If you were hurt or someone close to you died in a California car accident, you may be familiar with your legal rights. When you can prove that the collision occurred because a careless motorist failed to exercise care while driving, you may qualify for recover compensation for your losses. However, you may also know that there are time limitations on seeking your remedies. The California statute of limitations imposes a two-year restriction on filing a lawsuit in court, and you are forever barred from suing the at-fault driver if you allow the deadline to pass.
Still, just because you have two years does NOT mean you should wait with pursuing legal relief. Monetary damages can go far to help with your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, so prompt action is crucial. Plus, delays can harm your interests, as witness memories can fade and evidence deteriorates over time. Therefore, you need to prioritize the first step in the process, which is retaining a Los Angeles car accident attorney right away. Some of the benefits of contacting a lawyer immediately after the crash include:
Knowledge Of Your Rights & Options
Unless you have a background in law, you may not fully grasp what is necessary to enforce your rights. Car accident claims are based upon the legal concept of negligence, and there are certain elements you must prove to prevail. You need evidence showing that:
- The responsible motorist had a duty to drive safely;
- That person breached this duty through careless actions behind the wheel;
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the car accident; and,
- You suffered losses because of your injuries.
Your lawyer will have in-depth knowledge of what is necessary to prove each of these elements, which helps develop a strategy around the different stages of the legal process. Initially, you will file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company and attempt to work out a settlement. The next step is filing a lawsuit in court.
Assistance With Collecting Evidence
Knowing that you need proof for the four elements mentioned above, proper preparation is essential before filing your insurance claim. Your attorney will help with investigations and gathering evidence, and may rely on professionals in other fields for assistance. For instance, input from a medical expert may be crucial for deciphering your medical records, while an accident reconstruction specialist may play a role in establishing fault. Keep in mind that the insurer will conduct its own investigation as well, so you gain an edge by retaining legal counsel immediately after the crash.
Guiding You Through The Insurance Claims Process
Rarely will the insurer approve your claim and pay out the compensation you demand right away. Even when you supply sufficient proof regarding the elements of negligence, the insurance company may deny your claim or make a lowball counteroffer. As a for-profit business, insurers are more concerned with their own bottom line than covering your losses.
However, an experienced auto crash lawyer will be aggressive in advocating on your behalf during settlement discussions. Your attorney’s knowledge and experience enter the picture, giving insight on what would be a fair, reasonable settlement. If the insurer refuses to pay, the next step is litigation.
Solid Representation In Court
All of the efforts your lawyer has invested through earlier stages of the legal process will continue to serve your interests well in a lawsuit, which is why getting legal counsel onboard immediately is a benefit. Your attorney will provide critical litigation support by:
- Drafting the complaint and other documents;
- Filing all paperwork to initiate the lawsuit;
- Attending all court hearings and status conferences;
- Raising and defending motions related to evidence, the proceedings, and other aspects of litigation;
- Dealing with document discovery and depositions;
- Assisting you during the mediation process, which is often ordered by the court; and
- Representing you at trial.
Trust Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers To Fight For Your Rights
The benefits of contacting an attorney immediately after a car accident cannot be understated, as you are at a disadvantage in dealing with an insurer that will fight your claim at every opportunity. Plus, if you cannot resolve your claim by agreement and need to go to court, you face an uphill battle with complex litigation. Instead of putting your rights at risk, allow our team at Fisher & Talwar to take on the challenges. To set up a free case assessment with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, please call (213) 891-0777 or go online.