Is it Too Late to Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Case?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re probably scouring the internet for information on what you should do next. Like many people who find themselves hurt in a car crash, you’re likely still reeling from the stress of the accident, the disbelief that it could happen to you, and from the million questions in your mind that need an answer. One of those questions, and one which we at Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department hear frequently, is when (or in many cases, if) you should get in touch with a car accident lawyer.

How Long Do I Have to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

There is no rule stating that you need to call a car accident lawyer immediately after an accident. In fact, you may contact an attorney days, weeks, or months after an accident (although it is not advisable to wait this long). Ultimately, it is never truly too late to contact a car accident lawyer as long as you are still within your state’s statute of limitations. Here in Washington state, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that if you plan to seek compensation, you must do so before those three years are up, or you will forfeit your right to file any claims or lawsuits.

While there is technically no rule against waiting to call a car accident lawyer, there are many reasons why you don’t want to put it off.

The longer you wait,

  • The more difficult it will be to obtain evidence to support your case

  • The more likely you or other witnesses of the accident are to forget or misremember important details

  • The greater the chance that the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to devalue or dismiss your claim based on the delay

As a general rule, our advice is this: the sooner, the better. If you’ve been seriously injured but are still on the fence about contacting a lawyer, don’t wait any longer. With free consultations, you have absolutely nothing to lose in discussing your case with an attorney and getting sound legal advice on your best course of action moving forward.

What You Risk by Foregoing Legal Representation After a Car Crash

Many people are hesitant to contact an attorney because they want to try and handle their case themselves and not have to pay any legal fees. In reality, trying to negotiate a claim without the help of an attorney is going to be the costlier option, plain and simple. Attorneys have extensive training, experience, and resources at their disposal to invest in car accident cases. They know exactly what it takes to maximize compensation and how to respond to the tactics frequently used by insurance companies to deny or diminish the value of claims for damages.

Our intention here is not to be harsh, but the truth is that it’s going to be very, very difficult to make a fair recovery without representation, especially when you’re also dealing with the aftermath of an injury. Leaving the legwork to an experienced attorney who knows the nuances of the legal system and how to work with insurance companies is always going to be your best bet.

Can I Afford a Car Accident Attorney?

Worried about fees? Don’t be. Many personal injury firms, including Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department, operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay your attorney anything if they do not make a recovery. In other words, you won’t have any out of pocket costs, and your attorney has the incentive to maximize the value of your car accident case.

How to Find the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Now that you’ve made the wise decision to consult a car accident attorney, the next order of business is to find a good one. With a sea of options, how can you find a good personal injury lawyer?

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Do some research online about the firm’s reputation. Does the firm and its attorneys have a history of positive reviews? How are they rated on trusted legal sites like Avvo or Super Lawyers?

  • Check up on the firm’s record of success. Does the firm have their case results prominently displayed on their website? How much have they recovered for their clients?

  • Look into the online reputation of the firm’s attorneys. Does an internet search of the attorney return information on awards, accolades, and trusted legal associations?

If you’re looking for legal advice after a serious car accident in the Seattle area, we invite you to contact Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department to request your free consultation. Our firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for the catastrophically injured and is here to provide you with the focused, tenacious legal help you need.

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