Most parking lot collisions happen at low speeds, so people generally assume that the amount of damage caused should be minimal. In our experience, this is far from the case. Even slow-moving vehicles can cause considerable bodily injuries, such as concussions, whiplash, and back injuries. Also, a slow-moving vehicle can still smash up another car, causing thousands of dollars of necessary repairs. Someone needs to pay compensation for all these losses, and Georgia law puts the onus on the person at fault for the parking lot accident.
Many people want to know if they must hire an attorney following a parking lot accident. The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. We encourage all injured motorists to contact our car accident advocates to review their situation. Below, we pick out a few factors that should go into the analysis of whether you should “lawyer up” after a parking lot collision.
How Badly Were You Injured?
Some people suffer nothing but a scratch on their bumper after a parking lot accident, whereas other people suffer life-altering injuries. Generally, bodily injuries are less serious in parking lot accidents than if you had suffered a head-on collision on the freeway. However, many people are still badly injured. Nerves can get pinched and bones can break at even low speeds. Pedestrians struck can also suffer life-threatening injuries when a motorist slams into them.
Take stock of your injuries and roughly estimate how much they have cost you. Include things like medical care and lost wages in your calculations to arrive at a rough number. If all you have lost is a couple of thousand dollars, then your claim is fairly small. However, those who have incurred tens of thousands of dollars in losses are looking at sizeable recoveries.
Insurance companies will more aggressively fight a case where someone has been badly injured because there is more money in play. Many of our clients also qualify for compensation to cover pain and suffering, which can be many times over what they get for medical care and lost income. You would benefit from an attorney where you have been badly injured, otherwise, you could undervalue your claim.
Did You Only Suffer Property Damage?
In many parking lot accidents, the only damage is to the vehicles. If so, you can probably handle your insurance claim yourself without a lawyer. You will probably take your car to a body shop recommended by your insurer and get an estimate for repairs. Remember, your car will not be put back into mint condition. Instead, the shop should fix it so that it is roughly in the same condition it was in before the crash.
Claims for only property damage are usually fairly traightforward. Some insurers might be difficult to deal with, but usually, a person can negotiate their claim on their own because the amount of money in play will not exceed the value of the vehicle. If your car was very expensive, then you might benefit from meeting with an attorney, but generally, people can handle property-only claims on their own.
Can You Advocate for Yourself?
We wish that every insurance claim was as simple as filling out a few forms and waiting for a check to arrive in the mail a few weeks later. Unfortunately, many insurance companies practice the “delay and deny” strategy—refusing to even investigate a claim and then denying adequate compensation even when it is clear that you have been badly injured.
To get the maximum amount you are entitled to, injured victims need to become advocates and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement. If you have only suffered a few nicks and bumps, then this might not be difficult. But if bodily injuries have turned your life upside-down, then you might need to engage in lengthy negotiations to get an insurer to offer fair compensation.
As experienced accident attorneys, we know all the tricks that insurers use, and we can make a clear claim for compensation. Our lawyers know how to counter “delay and deny” tactics and how to use the law to our advantage. We are not afraid of insurers—in fact, we’ve taken on some of the largest in Georgia. And if the insurance company won’t offer fair compensation, we can take a case to court. Bringing a lawsuit is unfortunately beyond the capabilities of most people.
To get answers to your questions following a crash, contact MG Law today. We offer a free and confidential consultation where we will assess your case and whether you need a lawyer.