Unfortunately, not every car ride ends at the intended destination. When auto accidents happen it’s important to be familiar with the process of dealing with the incident. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you can file a claim to seek compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A Fulton County, GA car accident lawyer will help you file your claim and ensure the settlement offer is full and fair.
Car crashes are an everyday occurrence in Fulton County. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 58,581 collisions in 2017. As a result, there were nearly 18,000 total injuries and 115 fatalities. At Bey & Associates we recognize how devastating a wreck can be, especially when severe injuries occur. You need legal experts who understand your situation, so you can get the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible.
When to Seek Legal Representation After an Accident
You may be wondering about the necessity of a car accident lawyer after you’ve been in a crash. While you may not need a lawyer if the accident didn’t result in injuries or property damage, most wrecks result in some type of damage. Working with an attorney can reduce your stress and protect your rights.
Insurance companies are typically more concerned with their bottom line than your needs. This means that they could offer you less than you deserve for accident compensation when you’re in the middle of negotiations. It can also be a challenge to understand your settlement options. Additionally, you may not be aware of all the damages you’re entitled to. For example, you may be eligible for compensation for emotional distress.
If negotiations don’t work out, you’ll likely consider filing a lawsuit. Doing so is a complex process and you’ll need strong evidence supporting your claims to get a judge or jury to award you the compensation you’re seeking.
To avoid the complications discussed above and to have peace of mind, it’s best to work with an attorney after a car accident. Even if you don’t proceed with a lawsuit, having them around for settlement negotiations will ensure the offer you receive is full and fair.
The Car Accident Claim Process in Georgia
In Georgia, parties involved in an accident are required to immediately make a report in the event injury or death happens. This also applies to collisions resulting in property damage greater than $500. Once you’ve contacted the authorities, you are required to provide your contact and insurance information to the other parties involved in the wreck. Drivers are not allowed to leave the scene until they’ve fulfilled those obligations.
Once you’ve sought medical attention and have had some time to collect your thoughts, you’ll want to inform your insurance company of the accident. If you believe you’re not at fault, contacting a lawyer is the first step in the claim process. It’s important to refrain from delaying the filing process, as a statute of limitations will apply if you decide to file a lawsuit. For car accidents in Georgia, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit for personal injury and four years to do so for property damage.
Your lawyer will handle the majority of your claim. They will conduct an investigation and collect evidence that proves you were wronged in the crash. Once the claim is built, negotiations with the insurance company can begin. While there is no cap on compensatory damages, punitive damages are limited to $250,000. Additionally, your compensation can be reduced if you’re found to be at fault for a percentage of the crash.
Tips for Maximizing Your Car Accident Settlement
With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you’ll have access to the compensation you need to cover your accident-related expenses. Maximizing your award is at the top of our priorities list. You can increase your chances of receiving proper compensation by considering the following:
- Seek Medical Attention. One of the best actions you can take after an automobile crash is seeking treatment from a medical professional. Whether you’re looked over at the scene by emergency responders, you head to the emergency room, or you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician the next day, having an accurate and official account of your medical records will ensure you have proof of the physical injuries you sustained and what they cost you – physically, financially, and emotionally.
- Take Photographs. Having photographs of the crash damage, including your car, the other vehicles involved, and the surrounding conditions can help your lawyer establish fault.
- Keep Accurate Records. Recalling how much a doctor’s appointment cost you or what was happening the moment the other car struck yours can be a challenge when you’re focusing on recovery. Keeping a detailed record of what you believe happened, in addition to any bills you get from hospitals, mechanics, etc., is an easy way to keep track of the compensation you’re owed.
- Be Prepared to Negotiate. As mentioned, insurance companies aren’t always willing to provide you with what you’re owed for an accident. That’s why we never accept the first settlement offer. We’ll help you determine what you’re owed and handle the negotiations for you, so you don’t settle for less.
Serving Residents in Fulton County, GA
Being one of Georgia’s most populous counties, it’s not a surprise to hear about car accidents. When you’re in one, however, the situation is bound to feel different. In order to improve your chances of making a full recovery and limiting the financial impact you experience, filing a claim with a Fulton County, GA car accident lawyer is in your best interest. To learn more about working with an attorney or to get started on your claim, contact us today.