Many car accident victims have no idea how expensive their injuries will end up being until after they have agreed to a quick but low insurance offer. Even injuries that seem minor, like whiplash, can develop into much more serious problems.
If you’ve been injured in a wreck, you need to speak to an attorney about your options for compensation. A good law firm can help you by working with you to determine the damages you can pursue. Covington car accident attorneys have made it their mission to help accident victims get you the most money possible.
Damages You Can Recover for a Covington, GA, Car Accident
In the city of Covington, you may be able to recover all of your costs related to the accident. This can include much more than you think, including:
- Lost wages because you missed work
- All of your medical bills
- All medication costs
- Any long term therapy or rehabilitation you have to undergo
- Car repairs and other property damage
Other Damages You Can Collect If You Were Seriously Injured or Disabled
These are the most difficult cases. Many individuals go through serious debilitating injuries including comas, the loss of a limb, and disfigurements. Personal injury lawyers also work with families going through the loss of a loved one due to a car accident. Covington car accident lawyers understand that facing the legal process is painful under these circumstances.
This is also where the legal system is designed to protect you and your family. In addition to recovering the costs above, the law allows you to pursue a large cash award to offset your disability or loss. You may also be eligible to receive punitive damages (OCGA §51-12-5.1), which are awarded as punishment to the defendant to hold them accountable for their actions.
Get the strong arm
Accepting the First Settlement Offer You Receive
Oftentimes, after an accident, the insurance company will offer you quick money with no lawyer needed, but it always comes with strings attached. To take the money from the insurance company you have to sign a release, which means that you give up your rights to all additional compensation.
That would be fine if they were offering you enough to cover all of your long-term costs, but it’s often too early to even know how much those costs are. You may end up accepting a check for $20,000 only to find out later that you have medical bills worth $50,000 or more. You don’t want to settle privately either.
Some insurance companies will use tactics that go even lower. This can include:
- Making you wait months while they say they’re reviewing your claim, knowing you’re hurting for money the whole time
- Calling to ask you how you’re doing and other “friendly” questions, only to use your answers against you
- Pressuring you to sign the paperwork fast, before you even know the extent of your injury
- Blaming you for the car accident, even when it wasn’t your fault
- Claiming you were already injured before the accident even happened
Why Insurance Companies Try to Give You Settlement Checks Fast
The reason insurers use these tactics is that they have only one goal: to pay you the lowest dollar amount possible. It doesn’t matter to them whether you are in pain, whether you get the full treatment you need, or whether you are able to return to work. Their priority is their bottom line.
Your lawyer’s priority, on the other hand, is helping you. Insurers have an army of lawyers working against you, and your car accident attorney in Covington helps even the odds. Their interests are to get you the most money possible so that you can focus on healing.
Will You Have to Go to Court for a Covington Car Accident Claim?
In many cases, no, you will not have to go to court for your car accident case. A typical claim goes through several stages:
- Negotiating with the insurance company directly
- Filing a lawsuit and beginning pretrial actions
- Going to trial, if necessary
- Getting a verdict from the jury
However, this process can end at any time if the insurance company offers to settle. Your Covington car accident lawyer’s goal is to get the largest settlement possible, as early in the process as possible. This helps you get the most money with the least cost, frustration, and time.
When Is It a Good Idea to Bring Your Claim to Court?
In some cases, the insurance company will refuse to budge. If this happens it’s your choice whether you want to go to trial or not.
If you want to go to trial, your lawyer will do their best to take care of everything for you and make the process easy. You will want to look for a law firm with a great deal of experience with the local courts and a strong record of success.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Covington?
You should not have to pay anything out of pocket for a good lawyer. Car accident lawyers’ goal is to help victims, not to add to your financial worries. That’s why many law firms offer a simple, risk-free fee structure:
- You pay them nothing for your initial consultation or any consultation, ever
- You pay them nothing upfront
- You pay them nothing unless they win you money
If your car accident lawyer in Covington successfully wins you a financial recovery, they are then paid a percentage out of that recovery. You keep everything else.
How Your Car Accident Lawyer Can Prove Negligence
According to the state of Georgia, in order to prove the other party was negligent, you and your car accident lawyer must prove:
- Duty: The other individual owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: They failed to meet that duty.
- Cause in fact: Had it not been for the other party’s failure, you would not have been injured.
- Proximate cause: The other individual’s error directly caused your injury.
- Damages: You suffered some form of loss, whether it be physical or financial pain.
In order to have the negligent party’s insurance company pay for your damages, your Covington, GA, car accident attorney will need to show evidence that they were behaving recklessly and you were injured as a direct result.
A Covington, GA, Car Accident Attorney Can Manage Your Claim
A car accident attorney in Covington can stand up to aggressive insurance companies and build a case that defends your right to compensation. Should you choose to retain legal services, your lawyer can:
- Gather evidence of the responsible party’s negligence
- Collect documents that show the full extent of your injuries
- Hire traffic accident experts to investigate the cause of the accident
- Handle all communication with insurance companies on your behalf
- Manage legal paperwork and deadlines
- Represent you in court, if necessary
Your legal team can also ensure you file your claim before the state’s two year time limit, also known as the statute of limitations as per OCGA §9-3-33, and you do not lose your legal right to recover from your damages.
Talk to a Covington Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
We’ve been helping car accident victims for more than 20 years. Let us help you too. When you call John Foy & Associates, we’ll give you a free consultation on your case, with no obligation. Call us or fill out our online form to get started building your claim today.