The answer to that question is “yes”. However, by doing so, the delay may have very significant negative consequences on your case. Most of the time, delay in hiring an attorney for a moderate to severe personal injury case does not result in any positive financial benefit to the injury victim. Here is why.
1. Documentation of the Injuries Will Vanish
All the needed documentation of the injuries becomes harder to get with the passage of time. Often, injuries heal with time. By looking at a person nearly two years after an accident can be very deceiving to what the person went through during the recovery process after the accident. If the injuries are not photo-documented, including still and video pictures, those injuries will be forgotten. It is so much more difficult to go back and recreate the nature and extent of the injury. If the jury sees a healed individual at trial, it is more difficult to get them to award substantial damages.
2. Witnesses and Potential Testimony Are Lost
This is a critical point. Memories fade and people move away or die. Without actively establishing liability for the accident through independent witnesses, if they are available, proving fault can be a fifty-fifty proposition. Your word against the other driver’s word. If the jury finds both stories equally believable, you lose.
3. Normally, an Insurance Company Has no Duty to Settle Until You Pursue Your Own Recovery
So by waiting to hire an attorney, you just prolong the possibility of getting your case settled early. As the saying goes, “Time is money.” Certainly, the more you delay, the longer the insurance company gets to hold onto your money earning interest for itself and not for you.
4. Delay Conveys a Lack of Interest in Your Claim and a Perceived Lack of Severity of Your Injuries
Human nature is not to delay things that are important to us. The reverse is, therefore, true, that which is not important we tend to delay or not give it our attention. Conveying that message at the beginning of your claim is not healthy to your success.
5. If You Wait Too Long, a Lawyer May Not Want to Get Involved
An attorney may not want to get involved with your case because they have not had a chance to help form the case from the beginning.
6. The Insurance Company Knows What It’s Doing. You Don’t
This is not meant to offend, only to point out the obvious. An insurance adjuster has been trained specifically in the art of negotiation to minimize their employer’s exposure to your claim. You have no such training.
7. The Right Personal Injury Attorney Will Actually Add Value to Your Case
And they’ll do so while not costing you anything out of pocket. Nearly all good personal injury lawyers do not request the payment of fees and costs up front. They perform the work on a contingency fee and generally advance the costs to prosecute the claim. If you are asked to pay for a personal injury attorney, go find another lawyer who will not make you pay up front.
8. You May Wait Too Long and Allow the Statute of Limitations to Expire
If this happens, you can kiss your case goodbye.
There are many more reasons why you should seek immediate legal assistance following an accident, these are just a few ideas for you to consider. If you have had a California or Inland Empire injury accident, contact the Inland Empire Law Group to learn about your legal rights. We can help you secure the right compensation in a timely and effective manner. Don’t delay, call now at 909-481-0100.