Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Harrisburg, PA?

You may believe that a minor accident requires a minor reaction. After all, around 4.5 million accidents result in injuries each year in the U.S. Your accident may seem fairly uneventful if you only suffered minor injuries or property damage. Shouldn’t you count your blessings and move on?

Unfortunately, the aftermath of a car accident is not always so clear-cut. You may discover unexpected consequences in the days, weeks, and even months following the event. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer, even after a seemingly minor car accident. Below, we’ve outlined a few reasons why it is wise to obtain counsel after a car accident in Harrisburg.

You Are Required By Law to File a Police Report

In Pennsylvania, the law requires you to notify the police about most vehicular accidents. You are obligated to call the authorities when an accident results in:

  • Injury
  • Death
  • A vehicle being damaged or made inoperable

It’s a good idea to call 911 immediately to file a police report from the scene. That way, the police can talk to any witnesses, facilitate the exchange of insurance information, and provide an opinion as to fault. After you make a call to the police, make sure to call a legal professional.

When you hire a lawyer, they can help you to obtain a copy of the police report and collect evidence relating to your claim. This support could prove to be valuable when it comes time to file a claim with insurance or to fight for compensation in court.

You May Have Injuries

Did you know that some injuries don’t present themselves immediately? Here are just a few of the most common “hidden” injuries that are caused by car accidents:

Neck and Back Injuries

Due to the forces involved in an accident, whiplash is a common injury. Due to the rush of adrenaline that can hit your system after an accident, pain doesn’t always hit right away.

Because neck and back pain can significantly impact your life, it’s a good idea to seek treatment immediately after a car accident, even if you don’t feel any physical symptoms right away.

Brain Injuries

If you feel dizzy, confused, or nauseous in the hours after the accident, it may mean that your injuries are more severe than you might have initially suspected. A concussion can take weeks to heal, while more severe traumatic brain injuries can cause lifelong symptoms.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries may not be immediately obvious, but they are quite dangerous—even deadly. 

An experienced car accident lawyer can help to make sure that any insurance settlement takes your injuries into account. They will not only help you to calculate your current expenses, but they will also help you to understand the costs of future treatment.

The Insurance Company Could Deny Your Claim

Insurance companies are notoriously tightfisted. After all, they’re in business to make a profit, not necessarily to pay out on claims.

By having a legal professional on your side, you can avoid some of the common tactics used by insurance companies to undervalue your claim. 

A lawyer can collect the relevant paperwork, negotiate with insurers on your behalf, and make sure that your compensation adequately addresses your damages.

Above all else, a lawyer can help you to navigate the insurance system to seek a reasonable settlement or to pursue a case in court, if necessary.