trial experience. Yes, it is common
knowledge that most car accident cases settle before going to trial. However,
reaching a settlement is not guaranteed. Each case is going to be different.
Depending on what happens while your attorney is attempting to reach a
settlement, it may be necessary to seek a jury trial.
You should also
take a close look at the law firm or attorney’s settlements and verdicts page.
Almost all personal injury law firm websites will list this information. Take a
look at the site and see if the attorney handled cases that are similar to your
case. If the attorney or law firm has a history of successful verdicts or
settlements for cases similar to your own, then it should weigh into your final
How Do I Find a Car Accident Attorney?
There are many ways
to find an attorney to take your case. Referrals are one way. You can ask
family members, the state bar association and personal injury associations in
Pennsylvania. Other law firms may also refer you to an attorney who is most
appropriate for your case.
Search engines are
your friend when looking for a car accident lawyer. For instance, you could
type “Wilkes Barre car accident lawyer” into Google and check the results. You
will want to make sure that you use geo-specific keywords to find an attorney
in your state, or more specifically your county or city. Super Lawyers is
another listing where you can find good attorneys. In fact, attorney Neil
O’Donnell is listed as a Top 10 Super Lawyer in Pennsylvania.
There are also many
online listings that personal injury attorneys use. Lawyers.com, Avvo and
Martindale are good examples. You can search by practice area and location on
these sites to locate the best lawyer for your case.
What Should I Expect After Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?
After you hire an
attorney, he or she will likely try to reach a settlement with the other party.
Your attorney will review the evidence for your case and develop a strategy for
how to use that evidence to negotiate an adequate settlement. If a settlement
cannot be reached, there are other options, such as a jury trial, your attorney
The process for
obtaining compensation is not guaranteed to be expedient, regardless of who you
hire. Keep in mind, the circumstances surrounding your case and what occurs
after you hire an attorney will determine how long the process takes.
About Our Wilkes Barre Car Accident Lawyers
The Wilkes Barre
car accident lawyers at O’Donnell Law Offices have extensive experience with
auto accident and wrongful death lawsuits. For a free consultation, call (570)258-8820 or use our online contact form.
NO COSTS UNLESS YOU WIN
Source: O’Donnell Law Offices