How Delay in Hiring a Lawyer Can Harm Your Personal Injury Case
Does your life sometimes feel like a never-ending checklist of items you just can’t quite complete? Our kids, spouses, jobs, pets, parents, homes, cars, and other responsibilities all want a piece of our time. It was once hoped that technology would give people more free time, but because it makes everyone so accessible, it seems to have done the opposite - adults are busier than ever. As a result, it’s easy to put things off.
But sometimes, delay can be harmful. Failure to seek medical care for disease or illness is a perfect example. A circumstance which is perhaps less obvious is to put off hiring a lawyer after sustaining a personal injury due to the negligence of another. In this article, we’ll explain a number of ways in which delay in hiring an attorney can harm a personal injury victim.
Understanding Statutes of Limitation
There are time limits on how long a victim can wait to file a lawsuit. These limits are mostly outlined in a state’s statutory law and are called statutes of limitation. If you file your case after the running of the statute of limitations, it will likely be dismissed.
To make things more complicated, these limited time periods can vary for different causes of action. In most states, for example, the statute of limitations for personal injury is shorter than the statute of limitations for property damage. To add another twist, there are sometimes unique situations that “toll” the statute of limitations, meaning that a person may have additional time to file a lawsuit. By hiring a lawyer promptly, you can avoid a case-killing mistake.
Knowing What Evidence to Gather and Preserve
When a car crash or other type of accident occurs, the insured parties are obligated to notify their insurers. From the moment the negligent driver’s insurance company learns of the accident, it will start working to accumulate any kind of evidence it can find that might limit your claim. Delay in obtaining your own representation can give the negligent party a huge head start.
Making an Opposing Party Preserve and Disclose Evidence
As important as it is to gather your own evidence, it can be equally important (or even more important) to obtain evidence from the other party. For example, in a semi-truck accident, the trucking company may have all kinds of records related to the condition of the truck and the driver. They may even have evidence that the driver was speeding or negligent in other ways. It’s crucial that such evidence be preserved and not destroyed.
An experienced Oregon truck accident lawyer, such as those at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, knows how to obtain this evidence and to put the opposing party on notice that it is required to preserve such evidence.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Most personal injury cases involve insurance companies. The interplay between various coverages can be complicated. Plus, representatives of these companies will want to speak with you and likely will seek a recorded interview. Do you know the extent to which you should cooperate? Most people don’t. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these issues.
Obtaining Timely Resolution
If you have a good case, it can be worth a lot of money. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, which means they don’t enjoy paying it out. An experienced lawyer can help keep your case moving so that you can recover sooner.
Personal injury victims with legitimate claims can make mistakes that really hurt their recoveries in the end. These missteps can include social media blunders, mistakes with medical treatment, and making inadvertent statements against interest to insurance adjusters and others. A lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes.
Call with Questions
If you have suffered personal injury due to the negligence of another, we know you have a lot of questions. Give us a call and we will answer them for you. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield work every day to make Oregon safer by holding negligent parties accountable to their victims.