Why you shouldn’t wait to call a lawyer after an accident
Some people may think they don’t need a lawyer because they can simply go to court and successfully represent themselves. However, there are numerous advantages to having a legal expert take over your case.
To begin with, as the victim, you were directly impacted by the accident, and thus you can get weighed down by subjectivity. Dealing with the law requires a fair amount of objectivity, and it can be an additional challenge to detach yourself from the events. Furthermore, a personal injury lawyer has in-depth knowledge and vast experience in the field, all of which will be used to your advantage.
Recording and preserving evidence
If you were injured in an accident, it is crucial to record and preserve as much evidence as possible to ensure the success of your future claim or lawsuit. A lawyer can offer valuable guidance on preserving fresh evidence at the scene.
Photograph the accident scene
Recording the accident scene through photos and videos is beneficial for your case. These can serve as objective proof of the events, but they can also have a strong emotional impact on the viewer, which would be to your advantage.
In general, consider photographing the following:
- Your injuries
- The object that caused you harm
- The surrounding area of the accident
A personal injury attorney can also help with guidance in getting witness testimony. Immediately after the accident, try to identify all eyewitnesses. Ask for their contact information and if they are willing to offer assistance in your case. It is a good idea to record witness statements as soon as possible. Memory fades over time, and facts can become distorted. Learn more info on how a personal injury lawyer can help you.
While eye witness reports can be a valuable addition to your case and are one of the most persuasive forms of evidence for a jury, bear in mind that human perception and memory are not infallible. A variety of cognitive biases can influence their account. That is why it helps to have more than one eyewitness testimony.
Respect the state’s statute of limitations
There is a strict statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, your case will be dismissed. This limit varies depending on each state. However, in general, you have two years to file all legal documents, starting from the day the accident occurred or the discovery date.
Having an attorney on your side, you can rest assured that all paperwork will be filed in time. They can make sure that all steps are completed in due time. Furthermore, there are a series of special circumstances under which the statute of limitations can be paused or extended. Your lawyer can help identify if you qualify for any such exceptions.
Legal procedures can be complicated
If you decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, you will have to deal with a lot of bureaucracy. Having a lawyer overlooking proceedings ensures that you do not miss a step and that all necessary paperwork is filled out correctly. This, in turn, will expedite the process and may significantly shorten the time for preparations.
A local personal injury attorney is well versed in local laws and legislation. Just like the statute of limitations, some aspects and procedures might change among different states. Your lawyer will use all their knowledge and expertise to benefit your case. What is more, they can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
The bottom line
Dealing with the legal aftermath of an accident can feel overwhelming. However, remember that you are not alone in your struggle. A legal expert can offer the support and guidance you need.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more likely you will build a strong case that is likely to have a positive outcome in court. Furthermore, knowing that an expert in dealing with legal procedures, you can relax and focus on your recovery.
Story by Mark Scott. With a law degree under his belt, Mark Scott understood very early that law communication was a relatively neglected area. He decided to help people by “translating” the language and offering information and advice in a clear, useful, and actionable manner. For this reason, instead of finding him in court, you will most likely find his name online, where he is very active and thriving as a legal columnist. His part of making the world a better place is to make the law a less convoluted maze. He aims to make it easier for people to understand when and how to seek legal counsel, how to proceed in a significant number of legal matters, and to find the proper resources so they can stand up for their rights.