Even minor car accidents can feel overwhelming—and major crashes that involve significant personal injury and property damage can turn your whole life upside down. Because of the stress, confusion, pain, and anxiety of the situation, it can be tempting to make everything go away as soon as possible by simply agreeing to whatever the insurance companies offer, not trying to determine what you’re owed under the law, and just getting everything over with without asking questions.
If you genuinely want to receive the compensation you legally deserve after a traffic collision that wasn’t your fault, you need to speak to a Washington car accident and injury attorney. Not only can we determine your damages accurately, but we can fight insurers and argue your claim while you focus on what’s truly important: recovering from your injuries and getting back to your everyday life.
However, if you never contact us, we can’t help you. Below, we outline when it’s okay to skip calling a car accident attorney, when you should pick up the phone after a wreck, and why it’s better to be cautious and consult a legal professional.
The Right Time to Call a WA Car Accident Attorney
This answer is easy: as soon as possible. The more time you let pass, the greater the chance that essential details will be missed. Additionally, insurance companies will push on building a storyline that negates your claim, even if you weren’t at fault. Also, remember that Washington has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This deadline outlines how long you have to file a claim, which is three years from the date of the incident.
The following should be your top priorities ASAP after a traffic collision.
Getting Medical Attention
Your health and safety surpass everything, even getting legal help! If you were injured in an accident, go to the emergency room as soon as you can to be evaluated and treated, even if you believe any injuries are only minor (post-accident adrenaline can trick you into thinking you feel fine). It’s just as important to follow through on all appointments, treatments, medications, and therapies that medical professionals assign you
Collecting Information and Evidence
After your car crash, having as much information as possible is key to arguing your case later. While at the scene, if you’re not too hurt, be sure to get the names and contact information of the other drivers as well as any witnesses or responders. Also, if you’re healthy enough, take pictures of the scene and any damage.
Contacting a Lawyer
Your third priority should be to request a free consultation with a local injury attorney. Do this before you talk to insurance companies or make any official, recorded statements about what happened. An initial conversation with most accident lawyers is free, and can put you on the right path to getting the compensation you deserve.
Car Accidents That Don’t Require an Attorney
A limited number of crashes don’t require the help of a Washington car accident attorney. For example, if your crash meets the parameters below, you likely don’t need legal help.
- You weren’t injured.
- No one else at the scene was injured.
- The damage to your car and other involved vehicles is superficial or minor.
- The other party was clearly at fault and all parties agree to this fact.
- You didn’t miss a significant amount of work
- You didn’t incur any significant damages from the accident.
However, even if all of the above is true, it never hurts to contact an attorney experienced in this area of law for a free consultation to make sure you have all your bases covered and can handle resolving a claim without legal help.
Car Accidents That Often Require an Attorney
So when is it necessary to have legal counsel after a traffic accident? Usually in circumstances that involve significant injuries and damages, or when there’s a need to determine negligence or prove fault. So reach out for a consultation if:
- You and/or someone else in the crash were injured.
- Your loved one lost their life in the accident.
- There was serious damage done to vehicles or property at the scene.
- The insurance company denied your claim.
- An insurance adjuster is asking for a recorded statement.
- Fault isn’t crystal clear.
- You missed a significant amount of work and income because of the incident.
- You experienced other damages in the accident that may be difficult to calculate.
- You suffered injuries that are likely permanent.
Even if you believe you’re being treated fairly in this situation, an experienced Washington attorney like the professionals at Max Meyers Law can verify that you’re getting everything you deserve—and on a reasonable timeline. They can also look at the evidence and calculate your damages accurately as someone who is on your side and on your team.
How a Kirkland Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Sometimes it might feel like contacting a Kirkland car accident attorney is an extra step in an already complicated process, requiring more work. But in reality, an injury lawyer intends to make everything easier so you receive proper compensation and justice.
While it can be scary or intimidating to make the first call, the benefits are significant. A knowledgeable attorney can:
- Has only your best interests in mind.
- Acts as your advocate from the beginning to the end of your case.
- Navigate the details of Washington state traffic accident laws.
- Answer any questions you may have about the legal process surrounding your case.
- File the claim and stay on top of other necessary documentation.
- Handle all communication with insurance companies for you.
- Accurately determine the amount of compensation you deserve.
- Make certain your case moves forward so the statute of limitations doesn’t expire.
- Prepare for and defend your case before a judge and jury, if necessary.
- Give you peace of mind that you’ve approached your case correctly.
If you aren’t sure if you need an attorney in the wake of your accident, simply request a free consultation. At Max Meyers Law, our legal team listens to your story and examines the facts, then lets you know if you’ll benefit from legal representation or if you can handle the process yourself with good results.