Filing a claim after a car accident is one of the more complicated things you can experience. You are left to deal with insurance adjusters, medical procedures, mechanics, and other obstacles. It helps your case to have a firm understanding of what to expect throughout the process.
The more you know about your situation and how to file a claim, the better. Working with a lawyer is advisable, but many people have misconceptions about who we are and what we’re about when providing representation. Below, we’ll explain some of the most important things you need to know before filing a car accident claim and your rights.
Here are 10 things to know before moving forward:
- Retaining a lawyer may lead to greater financial compensation.
- In a serious crash, handling matters through your insurance is in your best interest.
- You need to work quickly to protect your rights.
- You don’t need to worry about being able to afford a lawyer.
- A lawyer will make sure you don’t sign anything that is not in your best interest.
- You may be offered a settlement; check with an attorney before accepting it.
- You must show four factors to prove liability.
- You may have to wait sometime for a resolution.
- You should hire a lawyer to work for maximum compensation.
- You only have a certain amount of time to file your claim or lawsuit.
Call our firm today at (678) 270-2377 to discuss your potential car accident claim.
1. Hiring a Lawyer is More Beneficial for You
While you may handle certain parts of your claim on your own, it helps to have a lawyer on your side who can explain your rights and options. Even more importantly, a lawyer enables you to understand how insurance adjusters work in a car accident claim.
A lawyer recognizes insurance adjusters’ tactics and helps you combat them to protect your rights. Insurance companies don’t want you to have legal representation because they often take advantage of vulnerable situations and people who don’t know their rights.
2. Don’t Agree to Handle Claims Outside of Insurance
If you experience a crash, the responsible party may approach you and request to handle matters outside of an insurance claim. They may offer cash to pay for your damages, especially if the crash appears to be a small fender bender. Keep in mind: when you agree to handle matters outside of an insurance claim, you risk forfeiting your right to additional compensation.
You can lose out on vital compensation for injuries with latency issues, additional problems with your vehicle, lost income, and more. Keep in mind, handling your crash outside of insurance only benefits the person at fault, as they avoid increased premiums.
3. The Quicker You Start, the Better
You may think you can take some time to process what happened and deal with matters later. While you have time limits, the longer you wait, the more it helps insurance adjusters who look for any possible way to deny or minimize your claim.
After your crash, you should report it quickly, seek medical treatment, and hire a lawyer to protect your rights. The sooner you begin the process, the better your chances of obtaining compensation.
4. We Work On Contingency Fees
Many people think lawyers are out looking for money, and that’s their only objective. It’s a common misconception. When it comes to representing the injured, our firm works on contingency fees because we care about the results we’re able to obtain for our clients who need it the most.
Contingency fees mean that we don’t get paid unless we win the compensation. You pay nothing out of pocket, and our fee comes out as a percentage of the amount you recover—a percentage that we’ll be sure to agree to before moving forward.
5. A Lawyer Helps You Review Paperwork Before You Sign
Insurance adjusters may send you various documents that they want you to review and sign or e-sign. They may ask you to agree to accept certain terms, but they may not be willing to tell you everything you need to know about these documents.
With a lawyer, you can have your legal counsel review any documents before you sign. Insurance adjusters may stress a quick turnaround time on these documents, but you have the right to know what they say and how they impact your claim.
6. Settlement vs. Verdict
Your car accident claim may end in your favor in one of two ways: settlement or verdict. Of course, without sufficient evidence, insurance companies may deny your claim.
A settlement is an offer made by the insurance company that you may agree to if it covers your losses. Accepting a settlement ends your claim and prevents you from taking any legal action. A verdict comes from a trial, which is rare in these situations. A jury may issue the verdict and the courts determine the value of your compensation.
7. Four Factors of Liability
Four factors must exist to prove liability:
- The responsible party had a duty of care
- The action was a breach in the duty of care
- The breach led to a crash
- The crash resulted in injuries
Any reckless action while driving is breaching the duty of care.
8. Car Accident Claims Take Time
Insurance companies often delay car accident claims in hopes you’ll accept their settlement offer. The longer they wait, the more you need money, which may prompt you to accept whatever they offer, even if it doesn’t meet your needs.
9. A Lawyer Can Maximize Compensation
Having legal counsel allows you to maximize the compensation you recover as you can include all losses you experience. A lawyer can show the full impact the crash has on your life, including emotional trauma, to pursue the most you may receive.
10. Statute of Limitations
In Georgia, a statute of limitations exists regarding car accident claims. The laws state that you have two years from the date of the accident to file your case. If you don’t meet this deadline, you may forfeit your rights to pursue compensation.
At The Kalka Law Group - Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorneys, we’re committed to your needs. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys focus on your best interests, taking on large insurance companies with tenacity and experience. Let us be your trusted partners and advocate for the compensation and justice you deserve.