After a car accident, it's tempting to wait to deal with recovering damages until you've healed from your injuries. However, there are a number of reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney immediately.
Why Time Matters When Hiring an Attorney
Louisiana law states that you have one year from the date of your car accident to attempt to collect compensation for your injuries. If you try to file a lawsuit after the deadline, your case will almost certainly be dismissed. Aside from the statute of limitations, other reasons to consider being proactive and obtaining legal representation immediately include:
- Documentation of your injuries gets harder to obtain if you delay seeking legal representation, since medical records can't be created retroactively. When you have an attorney working on your case right away, he can explain what documentation you'll need from your care providers as you recover from your injuries.
- Witness testimony is more difficult to obtain if you wait, since memories fade as time passes, and people may move out of the area and become impossible to reach. Without witness testimony, your case may come down to your word against that of the defendant.
- Insurance companies don’t have a duty to settle until you've decided to pursue your own recovery. This means hiring an attorney is the easiest way to speed up the process of getting your compensation.
Can I Afford an Attorney?
After a serious auto accident, you may be struggling to make ends meet if you're unable to work while recovering or your spouse has had to take time off to serve as your caregiver. However, this doesn't mean you're unable to receive quality legal representation. Since personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, you don't owe any money upfront. Your attorney's fee is paid from the settlement you receive. If your attorney is unable to negotiate a settlement on your behalf, you won't owe anything.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is a full-service personal injury law firm helping injured Louisiana residents recover damages from negligent drivers. Please complete our online contact form or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.