Hiring an attorney after you are injured in a car wreck is not required by law. You, do, however, have the right to hire legal representation at any time throughout the process of making an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Victims have a variety of reasons for seeking legal counsel, including want to focus on their own recovery and ensuring that they receive fair compensation from insurance companies.
It is important to remember that each case is unique; hiring a lawyer does not guarantee an outcome. A lawyer can help you investigate the wreck, gather evidence of the other driver’s negligence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. The legal process can be confusing and take time to navigate; hiring an attorney allows you to spend time with your family and prioritize your health.
Ultimately, whether you should hire an attorney after a car accident depends on how confident you are navigating the insurance claims process alone and whether you have sufficient time in which to do so. While you can seek representation at any point, it is almost always better to do as early in the process as possible.
Filing an Insurance Claim
When you experience a motor vehicle accident, the first step in seeking compensation is to file a claim with either your own insurance provider and the other driver’s insurance company. In some states (including Georgia) comparative negligence laws apply. This means that if you share any percentage of fault for causing the wreck, you would see your compensation reduced by your own degree of fault.
In the worst of situations, the other motorist lacks insurance coverage or carries a policy that does not fairly cover your losses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading cause of death for people under 55, while the minimum amount of coverage people are required to have in Georgia is only $25,000.00. The severity of your physical injuries will ultimately determine if you have a case for compensation. Keep in mind, too, that some car accident injuries may only display symptoms days or even weeks after an accident.
If the other driver’s policy cannot cover the costs of your losses, you may be able to seek them through your own policy if you carry uninsured motorist coverage. You can hire an attorney immediately after a car accident to help you assess your losses and explore the options available to you through your own insurance policy.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In the case of an uninsured motorist, for example, even your own policy may not cover your losses. This is when you may have the ability to seek the remainder through a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
If you believe an insurance company is offering you a settlement that does not fairly cover your losses, you can file a personal injury lawsuit as long as you are within your state’s statute of limitations. A lawyer can also help you determine the time you have to file a lawsuit and take action to meet a deadline.
When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, many factors must fall into place. Your injuries must have caused real economic or noneconomic losses that you can demonstrate through documentation, such as medical diagnoses and treatments. You must also be able to establish fault on behalf of the other driver.
The Fault for the Accident
Establishing fault would require that both negligence and a breach in duty of care occurred. For example, if a driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or over the legal blood-alcohol content level, this would classify as negligence. If the driver engaged in distracted driving while answering a phone or navigating on a GPS, this breach in their duty of care they owed you while on the road may have contributed to the accident.
A lawyer can help investigate the cause of the accident and use evidence to demonstrate the fault of the other driver.
MG Law Can Help You with Your Case
If you were in an accident and suffered severe injuries, you may not be able to face your mounting medical expenses on your own. This problem can be made worse if your injuries leave you unable to work. If you did not cause the accident, or even if you only shared fault, you deserve fair compensation to help you get your life back on track. You may be wondering when you should hire an attorney after a car accident. Know that you always have the right to seek legal counsel at any point in time.
MG Law wants to see how one of our car accident lawyers may help you. We handle a variety of personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accidents that involve trucks, commercial vehicles, and motorcycles. Do not let a negligent party get away with causing your losses without facing the legal consequences. We offer free case evaluations so you can understand your legal options and seek financial recovery that fairly covers your losses.
To see what we may be able to do for your case, call us at 770-988-5252.