When to Get an Attorney for a New York City Car Accident
After a car accident, it quickly becomes apparent just how expensive it is to be injured in a crash. Injured drivers and passengers often face high medical bills and the loss of their vehicle, to name a few injustices.
Many people might consider filing a lawsuit after a car accident, but they might not know when they should get a lawyer. Beginning a lawsuit is a big step that should not be taken lightly, and some people have a hard time making the final decision to hire an attorney. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. In New York, you have 3 years from the accident to file a lawsuit, or you lose your right to sue. Hiring an attorney quickly allows you more time to explore legal options, calculate damages, and gather the evidence before filing. If you wait to hire an attorney, you might still be able to file your case, but you might lose precious time.
Being injured in a car crash is a tough thing to go through for many reasons. Not only is a collision physically painful, but it is extremely expensive. Our New York City car accident attorneys can help you sue the negligent driver for your damages. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.
When is the Best Time to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident in New York City?
You should speak to an attorney immediately after a vehicle collision. Unfortunately, how quickly an injured driver can contact an attorney might depend on how badly the driver is injured. You might end up in the hospital for a while after a crash, and contacting a lawyer might be difficult. If possible, you should have a friend or family member reach out to an attorney on your behalf to arrange a meeting as soon as you are ready.
People sometimes hesitate to contact an attorney because they are unfamiliar with the process of filing a civil lawsuit and do not know how to move forward. This is even more of a reason to speak to an attorney right away. Your lawyer can explain to you how a lawsuit works and what your next steps should be to move your case forward. You do not have to be 100% certain of anything when you first hire a lawyer.
Our Long Island car accident lawyers can help you make important decisions regarding legal action after a crash. One of the most beneficial aspects of hiring a lawyer as soon as possible is that they can work on your case while you focus on recovering.
Deadlines in Car Accident Cases in New York City
There are other good reasons to hire a lawyer sooner rather than later. Every case must abide by certain statutes of limitation. These statutes impose deadlines on when plaintiffs must file their cases. If a plaintiff misses the deadline, they might be prohibited from filing the case. Hiring a lawyer quickly helps you avoid missing the deadline.
Statute of Limitation
In New York, the statute of limitations in personal injury cases, including car accidents, is 3 years under CVP Law § 214(5). The countdown to the deadline begins n the date of the car accident. While 3 years might sound like a long time to file, it is deceptively short. Lawsuits require a lot of preparation before they make it to court, and you will need every bit of those 3 years. The sooner you hire an attorney to help you, the sooner they can begin preparing your case to file.
Tolling the Statute of Limitation
If you are close to the deadline and have not yet filed, you might be able to buy yourself more time if you can toll the statute of limitation. You can toll the statute for several specific reasons. However, if you hire an attorney right away, you will likely avoid the need for tolling.
Under CVP Law § 207, you can stop the clock if the defendant is absent from the jurisdiction. To serve the defendant with notice of your lawsuit, they must be within the court’s jurisdiction, usually within the State of New York. If the defendant has left the state and cannot be reached for at least 4 months, you can stop the clock until they return to the jurisdiction. You can also stop the clock if you believe the defendant is hiding out under a false name.
Under CVP Law § 208, plaintiffs may toll the statute of limitations if they are younger than 18 or cannot file the case because of a mental disability or impairment. Under the law, these conditions are considered “disabilities” that prevent a person from filing. Such a person would have 3 years from the date their disability ceases to file their lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations for infancy or insanity cannot be tolled any longer than 10 years.
Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer Quickly After a New York City Car Accident
There are plenty of advantages to hiring an attorney sooner rather than later. Hiring an attorney quickly allows you more time to review possible damages with your lawyer. Your damages are the main focus of your case and represent the financial compensation you want from the defendant. Speaking to a lawyer, like our Brooklyn car accident attorneys, soon allows you more time to comb through possible damages and maximize potential compensation.
You also have more time to explore other legal options with your Newark car accident lawyer. For example, if pursuing a full trial in court is not what you want, your Brookhaven car accident lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement agreement with the defendant. Settlements often take time and sometimes fall apart at the last minute. It is best to hire a lawyer soon, so you have ample time to negotiate and develop a fallback plan.
Speak to Our New York City Car Accident Lawyers About Your Case Today
If you were hurt in a car crash, you deserve compensation from the defendant for your damages. You should not have to endure this pain alone, and hiring a Melville car accident lawyer as soon as possible is in your best interest. For a free case review, call an experienced Queens car accident attorney at The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.