As an attorney who has worked for more than twenty-three (23) years with injury victims, I am often asked how soon after an accident or injury is appropriate to consult with an attorney.
The short answer in most situation is: the sooner the better.
Why so soon?
Although Georgia law allows an injured person to wait two (2) years to file a claim for injuries (and four (4) years for property damage), waiting so long is not advised. Evidence of what happened to cause the injury is much like fruit on a kitchen counter — it starts to go bad quickly. Evidence that goes bad (disappears) if it is not preserved can include black boxes from cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, physical evidence like tire marks on a road, surveillance video, and even the memories of key witnesses. Unless your lawyer makes a request to the responsible party that the evidence be preserved, such evidence can be lost forever.
Lawyers are allowed to send letters to the owners of businesses, tractor-trailers, and even private citizens requesting that evidence such a black boxes and store video be preserved and this preserved information can be very helpful in proving that a person’s injuries are caused by the negligence or fault of someone other than the injured party. Lawyers can interview key witnesses and preserve their testimony through affidavits and sworn statements and take pictures of tire marks while they are still on the roadway.
Without preservation of such evidence, there is the very real possibility that the injured person will not be able to prove that someone else bears responsibility.
The sooner you contact your lawyer, the better chance your lawyer has to preserve evidence helpful for you.
I will be happy to discuss any potential cases with you at no charge either through FB messenger, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on my direct dial office line 770-414-5394.