The Georgia Department of Transportation reports that more than 1,500 people have died in car accidents on Georgia highways in the last two years.
Some 60 percent of those accidents are single-car accidents caused by failing to maintain their own lane, and in more than half of the accidents, the victims weren’t wearing their seatbelts.
With these startling statistics, it is important to know what your rights are if you or your loved one has been involved in a car accident in Georgia.
An attorney that is experienced in personal injuries due to car accidents will be your best guide to help you through such an unsettling and scary experience.
How Do You Know if You Need an Attorney?
If you sustained minor injuries that resulted in less than $1,000 in medical bills, you can likely negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster on your own. However, claims any higher than that you should consult with an attorney. You may also want to hire an attorney if you were involved in any of the following types of accidents:
- An accident caused by a defective car part
- An accident involving a motorcycle, pedestrian, or bicyclist
- An accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- A head-on collision
- An accident that took place in road construction
- An accident involving a bus or 18-wheeler semi-truck
- An accident that resulted in time missed from work or permanent injuries
If you have been injured in any of the above scenarios, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Injured in a Serious Accident?
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Reasons Why You Need an Attorney
If you or your loved one has been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you want to be sure and protect your rights, otherwise, you may be paying the price both personally and financially for someone else’s reckless behavior. Here are the top reasons why you need to hire a personal injury attorney to protect those rights:
- Statute of limitations – In the state of Georgia you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in most situations. Failing to file the lawsuit in that time forces you to give up your right to sue forever.
- You will need to comply with certain rules when filing a lawsuit – There may be certain requirements you must comply with, such as filing a police report or an intent to sue within a certain period of time. An experienced attorney will know the laws and ensure you don’t make any mistakes.
- Your insurance company may not be on your side – While your insurance company is supposed to protect you and compensate you for damages, they also aim to keep down their costs and reduce their overhead. This means that the compensation you deserve may not be the same as what your insurance company is willing to give you.
- You may not know all the damages you are eligible for – There is a variety of damages you may be eligible for that you may not know about. Of course, you are entitled to your medical bills and damage to your vehicle, but you may also be eligible for things like lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering, just to name a few.
- Proving liability isn’t always easy – Even with a police report and witnesses, proving that the other party was negligent may not be easy. An attorney who understands the law can help prove that the other party was negligent in order to get you fair compensation.
- Filing a lawsuit is very complex – If you decide to sue, certain paperwork must be filed in court. You will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you through this complex process.
- You may need guidance with settlement options – Many cases are able to be settled outside of court. Your attorney can help you decide if the offer from the insurance company is acceptable, and what the implications of accepting the offer are.
- Proving your case can be very complex – Just like filing your case, proving your case in court can be even more complex. There are restrictions on the types of questions and phrasing that you can ask in court, and extensive research is often needed to convince the jury and judge to side with you.
- You could face financial loss without an attorney – If you don’t file your lawsuit in time, if you fail to sue the right parties for the right damages, or if you lose your case due to poor representation, you will be banned from suing ever again. This means that your damages and bills will be your responsibility.
What an Attorney Can Do for You
Many people aren’t comfortable talking to a personal injury attorney after being in an accident. They fear that the attorney will cost too much, or they don’t want to sue someone. The good news is that most cases never make it to the courtroom and are settled outside of court. Here are even more things an attorney can do for you if you or your loved one has been injured in an accident:
- An attorney can make sure you are getting the best treatment – You may need to see several different doctors, depending on your injuries. A personal injury attorney can guide you to great doctors and be sure those doctors receive payment after your settlement.
- An attorney will deal with the insurance companies so you don’t have to – Depending on the accident, several insurance companies may be involved. If you aren’t familiar with the insurance process and how aggressive the adjusters can be, the process of dealing with the companies can be scary and frustrating. A personal injury attorney has experience dealing with the insurance companies and will be sure the adjusters contact them instead of you.
- Experienced personal injury attorneys will make sure your medical bills get paid – You may start getting calls and mail from the doctors and facilities that treated you for your injuries. This can be overwhelming. A personal injury attorney will contact these companies and let them know that they are handling your case and will ensure they get paid when the settlement is received.
- Contact an Attorney at Our Office for Help – An experienced personal injury attorney will keep the insurance adjusters honest and if they don’t offer a reasonable settlement, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Even after paying your attorney, you will likely end up with more money in your pocket than if you had settled the case on your own.
Contact an Attorney at Our Office for Help
The attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. have more than 30 years’ experience helping clients who have been injured in accidents due to the negligence of other drivers. We have won millions of dollars for our clients and will make sure you receive the maximum compensation available to you under the law. Contact us today for a consultation.