There are many things you need to do after getting in a car accident. Between going to the hospital and contacting your insurance provider, you have a long list of things you need to do before your case is settled. This article is from Edmond El Dabe, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
Somewhere on that list you may have that you need to contact an attorney. But where on your list of to-dos should calling a personal injury attorney be?
Taking a case to court before you understand the extent of your injuries may mean you don’t get the compensation you need. But if you wait too late, you may not be able to take the case to court at all.
Knowing the right time to contact a personal injury attorney can be crucial for your case. But what is the right time to make the phone call?
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Depending on the extent of the accident, you may need to hire a personal injury attorney right away. If you’ve been severely injured, paralyzed or a death to a loved one has resulted from the accident, you should talk with an attorney as soon as possible.
If you have immediate injuries, even if they aren’t considered severe, you will also want to start working with a personal injury attorney. The statute of limitations for an injury can begin as soon as you’ve been made aware of your injuries, so you won’t want to delay.
Keep in mind that you do not need to settle your case immediately after you begin talking with a personal injury attorney. While you will have many deadlines you will need to comply with, a personal injury attorney can work with you to ensure those deadlines are met and your case is in good standing.
It is recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you believe they may be help to you. Because the statute of limitations for a personal injury case can run out quickly if you’re not paying attention, you will want to get the process started immediately.
Why Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Quickly?
Depending on the situation surrounding your accident, there may be time sensitive information that you need to collect. Witness testimonials, videos, images, and more will need to be collected in order to support your side of the story.
If you wait too long, this information will be incredibly difficult to track down. The sooner you begin the process of filing your claim, the better chance you have of getting all the information that you need.
A personal injury attorney can help you determine what you will need to file your claim before you take the case to court. They can work with you to proactively plan for what will come in your future instead of trying to get information that is lost far in the past.
Your personal injury attorney will also help you comply with deadlines and the statute of limitations on your case.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Case?
A statute of limitations is the time period in which you must file a lawsuit. If you wait until after this deadline has passed to file with the court, you will be unable to receive any compensation from the responsible party – no matter the circumstances surrounding the case.
Understanding the statute of limitations is incredibly important. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations will depend on the state you live in and the kind of accident you were in. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is only two years.
For most accidents, the clock will start running the day of the accident. However, certain circumstances may extend the statute of limitations because the clock does not actually start running until you are aware of the extent of your injuries.
If you suffer from a “hidden” injury, the statute of limitations will actually begin running once you’ve been made aware of that injury. A hidden injury is one that you don’t begin experiencing the effects of for many years. For a hidden injury, you would want to talk with a personal injury attorney once you know that the injury is related to your accident, no matter how many years have passed between.
The timing for contacting a personal injury attorney needs to be right, but it is almost always better to contact an attorney too early than too late. If an attorney feels like it is too early to take to court, they can let you know you should wait – but if you wait too long you could miss the opportunity to receive compensation at all.
Contact an attorney as soon as you believe one might be helpful.