Top Reasons to Retain a Car Accident Lawyer For Your Atlanta Accident
Our Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are frequently asked if injury victims can handle their own car accident claim. Some people do attempt to negotiate directly with an insurer or to file their own lawsuit, but generally speaking the chances of obtaining a recovery for the full value of one's loss is extremely low without an attorney. In fact the insurance industries own studies show that on average accident victims get significantly more money when represented by legal counsel. Lawyers that handle auto accident claims have the benefit of legal training, legal specialization seminars, experience handling similar cases and litigation resources. Even when liability seems relatively clear, you would be hard pressed to find an insurance company simply rolling over and paying the full value of a claim. The notion of liability being "relatively clear" also can become extremely murky when insurance company experts and insurance defense lawyer have an opportunity to develop a creative interpretation of the facts. When the facts do not permit a compelling defense based on liability (i.e. fault), insurance companies will dispute the amount of damages by trivializing the extent of an accident victim's injuries. This blog post provides the top reasons car crash injury victims should seek prompt legal representation.
Gathering and Preserving Evidence: If you do not move promptly in retaining legal representation, vital evidence might be altered or lost. For example, the at-fault driver might take his or her car in for repairs that would make it impossible to have the opportunity to analyze body damage. This type of evidence might be necessary to prove the cause of the accident and/or the force of impact. The facts involved in most crashes are open to multiple interpretations, so you need to have an attorney who can take actions they deem appropriate which may include enlisting investigators and experts to collect evidence. The attorney also will obtain and analyze the law enforcement report to identify circumstances that need further investigation or facts that are inaccurate in the official report.
Complying with Deadlines: The civil justice system is subject to a multitude of unforgiving deadlines. The statute of limitations imposes a deadline for filing a complaint to start a lawsuit. When drivers fail to comply with this deadline, non-compliance usually will bar the right to pursue a lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations has run, the insurance company has no reason to pay any amount regardless of the merits of your claim. However, the date that the statute of limitations expires can be difficult to calculate in many situations and there are some circumstances where the limitation period is tolled, so you should promptly seek legal advice even if you think the statute of limitations has run. While the statute of limitation is an important deadline, it is not the only deadline that must be met to avoid compromising a personal injury claim. If your case involves a dangerous roadway, for example, you must satisfy the applicable tort claims act to sue a government entity. If you do not comply with applicable time limits under tort claims acts, you risk being precluded from seeking damages from the responsible government entity. This result can be an especially devastating if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. There can also be notification deadlines in insurance policies. The entire litigation process itself is a potential minefield of deadlines that dictate responses to motions, discovery responses and other steps in the civil litigation process.
Selection and Retention of Experts: Proof of the facts in a car accident claim will often require use of one or more experts. The type of expert that must be sought depends on the subject matter about which the expert must provide an opinion. Common types of experts used in auto accident cases can include accident reconstruction accidents, medical experts, engineering experts and many others. While experts can be extremely expensive, our law firm will advance the cost of such experts who are subsequently paid out of the recovery in your lawsuit.
Negotiation with Insurance Companies: We frequently are able to obtain a desirable settlement for our clients through aggressive negotiation of a claim, without the necessity of litigation. Our experienced lawyers recognize that building a persuasive case on liability, causation and damages often motivates an insurance company to settle an injury claim on terms favorable to our clients.
Navigating Common Traps: There are many practical and legal obstacles that can derail a meritorious motor vehicle accident claim. Our car accident lawyers can help injury victims avoid traps set by insurance companies. Insurers often attempt to exploit a car crash victim's gaps in knowledge regarding his or her rights and remedies. An insurer may attempt to persuade you to provide a recorded statement or to sign a release of information to obtain medical records. The insurer might make it seem like this type of cooperation is required to resolve your claim. However, compliance with such requests might provide the critical evidence supporting an insurance company's defense. The legal process also is controlled by complex procedural requirements and deadlines. Insurance companies often use these complex requirements to lure people into critical mistakes.
Identification of Defendants, and Sources of Insurance: While most people think of one of the driver's in a collision as the legally responsible party, this is not always the case. Sometimes a crash occurs because of factors that are beyond the control of the other driver at least to some extent. An improperly manufactured tire might blow out or a faulty ignition switch may rotate into the off position causing a driver to lose control of a vehicle. Although a driver might still be liable to some extent under these circumstances, the manufacturer of the defective vehicle component also might be liable. Similarly, a public entity might be partially at-fault if the roadway is unsafe. Our skilled car accident attorneys investigate potential defendants and available insurance coverage to maximize potential recovery. Many times out attorneys find insurance coverage that provides valuable benefits that are clients were unaware would afford protection, and which the insurance company is not likely to volunteer.
Analyzing Applicable Law: Although many car accidents involve some form of negligence, successful settlement or litigation of a car crash claim involves careful analysis and presentation of the applicable legal standards. Depending on the facts of your legal claim, special liability rules might apply. For example, if a vehicle defect or a bus driver causes a crash, the duty of care owed by the manufacturer or common carrier will typically be higher than in a garden variety car accident. The substantive legal principles in a car accident case can vary dramatically, so thorough knowledge of the law is essential to obtaining a fair and full recovery.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Accident Claim!
If you or someone close to you suffers injury in an auto collision, our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers might be able to help. Our attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to 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.