Some Georgia car accident cases are indeed simple and easy to handle even for someone with no legal knowledge. These are usually cases involving property damage only or minimum losses that would not justify paying for the services of an Albany car accident lawyer.
But when you were directly involved in the accident, assessing how simple or complicated your case is can get difficult. The easy way out would be to consult a car accident lawyer anyway. Since many Albany car accident lawyers offer free case reviews, you would not even have to pay for their opinion.
Until you get a chance to do that, here are a few questions that you should answer. If your answers are positive, you should definitely get in touch with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
5 Questions That Can Help You Determine If You Need an Albany Car Accident Lawyer
Did You Incur Serious Injuries in the Accident?
Serious injuries involve broken bones, disfigurement, temporary or total disability, injuries that require surgery, etc. If you incurred them, then you may have the right to compensation for pain and suffering, disability-related losses and expenses, and more.
Such cases often settle for huge amounts but they are also difficult to prove and win. You would need to support your case with solid evidence and, probably, defend yourself against accusations of contributory negligence. Negotiating with the insurance company or defending your interests in court will not be easy either.
Did You Contribute to the Accident in Any Way?
Sharing fault for your accident does not cancel your right to compensation. However, it does diminish the amount you can obtain accordingly. Insurance companies and courts consider the overall fault for the accident at 100%. Based on the evidence available, they assign fault percentages to every party and use them to determine each party’s right to compensation.
Let’s say your accident resulted in total losses of $100,000. A fault percentage of 25% would make you liable for $25,000 worth of losses. The tricky part is that, if you are seeking compensation from an insurance company, their obvious interest is to diminish their losses. Chances are they will try to blame you for the accident. Therefore, you will need an experienced Albany auto accident lawyer to defend your interests and prove your innocence.
Did the Insurance Company Reject Your Claim?
Insurers often deny compensation claims to determine claimants to give up or accept lower settlements. They also pick on the smallest details, like an incomplete or misspelled name or address. In their rejection letters, they provide insufficient, vague information.
If that is your case, getting compensation from the respective insurer will be challenging. They will use every trick in the book to hold on to your money. You may have to file an appeal, complain with the Insurance Department, or even sue them for bad faith. It goes without saying that these are procedures better left to a versed car accident attorney.
Did You Give Statements or Sign Documents at the Accident Scene?
Many insurance companies and lawyers take advantage of the accident scene madness to protect their interests. They engage the victims in various conversations to get them to say things that go against their interests. They ask them to sign documents without giving them time to read.
You may have apologized or expressed regrets without realizing it. You may have signed right waivers or accepted a detrimental settlement. If that was the case, a discussion with a knowledgeable attorney can help you assess the damage and your options.
Did You Wait for Months or Years before Filing Your Claim or Filed It with the Wrong Defendant?
Timing is important in Georgia car accidents. If the statute of limitations expires, your recovery chances will be small to inexistent. Preparing a claim takes time and evidence. Moreover, evidence is difficult to come by when you did not gather it on time, from the accident scene.
You will need all the help you can get, and no one can provide it better than a Georgia car accident attorney. This is especially true when you need to prove that your case qualifies as an exception to the statutes of limitation or request a time extension.
Have Your Case Reviewed by One of the Best Georgia Car Accident Lawyers for Free!
Are your answers to the above questions positive and you need help or you simply want some peace of mind? Our Albany car accident attorneys at Joe Durham can provide it. Call our office and schedule a free consultation! You can decide whether you really want or need our help after we review your case.