After a Crash: How Long Should You Wait to Call a Car Crash Lawyer?

Being involved in a car crash in Kansas City and beyond can be a traumatic and life-changing event. You may be faced with not only physical injuries and an inability to work, but also post-traumatic stress. In such a situation, it is crucial that you obtain the maximum compensation to make up for the impact the accident has on your life. The easiest and safest way to achieve this is to hire a car crash lawyer local to your area, who will provide you with expert advice.

Should You Call a Car Crash Lawyer? 

When you have been in a car crash, it is almost always a good idea to hire a competent lawyer, especially if your life is severely affected as a consequence. This will ensure that you are being fairly compensated for the medical bills, inability or reduced ability to work, loss of income, and pain you are going through as a result of the crash.

If there are multiple cars involved, if government vehicles were part of the accident, or if you were partially at fault, this complicates the case. In such situations, there is even more need for an attorney experienced in dealing with the consequences. Hiring a professional will ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.

How to Obtain Fair Compensation 

After a severe road accident, you may face both expensive medical bills and a loss of income because of your injuries. To make sure the financial impact on your life is minimal, you should receive compensation from the party at fault. Their liability insurance will pay for this, but the insurance adjusters will attempt to minimize the amount you can claim for.

This is where an attorney comes in, assessing your case and helping you to obtain a fair settlement that will be able to cover your losses completely. During your initial consultation, your lawyer can assess your situation and discuss your desired results, then assist you as you write a demand letter to the adjuster.

Wrongful Death Claims

In case a loved one was in a fatal car accident, you can file a wrongful death claim if you’re a direct descendent or spouse. Any costs related to the end of the deceased person’s life, such as hospital or burial costs, should be covered, but you can also ask for compensation related to loss of their income, love, and affection. As this can lead to a more complex case than if you were personally involved, the guidance of a lawyer is essential.

The Timeline of an Accident: When to Call

Depending on the severity of your accident, you won’t be able to call your lawyer immediately. Let’s examine the steps to take after your car crash occurs, to make sure your claim will be as smooth and seamless as possible.

Right After the Accident 

If you are able to move around without significant pain, try to take photographs of both the accident and your injuries. This will provide valuable evidence later on. You should also attempt to exchange insurance information with the other people involved and obtain the contact details of any witnesses present. In case you are severely injured, do not worry about these things and try to remain still until the paramedics arrive.

Getting Better

It’s crucial that you seek out medical treatment for your injuries, as this could avoid long-term physical damage. Take some time to get better and calm down after the accident. In Kansas City, the statute of limitations for personal injury is two years, so you don’t need to rush into anything. Because claims could take up to a year, aim to contact your lawyer a few months after your accident. The earlier, the better, but make sure you’re sufficiently recovered.

Calling Your Lawyer

Once you’re ready, contact your lawyer and set up an initial consultation. Bring anything that could serve as proof that you have suffered losses as a result of the accident, including any photos taken at the site of the accident and your employment and medical records. The more information your lawyer has, the better they will be able to help you.

Getting the Maximum Compensation Possible

Most car crash cases do not progress to court. If you’re not happy with the settlement offered, the first step is to set up a meeting with a mediator, who can facilitate the discussion between the different parties and their attorneys. This is a better solution than going to court, as it is usually a quick process and you’ll be able to access your compensation much faster.

In some cases, it is not possible to find a solution that both parties are happy with and you may need to take the case to court. This can take up to a year because the courts are sometimes backlogged, and is the main reason why you should contact your attorney as quickly as possible.

What Should You Consider? 

Now that you know why and when to hire a car crash lawyer, you may wonder how to best prepare for your case. The most important factors to keep in mind are your evidence, the drivers’ mistakes, and your lawyer.

Gathering Evidence 

As discussed, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible after an accident, to ensure you can be compensated. There may be property damages, including vehicle repairs, rental of a new car while yours is being fixed, or the car value if it cannot be repaired, and personal injury damages such as your medical bills, the cost you incur while traveling to your treatments, and any mental health services you require.

Make sure you keep a record of all of these expenses, plus information on the drivers, passengers, and witnesses involved in your case. Aside from photo and video evidence, it sometimes helps to draw a diagram indicating where the cars were coming from, where they were heading and the condition of the road.

Determining Responsibility 

Your lawyer will talk to you about who was responsible for the accident. If the other driver was speeding, breaking traffic rules, or drunk driving, your case is likely to be clear cut and you can expect maximum compensation. However, there are other reasons for a driver to be distracted, such as texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, or adjusting the GPS. All of these are considered distracted driving and can help you to build your case.

Hiring the Best Lawyer Possible 

A final consideration is hiring the most competent lawyer you can find. The best professionals are not cheap, so you have to make sure you get as much value out of your attorney’s services as possible.

Before making a decision, check that they specialize in personal injury cases. Every state and area is different, so local experience is crucial. If your case is particularly complex and involves multiple people or cars, check that your chosen attorney has dealt with similar situations before and that they have a track record of winning maximum compensation for these cases.

Whether you have been in an accident or are thinking of making a wrongful death claim, a competent car crash lawyer will ensure that you obtain the maximum settlement possible. If you’re located in the Kansas City area, call Potts Law Firm today to speak to our experienced personal injury lawyers. No matter what type of road accident you had, we are here to help.