Unexpected accidents and related injuries can yank your life off track. If this should ever happen to you, you may have to decide whether or not you’ll need legal help to realign your life. Our Washington personal injury team put together the following guide to help ease the decision-making process of when to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer, as well as answer a few other common questions.
What Qualifies as a Serious Personal Injury?
One of the factors to knowing whether or not you should contact a lawyer after an accident is establishing if your injuries are serious enough to warrant legal assistance.
If your injuries result in the necessity of any of these expenses, you may benefit from contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to get help processing your claim with the other party’s insurance company:
- Missed time from work during recovery
- Loss of future earning potential because of physical and/or psychological damage
- Costly immediate and long-term medical expenses
- Needing to utilize adaptive equipment because of loss of a limb, vision, or other life-altering injury
- Loss of quality of life
Side note: If you were involved in a minor fender bender with another car and you were not injured, you may be able to handle the accident without legal help. However, since the initial call, consultation, and representation is free until your lawyer wins you compensation, you have nothing to lose by contacting a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
The cause of these types of serious injuries varies. From our experience, they are often the result of a:
Why Should I Seek Immediate Medical Care After an Accident?
After an accident the release of adrenaline and endorphins can mask the seriousness of an injury. For instance, blood clots, brain injuries, soft tissue damage, and bone stress fractures can all be mistaken for something less severe.
It is highly recommend that you get a medical evaluation soon after any accident that caused an airbag to deploy, damaged car parts, sudden impact with a hard object, or other significant event. Doing so not only gives you a better idea of the full extent of your injuries, it also helps establish associated costs that you may incur at present and in the future.
Failure to do so can lead to one of the following unfortunate occurrences:
- Sudden death from a misdiagnosis
- An insurance company will deny your claim
- You’ll get a quick lowball settlement offer from an insurance agent that may not fully cover injuries, pain, suffering, and other damages
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Lawsuit in Washington?
There is a three-year statute of limitations to file an accident injury and/or vehicle damage lawsuit in the state of Washington. This means you have three years from the date of the crash to file an injury and/or vehicle damage claim for compensation. You should not wait three years, however, to file a claim.
Delays or significant gaps in care may result in the at-fault person’s insurance company trying to claim that any injuries later discovered were the result of a pre-existing condition or intervening act—not the original accident. It can also be more difficult to gather key supportive documentation and witness statements the longer you wait. Finally, the sooner you have a personal injury attorney investigating your injury claim, the sooner you can return your focus to your recovery.
Related article: Legal Terms Everyone Should Know
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Washington
Now that you know a few key reasons for when to contact a personal injury lawyer, you can go one step further and save our contact information in your phone just in case you should ever need us or bookmark our website now.
Our legal team is available to take your call day or night at 844-977-1900, chat live, or accept more details about an accident through our convenient online forms 24/7. Just know that no case is too small or too large for us to handle. You don’t have to attempt to deal with insurance companies alone, we can help!