When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
July 10, 2023
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident, you may wonder what your next steps should be. You may have been injured in the motor vehicle accident, had damage to your vehicle, or been displaced from work, causing you lost wages.
The legal system can be challenging, and understanding your rights in a personal injury case can be confusing. It is best to have an experienced lawyer defending your claim who can litigate and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Should You Fight for Your Car Accident Claim Alone?
There is no legal requirement to hire a lawyer when you have been in a car accident and must file a claim. You have the right to represent yourself during the trial or to negotiate any settlements. It is, however, difficult to fight for a reasonable settlement on your own unless you have experience in the legal system.
Unfortunately, in many situations, victims representing themselves in court settle for much less than they deserve or should have received for compensation. To have the best outcome for your claim, you must have an experienced lawyer walking you through the process.
When Is the Best Time to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
If you or any passengers were injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver, it is wise to discuss with the lawyer the details of your case as soon as possible.
In general, retaining legal assistance for your motor vehicle accident case improves your chances of a positive outcome. Even if your injuries or damages may not seem severe at first, they could end up being substantial. It is best to hire a lawyer even if you feel the injuries or damages were minor because handling the insurance company can be difficult and stressful.
It is in the best interest of the insurance company’s adjuster to offer you as low a dollar amount as possible. They will try to trick you by telling you that you must accept this offer within a specific time or convince you that you do not need a lawyer to proceed with your case.
Why Should You Get a Lawyer After Your Car Accident
Having a car accident lawyer on your side will help you get the best outcome for your injury claim. There are many ways attorneys can do this. The following are a few of the many reasons you should hire a lawyer after a car accident.
Lawyers Have the Legal Knowledge Needed for Car Accident Claims
Lawyers who specialize in car accidents can help victims receive the compensation they deserve to cover any expenses they face due to the accident. They have been trained and have years of experience proving the negligence of the opposing party.
A lawyer can help you obtain a reasonable settlement if the negligent driver or the insurance company tries to give you an offer that is lower than you deserve. If the negotiation is not successful, your lawyer can help you fight for compensation by filing a lawsuit. While possible, it is not easy to do this without legal representation.
Insurance companies have a team of professionals on their side to prevent you from receiving the money you need to cover your damages. By hiring a lawyer for your car accident case, you will have your own team of experienced attorneys to defend you and work to convince the opposing side to offer a more substantial settlement.
Deciding the Extent of Your Damages
The majority of car accident victims do not realize the extent of their losses or injuries, nor how much the damages in their case are worth.
If you are unsure of what your damages are, you could lose out on the money you are legally entitled to and could potentially have to pay for any costs incurred from the car accident—even if you were not at fault.
Some of the damages that a car accident lawyer can fight for on your behalf are:
- Any current and future medical costs
- Damages to your vehicle
- Wages you have lost from time missed at work
- Reduction in earning capacity where your injuries have affected your working capabilities, causing you to no longer be able to make the amount of money you did prior to the accident
An experienced lawyer will look at all the evidence of your case and decide the total damages that should be included in your insurance claim.
A judge or jury may also reward you with punitive damages as a way of punishing the liable party for their negligent actions.
An Attorney Will Work on Your Behalf
There is a lot of work, energy, and time needed to have a successful outcome in your car accident case. The end goal of getting the compensation you deserve is easier with the knowledge that an experienced lawyer has. An attorney will work on your behalf to gather evidence such as:
- The cause of the accident
- The negligence of the other driver involved in the accident
- The damages you incurred
- Proof that the damages resulted from the fault of the other driver
If you have never experienced a car accident or had to file an injury claim, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Georgia
The Georgia statute of limitations states you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of when the accident or injury occurred.
It is imperative that you do not wait too long to file your claim or you risk passing the statute of limitations. While two years seems like an extensive amount of time, the issue with waiting is that critical evidence can get lost or damaged, and eyewitness memories can fade over time.
Get the Car Accident Representation You Need
Now is the time to get the legal representation you need. Contact a dedicated car accident lawyer at The Pendergrass Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation and find out what is next for your car accident claim.