How Soon After an Auto Accident Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Have you been injured in an auto accident in the San Joaquin Valley? An accident can leave you feeling shocked and stressed about how you can possibly fully recover both physically and financially. If your accident was caused by another driver, you should know that you may be eligible for compensation to help you get through this trying time. This money can be used to pay for vehicle repairs, recover any lost wages, and pay bills that you may have missed while you were healing from your injury.
You may be tempted to manage your auto accident claim on your own—but this can be a costly mistake. If the other driver is found to be at fault, the insurance company will try to settle your claim quickly for as little as possible. With an experienced Bakersfield lawyer from the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones on your side, you will have access to extensive knowledge of the laws governing personal injury and auto accidents. Your lawyer will ensure that your claim includes any damages you may be eligible for, helping you avoid the mistake of accepting a low-ball offer from the insurance company.
The Importance of Timing
You may be wondering how soon you should hire a lawyer after your accident. Timing is essential in order for you to obtain maximum compensation. In California, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury in most cases. However, if you delay seeking compensation for several weeks or even months, the other party could argue that you were not severely impacted by the accident in the first place. Your chances of receiving the best outcome for your case increase substantially if you hire a lawyer within the immediate hours or days following your accident. Your injury lawyer will be able to protect your rights and provide legal guidance as you navigate the claims process.
By hiring a lawyer early on in your case, you can ensure that your lawyer has enough time to gather all the evidence needed to back up your claim. Among other tasks, this may involve:
- Looking at accident reports
- Speaking to witnesses
- Consulting experts
- Reviewing medical records
All of this information will be used to strengthen your claim to help you obtain the maximum amount possible for your injuries.
It is also important to consult with a lawyer right away because your memory will be the freshest immediately following your accident. As time goes by, you could forget about little details that could make a big impact on your case. It is also all too easy to misplace documents related to your accident if too much time passes. While these documents can likely be recovered later, it’s best to provide them to a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Your Bakersfield auto accident lawyer will have a one-on-one consultation with you to review the details of the incident, provide you with legal guidance, and assist you through the claims process from start to finish.
If your claim is contested by the insurance company, your lawyer will also need ample time to prepare and gather evidence to show that the other party is at fault for your injury. They may need to consult with experts, speak to witnesses, and review any documentation you may have. While many auto accident cases are settled out of court, there are times when a trial is necessary, which can take even more time to resolve. You want to ensure that your lawyer has all the time that’s needed to prepare a solid case for you by contacting them as soon as possible after your accident.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
With the help of a Bakersfield auto accident attorney, you won’t have to rush into accepting a minimal settlement with the insurance company. This amount can be a fraction of what you actually deserve. It’s essential to have a lawyer help you with insurance negotiations to ensure that you don’t say or do the wrong thing to reduce your claim amount. Insurance companies often use deceptive tactics to get individuals to admit fault. However, a knowledgeable attorney can help you avoid this common mistake so that you can feel confident dealing with the insurance company. It may take you some time to come to a fair agreement, but you won’t feel as rushed if you hire an attorney immediately following your accident.
Oftentimes, we just don’t know how much an accident will affect us right away. Injuries can have lasting consequences, and sometimes people will need follow-up care, such as physical or occupational therapy. You may also need to take time off work to heal and go to your appointments. If you rush into a settlement with the insurance company, you may not have a chance to factor in everything that’s needed to fully recover from the accident, leaving you with more expenses than you’d bargained for.
It’s really important after an accident to visit a medical professional as soon as possible after your accident. Even if you did not sustain obvious injuries at the site, you may have a hidden injury, and these symptoms may not show up right away. For example, if you experience whiplash, it can sometimes take a day or two for you to exhibit full symptoms. Other injuries can take even longer for symptoms to appear, such as internal bleeding or organ damage. It’s best to rule out any medical problems as soon as possible to protect your health. You should be sure to keep any records of surgeries, treatments, medications, and follow-up care you receive. You can then use these documents to prove the extent of your injury and the associated costs.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones in Bakersfield, every case we see is different, and compensation amounts vary widely depending on the individual circumstances. But you can trust that our lawyer will work hard to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation that you’re eligible for. A variety of factors go into what you can include in your claim, and only a professional lawyer will be able to provide you with accurate advice. By hiring a lawyer early on, you can maximize your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries and related damages.
The Law Office of Kyle W. Jones has recovered over $15 million in personal injury and auto accident cases for our clients in Bakersfield and beyond. We look forward to helping you obtain the compensation that you need to recover and move on with your life after your accident.
Hire a Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Whether you’ve been in a fender bender or major car crash, the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones is ready to look over your case. Our qualified auto accident lawyer takes a comprehensive approach to ensure that everything is accounted for to help you receive the appropriate compensation that you’re entitled to by law. To set up a free consultation with a lawyer, contact our Bakersfield law firm today.