You certainly have the right to handle your injury claim on your own, but will probably receive a higher settlement and endure much less stress by partnering with an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta. On your own, you are much more likely to be taken advantage of by insurance companies, may make errors when filing your claim, or could fail to collect the evidence you need to support your claim.
A lawyer will take care of these tasks for you, carrying them out with efficiency and skill.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Insurance companies are not on your side. No matter how “nice” the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster sounds over the phone, remember this: that adjuster and that insurance company’s only agenda is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. When insurance companies pay you less, they make more money, and making money is their bottom line.
Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies is one way an Atlanta car accident lawyer will help you secure a fair settlement. If you speak to an insurance adjuster, you can count on them to somehow use your words against you, maybe by tricking you into saying you are “sorry about what happened” and claiming those words are an admission of fault. They may also try to frighten you into believing their inadequate settlement offer is the best you can hope to receive.
Insurance companies are good at manipulation, and while you may not pick up on their tactics or may agree to a too-low settlement out of fear, your attorney will not. Your attorney also knows the laws governing insurance company practices and will not let bad practitioners get away with illegal behavior.
Some Accidents Are More Complicated than Others
Some accidents have a clear-cut at-fault party. But not every case is straightforward. For you to collect compensation, you have to prove the at-fault party was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident. If you misidentify that party and cannot ultimately prove your case, you could wind up with no compensation.
Car accident attorneys are skilled investigators with connections to experts that can further support their investigative efforts. Your attorney will examine your accident from every angle to determine the at-fault party or parties.
For example, if you are involved in a truck accident, the at-fault party may be the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck or part manufacturer, the vehicle inspector, or even a combination of those entities. While your impression may be to hold the driver responsible, your attorney may learn that a vehicle malfunction caused the accident.
Personal Injury Laws Can Be Complicated
“Legalese” is not terminology easily understood by those who work outside of the legal system. And even for those that do, personal injury laws have their own complexities that are best navigated by a knowledgeable car accident attorney in Atlanta.
Georgia’s Fault Laws
In Georgia, injured accident victims can only file a claim against the at-fault party if the victims themselves are less than 50% responsible for the accident. If victims meet that standard, they can file, but if they hold any responsibility for the accident, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Of course, insurance companies see these fault laws as an opportunity to pay less. If they can put blame on you, even by using unethical strategies, they will do it, and without a legal background, it can be tough to know how to call them out for this dishonesty and defend yourself.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations
If your claim is against a private individual or company, Georgia gives you two years from the date of the incident to file your claim. However, if your claim is against a government entity, even the driver of a government-owned vehicle, the deadline is shortened to one year.
The process for filing a notice of claim against a government entity is different than filing a claim against a private entity. Navigating the different laws and procedures is not easy, and a simple mistake could cost you your settlement.
Do not stress over these procedures or potential mistakes. Give yourself peace of mind by putting your case in the very capable hands of an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Partnering with a Lawyer Can Bring Better Insurance Claim Outcomes
For the best-case outcome, it is in your best interest to be represented by a car accident lawyer in Atlanta. Your lawyer has extensive knowledge of personal injury laws and will:
- Investigate your case thoroughly
- Compile the evidence needed to support your claim
- File within the legal deadline and navigate the legal system effectively
- Dismantle or dismiss dishonest insurance company tactics
Most of the time, personal injury cases settle out of court. That said, in some cases, the at-fault party refuses to negotiate in good faith or offer a fair settlement. If that happens to you, do not worry. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer will continue to fight for you in the courtroom.
A Fair Settlement Amount
Your lawyer will also account for all of your losses in the settlement demand. After an accident, you will likely be in a weakened physical, mental, and emotional state, and may not anticipate your future needs or even recognize all of your losses.
Your attorney will consider your overall situation with great care, seeking compensation for your lost income, medical expenses, emotional and physical suffering, loss of quality of life, and property damage, and will seek a financial award to recoup your lost future earnings and continuing medical costs.
Managing an Insurance Claim Alone Is Hard, But a Lawyer Can Make It Easier
When you are pursuing a settlement for accident-related injuries, the stakes are high. You need a financial award to cover your needs and stabilize your household’s financial situation. Do not risk getting less than you deserve by attempting to manage your insurance claim on your own.
Insurance companies work against you and the legal process is complicated. You deserve representation from an Atlanta car accident lawyer who can take on those companies and work through the legal process with ease.