When Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?

If you were seriously injured in a car crash, get an attorney as soon as possible. If you were not injured in the collision, or if the injuries were minor, you probably do not need to contact a lawyer.

When you suffer a serious injury because of another driver’s reckless or negligent actions, seek out a car accident lawyer specializing in personal injury, such as a Pittsburgh car accident attorney at Chaffin Luhana. Our experienced attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients.

When an attorney is necessary

In certain situations, there is no question that legal counsel is immediately necessary. Any car accident resulting in a fatality certainly does.

As noted, when severe injuries occur, obtaining prompt legal advice is needed— examples include:

  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury

These injuries will either result in permanent impairment or disfigurement, or a long stay in the hospital and off the job.


If the at-fault driver is in question, having an attorney represent you is a necessity. Pennsylvania is a proportional comparative fault state, meaning that if a motorist is more than 51 percent at fault for an accident, they cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party.

Even if you think it is clear that the other driver is at fault, that does not mean police, or the insurance companies will see it that way. For example, if someone driving over the speed limit hits your vehicle, you may think it is obvious that the driver is completely responsible.

Perhaps you were driving your car across the road at the time of the impact. You may be held accountable for a certain percentage of the crash– because you did not wait at the intersection long enough to ensure the road was clear.

In this case, the person who hit you at a high rate of speed probably would be held responsible for more than 51 percent of the accident, and you can file a lawsuit if seriously injured. However, there are other situations where fault is not clear-cut.

Always read the police report after an accident. If you find any errors, especially concerning fault, contact a lawyer at once.

Insurance Problems

In Pennsylvania, all motorists must carry a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in Bodily Injury Liability insurance, which covers the other driver, if they are injured in a crash.

Another requirement is $5,000 in Property Damage Liability coverage, and Uninsured Motorist coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

In addition, an injury does not have to prove serious to run up expenses beyond those minimums. If you carry the minimum or a low amount of insurance and cause an accident resulting in injuries and extensive property damage, get legal advice right away.

Insurance issues after a car accident run the gamut. For instance, a driver may find the insurance company alleging the premium was not paid.

Then there are insurance negotiations. Keep in mind they always wants to settle for as little as possible.

The initial offer from them is generally a lowball figure. Many laypeople, however, do not know what a reasonable settlement for their claim entails.

Never settle with an insurance company before speaking with an attorney. Once you agree to a settlement, there is no opportunity for renegotiation.

A skilled car accident lawyer negotiates with the insurance company on your behalf. The attorney knows that fair value of your claim and will fight aggressively so you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Pittsburgh car accident attorney

A Pittsburgh car accident attorney at Chaffin Luhana can help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Arrange a free consultation by calling 24/7 or contacting us online.

While most cases are settled, our dedicated lawyers will take your case to trial when necessary. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless we win, and our core value is “Doing Good by Doing Right.”