Potential Roadblocks Faced by Fulton County Auto Accident Victims Without Legal Representation


March 31, 2014

There are some car accidents where the issues of fault and significant injury are fairly clearly established based on the circumstances surrounding the accident and medical records. Under such circumstances, some auto accident victims may be misled into assuming that there is no need to retain legal counsel. However, there are many ways that a personal injury claim that arises out of a motor vehicle accident can be derailed when a personal injury attorney is not involved, even when the fault of a defendant is admitted. Our experienced Fulton County Auto Accident Lawyers have provided an overview of some common ways a personal injury claim can be derailed without legal representation.

Execution of Waivers: Any settlement offer from the insurance company in motor vehicle accident claims will involve execution of some form of release. When our Fulton County personal injury attorneys analyze a release of liability for our clients, we carefully review the document to ensure our clients understand the scope of what is being waived. A general release, for example, will typically release all potential claims even for injuries that have not been discovered or diagnosed. Many parties without legal counsel make the mistake of underestimating their injuries because they have not finished their course of treatment or fully recovered when they sign the release of liability. Man parties without counsel also unknowingly execute a release of their rights, when there are other insurance polices or parties from whom a recovery of additional funds could be obtained.

Lack of Insurance: When the other driver has no insurance, this can pose problems because injury victims do not realize that there may be other viable third party defendants. While a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will explore other viable defendants like the vehicle owner, the driver's employer, public entities, parents of teen drivers and others, an unrepresented party might find it difficult to identify applicable theories of liability to hold third parties liable for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. If the Fulton County car accident victim has uninsured motorist coverage, this also may provide a viable source of recovery. However, insurance companies are not usually in any hurry to pay out on claims and are not going to readily volunteer information about sources of coverage, so a personal injury attorney also can assist you in dealing with your own insurance company.

Default Judgments: Sometimes the other party will not even respond to a personal injury lawsuit. While this can result in obtaining a default judgment against the other party, the pleadings must be proper and the proof of damages must be done correctly to obtain an appropriate default judgment. This process can quickly go sideways if the pleadings do not include all of the necessary allegations or the appropriate evidence in terms of medical bills, vehicle repair bills and other proof is not provided when seeking a default judgment.

Inaccurate Determination of Damages: The process of calculating how much to settle for can be complicated because there is no fixed formula. While the process of determining economic damages like medical expenses, vehicle repair bills and lost wages may be manageable, most laypersons have no idea what to request for pain and suffering, impaired enjoyment of life experiences and related general damages. There are many settlements where general damages exceed these more straightforward type of economic damages but those without legal advice will have a difficult time evaluating what general damages are appropriate and making persuasive arguments to the insurance company regarding such amounts.

Making Statements That Harm Your Claim: It should go without saying that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. They make money for their corporation by paying you as little as possible, or ideally nothing at all. So they are trained to seek information and statements from you that undermine your rights to fair compensation.

Although this is only a small sampling of the types of problems that may come up without legal representation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, these examples should make clear that litigation and settlement of a Fulton County auto accident claim without an experienced Fulton County Auto Accident Lawyer is a potential minefield.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For Your Case

Our Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries or wrongful death for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.