I was in a recent car accident, and it’s been a real headache. At first, I didn’t realize just how much my family and I were going to have to handle. It’s been everything from car repairs to medical bills, and the insurance companies involved are ridiculous. We’ve considered getting a lawyer, but we’re also worried that doing so would just make things more expensive. An uncle of mine says it’s too late, anyway. He claims it’s been too long since the accident, and that it isn’t possible for a lawyer to help us at this point. That seems ridiculous to me, though, because it wasn’t like I was going to call a lawyer from the scene of the accident, right? Or, was I supposed to start on the legal stuff while the smoke was clearing? I don’t know anything about this. Experts, please help!
A car accident is a stressful event, and a dangerous one! We’re sorry you had to go through that, and that your current situation is so confusing and frustrating. If you’re considering legal action, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Speaking to your uncle is no substitute for discussing the problem with a trained and qualified attorney. It’s not too late to explore your legal options.
Of course, it is true that sooner is better when it comes to seeking an attorney. There are several reasons for that, according to one personal injury lawyer in Surrey to whom we we spoke. It’s always easier to get the right details and documentation related to an accident while the accident is still fresh. Witness testimonies are more reliable, and other evidence is still available that later gets lost to time and disorganization. Another big reason is that there are time limits on your legal options. Laws called statutes of limitations govern how long after an incident you can take legal action. You may be familiar with the idea of a statute of limitations from crime dramas and movies; the same sorts of statutes can govern civil actions. If you wait too long to sue someone, the law may say you can’t do so anymore!
It’s not all bad news, though. It doesn’t sound as if it has been very long since the accident, so it’s possible that you still have time to take legal action. While you may not have access to everything that proves what happened in the accident, there should still be some crucial documents available. Police reports from the scene, medical bills you paid, and other important pieces of this puzzle are things your lawyer can use to build your case.
What you should do now is consider speaking to an attorney. If you and your family face expenses because of an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may have a personal injury case. To be successful, personal injury lawsuits should prove that the plaintiff suffered damages because of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. While most cases are settled out of court, your ability to prove three key factors--the existence of the injury, the negligence of the other party, and the cause-and-effect relationship between the two--has everything to do with whether you receive compensation, through either a court finding or a settlement.
You’re not an attorney, so consulting with one is the best way to determine if you have a winnable case. An attorney can choose to either take on the case or not, and they will explain your options and your legal situation. You should shop around for a good lawyer by reading reviews and asking friends and family who might know. Bring any relevant documentation, like police reports and medical bills, when you show up for your consultation. Be prepared to explain the situation in a way that highlights the facts, and skips over unnecessary emotional details. It’s a “just the facts” situation when you’re in a law office!
You will arrive at your attorney’s office a little later in the game than preferred, but it’s not the end of the world. You weren’t wrong to consider other things first, following your accident. While personal injury attorneys tell you that you should act fast when considering legal action, no reputable expert would tell you that calling a lawyer should be the first thing you do after an accident. Let’s talk about what you should do!
The very first thing you should do after an accident is to consider your safety, and the safety of others. Try to assess your health and injury status. If you are able to drive your car, you should move it to the shoulder, or another safe area. Preserving the scene of the accident is not nearly as important as preventing further danger!
Next, shut off your car. Get out of the car with care, especially if you couldn’t move it to safety, and check on others in your car and the other vehicle. If anyone is hurt, call 911, and get medical help before you do anything else!
Your next call should be to the police. Many states require you to call the police after certain types of accidents. The specific rules for which accidents require police reports vary from state to state, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You will want a police report to exist if you find yourself in a legal battle related to the incident!
The police will document the scene; however, you should also do your best to do the same. Write down license plate numbers of the cars involved, as well as those of any witnesses. Take photos with your smartphone. Swap insurance information with other drivers. Jot down what you remember of what took place. All of this could help you in your insurance claim, or in a legal dispute with the insurance company or other driver(s).
If your car can’t be driven from the scene, you’ll be responsible for towing it out of the way, say those who specialize in towing in Greenbank, Queensland. You may also want to call someone to pick you up. You’ll also want to get in touch with your insurance company to learn about how to file a claim, if that makes financial sense in your situation..
It is only after all of this that you should consider reaching out to an attorney. That makes sense because, before these steps above, you don’t know if you need an attorney at all. You would have nothing to tell that attorney if you called them! Depending on how events unfold, you may decide to call an attorney. Perhaps you see medical bills mounting fast, or your insurance is uncooperative. Or, perhaps another driver sues you! Once you begin considering an attorney, you should act fast to set up a consultation.
It’s not necessarily too late to consider legal action in your case, and you were right to not make it a priority at the scene of the accident. However, now that you are considering legal options, it’s time to get a lawyer as soon as you can. Good luck!
“Accidents do not happen. They are caused.” - thefreshquotes.com