When Choosing a Lawyer, Timing is Everything!
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, it’s hard to determine what to do first.
You might be struggling with some pretty severe injuries.
You’ve likely realized that your medical bills are going to add up quickly.
But if the accident wasn’t your fault, you also know that you should be able to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
But, should you try to recover your damages on your own?
Or does it make sense to hire a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta?
You could always try to negotiate a settlement yourself.
You’re much more likely to maximize your settlement and secure a meaningful financial award if you hire a car accident lawyer on your side.
So, how soon should you hire an auto accident attorney after a personal injury?
There’s no exact science as to when you should and when you should not hire a lawyer to represent you in your car accident case.
As a general rule, if at any time you do not feel comfortable handling your claim on your own, for any reason, you should consult with and hire a car accident lawyer.
In the article below, we’ll talk about when it makes the most sense to bring in a personal injury attorney to handle your car accident case.
You Have To Negotiate With Insurance Companies
Most states in the U.S. are at-fault states.
This means that if one receives damages from an accident, the driver who caused it and their insurance company will be responsible for damages such as medical expenses and vehicle damage.
Your insurance company will be your primary source of compensation after you get hurt in an accident.
We’ve all seen the insurance company ads on TV and marketing campaigns that make you think that they’re on your side.
In reality, the insurance company is not on your side.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that need to make a profit to stay in business.
So it only makes sense that paying out as little as possible is good for business.
Paying out maximum benefits whenever a customer submits insurance claims doesn’t help them make a profit.
That’s why insurance companies will do anything and everything to pay you as little as possible.
The best-case scenario for them is to pay you nothing at all.
Insurance companies handle injury claims every day, and they designed the process.
That means they know exactly how to work the system in their favor.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to bring in a car accident lawyer with experience handling injury claims.
Your lawyer will be able to anticipate the insurer’s tactics and force them to play by the rules.
Something you can’t do on your own.
When you have an attorney representing you, insurance companies are more likely to offer fair, reasonable settlement offers.
Want more reasons to hire a lawyer? Read our blog post here, “5 Reasons You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer After Your Accident?”
You’ve Been Blamed For The Car Accident
No one wants to take responsibility for a car accident because they know what that means for their insurance premiums.
Everyone involved in the car accident, along with their insurance providers, will point fingers and assign blame to everyone else.
That’s why you should prepare to receive the blame for your accident, even if it seems apparent that it wasn’t your fault.
If you aren’t ready to defend yourself against these allegations, they will hurt your ability to recover compensation.
Also, keep in mind that Georgia is a comparative fault state.
That means your contributions to an accident will directly impact how much money you can recover for your injuries.
The money awarded to you could become reduced by your degree of fault.
Even worse, if other parties and their lawyers can shift all of the blame to you, you’ll get nothing.
However, hiring an attorney will protect you from these types of claims.
Your lawyer can make sure that experts thoroughly investigate your accident.
The investigation can provide insight into what caused the accident and who is actually at fault.
The information obtained by your attorney in an investigation can be priceless as you pursue compensation.
The Accident Has Caused You Emotional Distress
There are two types of compensatory damages you can pursue after an accident: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are obvious damages.
They cover things that have a specific cost or value.
This includes your medical bills, the cost of replacing or repairing damaged property, and the value of your lost wages.
Non-economic damages are paid to compensate for much more subjective and harder to calculate injuries.
Because you can’t calculate the value of non-economic damage the same way you can something like lost wages, they are much more difficult to assign a value.
They can vary widely from one case to the next, and they can include pain and suffering, emotional distress like PTSD, depression, and anxiety, and loss of consortium.
Since non-economic damages are difficult to value in monetary terms, you should always work with an attorney with experience calculating non-economic damages when negotiating a settlement.
Waiting Costs Money
There is one last consideration when deciding when or if to get an attorney after a car accident.
Waiting to hire a lawyer can cost you a lot of money.
This is because, the longer you wait to hire an attorney, the less “fresh” the evidence will be. That makes it difficult for your attorney to investigate the how who, and how much.
Witness memories fade, first responders move on, and the accident scene will get cleaned up.
The passage of time will eat away at the evidence and the top-end of the amount of money you might hope to recover.
Every state also has a statute of limitations. This law sets the deadline by which an accident victim can take legal action.
If you miss that deadline, it means you lose your legal rights to compensation altogether.
The statute of limitations in Georgia gives you two years from the date of your injuries to file your lawsuit.
This means that you need to ensure your case makes it to the appropriate court before the two years expires.
However, if you wait too long to get a lawyer after a car accident, your claim could be worth zero.
Contact The Angell Law Firm
After many car accidents, the negligent parties and their insurance companies will downplay the effect the injuries have on your life.
They’ll do all they can to drive down how much they are worth and how much you can be compensated.
Your lawyer will fight to ensure that your damages, including the non-economic damages, are appropriately valued.
However, If you try to negotiate yourself or accept the first settlement offer they give you, you risk leaving a lot of money on the table.
But we know that if you received an injury from a car accident, picking a car accident attorney can add stress to the situation.
When it comes to choosing a car accident attorney, there are several things your firm should have. Your lawyers should have the dedication, drive, and resources to pursue your case to the lengths necessary. This will help to ensure your case’s fullest value is realized.
The Angell Law Firm has the experience, the skill, and the initiative to get the job done while still maintaining a strong focus on the attorney-client relationship.
If you’ve been in a car accident and need a personal injury attorney to help with your case, schedule your Free Consultation with the Angell Law Firm.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.