Smashed Windshield After a Serious Car WreckIf you were recently injured in an auto collision caused by a negligent driver in San Diego or Southern California, you might believe you have plenty of time to hire a lawyer. However, you would make a big mistake that could weaken your claim if you wait to retain an experienced car accident lawyer.

You should contact an attorney to represent you immediately after the crash. Here are the reasons that this will help you build a winning case that will convince the insurance company to offer you the compensation you deserve in your settlement.

Reason #1: Preserve Evidence

One of the first steps a lawyer would take for you is to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your auto crash and collect the evidence you need to prove your case. Some evidence that can help you could be time sensitive and may be lost if it is not obtained quickly. Evidence your attorney might collect for you to show the other driver was at fault includes:

  • Police report. The police report can contain crucial information, such as the crash date, time, and place, a narration of how the collision occurred, the negligent driver’s statements, the officer’s conclusion as to who caused the wreck, and any traffic citations issued.
  • Eyewitness statements. Your attorney would interview any eyewitnesses who saw your car accident occur and prepare a written statement for them to sign. It is critical to contact any witnesses right away before they disappear or their memories of how the crash happened fade.
  • Photos and videos. Photos and videos of the collision can help your lawyer determine the cause of the crash and may be compelling evidence to show a jury if your case goes to trial. However, they must be collected before the negligent driver, eyewitnesses, or passengers delete them. If a nearby business recorded the wreck as it occurred, the footage must be obtained before it is taped over or destroyed.
  • Other vehicle’s black box. The other motor vehicle’s event data recorder can provide you with the auto’s speed, braking, steering, and additional information that can help establish the cause of the collision.
  • Expert witnesses. Depending on the disputes the insurance adjuster raises to try to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than you deserve, your lawyer may decide to hire expert witnesses to resolve the dispute. An accident reconstruction expert, economic expert, and medical expert are a few of the expert witnesses that can help you win your case.

Reason #2: Value Your Claim

You are entitled to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering in your settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. You cannot accurately value your claim, especially your pain and suffering and future damages, without the help of a skilled car accident lawyer. You might make the mistake of accepting a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company if you do not hire an attorney immediately.

Reason #3: Negotiate Your Settlement

Your lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement. If you wait to hire an attorney, you could agree to give a recorded statement, which is a tape-recorded question-and-answer session with the insurance adjuster, sign the insurance company’s medical release, or make other mistakes that weaken your claim. If your attorney has a track record of successfully settling car accident claims, they will have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments about why they do not have to pay you all the damages you deserve and will fight hard with the insurance company so that you receive a fair settlement.

Reason #4: Meet Crucial Deadlines

When you file your claim, you have to meet all deadlines that pertain to your case. One of the most important deadlines that you do not want to let expire is the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to file your lawsuit against the negligent driver. You would waive your right to pursue your right to compensation for your injuries if you let this deadline expire.

Reason #5: Litigate Your Case

If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the statute of limitations to sue expires soon, you will need to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. Your attorney will be in a better position to aggressively litigate your case if you contact them soon after the car accident, and they can begin working on your case right away.