Car Accident FAQ: Should I wait until I’m healed before talking to a lawyer?

By Michael GrossmanJanuary 25, 2015Reading Time: 3 minutes

After a serious car accident, victims have a lot to deal with. They've got to find transportation while their cars are being prepared, explain to their bosses why they've missed some work, and deal with the fear and trauma after such a terrible collision. Plus, they're dealing with important medical issues. We've seen car accident victims with everything from broken ribs and backs to traumatic brain injuries. We can understand why putting off hiring a lawyer happens. But you shouldn't wait until you're physically healed up before getting a lawyer on board. Below, we'll briefly explain why.

You don't need to wait.

There's no law that says you must be completely healed before you file a lawsuit. We've heard about adjusters lying to victims, claiming the opposite. Instead, your right to sue begins the day your accident happened.

Many folks think they should wait so that they can get the maximum recovery after they're healed. The thinking goes like this: If I file a lawsuit now, how will I get money for future surgery or medical treatment? We confront this issue literally every day in our practice. Before we ever decide to take a settlement or take a case to trial, we always consult with physicians in the relevant fields to see whether our clients will need future medical treatment. We then factor that needed money in to any demand we make.

Should you wait until your injuries have healed before calling a lawyer? Attorney Michael Grossman explains.
After an accident, how long should you wait before speaking with an attorney?

You should NOT wait.

Perhaps you're familiar with the "statute of limitations"? Essentially, you have two years after the accident to file a lawsuit, or you're barred forever from bringing a claim. We know that two years may seem like a long time, but it's not:

  • First, it takes time for your lawyer to properly research every aspect of your case before he files your lawsuit. He must not only be able to identify all potential defendants, but research the appropriate county to file your claim in.
  • Second, your attorney will need to be able to "serve" your lawsuit on the defendant within the two year timeframe. It sometimes takes some time to find a negligent driver and have papers served on him.

  • Third, as the case develops, other potential defendants may come to light. For example, if the negligent driver was "on the job" when the accident occurred, your attorney might be able to file a claim against his employer. Or, if it turns out that the driver was intoxicated, then the bar where he was drinking could likewise be held liable. This again requires time, and if you get too close to the statute, you might lose that chance.
  • Fourth, evidence that your case needs can and will disappear over time. Witnesses' memories fade, they move out of state, and tangible evidence corrodes. It's also not uncommon for evidence to simply be destroyed, as well.
  • The point of the above should be obvious by now---time isn't on your side, and each day you wait, you run the risk of not having your claim paid in full.

    Call an experienced car accident attorney now.

    We're available 24/7 to talk about your case. We know you're dealing with a lot, which is why we're here to take this part of your recovery off of your plate. Call us at 1-855-326-0000 now.

    Need more information? Feel free to click on our Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Car Accident Law to learn more.