People who have been injured in an accident have a lot to worry about. Your primary concern should be your health, and recovery can involve a significant period of time for treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. In addition, you may now be missing days from work or unable to work at all. You’re worried about paying your mortgage or rent and other expenses, and the bills are starting to pile up. On top of it all, you’re in pain and suffering, unable to live your life the way you did before your accident. With all of this, trying to decide how to handle your personal injury claim can be overwhelming.
Understand the Insurance Company’s Game
First and foremost, you should realize that the insurance company is not on your side, even if it’s your insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that are primarily concerned with making money. They protect the bottom line by paying out on claims only as much as they absolutely have to. As a result, they typically “low ball” accident victims by offering a small cash payment in exchange for a full release of any further liability. You may be surprised at how quickly the make the offer – often it is within days of your accident. They will seem very friendly and willing to work with you, but you’ll soon discover that they aren’t willing to negotiate a higher amount.
Understand the Statute of Limitations
In the state of Georgia, you have a two-year deadline from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for your injuries and other losses. Insurance companies know about the deadline, and are more than happy to let it expire if you don’t settle your case, leaving you with no claim at all. Being aware of the deadline can help you decide how to proceed with your case.
Your Options if You Don’t Settle
If you can’t settle your case but want to proceed, your only option is to sue the person who caused your accident. This can be a difficult decision for a lot of people because they don’t want to make someone’s life difficult because of an accident. However, you should be aware that in most accident cases the at-fault party will be defended by their insurance company who will also provide them with an attorney and pay your claim if you prevail.
That said, litigation can be a lengthy, time-consuming process that some people find to be quite draining. Many people are intimidated by the prospect of testifying in court, particularly the idea of being cross-examined by opposing counsel. That said, filing a lawsuit may help you settle your case, and doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to go to trial.
What is Your Claim Worth?
Whether or not you should settle requires you to make an informed decision. As a result, you should understand exactly what your claim is worth. Your losses may include much more than your out-of-pocket medical expenses. A personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and provide you with a estimate of what your claim is worth based on their knowledge of the law and their experience handling cases just like yours.
Injured and Not Sure What to Do? Contact an Atlanta Area Personal Injury Attorney
Don’t settle your claim just because you don’t know what else to do. The personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help you make the right decision and get the compensation you’re entitled to. We work with accident victims in the Atlanta area and across the state of Georgia, and we have decades of experience in helping our clients make the best possible decision with their claims. If you’d like to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, send us an email or call us at 888-474-9616 today.