Generally, it is too late to get a lawyer involved after an accident when the statute of limitations is up on your case. Laws vary in each state about car accidents, which impacts when it is too late to get an attorney involved. For West Virginia, it is generally, the statute of limitations is two years, with a few exceptions for minors. A car accident case must be settled, or a lawsuit filed two years from the accident date. Either way, you should probably have hired an attorney well before that date.
Car accident claims are drawn out for several reasons. The first and foremost is the recovery of the victim. Never settle a claim with an insurance company until you are 100% recovered from the accident based on a medical provider’s advice. Another reason why a car accident claim can be drawn out is because of the insurance companies involved. Insurance companies are out to protect their bottom line. They will do anything, including “waiting a victim out” to save a buck or two.
We always recommend speaking to a lawyer before speaking with an insurance company. The insurance company will start reaching out almost immediately after filing a claim. They want to quickly settle before receiving all of your treatment to save on costs. So, in terms of a timeline for your claim, you should reach out as soon as you are able. Each claim takes time to work through, and there will need to be time to gather your medical records, bills, and any other information that will be necessary to combat the insurance company.
Back to the question at hand, when is it too late to get a lawyer for your accident claim? For our firm, we review each case and, depending on the circumstances, will sign on a client up until a few months before the limit date by law. Keep in mind; these are for special circumstance claims only, and a lawyer will make the final decision based on the circumstances surrounding the claim.
We encourage each accident victim to speak to a lawyer and get their options. During our consultation, we provide each accident victim that reaches out to us with the options that they have and what would work best for their situation. We never recommend waiting. The sooner you sign with a lawyer, the better your claim is protected against the tactics the insurance company will use to reduce its value and decrease its payout.
We have had clients sign with us in the past only after attempting to deal with the insurance companies themselves. These clients consistently tell us they wish they would have hired us sooner to alleviate some of the heartaches they go through on their own. Skip through all of these issues and speak with a lawyer sooner than later.
Contact us right away to schedule a free consultation to get working on your car accident case right away.