Recovering from a car accident takes time, patience, and determination. The process is not easy—the insurance companies make sure of that—and you need to be committed to protecting your legal rights if you want to have any hope of recovering just compensation. While your legal rights in California are clear if someone else was at fault in the accident, you need to have an experienced lawyer on your side in order to assert your rights effectively.
So, when is it time to speak with a lawyer about your car accident in California?
We will go into more detail below, but the simple answer is: You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. You have no reason to wait, and you have every reason to hire a lawyer to represent you immediately.
An experienced car accident lawyer can deal with the insurance companies for you, help you avoid mistakes, and present a compelling case for just compensation. This just scratches the surface of the numerous ways that an experienced attorney can assist with your financial, physical, and emotional recovery.
Why Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Immediately?
After being injured in a car accident, it is in your best interest to find capable representation without delay. Why is the timing important? First, from the moment your accident happens, other things start to happen as well. For example:
- Evidence begins to disappear almost immediately
- Skid marks fade
- Witnesses’ memories fade
- Broken pieces of each vehicle get lost and thrown away
- Weather and road conditions change
If too much evidence disappears before your attorney has the chance to investigate, it will become far more difficult for you to collect the full financial compensation you deserve.
Second, there are steps you need to begin taking immediately as well. For example, you need to see a doctor, and you need to make sure your doctor has the information required in order to provide a complete and accurate diagnosis for your injuries. Your lawyer can provide guidance on what you should share with the doctor in relation to your accident; and, if you need a referral, your lawyer can tell you where you can go for treatment.
Third, if you have been seriously injured, you do not want to try to deal with the insurance companies on your own. There is too much at stake, and insurance adjusters have too much experience contesting accident victims’ insurance claims. In order to avoid miscues that could negatively impact your recovery, you will want to let your lawyer deal with the insurance companies from day one.
What If I Didn’t Call a Lawyer Immediately After My Car Accident?
If you did not call a lawyer immediately after your accident, you may still have time, but the clock is ticking. While you are unlikely to have issues with California’s statute of limitations (which is two years from the date of the accident), there are still many other ways that delays could negatively impact your claim.
Once again, collecting crucial evidence, ensuring that you obtain appropriate medical attention, and avoiding missteps when dealing with the insurance companies are key issues, but there are other unnecessary complications that you want to try to avoid as well. These include:
- Returning to work too soon and having the insurance companies find out about it
- Resuming non-work-related physical activity too soon and having the insurance companies blame you for your own medical expenses
- Sharing information with the insurance companies that they can turn around and use against you
- Allowing the insurance companies to convince you that you played a role in causing the collision (or that you were solely responsible for the accident)
- Accepting an insurance settlement without realizing that you are waiving your right to additional compensation
Another daunting part of the aftermath of any car accident is keeping track of the many ways in which the collision has impacted your life. You are likely focused on the immediate effects: your current bills, the time you have already missed from work, etc.
Documenting all of these expenses is key, but what about medical costs for future treatment? What about additional time you miss from work, or even your ability to do the job you had before the accident? Your claim for compensation should account for all of this, but accurately calculating the totality of damages on your own is extraordinarily difficult.
Your lawyer will be able to help you accurately calculate your losses. He can connect with expert witnesses to testify to the damages in your case. And he can use his experience to negotiate for a fair settlement or fight for justice at trial on your behalf.
Discuss Your Situation with California Car Accident Lawyer Mickey Fine
Even this brief summary is not exhaustive of all of the various ways that an experienced car accident lawyer can help you. To learn more in a free, no-obligation consultation, call The Law Offices of Mickey Fine at (661) 333-3333 today.
Attorney Mickey Fine has been serving clients in Bakersfield, Manhattan Beach, and other areas of California for over 25 years. View the verdicts and settlements our firm has achieved for clients injured in car and other vehicle accidents.