Failure to hire an attorney quickly can negatively effect your claim in certain types of cases. Cases involving serious injury are not one of them. Whether the serious injury is the result of a car or truck crash, a product failure, or medical negligence, you can bet that that the lawyers and insurance company for the at-fault party are working to defend the claim starting from day one. By delaying retaining an attorney who can investigate, hire experts, and begin gathering evidence, you are simply giving the other side every advantage to diminish, minimize, or even block your claim entirely. Let's look at an example of what damage delaying the retention of counsel can do to your claim.
You are driving on the freeway and the car ahead of you suddenly slams on its brakes causing you to do the same. As you bring your car to a halt before hitting the car in front of you, a semi traveling 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, driven by a driver who has been driving for 4 hours over the the Federal limit for commercial drivers slams into your car. You wake up in the ICU a day later with multiple fractures and internal bleeding. Family members decide that the cause of the crash is so clear that they can wait to see whether the trucking company comes forward to resolve the case. Six months later, after being discharged from the hospital, you learn that the truck driver claimed that you changed lanes in front of him, thereby cutting off his assured clear distance. He is never ticketed and the trucking company tells you to forget about it ever paying you a dime for your lost income, medical expenses, or pain and suffering.
You research and hire a top notch attorney to represent you. That's when the bad news starts. The truck's 'black box' data recorder that would have provided crucial information about speed and braking has been reset and wiped clean. The driver's log books which must be maintained for 6 months per Federal guidelines have been destroyed after 6 months and 1 day. The skid marks and other physical evidence from the crash have long since worn away, robbing the accident reconstructionist of the information she needs to establish how the crash occurred. The critical witness who gave his name to the police has moved out of state and no longer wants to be involved. What should have been a powerful case on your behalf is now so weak that you have to choose between a meager settlement offer and a trial which your attorney rightfully believes you have a significant chance of losing. When asked, your lawyer agrees that all of these problems would have been avoided if you had hired him the week after the crash occurred.Don't let this happen to you! At Rourke & Blumenthal, we aggressively investigate and work-up cases using a team approach of attorneys, investigators, and experts with a variety of backgrounds and specialties to collect, process, preserve and interpret the evidence in order to establish how and why a crash occurred. While we will do our absolute best to develop your case whether we are retained a day or a year after the crash, we prefer to investigate your case before critical evidence starts to fade and vanish.