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.
Filing an Insurance Claim
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. While you may have question before hiring a personal injury lawyer, it is important to start this process soon after your car accident. A knowledgeable attorney can help evaluate your losses and explore all of your options.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
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.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
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.
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 to Call a 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:
- If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries
- If fault hasn't been clearly determined in your case
- If you don't agree with the determination in the police report
- If your accident involved an uninsured or underinsured driver
- If you are looking at significant medical expenses and time off work
- Any crash involving multiple vehicles and parties
- If you are having trouble with insurance companies.
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.
Benefits of Hiring Vaziri Law Group
Here are some of the advantages hiring our car accident attorneys can offer:
- Handling insurance companies that play hardball. We've recovered over $1 Billion...insurance companies fear going to trial against us.
- Filing all the necessary paperwork so you can focus on healing
- Making sure all deadlines are met so your rights are protected
- Fighting for maximum possible compensation in your case
- Conducting thorough investigations and gathering the evidence necessary to bolster your claim
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.