When Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

Woman Holding Her Head Getting Out Of Car After Accident

Victims of car accidents often feel shell-shocked and overwhelmed after a crash. Symptoms of some injuries don’t appear until days or weeks later, so they assume that contacting an auto accident attorney isn’t necessary. Our personal injury lawyers at Pepper & Odom, P.C. recommend that even if you believe you’re not seriously hurt, it’s always a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.

How Do I Know If I Have A Car Accident Claim?

Woman Holding Her Head Getting Out Of Car After Accident

It can be challenging to determine if you have a viable claim, especially if you’ve never been previously injured in a crash. There are statutes of limitations on how long you have to file a car accident claim, so the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better. In Alabama, you have two years from the date of your injury or when you discovered your injury to file a claim. In Mississippi, the statute of limitations is three years.

You should talk to a car accident attorney if:

  • You or a loved one has been injured
  • You have any questions about your legal rights and options
  • The insurance company (even your own) isn’t being cooperative
  • You’re unable to get the medical care you need
  • An accident resulted in wrongful death

It never hurts to get in touch with a lawyer after a crash. An auto accident attorney can evaluate your case and advise you of your options. Your initial consultation is always free, even if they decide not to move forward with your claim. Personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means you won’t incur any up-front costs, and they only collect attorneys’ fees if they recover compensation for you.

Serious Injuries Come At A High Cost

It’s easy to underestimate the physical, emotional, and financial costs of being seriously injured or losing a loved one in a motor vehicle crash. Conditions such as traumatic brain injury and internal bleeding may not be apparent at the scene, so it’s critical to get medical care as soon as you can.

Back and neck injuries such as whiplash or a herniated disc may seem minor but can worsen and lead to chronic pain and limited range of motion. Some injuries may require lengthy hospital stays, multiple surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and home care. You should contact our Alabama or Mississippi car accident lawyer if you have sustained injuries such as:

  • Head, neck, and back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury or paralysis
  • Fractures and broken or crushed bones
  • Soft tissue injuries such as sprained or torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Disfiguring injuries
  • Loss of limb or amputation
  • Psychological conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression

Some of these injuries are catastrophic and can have a significant impact on your quality of life. A permanent disability can leave you unable to work and support your family. The cost of ongoing treatment can reach into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. A seasoned car accident attorney will know how to put an accurate value on your claim and fight to help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.

Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend

Unfortunately, insurers use all kinds of underhanded tactics to minimize the severity of victims’ injuries or deny claims. Never sign anything or accept a settlement without speaking to a qualified car accident attorney first. If you’ve filed a claim with your own auto insurance company, they may even give you a hard time about how much compensation you’re entitled to recover. Your attorney can handle all communications and negotiations with insurance adjusters and other lawyers. They will fight for your rights and help to ensure you get the full and fair recovery you need to protect your health and your financial future.

Preserving Evidence Is Crucial To A Successful Claim

Another reason to contact a car accident lawyer right away is to preserve valuable evidence and provide information about the crash while it is fresh in your mind. After a collision, call 911. Stay at the scene, and if possible, take photos of damage to vehicles, the scene, and your injuries. Make sure to obtain the other driver’s contact and insurance information and ask for a copy of the police report. Gather contact information from any witnesses. Personal injury lawyers know how to thoroughly investigate car accident claims and may employ the assistance of experts such as accident reconstructionists and medical professionals. No piece of evidence is too small – your lawyer will put the pieces of the puzzle together to build a solid claim and prove who was at fault.

Contact A Car Accident Attorney In Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash, don’t wait to contact an attorney. Our car accident lawyers at Pepper & Odom, P.C. provide free case evaluations and are dedicated to protecting injured victims’ rights. Call us in Birmingham, Alabama at 205-250-1107 or in Jackson, Mississippi at 601-202-1111, or contact us online. Our personal injury attorneys represent clients nationwide, utilizing local counsel.