25 Apr When Is It Too Late To Get A Lawyer For A Car Accident in California?
Car accidents are very common in the United States and the rest of the world. Wherever you have cars, you are also bound to have car accidents. In California alone, there have been more than 3,316 car accidents in 2019.
If you are the victim of a road accident, the question of when is it too late to get a lawyer for a car accident must have come to your mind. The simple answer is this – it is not too late if you have not expired the Statute of Limitations. Statute of Limitation refers to how long after an incident you can file a lawsuit. For car accidents in California, the limit is 2 years.
But does that mean you should wait before getting in touch with a car accident lawyer if you have had an accident? The short answer is No. You should talk to a lawyer for car accidents right after the incident, around the same time as you would to your insurance company. In fact, a car accident lawyer can help you with other aspects following the accident as well. Be it claiming insurance or making sure you get your legal compensation, a car accident lawyer is the first person you should reach out to after an accident.
Today you will go through everything you need to know about hiring a car accident lawyer and when it is too late to get a lawyer for a car accident. Let’s find out more.
How long should you wait after an accident to get a lawyer?
While ideally you should get a personal injury lawyer right after the accident, it is not always possible. Here are some of the reasons you may not contact a lawyer right away after the accident:
- If you (or someone else) have had injuries, it is crucial to get proper care first. You can wait up to 2 years to find a lawyer, but your health requires immediate attention. As such, it is always wiser to get to the medic before anything else.
- If your vehicle has suffered serious damages, it can take quite some time to get it up and running. This period is usually very stressful for car owners, as they have to manage a lot of things at the same time.
- Claiming insurance takes a lot of time in some cases. While a lawyer can help you with it, good insurance companies do not delay service to their customers. Still, the process can end up taking a lot of time. It may not be possible to reach out to a lawyer while you are still dealing with insurance claims.
While the above mentioned pointers are valid and have a basis, sometimes the reasons behind not contacting a car accident lawyer are unwise. Here are some of the absurd reasons you do not want to contact a car accident lawyer after an accident.
- You are afraid of the courtroom proceedings and do not want to engage with them. It is a very unwise way of thinking if you were the victim of the accident. The court is the only place where you can exercise your legal rights. If you are deterred by the courtroom intricacies, a lawyer can make things much easier for you.
- You think that you would not get the compensation you deserve and hence, there is no point in getting a lawyer. Here again, you are making the mistake of assuming the worst. If you rightfully deserve the compensation, a competent lawyer will make sure you get it.
- Sometimes, you do not where to start when it comes to hiring a lawyer. While this is a pertinent problem for younger adults, the internet has made it easy for anyone to find and hire a good lawyer. If you do a little bit of research, you will have access to multiple car accident lawyers in a matter of minutes.
The pitfalls of not hiring a car accident lawyer
If you are not fighting your case in court, you are losing what you legally deserve. As citizens of the United States of America and California, you have certain rights and privileges. It falls well within your gambit to ask for compensation from the perpetrator. The perpetrator is also legally bound to pay you. In most cases, the compensation amount is quite significant. Missing out on it puts a financial burden on you. Add to it all the repairing and healthcare expenses. On top of that, there’s the mental trauma of going through a road accident. If you are not hiring a car accident lawyer, you are essentially giving the perpetrator a free pass for what they did.
Fighting your case without a car accident lawyer
It is technically possible to fight your case without a lawyer. While it may sound good, there are various things you must be aware of. Let’s begin with an example to make things clearer.
Suppose you don’t hire a lawyer, but your perpetrator does, you would be finding yourself in a court with an experienced attorney. You neither know the loopholes of the legal system nor the nuances and intricacies. If the opposing attorney is skilled, it will only be a matter of time before your case is dismissed without you getting any compensation. In the worse case, you might even be charged with false allegations. While that is a bit on the extreme side, it’s entirely possible.
Why car accident lawyers are crucial
When you do not have a lawyer to fight your case in court, it is like entering a shooting range for the first time without an instructor. It’s extremely risky and dangerous, and the outcome could be much different from what you would have expected.
A car accident lawyer can help you with the case in so many ways. Be it figuring out logistics to understanding the legal statutes that benefit your case, there are many things that only a trained attorney can do. Now we will highlight some of the key reasons you should get a lawyer right after your car accident.
Advantages of getting a lawyer after a car accident
There are several advantages of getting a lawyer after a car accident. To put it more precisely, the faster you get a lawyer, the better off you are. When your lawyer knows the case from its very beginning, they can come up with a much stronger case in court. Apart from that, there are many other reasons to immediately hire a lawyer after you have had a car accident. Here are some of the biggest advantages of making a quick move:
- Lawyers need to gather evidence to put forward a strong case in court. The stronger your case, the better your chances of getting the compensation. However, collecting evidence can be very difficult if you get in touch with a lawyer weeks or months after the accident. The longer you wait, the less evidence your lawyer gets. It can end up becoming very difficult for them to organize a strong case without enough evidence.
- A competent lawyer can guide you on what to do and what to avoid following a car accident. If you know from the beginning that you are taking the matter to court, early prep is a necessity. A lawyer can help you with this.
- If your attorney has enough evidence and has already structured a strong case, the courtroom proceedings would take much less time. You would be relieved of the obligations in less time. In the end, it is a win-win situation for everyone. It is one of the biggest motivations behind hiring a lawyer immediately after a car accident.
- There are various nuances and intricacies of the law that can confuse and scare anyone who’s not acquainted with them. If you decide to proceed without a lawyer, these factors will become a huge deterrent. You may end up not fighting your case. In the worst scenario, you can even lose the case. Consulting a lawyer from the early stages ensures that none of these mistakes affect your case.
What can go wrong if you do not hire a lawyer for a car accident?
At best, you will fight the case on your own and win (the chances of which are tremendously low). At worst, you’ll end with charges of a false allegation. Chances of the latter happening are low as well. To conclude, nothing is likely to happen if you do not hire a lawyer for a car accident. You won’t get any compensation, and you have to bear every cost that comes as a result of the accident.
When you factor in how much it can potentially cost you in medical bills, it makes no sense to not fight your case in court. If you do not hire a lawyer after the accident, you will be putting yourself in a financially stressful situation. There is no reason to do that, especially when getting a lawyer and fighting for your rightful compensation is so easy.
What is the right time to hire a lawyer after an accident?
There is no specific time that’s the best to get in touch with a lawyer after a car accident. The general rule of thumb is this – the earlier you do it, the better. Does that mean you must hire a lawyer on the very same day of the accident? Not necessarily. If you can, that will be good for both you and your attorney. However, even if you can’t, it won’t make a world of difference if you decide to get in touch after a few days.
If you have spent more than a month without getting in touch with a lawyer, you should not waste any more time. Remember that the longer you wait, the more difficult the case becomes. If you have waited for a month, you’ve already waited for quite a long time. There is no point in further extending the wait. If you have not figured out things you need to figure out within a month, you might as well talk to your lawyer about it. After a point, every delayed day can become a hurdle between you and the rightful compensation that you deserve.
What to discuss with a lawyer after a car accident?
There are several things you need to discuss with your lawyer before the case goes to court. There’s a popular saying which says ‘Do not hide anything from a doctor or a lawyer’. When talking to your lawyer, absolute honesty is a must. If you hide facts and information, your case will end up becoming weaker in court. Even if you were in the wrong at some stage of the accident, you must confess the same to your lawyer. When you hire a lawyer, they work to give you, their clients, the best service. There is no room for judgment and moral questioning here.
Your lawyer will ask you many questions about the accident. Answering all of them correctly is the first step. There might be things that you may not remember as well. In that case, your lawyer would look for witnesses who have seen the accident firsthand. Here again, you can play a helpful role by offering information about the people who could be around the accident scene.
In a nutshell, your responsibility is only to provide correct information to your lawyer and help them with every doubt or question they have.
Where to find a lawyer after a car accident?
The easiest way to find a lawyer is through the internet. If you are looking for qualified and experienced car accident lawyers in Yuba City, California, check out the Law Offices of Steve Gimblin for more information on car accident lawyers.
We hope this article was able to guide you through some of the confusion that goes through the mind of anyone who’s been the victim of a car accident. However, remember that only trained attorneys can give you the exact legal advice depending on your specific case and ancillary circumstances.