When is it Too Late to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

A man holding a phone and standing next to a car with a clock on it.

In truth, it is never too late to get a car accident lawyer. There are many situations in which it may be more challenging to recover compensation after a car accident if you wait too long to get a lawyer’s help.

With the right legal advocate on your side, you can recover the compensation you are entitled to even if you wait several months or longer to seek help. Our personal injury attorneys from The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys are prepared to take on the challenge and fight for justice when someone else’s negligence causes catastrophic injury or death.

Table of Contents

The Right Time to Call a Car Accident Lawyer for Help

The right time to call a car accident lawyer for help is immediately after the accident. You may have hoped to file a claim with the insurance company and put the trauma of the experience behind you.

While the insurance company may seem polite and tell you that they are looking out for your best interests, the fact remains that the insurance company loses money by settling your claim. You cannot trust anyone who does not make your financial losses their top priority. You can reach out to our personal injury law firm for help when you:

  • Have called the police and requested an ambulance
  • Are at the hospital receiving medical treatment
  • Were injured in an accident and need to file a claim with the insurance company
  • Don’t know who is responsible for causing the accident
  • Are being blamed for an accident that is not your fault
Do not be afraid to call a car accident lawyer for help at the accident scene. We may be able to collect evidence immediately after the accident or meet you at the emergency room to get your statement and start working on your case within a matter of hours. The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys also offers virtual consultations for your convenience.

When is it Too Late to Get a Personal Injury Attorney On Your Side?

There is no such thing as being “too late” to get a personal injury lawyer working on your case. When you call for a free consultation, your prospective lawyer can learn more about the circumstances of your case, and your reason for waiting to get started and determine the likelihood of success if you decide to move forward. However, there are some situations in which waiting too long could adversely impact the outcome of your case.

When You Miss the Claim Filing Deadline

California has a strict statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. According to California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, accident survivors have two years from the date of their accident to file suit. With that being said, there are many instances in which catastrophic injury victims have additional time to pursue their claims.

The statute of limitations can be tolled. Here, the countdown will temporarily pause until a later date. This occurs frequently in cases where injury victims experience delayed diagnosis or are under the age of 18. While the statute of limitations is paused, your attorney with The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys can continue building a powerful claim against the at-fault party.

Unfortunately, if the statute of limitations expires, it may be difficult or impossible to try your case in court. Even the most sympathetic judge will be required to toss out your case if the statute of limitations has passed. That does not mean you are not without legal options. The sooner you get started on your claim, the better your chances of being able to maximize your settlement.

When There is Not Enough Evidence to Support Your Case

The burden of proof in personal injury claims is based on a preponderance of the evidence according to the Civil Jury Instructions Resource Center’s Civil Plain English Comparison under BAJI 2.60. This is much different from the burden of proof that is required in criminal court, where prosecuting attorneys must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil court, liability can be established by introducing evidence that convinces the jury the defendant is more likely than not liable for your injuries.

Certain types of evidence are only available for a limited amount of time. For example, if you were injured in a car accident at a busy intersection, the overseeing traffic cam may have caught the accident on video. We will need to contact the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) or local law enforcement agencies to obtain copies of these videos. If we do not do so quickly enough, this video footage could be lost, deleted, or recorded over.

Other types of evidence that could be lost as time passes include:

  • Copies of your paper medical records
  • Statements from witnesses to the collision
  • Physical evidence obtained from the accident scene

If we do not have enough evidence to prove the defendant’s culpability, the jury will have no choice but to find them not liable for your damages. However, our legal advocates may be able to rely on other types of evidence to support your case. This might include:

  • Dash cam video of the accident
  • Photos of damage at the accident scene
  • Data collected from vehicle black boxes
  • Reports created by an accident reconstructionist
  • Crash data and police reports
  • Personal journal entries and digital medical records

The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys Makes a Difference

You will never run out of time to get help from a car accident lawyer after a collision. While there may be deadlines or other challenges that could inhibit your ability to maximize your payout, with the right legal advocate in your corner, you may be able to pursue your claim even if you do not get started right away.

The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys takes a unique approach to our client’s claims by dealing with the insurance company on our client’s behalf ensuring we have accounted for every single loss you have endured, and challenging the defenses shared liability claims.

We Deal With the Insurance Company

One of the top ways to recover compensation after a car accident is by filing a claim with the insurance company. Under California Insurance Code – INS § 11580.1, at-fault parties will be held to account for the victim’s damages. These are known as fault-based insurance laws. You will need to pursue a claim against the liable party’s insurance provider before filing a claim against your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, where applicable, or filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Unfortunately, there are many issues that may arise if you attempt to negotiate with the insurance company on your own. Many insurance providers are profit-driven. The insurance company will lose money by paying out on your claim. So they put their team of insurance adjusters together to look for discrepancies in claims filed. Some insurance adjusters will even delay processing claims, refuse to return phone calls or emails or attempt to trick injury victims into accepting less than their claim is worth.

They know you may be panicking and need access to money as soon as possible. The insurance company may offer significantly less than you deserve in the hopes of settling your claim quickly and paying out as little as possible. They may also request that you give them a statement as to your version of the events at hand. We strongly discourage you from speaking with the insurance company or offering a recorded statement unless your attorney is present. You do not want to say something that the insurance company could use to deny you the settlement you deserve.

Pro Tip
Have your car accident attorney handle all negotiations with the insurance company. The threat of legal action may be enough to make the insurer see that you are taking your claim seriously.

We Account for Every Single Cost Related to Your Accident

Injury victims are often surprised to learn how much their claims are worth. When you have a knowledgeable car accident attorney reviewing your damages, you can rest easier knowing we will account for every single way your life has been affected by not only the injuries sustained but also the collision itself.

The damages you are entitled to are known as compensatory damages. They include a combination of economic and non-economic damages which are both tangible and intangible. Your intangible economic damages will need to be carefully scrutinized so we can determine their worth. Some examples of compensatory damages car accident victims may be able to recover include:

  • Rental car expenses
  • Hospital bills
  • Co-pays
  • Future medical care
  • Ongoing treatment
  • Psychological trauma
  • The diminished value of your vehicle
  • Disfigurement and permanent disability
  • Loss of household services
  • Home healthcare costs
  • Emotional distress
  • Chronic physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Auto insurance premium increases
  • Credit score damage
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Loss of income

Exemplary damages are also possible in many types of motor vehicle accident claims. According to California Civil Code Section 3294, punitive damages only apply if the defendant’s conduct is deemed intolerable, grossly negligent, or intentionally harmful. This often occurs when motorists have a blatant disregard for their safety or others on the roadways. Since punitive damages are rarely awarded, you should not anticipate them unless your car accident attorney with The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys says otherwise.

We Are Prepared to Challenge Shared Blame Allegations

You may be accused of sharing responsibility for causing the accident. Even if the collision was not your fault, it is not uncommon for those responsible to blame the injury victim for their damages. By not accepting blame, they believe they can escape accountability and potentially recover compensation from your insurance company.

California is a pure comparative negligence state. In contributory fault states, sharing blame can prohibit you from being awarded compensation. But under pure comparative negligence laws found under California Civil Code 1714, this is not the case. If you are partially responsible, you can be awarded compensation for your losses at a reduced rate.

There is no limit to the amount of blame you can share. If you are 99% at fault for the accident, you have the right to compensation for one percent of your damages. Since your settlement will be reduced proportionately, the amount you take home could be significantly less than you were awarded. For instance, if you were not wearing your helmet while riding a motorcycle when you were hit by a distracted driver, you could be 10% responsible for causing your traumatic brain injuries. This would mean you could only recover 90% of your settlement.

Liable parties may attempt to capitalize on California’s shared fault laws to reduce their financial responsibilities. Work with a talented car accident attorney who will gather the evidence needed to establish liability and challenge partial fault accusations.

We Work for Our Clients on Contingency

Certain types of law firms require clients to put down a retainer amounting to thousands of dollars. Typically, these law firms use the retainer funds to build their case. They may then charge an hourly rate for their services. However, when you are working with a car accident lawyer, you do not need to worry about a down payment. Instead, The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys works for our clients on contingency agreements as described under Rule 1.5 Fees for Legal Services.

Payment for our services is contingent upon winning your case. If or when we win, a previously agreed-upon percentage of your award will go toward our attorney’s fees. But if we lose, you do not need to pay even one cent out of your own pocket to cover our costs. We take on all the risks of pursuing your case so you do not have to. After everything you have been through, it is the least we can do to help our community members overcome their injuries and get back to their lives.

Trust in Orange County’s Skilled Car Accident Law Firm

Do not let your fear of pursuing your case prevent you from getting the legal help you need when you need it most. If you wait too long to start working on your car accident claim, you may miss out on compensation you would have otherwise been entitled to. Rely on our top-rated Orange County car accident attorneys to recover the compensation you deserve.

If you are ready to take action on your claim but are unsure of where to begin, do not hesitate to connect with our law office and request a free, no-obligation consultation. Fill out our secured contact form or call us if you have additional questions or concerns about what to expect from the personal injury claims process.

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett is an award-winning personal injury lawyer who understands the impact an accident can have on someone’s life. That’s why he aggressively fights for each of his clients.

All Posts

More Legal Blogs

Suggest a Correction