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Updated by Justin Smith on Dec 21, 2017
Headline for 5 Reasons to Consult With an Attorney Early in a Personal Injury Case
Justin Smith Justin Smith
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5 Reasons to Consult With an Attorney Early in a Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured due to the fault of another, then you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries, but you’ll want to act quickly to preserve your various personal injury claims. Why is it so important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after suffering an injury? Consider the non-exhaustive list of reasons below.


Deadline for Filing Suit

The statute of limitations is a sort of deadline for filing your claims.

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is fairly short, clocking in at two years from the date of injury. For example, if you were injured in a car accident one year ago, you would only have one more year to file your various injury claims.

If you fail to file your injury claims within the aforementioned two-year statute of limitations period, you will be deemed to have abandoned your legal right to litigate those claims in court. It is therefore absolutely critical that you seek the aid of an attorney prior to the end of the statute of limitations period, so that the attorney can work with you to file a proper lawsuit before the deadline passes.


Evidence Gathering Benefits

From a strategic standpoint, it’s useful to work with a qualified Alabama personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, so that the attorney can work with you and others to gather evidence, investigate the scene of the accident, organize necessary documentation, and identify potential witnesses. If you wait too long, then there may not be sufficient evidence left to build a strong personal injury case, and without the guidance of an attorney, it’s very easy to make mistakes that have far reaching consequences for the success of your case.

For example, suppose that you are involved in a serious car accident. You sell the car to a junkyard, where it is destroyed. Some months later, you decide to consult with an attorney, since you believe there may be a legitimate injury lawsuit here. Had you consulted the attorney earlier, however, he or she would likely have requested that you not sell your damaged vehicle off until litigation is complete. In conjunction with accident reconstruction experts, the attorney could have assessed your damaged vehicle and reconstructed the accident, helping build your case against the defendant(s).


More Opportunity to Bring in Defendants

When an Alabama personal injury lawsuit begins, it is not necessarily obvious at first who all of the potential defendants are. The sooner you bring a lawsuit and consult with an attorney, the more time that the attorney has to investigate every aspect of the accident and determine who the potentially liable parties are.

For example, suppose that you are crossing the street at a marked crosswalk when a car collides with you, causing injuries. At first, it may seem obvious that the defendant is the driver of the car that collided with you. After further investigation, however, the evidence may reveal that the city government that operated and maintained the crosswalk failed to properly repair damage that occurred to the crosswalk signal. Your attorney finds that the accident was caused, in part, by a faulty signal to the driver. As such, the city government may be brought in as a defendant.


May Weaken Your Credibility to Wait

If you wait too long to file your lawsuit — for example, if you wait until after the statute of limitations deadline passes (and you are forced to request and obtain an exception from the court) — then your credibility may be subconsciously weakened, making it more difficult for you to be successful at trial.


Attorney Guidance Helpful Throughout the Recovery Process

Attorneys are useful in a wide range of situations throughout the post-accident process. It’s important to note that an Alabama personal injury attorney working on contingency is incentivized to ensure that you obtain swift, full damage recovery for your injuries. This has an effect on every aspect of the recovery process, including medical treatment.

For example, your attorney will ensure that you seek out adequate medical treatment as soon as possible, and that you continue to receive proper medical care throughout. Your failure to obtain adequate medical treatment will hurt your case, and as such, your attorney will work with you to ensure that such failure does not happen. Your attorney will also work with you to ensure that all relevant records are properly recorded and organized for use as evidence later.