If you are like many people who have been injured, you are wondering how long to wait after an accident to call a personal injury lawyer. There are multiple reasons that people think it is a good idea to wait – perhaps they believe that the sooner they call a lawyer the higher their legal fees will be, or they think that they need to finish medical treatment in order to be able to recover the full amount of their medical bills when they do file a claim.
Unlike many issues in the law that have complicated, nuanced answers, the answer to “when should I call a lawyer after an accident” is clear – you should retain legal counsel as soon as you can. Here are some reasons why.
Reasons for Calling An Attorney Right Away
- The timing of retaining an attorney will not affect your legal fees. Personal injury lawyers generally do not charge hourly fees. Rather, they usually employ a contingent fee arrangement with their clients, which means they take a percentage of any recovery obtained. In other words, your injury attorney is not compensated until you are.
- An attorney will pursue full compensation for you past and future medical expenses: While it is true that it is important to wait for certain assessments regarding your injuries to be made prior to settling or filing a lawsuit, it is not the case that you need to finish medical treatment first. In fact, the law allows injured victims to recover for future medical expenses, and your lawyer will help you figure out what those may be. Not to mention, your attorney will also assist you in collecting your medical records for crash-related treatment, as you continue recovering from your injuries.
- Retaining an attorney sooner rather than later will protect your rights. Many injury victims are surprised to learn that the things that they say and do after an accident can affect their ability to recover compensation. For example, statements you make to the insurance company may imply that you were partially at fault, and things you post on social media may be used as evidence that your injuries are not as serious as you are claiming. When you retain a lawyer, he or she will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and advise you about how your actions could affect your legal rights.
Benefits of Calling An Attorney Right Away
When you secure an attorney early in this process, you are giving your lawyer a chance to obtain and preserve all evidence needed to prove liability in this case. An injury attorney will understand the legal processes involved and will ensure you meet all deadlines so you receive maximum compensation for your claim.
- Handling inaccuracies. An attorney will be able to notice and handle any inaccuracies in the initial accident or police reports.
- Protect your rights with insurance carriers. The at-fault party’s insurance carrier will likely notify you very soon after an accident occurs, and they have one goal in mind – to get you to say something that will allow them to justify denying your claim or paying you less than you are entitled to. An attorney will ensure that they are the ones to speak to the insurance carriers.
- Handle negotiations with other parties. Negotiating a settlement is somewhat of an art form, and an attorney will have extensive experience handling this part of the process. They will know when to push for more compensation and keep you from becoming the victim of lowball offers.
- Prepare for a trial if necessary. If the insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney will prepare your case for trial.
One of the main reasons that many people avoid seeking assistance from an accident lawyer in Phoenix right away is that they are afraid they will not be able to afford one. However, your attorney will more than likely take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay no upfront or out-of-pocket costs for your case. On a contingency fee arrangement, you will only pay legal fees after you secure the compensation you deserve for your case.
Arizona Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
Every state is responsible for setting a time limit, also called the statute of limitations, for personal injury cases. When we turn to the Arizona Revised Statutes section 12-542, we can see that there is a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury cases in this state. This means that a person who is harmed due to the negligent actions of another person has two years from the date of the injury that occurs to file a lawsuit in civil court. Failing to file a claim within this time frame will result in the injury victim is unable to recover compensation for their losses.
Call Torgenson Law today to schedule a free consultation
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you should contact our office immediately. To schedule a free case evaluation with an injury lawyer call our office today at (602) 759-0012 or contact us online.