Humans tend to procrastinate even when they know it is to their benefit to take action right away. It’s not surprising, therefore, that you may put off contacting a lawyer for assistance if you receive a personal injury through the careless actions of someone else. You may feel upset by the incident, become distracted by pain, or just want to put everything behind you and get on with your life. While this is understandable, several vital considerations make it critical for you to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the event.
Never Underestimate Insurance Companies
Whether you’re involved in a slip-and-fall accident at a business, receive a dog-bite injury in a public space, or get embroiled in a motor vehicle accident, chances are high that you’ll need to deal with an insurance representative at some point. It’s very tempting to assume you won’t have trouble getting a reasonable settlement from any insurance company involved. After all, you may have witnesses to what occurred, medical bills for your injuries, and good communication skills.
It’s important to recognize, however, the goal of insurance companies is to pay out as little money as possible on each claim. This applies even if you’re dealing with your insurance company for an uninsured motorist claim, for example. To that end, insurance carriers put together a highly skilled team of employees and outside resources to work on each case:
Experienced Adjusters and Attorneys
Insurance companies have skilled adjusters and lawyers, often with years of experience, who know exactly what to do to win your trust and get you to agree to a settlement that works in their company’s favor. If the case goes to trial, insurance attorneys know how to appeal to a jury and present their case in the best possible light.
Access to Medical Experts
Insurance carriers also know precisely which medical specialists to use to evaluate your medical records and raise questions about your injuries. In some cases, they may even have these experts on retainer.
Excellent Support Staff
Insurance professionals may include highly trained support staff who are adept at finding and interviewing witnesses, analyzing accident reports, and reconstructing incidents.
Keep in Mind the Nature of Personal Injuries
It can take days or even months for your injuries to exhibit the full extent of the damage caused to your body. Even when injuries are immediately apparent, it is difficult to tell whether they will heal without complications or lingering effects. Sometimes even a routine injury can morph into a chronic condition that interferes with normal activities.
Whiplash, severe head injuries, internal injuries, and back pain are just a few examples of trauma that may either heal completely or present further complications for you down the line. In addition, the distressing experiences caused by the incident may result in long-term emotional issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For this reason, it is never a good idea to sign off on a settlement too early.
Remember the California Statute of Limitations
Another important reason to reach out to a personal injury attorney immediately is state law limits the time you have to file a claim in court. While these limits may seem quite generous at first glance, a great deal of preparation is often involved in court cases, and locating and interviewing witnesses often present challenges. You also want to allow time to pursue an out-of-court settlement if possible since this can save all parties time and money.
The statute of limitations for most personal injuries, including dog bites, motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, and slip-and-fall mishaps, is two years from the date of the injury. In case you did not discover the injury immediately, the time limit for filing is one year from the date of discovery.
Special Medical Malpractice Limitations
In the case of injury by a physician or other medical professional during treatment, the statute of limitations is the earlier of either three years from the date the injury occurred or one year from the date you discovered the injury or should have discovered the injury. Also, note that you must give a 90-day notification to any medical provider that you intend to sue.
Fight Back by Hiring Your Own Skilled Team
Since you know insurance companies bring their best game to negotiations, you need to find qualified professionals to represent your interests. Look for an outstanding personal injury attorney who can provide competencies in these areas:
- Experience in a wide variety of personal injury cases
- Familiarity with your type of injury
- Excellent negotiation skills
- Willingness to go to court if necessary
- Compassion and concern for clients
Let Brent George Law Protect Your Rights
Our skilled team at the Law Office of Brent D. George draws on our extensive knowledge and experience in the personal injury field to secure compensation for the full extent of your injuries. We spare no effort to make sure you receive the medical care you deserve and are able to move forward with your life. Contact us today to book a free consultation.