Car accidents are almost always costly. Most of us can’t afford the car repairs, medical bills, and lost wages that often result from these accidents. Unfortunately, we can’t always expect these expenses to be quickly and automatically taken care of by insurance, either. It’s important that you contact a car accident attorney immediately should you find yourself in an accident in the Houston area. Don’t wait, as this can seriously jeopardize your chances of recovering the money owed to you.
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Call a Car Accident Attorney in Houston
1. The Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations that prevents you from proceeding with a claim after a certain amount of time has passed. In Texas, that period is two years from the date of the accident. If you wait two years and one day to contact an attorney, there’s nothing the attorney can do to help you. Any claim you have for personal injury or property damage resulting from your accident will be dismissed regardless of how strong your case is.
In fact, it is important that you contact an attorney well before this two-year deadline. The attorney will need time to collect information and fully familiarize themselves with the facts surrounding your accident before they can begin to prepare a case and file a complaint. They will also need time to speak with insurance companies to try to work out a settlement. This may be in your best interest because you can collect sooner and avoid lengthy litigation.
2. Receiving Compensation Can Take Awhile
As we’ve just seen, preparing a personal injury case can be a long process. Physical evidence from the accident will need to be examined, depositions will need to be taken from witnesses, your insurance policy and the policies of other drivers involved will need to be closely analyzed, and insurance companies will need to be contacted. All of this doesn’t even include the time it takes to create a legal argument and prepare a court filing for your claim.
The process will be even longer if you end up going to trial because you aren’t offered an acceptable settlement. Chances are that you want to be compensated sooner rather than later for your burdensome repair or medical bills and lost wages, and lawsuits aren’t exactly known for being short and sweet. The sooner you contact an attorney about your accident, the sooner you can get the ball rolling and get the money owed to you.
3. Evidence Doesn’t Last Forever
One aspect of personal injury cases most people don’t consider is that evidence may not be around forever. There is a greater risk that physical evidence could erode, get lost, or be destroyed the longer it sits around. Likewise, witnesses’ memories may fade over time and their recollections of what happened on the date of your accident run the risk of becoming cloudy or lost the longer it takes for them to be interviewed or deposed.
The fact is that your accident should be investigated immediately to preserve the quality of evidence and give you the best chance of being compensated. That is why it is extremely important that you speak with an attorney as soon as you possibly can so that they can protect your interests.
4. An Attorney Can Document Evidence and Seek Experts for You
One major rule of any car accident claim is to document everything. From your own recollections of the accident to your doctor’s diagnoses and opinions, if you’re injured, it’s vital to make sure everything is recorded. There are other factors to consider as well. Does your doctor specialize in evaluating injuries caused by car accidents? Has an expert looked over any evidence (like tire skid marks) from the scene of the accident and given their expert opinion as to what happened?
These are just a couple of the many considerations that should be made to bolster your case and give you a strong leg to stand on. An experienced car accident attorney will know exactly where to find the experts and how to properly document all relevant information so that your claim is rock solid. The devil is in the details, so take every precaution to make sure you are able to recover from your losses.
5. You Have a Better Chance at Getting an Ideal Resolution
Anything you say or do when dealing directly with an insurance company has the potential to adversely affect your ability to settle. For example, if you misspeak when describing the accident to the insurance company you may inadvertently give the impression that you were at fault in some way without even realizing it. Even if it’s an innocent mistake, it can make your life much harder and cost you some or all of a potential settlement.
An attorney will know the ins and outs of the process and how to effectively communicate with the insurance company without jeopardizing your case. Insurance policies and investigations can be complicated, that’s why it is recommended that you seek legal counsel before trying to go it alone with any insurance company.
6. You Should Know the Compensation You’re Entitled To
Calculating damages can often be a very complex endeavor, and many people don’t know just how much compensation they’re entitled to receive based on the circumstances of their case. You probably already knew that your car repairs, medical bills, and lost wages are recoverable from the driver (or more likely the driver’s insurance company) who caused your accident, but do you know how your lost wages are calculated under Texas law? This answer is not always clear-cut.
Such calculations usually rely on medical opinions regarding the amount of disability you have suffered as a result of the accident. They also rely on the types of jobs you can or cannot do based on this disability. The point is that the full extent of compensation you are owed may not be obvious. An experienced attorney will know the law, the types of compensation you can collect, and how to go about determining what the numbers are.
7. You’re Going Through Enough Already
Being involved in an accident is stressful. The accident is stressful in and of itself, but so are all the doctor visits, car repairs, medical bills, and injuries associated with it. You have enough on your plate without having to figure out what hoops you need to jump through to recover your losses. As we’ve discussed, this can be a long, difficult process even under the best of circumstances.
The good news is that you don’t have to wonder how you’ll ever get reimbursed for your troubles. An experienced attorney can guide you through the necessary steps and take the guesswork out of the procedure. Why take the extra time and risk when you can have someone show you the way?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact the Gamez Law Firm. We understand how hard being in a car accident can be and we always put you first. Our mission is to help our Houston neighbors recover fully and recover quickly so that they can get back to living their lives. Let us be in your corner to fight for you when the insurance companies won’t.