When to Call an Attorney After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be terrifying. If you’ve recently experienced an auto accident, you may still be reeling from the incident and confused about next steps. Medical attention is first and foremost, but you may also be concerned about pursing a claim and receiving a fair settlement. Do you call a lawyer right away, or work directly with your insurer?
For minor collisions without injuries and little damage to your vehicle, you may be able to work directly with your insurer for a settlement that you find fair. However, if you:
- Sustained significant injuries
- Suffered from a loss of income as a result of your injuries
- Are unsure who is at fault
- Were in involved in a crash that involved other motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians
- Have concerns about your insurance status
- Don’t feel like your insurance company is treating you fairly
… then it is never too soon to contact an attorney.
It’s important to know that insurance companies have the best possible lawyers working on their behalf. If you decide to represent yourself, you could be at a significant disadvantage. Even if you have started to pursue legal action on your own, it’s not too late to seek representation. An attorney can enter the process at any point to strengthen your strategy and improve your odds of getting the best result possible.
What to do before you call
Preparing for your call with an attorney will help expedite the process. You’ll want to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident as well as any medical forms or additional evidence gathered subsequent to the incident. Evidence may include:
- A copy of the police report
- Witness statements (signed and dated) from the people who saw the collision as well as contact information for those witnesses
- Pictures of the damage to yourself, any passengers involved, and the vehicle
- Medical bills from anyone who treats you, especially the doctors you see right after the accident
- Repair estimates and bills for work on your vehicle
Continue to document how the injuries have affected your day-to-day life and take note of any time away from work resulting from the accident. Your attorney will need this information to pursue a successful claim. The more information you have, the better your odds of a successful outcome.
What if my car accident happened a long time ago?
There are statutes of limitations in personal injury claims, and these statutes vary from state to state. The state of Florida, for example, has a strict statute of limitations of four years for bringing auto accident lawsuits to court. This means that you have four years from the date of your car accident to file an official lawsuit for compensation.
The ideal time to call an auto accident attorney is shortly after your accident, once you are well enough to make the phone call. If you are looking for advice about personal injury law, do not hesitate to contact Diez-Arguelles & Tejedor today for a confidential assessment.