Every year, over 3,600 accidents occur in Dougherty County, resulting in over 1,500 injuries. Not all of their victims turn to an Albany auto accident lawyer from the beginning. Many do it later during the compensation claim process.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for their attorney to discover that they have made costly mistakes. We do not want that to happen to you. Therefore, in the following lines, we will review the most common mistakes accident victims make. If you know what these are, you can avoid them.
7 Mistakes to Avoid Before Contacting a Lawyer
1. Leaving the Accident Scene
Georgia Code Section 40-6-270 requests all drivers involved in accidents to stop at the accident scene. They should give their contact, vehicle, insurance, and driver’s license information to everyone involved. Perhaps the most important duty is to render reasonable assistance to anyone injured.
Leaving the accident scene is a huge mistake because:
- Georgia laws foresee considerable penalties, including fines and prison time
- It could be interpreted as an assumption of guilt
- Drivers leaving the scene cannot gather the information and evidence necessary to claim compensation.
2. Not Seeing a Doctor
After accidents, the adrenaline rush often prevents victims from acknowledging their injuries. They refuse to see a doctor thinking that their injuries were mild or they were not injured at all. This is a huge mistake because:
- Left untreated, the injuries may aggravate
- Without proof of their injuries, accident victims cannot claim compensation for them
- The compensation will not cover complications appeared due to the victim’s negligence
3. Not Reporting the Accident
Georgia Code Section 40-6-273 requests drivers to report accidents involving injuries or damage over $500. Failing to report the accident would be a mistake because:
- Drivers who do not report the accident break the law
- The law enforcements will not come to the scene to investigate and establish how the accident occurred
- The police report is fundamental evidence in any Albany car accident case
4. Not Gathering Information and Evidence
Many accident victims neglect to gather information and evidence from the scene. This is a huge mistake because:
- Georgia is an at-fault state where the party at fault covers the damages
- The burden of proof in car accident claims falls on the claimant
- Most of the evidence is only available at the scene (oil leaks, brake marks, vehicle position, witnesses, etc.)
5. Admitting Fault or Signing Right Waivers
Assaulted by insurance agents and car accident lawyers, many drivers admit fault or sign right waivers. These are the worst things an accident victim can do because:
- Anything the driver says or does could be used against them during the compensation claim process
- Any fault percentage assumed means lower or no compensation, under Georgia contributory negligence principle
- Accident victims who sign right waivers willingly give up their right to compensation.
6. Waiting Too Long Before Filing the Compensation Claim
Many accident victims wait for months or over one year to claim compensation for their losses. Indeed, the Georgia statute of limitations allows two years for claiming accident injuries. However, waiting that long would be a mistake because:
- Preparing a compensation claim takes time and following strict procedures
- The deadline refers to civil court actions, not insurance claims. If the insurance company rejects the claim, the claimant should still have time to file a lawsuit.
- Some evidence is only available immediately after the accident. Moreover, the sooner the claim is filed, the sooner the victim will recover their damages.
7. Not Consulting an Attorney
The success of a compensation claim depends on the evidence supporting it. The claimant will have to prove: how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and what damages they incurred. Not consulting an Albany auto accident lawyer would be a mistake because Georgia auto accident lawyers:
- Build more solid claims using expert testimonies, technical expertise, and case precedents
- Obtain higher compensations by claiming hard-to-prove damages like pain and suffering
- Negotiate better settlements, being familiar with claim adjusters’ strategies
- Take over all the hassles of the claim process
- Advise their clients and help them avoid costly mistakes like the ones reviewed above
Get Help from an Experienced Albany Auto Accident Lawyer Now!
You deserve the highest compensation possible, and we can help you obtain it. Call our law firm at (229)351-5320 and schedule a free case evaluation with our Albany auto accident lawyer. You will have a chance to ask questions and receive answers and advice. It will be up to you if you visit our law offices again but you will not regret getting in touch!