Call an attorney as soon as possible if you were serious injured.
Car accidents can be scary and stressful in many ways. Depending on the details of your accident, you may be recovering from injuries, wondering what will happen if you miss work, or thinking about whether your insurance will cover the damage.
If a negligent driver caused your accident, you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation. Whether or not you need to hire an attorney depends on your specific situation. Here, we will discuss how soon you should call an attorney after a car accident.
If You Were Seriously Injured, Call an Attorney As Soon as Possible
If you received treatment for injuries, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. You should also call a lawyer if you are experiencing pain and think you might be injured. Your first priority should be your health and seeking the medical attention you need. Calling an attorney sooner rather than later, however, can help you build a stronger claim.
While you may initially hesitate at the thought of paying for a lawyer, you should not worry about the cost. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid a portion of any recovery you win in your case. You likely will not have to pay up front for legal representation.
An Attorney Can Help You Deal With Insurance Companies
While it may seem like your insurance company is on your side, they actually have strong incentives to try to offer you the smallest possible settlement. Insurers use a variety of tactics to get accident victims to agree to these small settlements. Sometimes, an insurance adjuster will contact you for a statement shortly after the accident. If you describe your injuries during this phone call they may try to use your statements as evidence supporting a low settlement offer. If you discover other injuries later, the insurer can use your previous statement to avoid compensating you for the additional injuries.
Hiring an attorney to speak with insurance companies can help you avoid falling victim to adjusters’ tactics. Experienced personal injury attorneys are aware of the methods insurers use to settle for the lowest possible amount. Your attorney will know how to answer an adjuster’s questions without jeopardizing your settlement.
It is important to gather evidence about your accident to support your claim. The sooner after an accident you begin gathering evidence, the better your chances of being able to obtain strong evidence. As time passes after an accident, witnesses’ and involved parties’ memories of the accident fade. You will get more reliable eyewitness accounts if you can talk to people who saw the accident soon after it occurs. An attorney will know how to take witness statements that will offer the best possible source of proof to support your claim at trial.
Time is of the essence for preserving and obtaining other sources of evidence as well. Nearby surveillance cameras or dash cams may have captured footage of the accident. The owner of a camera that captured footage may regularly delete recordings. You have a much better chance of obtaining footage if you inquire soon after your accident.
A personal injury lawyer is likely to be effective at gathering evidence. Some people are hesitant to talk to strangers. A witness to your car accident for example, may be more willing to trust and talk to someone they know is an attorney gathering evidence for a case.
Less Stress for You
Depending on the extent of your injuries, building your own personal injury case could be very difficult if not impossible. Hiring an attorney will take that weight off your shoulders. The more you can rest, the faster you will be able to recover. Having a lawyer handle the legwork and stress, especially in the investigative stage of your case, can make a huge difference.
It can also reduce your stress to know that hiring an attorney can increase your chances of achieving a higher settlement. This is true whether you are pursuing an insurance claim or suing a negligent driver directly. Your insurance company might offer you an unreasonably low settlement or try to deny your claim. The company may be guilty of oversights or bad faith in making such a denial. A lawyer will know whether or not the insurer is denying your claim for legitimate reasons.
For example, if your insurance company offered you a low settlement because they failed to investigate your claim, you could potentially sue the company under various consumer protection laws. You will most likely not need to sue the insurance company, however. If they know you are working with a lawyer, they will probably make a diligent effort to rectify any mishandling of your claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When to call a lawyer after a car accident?
A: If you’re not injured or only have a minor injury you may be able to settle the case yourself without an attorney. If you’re seriously injured call a personal injury attorney right away.
Contact Us Today
GJEL Accident Attorneys are ready to answer any questions that you have. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience, numerous awards and recognitions, and outstanding success rates. Whether we are negotiating a settlement or fighting in court to get you the best possible compensation, our lawyers strive to do what is best for each client. If you were recently injured in a car accident, call our office to start your path to financial recovery.