If you or a family member was injured due to the actions of a negligent driver recently, you may feel that you have plenty of time to pursue your claim and retain an attorney if necessary. However, this is the wrong strategy if you want to strengthen your right to compensation. The reality is that you should retain an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
Reasons You Do Not Want to Delay in Hiring a Lawyer
Waiting too long to contact a lawyer following an auto wreck often weakens a victim’s case against the negligent driver. Here are reasons why hiring an attorney early on is so important:
- Preserving evidence. An attorney will be able to conduct a much more thorough investigation right after the crash than if you contact him months or later after it occurred. In addition, he can preserve evidence, such as business surveillance tapes, that may be destroyed or taped over, if not requested quickly. He may also visit the accident scene or hire an expert to do so if you contact him immediately following your wreck and discover evidence missed by the police.
- Interviewing witnesses. It can strengthen your case for an attorney to interview witnesses soon after the incident before they move and are unable to be located or their memories of what occurred fade.
- Avoiding mistakes. By consulting with an attorney right away, you can get advice that will help you avoid making inadvertent mistakes, such as agreeing to give a recorded statement, which can reduce the value of your claim.
- Showing interest in your claim. When you delay in hiring an attorney to pursue your claim, you make your claim weaker by showing a lack of interest in it. The negligent driver’s insurance company may use your delay to argue that your injuries really were not as serious as you say or you would have pursued a claim earlier.
- Communicating with the insurance adjuster. Once the negligent driver notifies his insurance company of the accident, an adjuster will investigate your potential claim. Your attorney can handle these communications and the negotiation of your settlement for you so that you do not say something that hurts your claim or agree to settle it for less than it is worth.
- Running out of time. If you delay too long, the statute of limitations, or time period to file your lawsuit, may expire and you could waive your right to pursue your claim for compensation.
No matter where you are in the process, we urge you to call office today to schedule your free consultation. At this appointment, we can explain your legal options, answer your questions, and get started in investigating your accident and filing your claim.