Car accidents happen every day across the U.S., but many drivers are still uncertain about how to get help after a car accident and the right time to contact an attorney. You can continue reading to learn more.
Safety Should Be Your Top Priority
Experiencing a car crash can leave you disoriented, which means you might not be able to drive yourself to a hospital or think clearly about what you should do next. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe area, away from oncoming traffic. After you move to a safe area, examine yourself for injuries and contact the local authorities to get medical assistance. If you cannot move to a safe area, you should remain inside the vehicle until the authorities arrive.
Sometimes there might be no symptoms because some injuries take several days to become apparent. For example, a whiplash injury does not show signs until a few hours after the crash.
Delaying medical treatment, hoping the injuries will eventually subside, could lead to further complications. In addition, it could also impact your car accident case, as the opposing party could use your lack of medical records against you.
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Call a Lawyer As Soon As Possible
After your condition is stable, you can start considering your legal options to recover compensation. However, pursuing a personal injury case after an auto accident can be daunting because you have to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, such as filing a claim with the insurance company, gathering evidence, and more.
Generally, the best time to hire and consult with a personal injury lawyer is right after the accident. It will give your attorney enough time to assess the facts of your case and form the best legal strategy to help you.
Your lawyer can help you understand what steps to take after the accident, such as gathering the necessary documentation to establish the fault of the opposing party. They can also negotiate with the insurance provider while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Delaying medical treatment can allow the liable party’s insurance company to devalue your injuries. For example, the insurance company can dispute your claim due to incomplete medical records. In addition, delaying or failing to get medical treatment on time can make the potential judge or jury think the injuries were not serious or occurred sometime after the accident. If that happens, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company or represent you in court and help prove your injuries stemmed from the accident.
According to state laws, personal injury cases have strict deadlines, and you must adhere to those deadlines to file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney well-versed in laws related to personal injury claims can guide you on the applicable statute of limitations to ensure to file your case at the proper time. It is possible that the evidence of the accident becomes no longer available or the witnesses cannot be reached if you delay hiring a personal injury attorney. For example, any surveillance footage of the accident could be erased by the time your lawyer requests it to submit as evidence for recovering compensation.