You or a loved one have just been in a car accident caused by another driver. Amidst the pain and stress about treatment and paying your bills, you need to tackle the insurance claim process. You might wonder, “is hiring a car accident lawyer truly worth it?”
In most situations, yes, having a car accident lawyer is beneficial for you if you suffered injuries from the collision. But the details matter. There are situations when a lawyer may be helpful, and other times you’ll be left at a huge disadvantage if you try to take on your case alone.
What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Insurance companies have entire teams of adjusters at the ready to fight against your injury claim after an accident. They are skilled at evaluating a claim and looking for ways to pay out less. Even if they appear to have your best interests in mind, they will always try to protect their interests even if it means paying you the bare minimum.
Having a car accident lawyer on your side during a car accident case helps level the playing field. They can begin an investigation immediately, gathering evidence of the negligent actions that caused your damages. That includes:
- Getting the police report from your accident
- Investigating the accident scene
- Talking to witnesses who saw what happened
- Calculating your total damages, including pain and suffering damages that are hard to define
- Handling all communications with other parties on your behalf
If the insurance company tries to pressure you into settling for way less than what you deserve, your lawyer will be there to step in. They can also help negotiate with the insurance adjuster for compensation that is actually fair to you.
Large insurance companies have the experience and resources needed to handle claims against them. More often than not, it’s unwise to try facing them without a strong lawyer by your side. Without an attorney, it will be hard to know your full legal rights, what you’re truly owed to cover your losses, and all of the options available to you.
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Signs that Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Is Worth It for You
While a car accident lawyer can be helpful in many situations, you should especially consider finding one in the following situations.
You Don’t Have a Good Understanding of Personal Injury Law
Understandably, most people do not know much about personal injury and car accident law after they get into a car accident. Plus, the insurance claim process can vary depending on where you live. If you are not familiar with local laws, it can be challenging to know what to do or what the initial steps are.
In Georgia, for example, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering costs from the accident they caused. That means if you are the victim of an accident, you have the legal right to file a claim for your damages according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-6. However, the burden is on you to actually file that claim, prove the accident happened, the other driver was at fault, and that your injuries and other damages were caused by the other driver.
This is exactly why lawyers exist. They have the education and years of experience to handle legal claims when a car accident disrupts your life. The goal is to get you the fullest compensation possible so you can cover your expenses and begin to move on. There’s no need to spend time and energy on doing your own research.
You Have a Lot of Damages
After a car accident, you may be owed damages like:
- Medical costs
- Vehicle repairs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
There are several types of damages you can have after a car accident. The two most common are special (economic) damages and general (non-economic) damages.
Special damages are easier to calculate because they have a set dollar amount. However, general damages are very difficult to figure without professional knowledge. If you have non-economic damages and if you have a lot of special damages, working with a lawyer is the best thing you can do for your claim. Otherwise, you may miss out on the full compensation you need and deserve.
Your Claim Is Denied or You Get a Small Offer
There are a number of reasons why the claim you filed might get denied by the insurance company. Hiring a lawyer can help boost your chances of approval from the beginning. However, if your claim is denied after filing or you get a small settlement offer, hiring a car accident lawyer is especially imperative. An experienced lawyer will know how to appeal a denial and fight for what you deserve.
The Insurance Company Won’t Negotiate
In some scenarios, an insurance company may refuse to negotiate with you further, if at all. If this happens and you want to continue fighting for your rights, you will need a lawyer who can represent you in court.
Situations Where You Don’t Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident
Hiring a car accident lawyer isn’t always necessary. You may not need the help of a car accident lawyer if any of these situations apply to you.
You Did Not Have Any Injuries
If there were definitely no injuries in your car accident, you may not need to pursue a personal injury claim or need help from a personal injury lawyer. Although this is rare, it does sometimes happen.
However, you’ll want to be absolutely sure you were not hurt by the accident. Keep in mind that some injuries can take time to develop. Get checked out by a doctor if you’re unsure.
You Get a Fair Offer
If the insurance company offers you a settlement that is fair and will cover your expenses, you may not need to hire a car accident lawyer. But you’ll want to be absolutely sure you are receiving a sum that is actually going to cover your costs.
Think carefully about all of your damages before proceeding. If you have many costs, you will probably need more money than you think. It’s best to schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer who can give you an opinion on what’s fair. Most injury lawyers offer this for free, so there is no expense in talking to them.
How to Find a Good Car Accident Lawyer in Georgia
Finding a good car accident lawyer can be just as challenging as fighting against the insurance company. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad and dodgy law firms out there that only put their desire to make money off of clients first. To avoid hiring subpar lawyers to assist you, there are key qualities you should consider when looking for legal representation:
- The case results of the law firm.
- How long the law firm has been in practice.
- The reputation of the law firm through reviews, news publications, and client testimonials.
- Their response time and dedication to your case.
- Whether or not they offer a free consultation.
In addition, you should also only consider lawyers that take payment through contingency fees. This is important because it incentivizes you to seek legal assistance and it incentivizes your lawyer to fight hard to win your case.
Contingency Fees Mean No Risk to You
Many car accident lawyers, like the ones at John Foy & Associates, work on a contingency basis. This means there are no upfront costs, and the lawyer only gets paid if they win you money. Their fee is then taken out of your settlement, making the process easy.
This is a risk-free situation that makes hiring a car accident lawyer worth it from the beginning. When you schedule a consultation with a law firm, ask about their fee structure and whether or not they work on contingency.
Trust Us to Fight for Your Car Accident Claim
Our car accident lawyers embody the very principles of trustworthy legal representation. We want you to prioritize your health and recovery while we focus hard on winning you the settlement you need to move forward with your life.
We won’t hesitate to take your claim to trial if necessary. With more than 20 years of experience, you can trust our lawyers to dedicate themselves to your case. Even though you can fight your claim on your own, it’s in your best interest to get solid legal representation quickly. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to fight for a fair settlement without a lawyer by your side.
OCGA §9-3-33 only gives you two years to file a claim. There can also be certain circumstances surrounding your claim that can shorten the time you have drastically. It’s best to act while evidence is still fresh and your case is still strong.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we are here to walk you through every step of the legal process after your car accident. Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation where we can answer any of your questions about hiring a car accident lawyer. Call or contact us online to get started.