When Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
If you have been injured in a car accident, it's important to contact a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. An attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf, coach you through the process of making a statement to your insurance company and take other steps to preserve your interests in a personal injury case.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Generally speaking, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the parties who may be liable for your damages. An attorney will typically take this step on the day that he or she is hired. It's important to note that your case can still be settled outside of court. However, taking this step may increase the chances that the defendants in your matter negotiate in good faith to resolve the matter before a judge needs to get involved.
What You Should Know About Making Statements to Your Insurance Company
In most states, you're required to provide your auto coverage provider with a version of how your car accident occurred. However, you're allowed to have your attorney review a written statement before it is submitted to this entity. In the event that your insurance provider wants a recorded statement, your legal adviser will likely sit in the room where it is being taped. He or she will likely stop the recording if you say anything that might undermine your position. This person might also clarify any comments that are made before they can be used against you during settlement talks.
What Else Might an Attorney Do to Assist With Your Case?
A personal injury attorney might be able to obtain cellphone records, toxicology reports or other evidence that can be used to bolster your case. Furthermore, your legal adviser might take depositions from anyone who witnessed the accident take place. These individuals may include the other driver, a passenger in your vehicle or a passenger in the car that collided with yours. Finally, legal counsel may work with your medical, auto and other insurance providers to ensure that you don't have to pay any bills related to the accident until after your case has been resolved.
There is no guarantee that you'll be able to return to work, go back to school or otherwise enjoy the same quality of life that you had prior to being involved in an auto accident. However, the folks at Smith & Vinson may be able to help you obtain compensation to pay medical bills, recoup lost wages or take care of recurring expenses as you recover from your injuries.