When Is Too Late to Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident Claim?
April 26, 2022 | Car Accidents
While the best time to call a lawyer is immediately following an accident, this does not mean that you lose your rights if you wait a long time. While waiting years to speak with an attorney is ill-advised, this does not mean that you cannot do anything if you do.
However, there is one caveat to this statement – the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. For example, in Missouri, the deadline is five years from the date of the accident. Once you reach that five-year mark, hiring a car accident lawyer and filing a successful claim will be impossible.
Is there a time limit for when I can call a lawyer?
No, but you must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, so do not put off seeking legal help following your car accident.
You may get caught up in all the appointments after a car accident. With all the chaos, you may begin to put off contacting a lawyer. Months may have gone by, and you have begun to handle the case independently.
When accident victims reach this point, they often feel they have lost the chance to contact a car accident attorney.
Why should I call a lawyer after an accident?
It may not be the first thing on your mind. However, hiring a lawyer after an accident can be highly beneficial for your accident claim.
A car accident lawyer can:
- Determine the at-fault or liable party
- Evaluate economic and non-economic damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- File a lawsuit on your behalf
A car accident lawyer can also gather evidence and speak with other relevant parties to your claim.
Hiring a lawyer is a form of protection. Insurance companies rarely offer fair settlements to accident victims, so an attorney will protect your rights.
Are there situations that require a car accident lawyer?
While not every car accident will require you to contact a lawyer, there are certain signs to look for that mean you absolutely should.
Situations that require a lawyer include:
- You were a passenger
- You suffered injuries
- Your pain is not subsiding after several days
- The other driver was uninsured or underinsured
- A rideshare vehicle was involved
- There was a commercial vehicle involved
- The accident was a hit and run, but you succeeded in collecting evidence
- You have had to miss time from work as a result
- A death occurred
You should contact a car accident lawyer when it is safe to do so. If your loved one died due to the accident, the statute of limitations is drastically reduced compared to other personal injury cases. Wrongful death cases are much more complex, and this is more true if the victim dies months or years after the accident and not at the scene.
If your case only resulted in property damage, then a personal injury attorney may not be necessary. Instead, you may need to contact a different attorney who focuses solely on property damage claims.
Is there a right time to file a car accident claim?
Since each case is unique, there is no rule on the best time to file a claim. The sooner a claim is filed, the better. The faster you call a lawyer, the quicker they can begin building your case. On the other end, if you wait too long, a lawyer may need to rush to gather relevant evidence and prepare documents, leading to missing critical information.
Taking the first settlement offer
Many accident victims will make the mistake of taking the first settlement that the insurance gives them. This act is a critical mistake. You often think that the insurance company is doing the right thing and has your best interests in mind when they bring you an offer. Insurance companies will employ sneaky tactics to lower your claim or deny it altogether. They are not your friends, nor are they concerned with doing the right thing. They just want to keep their profit margins high. They do this by not paying out claims or offering low settlements.
While they will still attempt to employ these tactics when a car accident lawyer is involved, they are often less successful in their efforts. Personal injury attorneys are far too familiar with how the insurance company works, and they can often get you much more money for your accident than what is in the initial offer.
How does a car accident lawyer help my claim?
When you file a car accident claim, you have the right to compensation for your damages related to the accident. A car accident lawyer will need to bring a solid case to the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.
There are several roles and responsibilities that car accident lawyers have, including:
- Collect evidence
- Write a demand letter
- File a claim on your behalf
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Communicate with relevant parties like creditors, insurance adjusters, the opposing counsel, and others
- File a lawsuit if necessary
When it comes to car accident claims, you will need an attorney who knows the ins and outs of car accident claims. You need to stay informed about precisely what the Dixon Injury Firm will do for you through the entire process. We work with victims and their families to ensure they are legally protected. Having peace of mind allows you to focus on healing and recovering from your injuries.
Injuries you can suffer in a car accident
If you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident, you need to ensure you are seeking medical treatment. Injuries are a common result of motorcycle accidents and require immediate medical attention so that your condition does to worsen.
Common injuries include:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Herniated discs
- Burn injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
The most harrowing result of a car accident is the death of a loved one. More than 33,000 people die in crashes each year, leaving family members with devastating losses. Whether you have a serious injury or lost a close family member in a crash, seek the legal help you need to protect your rights.
Contacting a car accident lawyer can help you succeed in a claim
Do not wonder if hiring a lawyer for a car accident claim; call one immediately following your accident. The sooner you contact a Dixon Injury Firm’s attorney, the quicker we can preserve any evidence related to the accident. While you have five years to file a claim or lawsuit, there are many other legal complexities to be aware of during that time frame.
You want an attorney with a commitment to helping accident victims and their families during this difficult time. They will work to obtain all relevant evidence and negotiate with insurance companies. If the insurance companies do not want to negotiate or continue offering a low settlement amount, your car accident attorney can seek to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
It is crucial to meet all the state’s deadlines to protect your rights and get the justice you deserve. After an accident, schedule a free initial consultation so a lawyer can begin building your case. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can file a claim, and the sooner you might receive compensation for your losses.