When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
July 30, 2021 in Personal Injury Claim
It’s easy to gloss over the amount of stress that comes with being in a car accident. As soon as a car accident occurs, you may suddenly find yourself on the phone with insurance companies, medical providers, the individual responsible for the accident, auto body shops, and more. However, one of the first calls you should make after a car accident is to a car accident attorney.
Garrett Fry, one of the partners at the personal injury law firm Belgum, Fry & Van Allen, says, “The answer to the question of when to get an attorney for a car accident is immediately after the accident.” He goes on to explain why it’s even more urgent to get a car accident lawyer in California due to the statute of limitations imposed by the state.
When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident in California?
As soon as you’re medically stable following a car accident in California, you’ll want to get in touch with your car accident attorney. The longer you wait to make that call, the more you risk something happening that can negatively affect your ability to have a positive outcome in your case.
An attorney can help tackle the laundry list of items a victim has to do following an accident, such as dealing with insurance and seeking medical attention. Furthermore, an attorney can help you avoid making mistakes along the way as you wade through the aftermath of a traumatizing accident. This can include:
- Letting you focus on seeking the most immediate and appropriate medical attention.
- Gathering evidence from the scene of the collision sooner, rather than later.
- Communicating with either the responsible party or their attorney, which protects you from saying anything on the record that could be held against you.
- Dealing with insurance companies who may not be as eager to help as they claim.
That last note is really important, and Garrett Fry reinforces this point by reminding his clients that insurance companies will keep their own self-interest front of mind. They are very well-funded institutions that can create multiple barriers and hoops for you to jump through in order to file a claim or move your case forward. They don’t always come through the way they say they will, and if you wait too long, this could affect your outcome in legal proceedings.
A car accident attorney in California can help with this and navigate the potential pitfalls that can derail your case before it even gets going. Again, the sooner a car accident attorney in California can get involved, the better.
The Economics Make Sense with Car Accident Attorneys in California Like Belgum, Fry & Van Allen
It’s a common misconception that all attorneys bill on an hourly basis. That’s not the case for car accident attorneys like those at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen. Attorneys such as Garrett Fry work on a contingent fee, meaning that whether he starts work on your case 6 minutes after your car accident, or 6 months after, his fee is dictated by the result obtained—not the number of hours worked.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that getting a lawyer involved early will further complicate your life. In reality, getting a jump on that process sooner could mean the difference between success and failure. The associates at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen offer free case evaluations online for those who need this legal assistance immediately.
Keep in Mind the Statute of Limitations in California
Getting a car accident attorney as soon as possible also makes sense when you consider the two-year statute of limitations California imposes. This means that if legal action isn’t taken within two years of the accident, your claim is forever time-barred.
It’s easy for Californians to think this timeframe is more than enough to handle the complications of an accident. However, the severity of your injury, pushback from insurance companies, and less than cooperative behavior on the part of the responsible party can all create unexpected delays to your timeline. Before you know it, your two years are up, and your ability to seek financial compensation for your trauma, injury, and property damage is gone.
Furthermore, if the responsible party is a public entity, like a police officer or Caltrans employee, California imposes a 6-month claim period, further reducing the time available to take legal action. Thus, suing a government agency or employee in a California court only further muddies the waters, reinforcing the need to call a car accident attorney in California immediately.
Ultimately, there are multiple reasons why calling an expert car accident attorney to handle your case will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. However, neither of those is more important than allowing you to prioritize your medical wellbeing while you rehabilitate your injuries. If you have been in a car accident in California, let the lawyers at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen assess your case for free, and take the right first step in getting your life back on track following your car accident.