A lot goes on in your head before and immediately following a car accident. You’ll be worried about your wellbeing, the safety of anyone else in your car, and the damage done to your vehicle and the others involved. With so much going on, you might not prioritize calling a lawyer, but you should.
So many aspects of filing a lawsuit require a timely response. Additionally, the process of actually filing a lawsuit can quickly become complex if you’re not prepared. If you wait to contact a lawyer, you could unintentionally be forfeiting some of your rights related to the accident.
We’ve seen this happen too often, but it doesn’t have to happen to you, so we’ve highlighted the most critical points to call an attorney following a car accident.
1. The Other Drive Lacks Insurance
California law requires every driver to have current insurance if they are involved in a car accident. That’s because auto insurance usually covers the costs of damages and repairs for the other driver. Getting your just compensation can become complicated if someone without insurance gets into an accident.
You should consult with a lawyer as soon as you learn the other driver doesn’t have insurance (or if they don’t give you their insurance information). They’ll determine the best course of action for you to take based on your circumstances. Often, this means filing a civil suit against the other driver.
The time frame for filing a lawsuit varies depending on what you’re suing for. You only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit following the accident. You have three years to file if you’re suing for property damage.
2. The Insurance Company Wants You to Settle
If you’ve never had to file an insurance claim before, you may be surprised at how quickly they offer to settle a claim. The insurance company’s role is to prevent its clients from going to trial whenever possible. To that end, they will aggressively pressure you into accepting a settlement, even if it’s less than the cost of damages.
Talking to an insurance adjuster on your own can potentially sink any chances of a future lawsuit. This is because they will try to get you to downplay the accident’s severity and then use your words against you. However, you don’t have to worry about that if you hire a lawyer before contacting the insurance company.
Your lawyer will work as your advocate when speaking to the insurance company. They have a solid grasp of what your injuries are worth based on past cases and settlements. They’re crucial to getting the compensation that you deserve.
3. The Other Driver Won’t Admit Fault
Unless you have hard evidence that the other driver caused the accident, they will have no reason to admit they were at fault, even if they were. Without evidence, the insurance company will similarly question your claim and use it as leverage to lower or deny your settlement. But what can you do to gather evidence?
Contacting your lawyer as soon as possible sets the wheels in motion to start documenting the accident scene. Your lawyer will get and confirm witness statements and get records from nearby security cameras. They can also use professional connections to uncover other details relevant to your claim.
You can do some things on your own to help gather evidence, too. For example, you can photograph the damage and ask for witness contact information. These are great foundational steps, but keep in mind that your lawyer will have wider access to evidence and details that could help your case, so it is always recommended to ensure you have legal counsel.
4. Your Insurance Company Isn’t Giving You Priority
In theory, your insurance company works to help you with your claims. And usually, they will (at the lowest cost to them). However, you’re not their only customer, and they probably won’t see your claim as being more important than anyone else’s.
With so many customer claims to work through, they have to work fast. In the process of trying to close your case, many of your concerns will likely go unaddressed. In some respects, it’s very similar to talking to the other driver’s insurance adjuster.
A lack of sympathy from your insurance company can quickly sink your claim. If you feel like your insurance company is trying to close your case quickly, you should call a lawyer right away. They will make sure that all of your needs get met.
5. Once You Visit A Hospital
Regardless of the accident’s severity, you should seek medical attention right away. It’s possible that you suffered injuries that you otherwise might overlook until much later. In addition, an early evaluation will give credence to any suit you file later.
You should call your lawyer once medical professionals have examined you. They’ll get the records needed to support your claim. Even if you’re uninjured, you can use these records to sue to recover the examination cost.
You Can Turn to Hann Law Firm For Help
If you’ve been in a car accident, knowing your rights is essential. You could be entitled to lost wages, pain and suffering, the cost of medical bills, and other damages. Unfortunately, without an experienced lawyer on your side, you won’t get everything you’re entitled to.
That’s why you should let Hann Law Firm fight for you.
Legal challenges are always a trying time, especially with personal injury cases. Our compassionate and personalized approach walks you through filing your lawsuit from start to finish. Contact us today for a free consultation.