Most people don’t realize that exercising their rights immediately or early after an accident by filing a lawsuit operates to assure the quality of their case in court. Here are some of the “loose ends” that clients overlook and bring to an attorney after an accident:
- STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: You must file any required notices and your lawsuit within specified periods of time. Failure to do so can bar you from seeking compensation for your injuries. Filing early protects the statute of limitations.
- PRESERVING EVIDENCE: Evidence such as security camera footage can be destroyed either intentionally or unintentionally. If you file a lawsuit immediately after an injury, you can obtain a court order restraining the person in possession of that evidence from destroying it.
- UNPAID BILLS: After an accident, most people will have bills or portions of bills that are unpaid and often referred to collection agencies. Your attorney can advise the collectors that your case is in suit, they’ll verify it and hold efforts at collection in abeyance until the case is concluded.
- ONGOING BILLS AND FUTURE BILLS: Most people will continue to incur medical bills after an accident. Because your attorney filed a lawsuit, the suit can assure payment of those bills in the future. If your injury is permanent, the cost of future treatment can be figured into any settlement or verdict.
- LOST EARNINGS: You may have lost earnings, past, present or future. Past and present earnings are usually easily ascertainable. Future earnings can be figured into any settlement or verdict. Accident attorneys know how to document lost earnings.
- THE ADVERSE INSURER: Many insurers will try to get you to sign a release “while you’re still bleeding.” The faster and more economical the adjuster makes a settlement, the happier he makes his insurance company. You must protect yourself from aggressive quick settlement proposals by that insurer because once you sign a release, your case is over forever. Immediately place your attorney and the courts between you and the insurer for the other side. Your attorney does that by filing a lawsuit.
- WITNESSES: Witnesses come and go. They change residences and jobs and sometimes move out of the area or state and can become difficult to locate. Their presence in your case can only be compelled by serving them with a subpoena. A subpoena can’t be issued without a pending lawsuit. Filing a case early with your attorney after an accident can be of great help in securing the presence and testimony of a witness.
Now you see that by bringing your case to a personal injury attorney immediately or soon after an accident, you are protecting not only your rights but also how efficiently your case proceeds through the courts. Your attorney is trained for this and has extensive experience from handling hundreds or even thousands of similar cases. You are best served by getting your case into your accident attorney’s hands early.
Informational Credit: This article was inspired by SBMB Law.
This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.