If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with the insurance company to get damages awarded. In fact, it can be so frustrating that a lot of people don’t bother to report the crash. Our car accident lawyers in Columbus, GA see it all the time.
People get into a minor car accident and don’t see a reason to notify their insurance company. The two drivers just trade information and agree to part ways. The problem with this is that you have no idea if you’ll need to file a claim later. For example, you may feel fine in the moments immediately after the crash only to feel terrible the next day. Or you think your car is fine only to learn that your transmission is shot.
Here, we’ll talk about the steps you must take to preserve your right to collect damages. We’ll also explain what types of damages are typically associated with a car accident. Finally, we’ll explain what you can do if you need to retain the services of an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney.
You Should Follow the Below Steps if You Want to Collect Damages Later On
Our attorneys always tell their clients how important it is to protect their legal rights if they’re involved in a crash. If you don’t follow a few basic steps, you’ll have a hard time pursuing the other driver for damages later.
First, you need to call 911. The cops will come out and conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene. They’ll look to see if either of the drivers is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They’ll also make a note of the road conditions and describe the accident scene.
Get Medical Treatment
Go to the hospital and get checked out by a doctor. You may feel fine in the moments after the crash. However, you have no idea if you’ve suffered internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury. These things can prove fatal if left untreated.
Call a Lawyer
Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Columbus, Georgia. Your attorney will make sure your claim is filed properly so you can receive damages for your injuries.
If you follow these steps, you put yourself in a very good position to collect damages from the other driver.
What Types of Damages Can You Demand in Your Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you get injured in a car accident, you have the right to demand compensation. The person who caused the crash owes it to you. That’s why they have insurance. When you first meet with your Georgia personal injury attorney, they’ll need to determine which types of damages you are going to demand in your lawsuit.
Most car accident lawsuits include the following in the way of damages:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost property
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
Your lawyer will add all of these up and that will be your total demand. Just keep in mind that there are things that can affect your damages award. The same is true if you manage to settle your case.
Will Your Damages Be Affected if You’re Partly at Fault?
When your car accident lawyer in Columbus, Georgia initially files your complaint, they’ll have to list your damages. As mentioned above, there are several different types of damages you can demand.
However, if you are found to be partially at fault, your damages are going to be reduced. In Georgia, there is something called comparative negligence. Under this rule, a plaintiff’s damages are reduced by whatever their percentage of fault is. If you’re found to be 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 20%.
It’s very rare that any driver is 100% at fault for a crash. Nobody is perfect. If you get into a car wreck, there’s a good chance you’ll be found to be at least partly at fault. So when you’re thinking about how much your case is worth, you need to take this into account. Your lawyer will certainly take this into account. When they go to settle your case, the defendant’s lawyer is going to make this argument. They need to be prepared to compromise.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Columbus, Georgia Will Negotiate a Fair Settlement on Your Behalf
One misconception a lot of our clients have is they think they’re going to get their day in court. They envision themselves up on the stand, testifying before a jury. It very rarely works out this way. More than 95% of all personal injury cases actually go to trial. Your Georgia personal injury attorney is going to work hard to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. They’ll talk to the defendant’s lawyer and see if they’ll willing to settle the case out of court.
If you do settle your lawsuit, you’re going to have to accept less than your full demand. Even if your lawsuit listed $500,000 in damages, you won’t walk away with this amount. Even if you didn’t settle, you still wouldn’t clear this much.
Trials are very expensive. Any monies your car accident lawyer in Columbus, Georgia had to put out would come off the top when you do win. Furthermore, if your case goes to trial, your lawyer’s percentage will go up to 40%. Therefore, you’ll be collecting less overall anyway. It makes more sense to settle your case so you can still walk away with a lump sum.
Reach Out to One of Our Skilled Car Accident Lawyers in Columbus, Georgia
If you or your loved one have been injured in a car crash, you should call our office right away. There’s no need for you to fight with the insurance company about getting your claim paid. If you retain an attorney, you won’t have to fight this battle on your own.
Your lawyer will demand that you be compensated for your injuries. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys are well versed in the law. We can help build a case against the defendant so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
All you need to do is call our office and pick a date and time that works for you. You can take advantage of our free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. You can also get an idea of what your case may be worth.
If you feel you have a legitimate claim for damages in your Georgia car accident, call us today and get the process started.