According to the CDC, more than 31 million people seek medical treatment for injuries resulting from car accidents yearly. Most accident victims present with debilitating injuries, ranging from severe cuts, muscle and tendon tears, burns, and broken bones to life-threatening injuries, such as spinal and head injuries. Like most jurisdictions, Minnesota places a time limit on how soon after an injury you can file a lawsuit in civil court. The two-year time frame in Minnesota kicks off from the day the injury occurs.
Surprisingly, many accident victims are reluctant and uncertain if they should seek medical help after accidents. A big percentage believe that accidents are exclusively an insurance problem. However, you should enlist the services of personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. Suppose you happen to be a Rochester resident and have suffered a personal injury. In that case, you can consult with these Rochester personal injury attorneys and get started with filing compensation claims.
How Soon Should You Contact an Attorney After an Accident?
The big question for most people is how soon they should contact a personal injury attorney. Ideally, you should contact your lawyer immediately after the accident for the following reasons:
- Statute of limitations – states have a statute of limitations, which limit the timeframe for filing personal injury claims after an accident. In some states, you only have one year to file your compensation claims. Building a personal injury case is time-consuming; you should gather evidence and follow the required court processes. You should hire a lawyer to handle the legal processes while focusing on recovery.
- Dealing with insurance companies – the party at fault’s insurer will start requesting a meeting or give a settlement offer immediately after they conclude their investigations. If there’s a debate on the party at fault, the other driver may also file a claim against you. Regardless of the situation, you shouldn’t engage the other party without an attorney.
- Obtain medical treatment – while seeking medical care through an attorney doesn’t seem right, your lawyer will help you find proper care. Most insurance providers pretend to sympathize with you and offer to clear medical costs early. However, you shouldn’t agree to a settlement before determining the true extent of your injuries.
Why You Should Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Contacting a personal injury lawyer after the accident is beneficial in the following ways:
1. Ensures that you receive fair compensation for your injuries
The sooner you file your personal injury claim with the help of an attorney, the higher the chances of getting compensation quickly. Your attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal processes. Consulting a personal injury attorney can help you receive fair compensation in the following ways:
- They offer legal advice and represent you when negotiating with insurance adjusters. Most insurance providers often find ways to undermine the claim by twisting your statements or offering low settlement amounts. A lawyer can guide you on what to say and when not to give a statement.
- If the issue proceeds to court, they help you build a solid personal injury claim. Injury attorneys can help gather the necessary evidence, medical records, and other crucial details to strengthen your case.
- Because of the shock and confusion that follows accidents, a lawyer can offer expert insights on the best way to proceed.
2. Proves liabilities for injuries
You should also contact a lawyer immediately to help prove the other party is liable for your injuries and damages. Proving the other party is liable for injuries and damages resulting from the accident is complicated. However, you should establish liability to build a strong case and receive fair compensation.
Unfortunately, it is common for involved parties to shift blame. As such, you should work with a car accident attorney for solid legal representation. Your lawyer will gather the evidence required to prove the other party is liable for your injuries and property damage. They do so through:
- Consulting medical experts for evidence of injuries
- Reconstructing the scene of the accident
- Gathering witness statements
- Obtaining official police reports
The police are likely to always arrive at the accident scene and investigate cases involving injuries from automobile accidents and many other kinds of incidents. When they do, the police will create a report on the traffic collision in writing. Such a police report is crucial to your legal defense since it frequently contains details or witness statements that could significantly affect how your case is resolved.
If you go to a hospital or see a doctor, the facility or physician will have comprehensive records and notes on your injuries after your visit. Your injuries will be fully documented in doctor’s reports and hospital records, which may include details on the incident that caused your injuries and how it happened. These records may also contain statements you made when you visited the hospital or spoke with your doctor. The severity and scope of your injuries and the amount of monetary compensation that would be suitable in your case will typically be determined by doctors’ reports and hospital records.
Physical therapy details will also be used in conjunction with medical records to evaluate how much compensation will be granted in your case.
Even if your state applies the contributory negligence system and you partially contributed to the accident, an attorney can fight for better compensation.
3. Helps gather fresh evidence
You should also hire an attorney immediately to ensure that they collect fresh evidence to support your injury claims. You shouldn’t wait too long to ensure that investigations begin immediately after the accident. Collecting evidence as soon as possible gives your lawyer an upper hand in building a solid personal injury case.
The Bottom Line
You should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately if you suffered injuries or property damage due to another person’s negligence. Hiring an attorney can protect you from the preying insurance adjusters and provide guidance on the best way to proceed with your claim.