(404) 760-8600

Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

Hoffspiegel Law Blog

Home » Blog » Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Do I need an attorney after a car accident in Atlanta, GA?
August 16, 2023

Imagine sitting at a red light, finally taking a breather after a long day. As you focus on the car ahead of you, suddenly, your body is jolted forward. Another driver, completely oblivious to what is happening, crashes into your car. Being in a car accident can be painful and confusing. The experience can leave car accident victims shaken and unsure of what to do next. Therefore, having the right tools to protect yourself legally becomes crucial. Hiring a car accident lawyer comes into play after a collision has occurred, regardless of who was at fault.

You might wonder, “When do I need a lawyer for a car accident?” In this article, we will explore why hiring a lawyer after a car accident is something you should seriously consider. So let’s discover when having a lawyer on your side can make a real difference!

What Are the Advantages of Enlisting a Car Accident Lawyer Following a Collision?

In Georgia, it is not uncommon for a person to be involved in automobile accidents. Both minor car accidents and more severe collisions are a daily occurrence statewide. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, during 2021, there were nearly 1,800 traffic fatalities in Georgia.

Dealing with a complex injury case all by yourself can be tough, especially if you do not have much in the way of resources, time, or mobility. On top of that, regardless of how straightforward your case might seem, navigating the legal system can be a real challenge.

Car accident victims may encounter the following problems related to their legal rights:

  • Understanding the statute of limitations, or time limit, to file your personal injury claim
  • Deciphering the claims process
  • Comprehending his or her insurance policy and how the insurance coverage relates to the vehicle damage, medical expenses, and physical injuries

Then, several situations can make a personal injury case even more complicated than normal, such as when:

  • The other driver refuses to admit fault or may have initially admitted fault but now denies it
  • The collision involved a vehicle employed by a trucking company
  • The accident occurred in a construction zone
  • There is a disagreement between insurance companies regarding which insurance policies apply

The truth is, an injured person may find it difficult to handle a claim without help. Your mobility may be restricted, and you may be in constant pain. You may not want to deal with the added stress of a personal injury claim on top of everything else.

Yet, the insurance company will want to see evidence to support your insurance claim. You must gather evidence and organize your claim while enduring our car accident injuries. Hiring a lawyer can take some of this load off you.

With the assistance of a legal team that deals with auto accidents, you can focus on healing from your sustained injuries while your legal rights are protected. Many lawyers offer a free consultation and even work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have to pay a dime until your case is won.

Why Having a Lawyer Handle the Insurance Companies Will Be Beneficial to Your Case

When you have a car accident attorney on your side, he or she can deal with the insurance company for you. This includes handling all the necessary paperwork, responding to an adjuster’s inquiries, and negotiating to secure a fair settlement. 

Having a car accident lawyer represent you also means mistakes will be minimized. If there is a problem with the claim filed, this could prove harmful to your case.

How else can a lawyer assist you by working with the insurance companies?

A lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf

Remember that any insurance company, even your own, and certainly the other driver’s provider, will not be looking out for your best interests. The goal of an insurance company is often to pay out as little as possible, even if it means you do not receive fair compensation.

Before giving any recorded statement to an insurer or accepting any settlement offers, wise individuals first get a free case review with an attorney. 

When you work with a personal injury law firm, the attorneys and their trusted associates can protect your rights. Car accident lawyers possess a deep understanding of the legal system and know how to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company on your behalf skillfully.

A lawyer knows how to use the car accident report to benefit your case

In Georgia, if you are in a car accident that causes injury, death, or significant property damage of $500 or more, you must notify the local police department. Outside of a municipality, the county sheriff or the nearest state patrol office must be informed.

While some car accidents may not require you to call the police and file a report immediately, it is in your best interest to do so.

Most insurance companies usually require a police report to assess property damage and personal injury claims. Your insurance provider may not ask for an official accident report. 

Still, obtaining these documents can be helpful. They serve as solid proof that someone else was responsible for the collision and may assist you in negotiating a just settlement with an insurance company.

Car accident attorneys know how to use these car accident reports effectively when dealing with tough insurance companies. Your car accident lawyer can use your collision report to prevent the other party from trying to blame you. 

By taking these steps, you protect your rights. You also boost your chances of receiving the rightful compensation you deserve. So remember, after an accident, always report it to the police and seek professional legal advice before making a recorded statement.

A lawyer can help you fight an insurance company in civil court

An insurance company often offers a quick monetary settlement to avoid a personal injury lawsuit and pay out as little as possible. At other times, a car insurance company is completely obstinate. They could deny your car accident claim or offer you a lesser amount than it is worth.

There are times when you may have to take an insurance company to civil court. If your personal injury claim gets denied, a lawyer can appeal and fight the insurance company on your behalf. 

Going to trial is a much less painstaking process when you have an experienced attorney representing you. Personal injury lawyers know how to enhance your chances of winning your car accident claim in civil court.

Your auto accident lawyer should be experienced in identifying low offers and able to negotiate with an insurance company for a better amount. Filing your car accident case can be tricky, but proving it is even more challenging due to rules and formalities that limit questions and evidence.

Convincing the court and jury requires that you collect evidence and present it convincingly. Proving personal injury liability is difficult alone. In most vehicle accident cases, the knowledge and skill of an auto accident lawyer are essential, especially if your personal injury lawsuit goes to court.

Other Ways an Attorney Can Help Your Car Accident Case

In addition to dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf, hiring an attorney can help your case come to the best possible conclusion. After all, winning maximum compensation isn’t easy. It takes experience, hard work, evidence, and paperwork.

Attorneys thoroughly investigate an accident claim

If you are a car accident victim, you might not know all the specifics of your case. Accident lawyers work hard to investigate and uncover the truth behind the collision. Personal injury lawyers can determine who is at fault and how the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries.

During this investigation process, a personal injury attorney can collect important evidence from the accident scene to prove who the at-fault driver was. This evidence includes:

  • Photos and videos from nearby surveillance and traffic cameras
  • Statements from witnesses who saw the accident and what happened before it occurred
  • Medical records that detail your injuries, treatment, and prognosis
  • The police report, which provides crucial information about the accident

To strengthen your claim, a personal injury attorney can consult experts. These professionals review the evidence and offer valuable insights. 

Some examples of expert witnesses are:

  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Medical professionals
  • Industry experts
  • Economists

All of the above endeavors come down to one goal for the attorney: to put together a comprehensive and well-supported accident claim that will protect your rights. A strong injury claim can prove which driver caused the accident and is the negligent party.

Attorneys create strong car accident cases

Once you hire a lawyer, he or she can join the evidence collected to build a strong argument for your right to compensation. In car accident cases, the goal is to prove the following:

  • The driver owed you a certain level of care (for example, following traffic laws is mandatory under the law)
  • The driver did not exercise that level of care and engaged in dangerous actions like speeding or driving under the influence
  • An accident occurred from these negligent actions
  • You suffered injuries, financial damages, mounting medical expenses, and vehicle damage because of the collision

An experienced lawyer can demonstrate these factors to insurance adjusters and in court, saving you from having to do so.

The damages caused by the collision can also be calculated and included in a car accident settlement. Even a minor car accident can incur steep costs. 

You may be entitled to claim economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Property damage
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Working with an attorney can help you understand the potential value of your injury claim and reject lowball settlements presented by an insurance adjuster. The evidence can be used to establish a fair settlement agreement.

While the final decision to accept an agreement is up to you, with legal representation, you can be in the best position to make a long-term beneficial decision.

Attorneys can assist after the tragic loss of a loved one

Facing the loss of a loved one due to another driver’s recklessness is a terrible situation to endure. Yet, please know that you can seek compensation by means of a wrongful death claim in such unfortunate circumstances.

To correctly accomplish the complexities of this process, seek guidance from a lawyer with a complete understanding of car accidents. He or she can help you gather essential information and assess your eligibility to make a claim.

Attorneys can help you understand the statute of limitations

In the realm of law, there exists a maximum time limit to file a lawsuit – known as the statute of limitations. In Georgia, most accident victims have a deadline of 2 years to adhere to the statute of limitations.

This legal concept dictates that a lawsuit must be initiated if a claim remains unresolved by an out-of-court settlement. This must occur within 2 years of the date of the accident. You must file a lawsuit within this time frame to avoid the loss of essential legal rights.

Generally, accident victims in Georgia must either settle their claim or file a lawsuit within 2 years. However, some exceptions to the standard statute of limitations are as follows:

  • 6 months – This timeframe applies to filing auto accident claims involving a city or county vehicle (although specific localities may have different deadlines)
  • 1 year – This deadline is applicable when filing a lawsuit involving a state-owned vehicle
  • 2 years – If the accident claim seeks financial compensation, this is the designated period
  • 4 years – Set for seeking recovery for property damage exclusively, without any medical expenses; same amount of time is allowed for injuries to the person involving loss of consortium

Awareness of these time limits is essential to protect one’s legal rights and take appropriate action within the specified deadlines. 

Understanding which statute of limitations relates to your auto accident can be confusing. During a free consultation with a car accident attorney, you can receive valuable information on which statute of limitations applies to your circumstance.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Hoffspiegel Law Today

For many accident victims, seeking legal help is often the last thing on their minds. The aftermath of accidents can be severe. An accident victim may not have sufficient health insurance, but medical bills continue to mount. And the stress of future medical expenses can be paralyzing.

The situation takes a turn for even worse when the accident victims suffer severe injuries that hinder their ability to work. The absence of their usual good health and the convenience of a working vehicle can further disrupt their entire life.

Coping with a car accident is far from easy! But with the help of a qualified car accident lawyer, you can get your life back on track. If you are deciding whether to hire a lawyer, please schedule a free consultation with us.

Contact us today at (404) 760-8600 or click the Contact Us button to get started. You may be surprised by the peace of mind that comes with having a dedicated, knowledgeable advocate on your side.