You, a friend or family member have just been involved in a car accident caused by another driver. Amidst the pain, injury sustained and stress about treatment and paying your bills, you need to tackle the insurance claim process.
You might be wondering, “is hiring a car accident attorney truly worth it?”
In most circumstance, yes, having a car accident attorney is advantageous for you if you suffered injuries from the collision.
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But the details matter. There are situations when a attorney may be helpful, and other times you’ll be left at a huge disadvantage if you try to handle your case alone.
Is It Worth Hiring A Car Accident attorney
Hiring a car accident lawyer can assist you because Insurance companies have entire teams of adjusters at the ready to fight against your injury claim after an accident.
They are skilled at evaluating a claim and looking for ways to pay out less. Even if they appear to have your best interests in mind, they will always try to protect their interests even if it means paying you the bare minimum.
Having a car accident attorney on your side during a car accident case helps level the playing field. They can begin an investigation immediately, gathering evidence of the negligent actions that caused your damages. That includes:
Getting the police report from your accident
Investigating the accident scene
Talking to witnesses who saw what happened
Calculating your total damages, including pain and suffering damages that are hard to define.
Handling all communications with other parties on your behalf
If the insurance company tries to pressure you into settling for way less than what you deserve, your lawyer will be there to step in. They can also help negotiate with the insurance adjuster for compensation that is actually fair to you.
Large insurance companies have the experience and resources needed to handle claims against them. More often than not, it’s unwise to try facing them without a strong attorney by your side. Without an attorney, it will be hard to know your full legal rights, what you’re truly owed to cover your losses, and all of the options available to you.
Signs that Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Is Worth It for You
While a car accident attorney can be helpful in many situations, you should especially consider finding one in the following situations.
You Don’t Have a Good Understanding of Personal Injury Law
Understandably, most people do not know much about personal injury and car accident law after they get into a car accident. Plus, the insurance claim process can vary depending on where you live. If you are not familiar with local laws, it can be challenging to know what to do or what the initial steps are.
In Georgia, for example, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering costs from the accident they caused. That means if you are the victim of an accident, you have the legal right to file a claim for your damages according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-6. However, the burden is on you to actually file that claim, prove the accident happened, the other driver was at fault, and that your injuries and other damages were caused by the other driver.
This is exactly why lawyers exist. They have the education and years of experience to handle legal claims when a car accident disrupts your life. The goal is to get you the fullest compensation possible so you can cover your expenses and begin to move on. There’s no need to spend time and energy on doing your own research.
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You Have a Lot of Damages
After a car accident, you may be owed damages like:
Pain and suffering
There are several types of damages you can have after a car accident. The two most common are special (economic) damages and general (non-economic) damages.
Special damages are easier to calculate because they have a set dollar amount. However, general damages are very difficult to figure without professional knowledge. If you have non-economic damages and if you have a lot of special damages, working with a lawyer is the best thing you can do for your claim. Otherwise, you may miss out on the full compensation you need and deserve.
Your Claim Is Denied or You Get a Small Offer
There are a number of reasons why the claim you filed might get denied by the insurance company. Hiring a lawyer can help boost your chances of approval from the beginning. However, if your claim is denied after filing or you get a small settlement offer, hiring a car accident lawyer is especially imperative. An experienced lawyer will know how to appeal a denial and fight for what you deserve.
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The Insurance Company Won’t Negotiate
In some scenarios, an insurance company may refuse to negotiate with you further, if at all. If this happens and you want to continue fighting for your rights, you will need a attorney who can represent you in court.
Situations Where You Don’t Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident
Hiring a car accident attorney isn’t always necessary. You may not need the help of a car accident lawyer if any of these situations apply to you.
You Did Not Have Any Injuries
If there were definitely no injuries in your car accident, you may not need to pursue a personal injury claim or need help from a personal injury attorney. Although this is rare, it does sometimes happen.
However, you’ll want to be absolutely sure you were not hurt by the accident. Keep in mind that some injuries can take time to develop. Get checked out by a doctor if you’re unsure.
You Get a Fair Offer
If the insurance company offers you a settlement that is fair and will cover your expenses, you may not need to hire a car accident attorney. But you’ll want to be absolutely sure you are receiving a sum that is actually going to cover your costs.
Think carefully about all of your damages before proceeding. If you have many costs, you will probably need more money than you think. It’s best to schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer who can give you an opinion on what’s fair. Most injury lawyers offer this for free, so there is no expense in talking to them.
How to Find a Good Car Accident Lawyer in Georgia
Finding a good car accident lawyer can be just as challenging as fighting against the insurance company. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad and dodgy law firms out there that only put their desire to make money off of clients first. To avoid hiring subpar lawyers to assist you, there are key qualities you should consider when looking for legal representation:
The case results of the law firm.
How long the law firm has been in practice.
The reputation of the law firm through reviews, news publications, and client testimonials. Their response time and dedication to your case. Whether or not they offer a free consultation.
In addition, you should also only consider lawyers that take payment through contingency fees. This is important because it incentivizes you to seek legal assistance and it incentivizes your attorney to fight hard to win your case.
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