Benefits of Hiring an Attorney After a Car Accident in Decatur
Even in a minor car accident, people can get hurt and property can be damaged. Sometimes, the extent of the physical injuries and the cost to repair vehicles does not appear significant at the time of the accident. Given the lack of information, it may be a mistake to let the insurance companies sort it out without a personal injury lawyer representing your needs. One of the benefits of hiring an attorney after a car accident in Decatur is having a dedicated advocate protecting your interests at each step of the process. To learn more, call today to schedule a consultation.
Steps to Take Following an Auto Accident in Decatur
Immediately after an accident, drivers should call the police to obtain an accident report, contact their car insurance company to begin the claims process, and seek medical care to ensure that they have not sustained any serious injuries.
While drivers sometimes prefer to avoid contacting their insurer and pay for the damage themselves, if they hope to rely on the benefits of their policy, they must promptly notify the carrier. Failure to do so puts the driver in breach of their contractual obligations. Drivers who have been in an accident in Decatur should not fear that reaching out to their insurance company admits fault. It merely opens a claim and starts the process of determining fault.
Hiring a lawyer to assist in gathering evidence and managing the claims process is one way an attorney can ease a driver’s burden after a car accident.
Importance of Assigning Fault
When it comes to car accident liability, Georgia does not apply a no-fault rule. The law holds each driver responsible for their actions. So, determining who is at fault, and to what degree, is central to resolving these cases either through settlement offers or damage awards at trial.
Under the Official Code of Georgia §51-12-33, when more than one person caused a car accident, any restitution will be based on the apportionment of responsibility. However, if any party contributes by 50 percent or more to the incident, they will not collect any payment.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies prefer to settle auto accident claims. Settling is more straightforward and usually a more cost-effective means for resolving a claim. However, it does not always account for the harm done to those involved, especially when a party suffers severe injuries.
Dealing with skilled, insurance adjusters and lawyers may be intimidating to many consumers. Attorneys with deep experience handling car accident cases can take on the insurance company’s trained team of lawyers and negotiate the best possible settlement for your situation.
Filing a Claim for Damages
Reaching an agreement is not always possible. In some cases, injured drivers or occupants may need to file a lawsuit. Georgia allows injured parties to sue those individuals and businesses allegedly responsible for the harm they experienced.
Aggrieved parties might seek reimbursement for any of the following:
- Medical and dental bills
- Diagnostic tests
- Nursing or home care
- Emotional or psychological therapy
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage (including vehicle damage)
Claimants must file personal injury lawsuits within two years of the accident and property damage suits within four years. These time frames fly by quickly, so harmed individuals should consider hiring an attorney soon after they are involved in a car accident to receive maximum benefit from the representation.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Car accidents happen without warning. Sometimes they are someone else’s fault, and sometimes, you may have contributed to the mishap. Either way, if you or someone else at the scene was injured or there is property damage, seek legal advice. You need someone on your side with experience and your best interests at heart as you interact with your insurance company and possibly appear in court. The numerous benefits of hiring an attorney after a car accident in Decatur can start today by contacting us now.