Too often, victims of automobile accidents fail to appreciate the seriousness of their injuries—or the cost of those injuries to their lifestyle—until sometime after the accident has occurred.
You may be sitting at home, months after your auto accident, struggling to deal with the downstream effects of lost income, hospital bills, and more, wondering what, if anything, you can do about it.
California Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Good news for California residents: you can file a personal injury claim for up to two years after the date of your automobile accident in most cases. After this timeframe, your right to file a claim has passed. (The legal phrase for these law-mandated time limits is “statute of limitations”).
While you can and should request a free initial consultation on your case as soon as possible, it also pays to get your legal ducks in order. Some important things to consider once you’ve found your lawyer:
- If you are injured, have a medical care plan that is as close to settled as possible before you file a claim. Car accident injuries can be serious, and you may develop complications over time—so make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries, further care requirements (real and potential), and the costs thereof. Don’t rush to file a suit if your healthcare and costs are not yet clear—you may lose out on money if you do! A seasoned car accident firm can work with your healthcare provider to establish these figures.
- Clear documentation of your medical treatments—and evidence that you completed all healthcare tasks asked of you, such as attending physical therapy. This helps your lawyer make the case that you have done everything in your power to address your injuries, and are deserving of financial remuneration.
- Collect full documentation of all your dealings with the other party, your insurance, law enforcement, and evidence of any lost income. This helps your lawyer build a full picture of what has happened so that they can move forward with the best possible strategy for your individual situation.
- Remember: do NOT file a claim with the other party’s insurance company without a car accident lawyer on hand to review all paperwork and to ensure that you are being treated fairly and legally.
How Much is a Car Accident Lawyer in California?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you pay no fees unless you are awarded compensation via settlement or trial, making a personal injury claim a relatively safe option to pursue. In fact, our Pleasanton personal injury lawyers cover all upfront costs associated with your case.
Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm, PC, can help you understand whether you need an attorney after an accident. Our Pleasanton car accident attorneys may be able to negotiate a favorable settlement for your case. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, we are active trial lawyers.
Contact a Bay Area Car Accident Attorney
Our experienced personal injury law firm can help get you the compensation you deserve after an accident. We have successfully represented many accident survivors in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and throughout the Bay Area.