When Could it Be Too Late to Call a Sacramento Car Crash Attorney?

upset woman waited too late to call an attorney After being involved in a car crash, people are often in shock for a couple of hours to a couple of days afterward. Victims who suffer injuries in these incidents may be hospitalized or at home, in pain and trying to recover. Early on, people may not have processed what has happened, and they may be uncertain if they even need a lawyer in their situation.

At Arnold Law Firm, we understand that calling a lawyer is an uncomfortable idea for many injured crash victims. In this article, we discuss when it could be too late to seek legal help and why calling sooner could greatly benefit you if you have a claim.

When you call our trusted law firm after a car crash, there is no risk to you. We charge nothing for your initial consultation and no upfront fees if we represent you. Our experienced car accident lawyers in Sacramento are prepared to fight to recover the maximum possible compensation for your damages.

Injured in a crash? Request your FREE case review today. (916) 777-7777

Does California Have Deadlines for Filing a Legal Claim?

Like most states, California has a statute of limitations defining how much time you have to file a legal claim against the at-fault party who caused your crash. The deadline, as stated in California law, Section 335.1 for those injured in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence is two years from the date of the accident.

If you miss this deadline, your case will most likely be dismissed by the court. There are exceptions, but they are rare. Additionally, it is important to understand that even if you file at the last minute and make the deadline, it could be too late to pursue a case against the at-fault party.

When Is It Too Late To Call a Sacramento Car Crash Attorney?

You can never be sure it is too late to call an attorney, so you should always try to seek legal help. Since your initial consultation is completely free, there is no risk to you financially. You are also not obligated by this meeting to hire our law firm.

The biggest reason it could be too late to call an attorney to manage your car crash claim is that it takes time to build a case. If you have left things until the last minute, an attorney may not want to take your case on, even if it is clear the other party caused your crash.

For the attorney, beginning a case late in the game is more challenging than beginning soon after the crash for the following reasons:

  • Lost or destroyed evidence: This evidence may include images of the crash scene, photos of vehicle damage or your injuries. It could also include data from the at-fault party’s event data recorder (a vehicle’s “black box”)
  • Lost or unreliable witness testimony: Witnesses, even those who are credible, become less valuable over time. They do not have any investment in how your crash claim turns out and may even be hard to locate months after the crash. It is also true that witnesses quickly start to forget vital details about what happened, things that could make your claim stronger.
  • Insufficient time to build a compelling case: There are multiple steps involved in a legal case, from investigating how the crash occurred and determining liability to negotiating a settlement with the liable party’s insurance company and more.

An attorney is unlikely to take on a case he or she does not think can be won. Law firms that take cases on contingency take on the cost of the case up front. If they do not think they can win, such as if there is too little time left before the deadline, they are unlikely to take your case on. Even if an attorney does take your case in this situation, you are unlikely to be able to recover the full value of your claim.

Why Do Crash Victims Wait To Seek Legal Help?

People may often put off calling a car accident lawyer in Sacramento until weeks or even months after the incident occurred. The most common reasons crash victims wait to call an attorney after a crash include the following:

  • Worries about the cost: Not everyone knows that injury lawyers typically take car crash cases on contingency. This approach levels the legal playing field, helping to make it possible for everyone to get the justice they deserve after being injured by another’s negligence.
  • Feeling intimidated: The idea of calling a law firm or attorney can seem daunting to anyone. This discomfort causes many people to delay calling a lawyer. Unfortunately, waiting to call an attorney may negatively impact the outcome of your claim.
  • They may be partially at fault: For starters, injured victims should let crash investigators determine who is at fault. It is worth mentioning, too, that having an attorney manage your case means he or she can fight to ensure you are not assessed more than your share of liability. Even if you are found partially at fault for the crash that injured you in California, you may still have a claim for at least some of the damages.
  • Waiting until medical treatment has resolved: While this sounds like a good idea, it is better to seek legal help as soon after a crash as possible. Your attorney can speak with the insurance company and gather evidence on your behalf. Calling an attorney sooner allows you to focus on your health, knowing that your case is in good hands.

What Is the Right Time for Hiring a Car Crash Attorney in Sacramento?

The optimal time to seek legal help for a car crash claim is as soon after the incident occurs as possible. Your attorney can speak to third parties on your behalf. He or she can also guide you throughout the legal process to help you avoid making mistakes that could reduce the value of your claim or even get it denied.

Injured in a Crash You Did Not Cause? Call Our Trusted Law Firm Today

Not sure if you have a case? Take advantage of the FREE initial consultation we offer with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. In this free meeting, you can discuss your situation confidentially, and we can help to determine whether you may have a case.

Worried about upfront costs? At Arnold Law Firm, we take car crash cases on contingency, which means there is nothing for you to pay to hire our services and nothing to pay throughout the legal process. We only get paid our fee if we win your case, getting you compensation through either a settlement or jury-awarded verdict.

Arnold Law Firm. Fighting for Justice. Call: (916) 777-7777