After suffering injuries in a car accident caused by somebody else’s negligence, most people are focused on getting the medical treatment they need to recover. This is especially true in instances of catastrophic injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries. Your first thought probably isn’t “I wonder if I should call an attorney?” Even after the healing has begun, you may still not think about contacting an attorney right away especially if things seem to be rolling along with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to call a car accident attorney sooner rather than later.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company is not there to serve you. An insurance claims adjuster’s job is to gather information about any potential personal injury claims, and then to use that information to minimize the value of your claim for damages against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. They’re not bad people. It’s just their job.
- Knowing what to say, and what not to say, could be the pivotal factor in whether you make a recovery for your damages. The insurance company will likely want to take your statement about how the car accident occurred, the nature and extent of your injuries, etc. Again, they are just doing their job. However, what you say regarding the accident or your injuries could be later misconstrued, and used against you in favor of the insurance company.
- It is critical to know and understand what documents and information will be necessary to prove the value of your damages claim. Unfortunately, significant pieces of evidence, like photographs of the wrecked vehicles, photographs of the injuries, and a first-hand account of ways the injuries have impacted your day-to-day activities, can be lost or diminished if not gathered immediately after the wreck.
- Kansas and Missouri both have specific time limits on when and where you must bring a claim for personal injury. This is called the Statute of Limitations. Generally, you must bring a claim (i.e. file your lawsuit) within two (2) years from the date of an auto accident in Kansas, and within five (5) years in Missouri. There are exceptions when the injured party is a minor. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to explain the process, and help you determine where and when you would need to file a lawsuit to protect your rights.
Many car accident attorneys in and around Kansas City, including Morefield Speicher Bachman, LC, offer a free initial consultation to discuss whether hiring an attorney is right for you. At that price, everyone can afford to buy some peace of mind.