If you experience a car accident, it’s a good idea to secure legal counsel as soon as possible if you want to be certain that you can fully recover your losses. While some car accident claims may seem very basic and straightforward, there are many unpredictable issues that can arise and complicate your forthcoming legal proceedings. Hiring an attorney means having peace of mind no matter what direction your car accident claim turns.
Why Time Is Critical After an Accident
Like every other state, California upholds a statute of limitations or time limit for taking legal action in response to certain events. When it comes to personal injury claims filed over car accidents, California offers a two-year statute of limitations. Anyone involved in an accident can file a claim against another driver involved in the accident to seek compensation for claimed losses.
While two years may seem like plenty of time, liability may not be immediately clear in your car accident case, or you may not yet be able to accurately value your damages. The sooner you hire a car accident attorney, the sooner you will have a clearer understanding of all your legal options, whether they include an insurance claim against one or more policies, a personal injury claim, or both.
Another reason why time is a crucial factor following a car accident is the compounding effect your damages can have. Your injuries may force you to miss work, which leads to lost income and the inability to pay your bills. These damages, in turn, lead to financial penalties that can be devastating for any family. The sooner you collect compensation for your losses, the sooner you can reorganize your financial affairs with peace of mind.
What an Attorney Can Do Immediately After an Accident
Your car accident attorney’s main function is to minimize your potential liability for your damages and to establish the liability of the defendant named in your car accident claim. Physical evidence is very important in any car accident claim. After an accident, if possible, use your phone to take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, the resting places of the vehicles in the road, nearby landmarks, and your injuries. Only attempt this if you feel well enough to do so and report the accident to the police.
California state law requires drivers to call 911 to report any accident that results in bodily injury, significant property damage, or death. Suppose someone swiped your bumper in a parking lot and caused a deep scratch while you were not in the vehicle. In that case, this is probably not severe enough to warrant a call for emergency response. If you were injured at all or there is expensive damage to one or more of the vehicles involved, it is essential to report the accident and ensure there is a police report on file.
If hired soon after your accident, your attorney can potentially secure additional evidence from the scene of the accident, such as traffic camera footage and witness statements. Again, the sooner you begin this process, the fresher and more reliable the available physical evidence will be for use in your case.
Swifter Action Means Swifter Results
Most car accident claims will require you to file an insurance claim, either against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy or your own. In either case, dealing with an insurance company can be daunting and frustrating. Insurance claim adjusters look for anything and everything they can find to reduce or deny claims. Since you need to file your insurance claim as soon as possible after your accident, hiring an attorney can significantly streamline your experience interacting with an insurance company.
Having a car accident attorney draft your insurance claim greatly reduces the chances of the insurance company unjustly resisting the claim and ensures the claim is processed in good faith. Hiring an attorney as soon as you can after a car accident makes it much easier to secure the insurance payout you need. Your attorney can also quickly identify an opportunity to take further legal action and increase your compensation.
Find Your Car Accident Attorney Today
Time is an essential consideration after a car accident. The sooner you connect with a car accident attorney, the easier it will be for you to secure recovery for your losses. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident and have no idea what your claim may be worth, contact The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Folsom car accident attorney.