When you are involved in an Auto Accident, the entire situation can feel incredibly stressful. Between being treated for your own injuries, and negotiation with insurance agents, these incidents can be a lot to take in at once. Because these events can be confusing and stressful, it may be helpful to ask yourself some questions following the accident.
I've Been In A Car Accident, What's Next?
Car accidents, although common across the nation, are all unique situations. Each incident is different and must be handled a different way. As soon as you are involved in an accident, the first step should be to contact emergency services, especially if it is a serious accident. Take the time to recover properly from your injuries, especially if they are serious. The next step in the process is to obtain the police report to contact your insurance company if a claim needs to be filed. This will also play a strong role in any legal case that may develop from the incident. In addition, it is important to consider whether or not the other driver may have been responsible for the accident. Even at this early stage, it may be helpful consult with an attorney once the police report has been filed for the case.
I'm Being Contacted by the Other Party's Insurer, What Should I Do?
Many times, prior to the start of a case, the other party's insurance company may attempt to contact you. Even if, at this stage, you have not considered contacting an attorney, you may wish to decline to discuss the accident with them. The goal of the other party's insurance company may be to convince you to settle your claim, which can forfeit your right to collect compensation in court. Even if you are not initially considering pursuing a lawsuit, it may be best to at least consult with an attorney prior to accepting any settlements from an insurance company.
When Is The Right Time To Involve An Attorney?
There is typically no "right time" to get in touch with an attorney. In fact, an attorney can be contacted at any time following an accident to consult you on your potential case. Ultimately the decision to involve an attorney is up to you, however, just accepting the insurance company's offer may not provide the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that there is a limited time to seek compensation through a lawsuit. One time period is established by what is known as the "statute of limitations," which limits the time for a person to file a lawsuit for their injuries. For accidents that occur in Georgia, the statute of limitations generally requires that a person files a lawsuit or a personal injury within 2 years of the incident. In some cases, the statute of limitations can begin running 2 years after an injury is discovered, and in other cases, the time limit can be shorter, such as one-year. Every case is different and must be analyzed separately to determine the applicable Statute of Limitations and other time periods.
Will I Go To Court Over My Car Accident?
If you decide to consult with an attorney, your attorney will review the facts of your case with you. A lawsuit can sometimes take a long time to complete, but there are also opportunities for settlement as well. Lawsuits do not always head to court, as at times, a settlement negotiated by an attorney is much more favorable than the initial offer from the insurance company. If a case is to head to court, however, your attorney will advise you on the steps to bring your case to court, and what can be done in the meantime. In addition, at times it may be wiser to take a generous settlement rather than gamble in court. On the other hand, a more solid case, or a stubborn defendant may be best handled in a trial. The best course of action depends on the specific circumstances of your case. At times, it may not be necessary to file a lawsuit if the opposing party's insurance agrees to a fair settlement.
What Can I Recover As Compensation?
When you are involved in a personal injury case for an auto accident, your compensation will revolve around claiming "damages" that were accrued in the accident. Damages is a legal term that refers to monetary amounts to compensate for losses that arose from the accident. Damages are commonly broken up into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that can be measured in financial terms, such as the value of a car, or the amount of your medical bills. Non-economic damages are simply damages that are not measurable in these straightforward numerical or financial terms, such as pain and suffering, or mental anguish.
What Can I Do To Help My Auto Accident Case?
The first thing you can do if you have been injured is to recover from your injuries and keep any and all records. If you decide to pursue a case, these will be of utmost value to your attorney and the success of your case. In addition to this, typically, the greater time spent with your case, the better your chances of success in court. A strong case takes time to build, so it may be best to get in touch with an attorney for a consultation if you feel you have a case.
Getting In Touch With A Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
If you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may have the right to compensation. Every case is different, and don;t be afraid to talk to an attorney. Contact the Gautreaux Law Firm for a consultation on your case to recover the compensation you deserve.