If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be contemplating hiring a car accident lawyer to handle a case. While there is no hard and fast rule for when to hire a car accident lawyer, it may be in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced California car accident lawyer at the earliest so you can focus on your health and recovery while pursuing your legal rights.
It is important to remember that you have the legal right to hire a lawyer at any time as you go about filing your insurance claim or as you file a personal injury lawsuit. Retaining a lawyer early on in the process has many advantages and can help put you in the best position to receive maximum compensation for your losses.
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, the first step to take when it comes to seeking car accident compensation is to file a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company will ask for the details including the time, date and location of the car accident, and whether you suffered any injuries. You may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit if your accident was caused by another party’s negligence and if you suffered injuries that caused you to seek medical treatment. Eventually, the nature and extent of your injuries is likely to determine the value of your claim.
There are cases where the other driver may not have insurance or may not have sufficient insurance to cover all your losses. In these situations, you may be able to seek compensation through the uninsured motorist clause of your auto insurance policy. Hiring a lawyer soon after your car accident can help evaluate your losses and explore all of your options.
While a majority of car accident cases settle out of court, there are some that do go to trial. This is often because an insurance company is reluctant to make a fair settlement offer. You need an attorney who is not just a skilled negotiator, but also an excellent litigator who can present your case to a judge or jury, if that becomes necessary. A lawyer can also help you understand the time you have to file a lawsuit and make sure all the court filings are done on time.
Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers advise our clients to get prompt medical attention and file a police report after the car accident. It is also important to know what you should not do after a car accident. These mistakes could potentially jeopardize your car accident claim:
Failing to report your accident. Some people may believe they have not been seriously injured in the crash. Therefore, they may not file a police report. However, some injuries could take several days to surface. Always report your accident get a copy of the police report for your records. Your car accident lawyer can help you obtain a copy of the report as well.
Blaming yourself for the accident. It is never a good idea to admit blame for the accident, even if it may appear at the time that you may have been at fault. This is because you don’t have all the information right away. Saying anything that might seem like you are accepting blame could jeopardize your claim later.
Rushing into a settlement. The insurance company may try to offer you a quick settlement. But, it is not a good idea to take such an offer because it might not fully cover your losses. Don’t sign any agreement without speaking with your lawyer.
When you choose to reach out to a lawyer after a car accident could depend on how severe or complex your case may be. However, if any of the following applies to your case, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible:
In California, the statute of limitations, or the deadline to file a personal injury claim, is two years. In some cases, such as in claims involving governmental agencies, the deadline might be much shorter. For example, if your car accident was caused by a government employee, you have 180 days or six months to file a notice of claim with the governmental agency. Because of these complexities, it is crucial that you contact a California car accident lawyer as soon as possible, even if you are not sure if you want to file a lawsuit.
Here are some of the advantages hiring our car accident attorneys can offer:
Our car accident attorneys also work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t charge any fees unless we secure compensation for you. Call us at (310) 777-7540 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.