Injured in an Accident? Call A Lawyer Right Away.
No one ever expects to be involved in a car accident, let alone get injured from one, but there are still essential steps you should be taking after a collision. In addition to seeking medical attention and filing a claim with your insurance provider, contacting an attorney to discuss your legal options can save you more trouble down the line.
But when should you be making that first call? Read on to learn more.
When Should You Contact A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
You will want to contact a car accident lawyer after you have sought medical attention, gathered evidence, and filed a claim with your insurance provider. An attorney should be contacted right away to ensure that your case is well put together before the statute of limitations is up.
Why You Should Call Sooner Rather than Later
Filing a claim can seem like a daunting process, and understandably many are concerned about the time and resources it takes to go through personal injury litigation. This hesitation is why many attorneys, including Law Offices of Gary Berkovich, provide free initial consultations to evaluate your case. These meetings give a firm the time to appropriately assess your needs and service you in the best way.
What to do after a car accident:
- Do not admit fault or say things like “I’m sorry”. This implies that you are admitting fault for the accident.
- Call 911 to seek medical attention and report the accident.
- Move to a safe area if you can.
- Gather any evidence that could help you establish fault -- take pictures with your phone, exchange contact info with other drivers and witnesses, get eyewitness statements and contact info, etc.
- Record your version of what happened right away. Your memory can be less reliable over time.
- Document your injuries and be prepared to update your record over time.
- File a claim with your insurance provider.
- Contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
It's also important to note that about 95% of personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom, meaning that your accident attorney will be able to negotiate the compensation you deserve without you having to ever step in front of a judge.
Choosing to see an attorney earlier on in the claims process can help them have a hand in your recovery from start to finish. The right lawyer will help you understand which steps you need to take following your accident, work with both parties' insurance providers, and ensure that you are filing in a timely manner.
California Statute of Limitations
Depending on which state the crash takes place in, there may be a different statute of limitations for filing an injury claim. In California, you have up to two years following the date of your accident, three if you are only seeking property damage recovery. However, a collision involving a government vehicle (police cars, city buses, garbage trucks, etc.) decreases the claim window to six months.
Being proactive in many of these cases and consulting with an attorney almost immediately following your accident may be the best option.
Trust the Southern California Accident Attorneys
Law Offices of Gary Berkovich has been helping Southern California motorists obtain compensation for their injuries for over two decades. With three convenient office locations, our team is dedicated to helping you get the outcome you deserve.
To schedule your free consultation, call (818) 290-8942 or fill out the form on our website. Legal services are available in both English and Spanish.