Generally, there is no time limit for obtaining an auto accident lawyer for a car accident claim. The assistance of a competent auto accident lawyer can be availed of at any stage of the settlement of a car accident claim. There is no law that prohibits the employment of auto accident lawyers in the negotiation and resolution of auto accident cases. Even in cases of insurance claims, where the policy stipulates that claims must be settled personally, help of anauto accident lawyer can still be procured.
A policyholder can execute a special power of attorney to authorize his auto accident lawyer to negotiate and compromise with the insurance company. The insurance company cannot, through the contract, restrain the policyholder from hiring an auto accident lawyer because it would be an undue infringement on the freedom of the policyholder.
Indeed, there are many instances where the services of an auto accident lawyer are necessary to protect the rights of the injured party. The legal and contractual consequences of a car accident can be very complex; an ordinary person would not be sufficiently knowledgeable to comprehend the content of contracts and follow the process of the settlement. This is where the training and experience of an auto accident lawyer becomes useful. His/Her legal acumen enables him/her to adequately safeguard the rights of his client and prevent the offending party from evading liability. An auto accident lawyer also protects the client from the dilatory tactics of the insurance company who will exploit technicalities of the law to delay payment.
However in court actions, only lawyers can file a case. Only those with valid licenses are allowed to practice law. This policy rests on the principle that law is a specialized field and only those who passed the stringent qualification process are privileged to exercise it. Hence, the services of a lawyer must be enlisted even before the start of the proceedings. Once the lawyer enters his appearance in court, his actions will bind his client. Their relationship is that of agency, where the lawyer acts on behalf of his/her client. All the acts of the lawyer are deemed as the acts of his client. The lawyer's authority to represent the client in the proceedings continues indefinitely until the culmination of the case unless the client files a petition in court dismissing his lawyer.
Caution must be taken in filing car accident suits. In many states, there is a time frame for filing the case, which is called the prescriptive period. The period is usually three or four years counted from the occurrence of the accident. An action filed beyond the prescriptive period will be dismissed outright. The court looks with disfavor on litigants who rest on their rights and let it stale before filing action in court. This also rests on practical consideration that the longer the case is left unfiled, the more likely that the evidence supporting the claim has been lost.
If that happens, the court will then have less ground to base its decision on. Arriving at the right resolution of the case will be very hard in the absence of sufficient evidence. Thus the court enjoins parties to file their case within reasonable time from its happening. However, it is highly recommended that an injured individual gets in contact with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident has occurred, as the sooner you can get your claim started, the better.