When Is It Too Late to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

If you sustain injuries in a North Carolina car accident, you only have a certain amount of time to file a claim seeking compensation for the harm you have suffered. This is why it’s a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after any car accident – before it’s too late to meet the filing deadlines.

The time following a car accident is often confusing and stressful. You might have a painful recovery process, insurance companies to answer, unexpected medical bills, and financial pressures to manage. Amid this whirlwind of obligations, it’s easy to overlook the legal aspects of your situation.

However, consulting a car accident lawyer early on can make a significant difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim. If you have significant injuries and another driver was at fault, a personal injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process, deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure important filing deadlines are met if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney can handle the communications and settlement negotiations with insurance adjusters while you focus on healing.

To learn more about your legal rights following a car crash in North Carolina, contact Hardison & Cochran today for a free consultation. A car accident lawyer with Hardison & Cochran will evaluate the circumstances of your accident, answer your questions, and discuss how our experienced team can help.

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North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing lawsuits related to car accidents. For personal injury claims, accident victims have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. This means if you get hurt in a car crash, you need to take legal action within three years of the accident date.

If you wait until after the filing deadline has passed, it’s too late to hire a lawyer to help with your car accident case. If you miss the deadlines, you will lose your right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The court will not hear your car accident claim, no matter how strong it is or how clear the other person’s fault is. You will have no legal avenue for seeking compensation for your injuries.

This three-year filing window underscores the importance of acting promptly to reach out to an experienced attorney. The clock starts counting on the day of the accident. If you think you have an injury claim, you should take immediate action and contact a lawyer.

North Carolina’s Insurance System and Its Impact on Car Accident Claims

North Carolina uses a fault-based insurance system for car accident claims. This means the person who causes an accident is financially responsible for any resulting harm or property damage. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may have financial liability for your injuries. However, getting full compensation from an insurance company can be challenging, especially if an accident victim is trying to negotiate with the insurer on their own.

It’s so important to hire a lawyer promptly after a North Carolina car wreck. If the other driver is at fault and is the responsible party, their insurance company should cover your medical expenses and income losses. However, insurance companies often try to pay as little as possible. They might dispute how the accident happened or the extent of your injuries. An experienced lawyer can help you in these situations. Our car accident attorneys know how to value car accident claims, negotiate with insurance companies, and demand the maximum compensation you deserve.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance refuses to pay, you might need to sue the at-fault driver and their insurer. If this is the case, professional legal help is essential. The sooner you contact an attorney after a car accident claim, the more time the attorney will have to find witnesses, gather evidence, and develop a robust case on your behalf.

When To Consider Hiring a Lawyer?

You might need a car accident lawyer if your case involves:

Significant Crash Injuries

If an accident leaves you with physical or psychological injuries, a lawyer can help you claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Disputed Liability

If there’s a disagreement over who is at fault in the accident and you have significant injuries, a lawyer can gather important evidence to support your claim and argue on your behalf.

Insurance Company Issues

If you’re facing delays or outright denials from insurance companies, a lawyer can negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf.

Multiple Parties Involved

Accidents involving more than two parties can have legal complexities. A lawyer can handle the multiple claims and negotiate with various insurers for you.

Long-Term or Permanently Disabling Injuries

In cases where injuries have long-term effects on your physical capabilities or appearance, a lawyer can help you demand compensation for the long-term impact on your life.


If the accident leads to the loss of a loved one, a lawyer can assist you in pursuing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate or family members.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Accidents

If the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance, a lawyer can help you explore other options for seeking compensation, such as filing a claim against your own uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist policy.

Why Choose Hardison & Cochran?

If you have been injured in a North Carolina car wreck, choose Hardison & Cochran as your legal team. Our experienced attorneys have been providing legal representation to injured people with personal injury cases for more than 30 years. We focus on personal injury law, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability claims. This means we have an in-depth understanding of these areas of law and the processes that affect your case.

Our law firm’s focus is always on helping injured people, not large corporations or insurance companies. We understand the challenges that car accident victims face after a serious car accident. We are here to support you and guide you through the claims process. When you choose us, you will have a law firm that is committed to helping you pursue a favorable outcome so you can move forward with your life.

Contact Hardison & Cochran Today

If you’re dealing with serious injuries after a car accident in North Carolina, you don’t have to deal with insurance adjusters on your own. Contact Hardison & Cochran today for a free consultation to discuss the best course for you. Let an experienced car accident attorney help with your personal injury case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Call us now at 252-333-3333 to get started your FREE personalized consultation. We are available 24/7.

About the Author

Managing partner Benjamin T. Cochran oversees the operation of Hardison & Cochran Attorneys at Law in addition to representing individual clients in cases involving workers’ compensation and personal injury law.

A lifelong North Carolinian, Cochran knew from his high-school days in High Point that he wanted to be an attorney. He received a B.A. degree in economics and African-American studies from the University of North Carolina in 1999 and then enrolled at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University.

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