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Home > Blog > Personal Injury > Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injury XIV
by: NPHM | January 8, 2021

Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injury XIV

Q: I was in an accident last month and I thought I could handle everything with the insurance company myself, but I’m having problems. Is it too late to hire an attorney?

A: In general, it is always the best practice to contact an attorney as quickly after an accident as possible. The sooner an attorney can get involved in a case, the less likely it is that missteps will occur that could hurt the final resolution of your case. That said, it is never too late to hire an attorney, provided the statute of limitations on your claim is not up (in Ohio, that is 2 years following the date of the accident). There are, however, some situations where waiting can get in the way of a successful outcome for your claim. For instance, if your accident was one month ago and you also haven’t sought medical care yet, even if you’re in pain, it may not be worth it for an attorney to get involved because there isn’t a strong enough basis for an injury claim without medical care.

Insurance companies are always most interested in wrapping up your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible—even if they make it seem like they will be helpful, it is always in your best interest to have an attorney on your side from the beginning. That way, the insurance company cannot take advantage of you and you will not be pressured to settle your claim too soon or for less than you deserve.

If you were in an auto accident, an experienced attorney can help you obtain the best result for your claim. Calling as soon as possible is the best way to ensure you get everything you deserve.

Q: I was injured in an auto accident when the other driver ran a red light, but he says I ran the red light. The police didn't identify either of us as "at-fault" so it’s my word against his. Can I sue him for my injuries?

A: Auto accidents already have the potential to throw your life into disarray even when the facts are not in dispute. When there’s a question as to who was at fault, the situation is that much harder to deal with because insurance companies are less likely to help you with the damages and injuries you sustained in the accident. If this is your situation, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

A case with disputed liability can be difficult to prove. Statements from witnesses, any possible video footage, and any other physical evidence needs to be collected and retained as soon after the accident as possible. The longer you wait to take these steps after an accident, the harder it can be to prove that you were not at fault. Given the structure of our legal system, to recover in a lawsuit for your damages and injuries, you need to make an affirmative case that proves the other driver was at fault. This is impossible without sufficient evidence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you make sure all the evidence is collected and help you get a positive result in your difficult situation.

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Headshot of Zachary Belcher, Intake Attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthyZachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process.

Zack graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015 and has handled more than 500 injury cases for clients injured in automobile accidents. He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney.

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