If you’re in the midst of a car accident case, you probably know that hiring an attorney is essential. The question, then, is how much time you have to do that.
After all, finding an attorney can be a lengthy process, and many people feel like the pressure is on from day one.
Don’t worry, though: we have good news.
You do have some time to find the right attorney for you. But you will need to move quickly to avoid bumping into Florida’s statute of limitations, which could impact your ability to file a claim and make it impossible to get the settlement you need.
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about when (and how) to hire an attorney before it’s too late.
Let’s dive in.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Florida
In most states, there are laws governing the statute of limitations around accident claims.
Generally speaking, a statute of limitations is a law that sets a limit on how much time the parties involved in a dispute have to file a lawsuit or open legal proceedings. The statute of limitations starts on the date of the initial incident, regardless of whether it was civil or criminal.
It’s important to remember, however, that the length of time the statute allows varies from one state to another. And may change depending on the nature of the original offense.
For a personal injury case involving a car accident, the state of Florida offers the injured party four years (from the day the accident occurred) to file a lawsuit in court. If you do not file a suit within that time period, you will lose your right to file a claim at a later date.
With this in mind, it’s absolutely critical to file your claim before the statute of limitations kicks in.
5 Reasons to Hire an Attorney Rapidly
In addition to avoiding restrictions set forth by Florida’s statute of limitations, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you move your claim through the courts as quickly as possible.
Personal injury claims exist to help people who were injured in a situation that was not their fault. Here are a few other reasons to hire an attorney as quickly as possible:
1. You’ll recover more money
The aftermath of an auto accident can have devastating financial impacts. If you’re concerned about recovering enough money to pay your medical bills or sustain your lifestyle, you need the help of an accident attorney.
On average, auto accident victims who retain a personal injury lawyer recover 3x more than those who handle their claims on their own. This is because attorneys understand the legal system and know how to negotiate claims rapidly and effectively.
2. Insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind
While we expect our insurance companies to protect us if something bad happens, that’s not always the case. In fact, insurance companies sometimes do virtually everything they can to avoid paying a claim.
Insurance adjusters are hired to help the company payout claims as cheaply as possible – especially if there’s even a fragment of doubt about liability. This means that, if you want to get a fair settlement, you’ll need to onboard the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney.
3. Trials take time
Even organized personal injury settlements can take months or years, and settlements can come at any time during the process. In many cases, insurance companies will try to use this extended timeline against those who are not patient, or who need money now.
To receive the settlement you deserve, you will need to file a claim quickly with the help of an attorney. They’ll know how to move the case along as quickly as possible and protect your best interests throughout.
4. Representation can help you avoid costly mistakes
The statute of limitations isn’t the only timing factor to keep in mind. When you hire legal counsel at the beginning of your case, it helps you avoid making serious mistakes as you file your claim.
Without an attorney, it can be difficult to document your injuries and medical costs accurately. Or provide recorded information to your insurance company or claims adjuster.
To put it simply: the faster you hire an attorney, the sooner you can begin the process of filing your claim and moving toward a settlement.
Even if your case does not ultimately go to court, it’s still important to respect the filing deadline. In addition to the fact that the filing deadline helps motivate the defendant to settle. Navigating the settlement with a timeline in mind helps keep the case streamlined and moving forward.
5. An attorney just makes the process easier
When you’re recovering from an auto accident and the injuries caused by it, the last thing you want to do is deal with insurance companies and claims adjusters. When you hire an accident attorney, however, you don’t need to.
A personal injury attorney will take over all communication on your behalf. Then you can focus on healing, recovering, and getting back to your life. While many people imagine they can handle the process of a car accident case on their own, it’s easy to underestimate the benefits the help of an attorney can offer for your mental health, wellbeing, and outlook on the case.
Ward and Barnes: Your Pensacola Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s critical to hire an attorney before it’s too late. In addition to helping you maximize your insurance settlement (and avoid the statute of limitations deadline), an attorney can handle the details of your automobile accident claim, regardless of whether your accident was serious or relatively minor.
To learn more about our services, or to schedule your free consultation today, contact Ward and Barnes today. We’ll help you put this incident behind you and move forward into your life with the stability and settlement you need to recover fully.