The personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have helped thousands of people across the state of Georgia who have been injured in a car accident. As a result, we know how overwhelming it can be, leaving you unsure what to do next. We thought it might be helpful to dedicate some space to answering some common questions to help you get pointed in the right direction.
Do I Have to Hire a Lawyer?
You are not obligated to hire a lawyer. You can pursue a claim on your own. However, you should be aware that the other driver will probably have a lawyer provided by their insurance company. A personal injury attorney can use their knowledge of the law and their experience to help you get the most value from your claim.
Insurance is Offering Me a Settlement. Should I Take It?
This is a complicated question, but the short answer is “it depends.” You should only accept the insurance company’s offer if you are certain that you have no other injuries or will not require further treatment. Insurance companies like to make a settlement offer as quickly as possible. If you accept, you waive your right to future claims. As a result, you will have no recourse if a week later other injuries become apparent, or it turns out that you may require more extensive treatment than originally thought.
I Have Health Insurance – Do I Need to Pursue a Personal Injury Claim?
Health insurance is a blessing – your health and recovery should be your top priorities after the accident, and it’s nice to know that at least your medical expenses will be covered. However, it’s important to understand what won’t be covered by your health insurance:
- Co-pays and deductibles
- Lost wages or other income
- Increased transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
If your uncovered losses are significant, pursuing a personal injury claim is likely your only option to get the compensation you deserve.
What is My Claim Worth?
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, but basically, your claim is composed of the following components:
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle
- Your medical expenses (including those covered by insurance)
- Lost income
- Any other monetary losses caused by the accident
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering is perhaps the most challenging part of your claim because it represents those intangible losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. However, the law recognizes that victims should be made whole, which should include some compensation for their pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Every state has a deadline by which you must file your claim, referred to as a “statute of limitations.” The Georgia statute of limitations for car accident cases is two years. If you do not file your suit within two years of the date of your accident, you will lose your right to sue, no matter how strong your case is.
Aren’t Lawyers Expensive? I Can’t Afford to Hire an Attorney.
Generally speaking, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not charge you any legal fees up front and you do not pay out of pocket. Instead, they are paid a portion of whatever compensation they are able to successfully recover on your behalf.
Contact Slappey & Sadd – Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s natural to be overwhelmed with questions. Fortunately, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you get the answers you need. We’ve been helping injured Georgians get the compensation they deserve since 1992, and we can help you too. If you’d like to speak with one of our attorneys about your case, contact us at 888-474-9616 or send us an email in order to schedule a free consultation.