Maximizing Compensation in a Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, a Decatur, GA car accident lawyer at The Lynch law Group can help you get compensation for the damages and injuries you suffered in the crash. Compensation in a car accident claim can include:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, other medical procedures, prescriptions, physical or occupational therapy, mobility equipment, long-term personal care, and other out-of-pocket costs related to your treatment (such as transportation costs)
- Lost wages for the time you miss from work while recovering from injuries
- Lost earning capacity, if you cannot return to your old job due to your injuries and you end up with a reduction in your earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life, which can arise from the anguish, embarrassment, or humiliation caused by disabilities, physical disfigurement, or the inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional distress brought about by your injuries
- Loss of consortium, which is compensation to your spouse for the loss of your companionship and services.
You may also be entitled to compensation for other out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to your injuries. For instance, house cleaners or lawn maintenance services may be paid for if you cannot do those tasks yourself.
How an Insurance Claim is Processed in Georgia
Georgia is a state that assigns fault in car accidents. This is counter to no-fault states because drivers must have insurance that will apply to the accidents and protect the victim with coverage from the at-fault driver. Filing a claim is the first step when contacting the insurance carrier. The adjuster will investigate the accident and determine how much each person should pay from each insurance policy. The adjuster usually collects enough information to apply the collision details to a settlement offer. Then, the victim can either accept the offer or reject it stating that it is not enough. The rejection usually occurs with the help of a car accident lawyer in Decatur, GA so that the injured party understands how much the compensation should provide.
In many circumstances, the two drivers will contact and process the entire event through the insurance companies attached for coverage. However, some accidents require a third-party claim against the carrier. These usually start because of negligence from the other driver. Using the personal injuries as the subject of the claim, the plaintiff will need the services of a car accident lawyer to initiate the matter in the state. Even with a third-party claim, the insurance company may still attempt a settlement offer. The individual can either take the claim or pursue the matter in the court based on the advice and help of the lawyer hired for the legal concern. The claim in the courtroom will rely on liability, comparative fault and evidence to build the case.
A lawyer from The Lynch group Law can present different aspects and arguments for each condition and how the plaintiff requires a certain range of compensation because of the damages incurred by the other driver.
Proving Georgia Liability
To prove that the other party is liable for damages and at fault in the accident, it requires at least one of four issues within the incident. The person needs to prove negligence, recklessness, intentional misconduct or strict liability. If the other party does not appear at fault, using one of these four concepts, the plaintiff can raise the level of fault in the claim to the point that he or she can sue the other party. Unless the other driver intentionally caused the collision, he or she is usually negligent in some manner. The person failed to do something such as pay attention to signs or was irresponsible when on the road. Proving negligence can involve a breach of duty that caused unsafe driving, a lack of avoiding dangerous situations or direct violations of road rules and laws that places others in jeopardy.
Proving recklessness is either difficult or easy depending on the situation. If the other driver is under the influence of alcohol, is engaging in drag racing or is over fifteen miles above the speed limit, this is usually obvious. Disobeying rules such as running stop signs or lights or cutting into and out of traffic can also demonstrate reckless behavior. Intentional misconduct is when the other driver is purposefully malicious or has every intention of causing harm. This is similar to recklessness and can have the same actions but with a different intent. These drivers are almost always responsible and held liable. Strict liability is different because it happens through defective products and a company rather than the other driver. The manufacturer of the item on the car is the reason for the wreck and can provide the plaintiff with a valid lawsuit against the entity.
Talk to A Decatur, GA Car Accident Lawyer Now
You can discuss the details of your case and learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages. The Law Offices Of Andrew Lynch has equipped car accident lawyers in Decatur, GA who are ready and willing to help you win your case.
What Can a Car Accident Attorney Do?
While much depends on the specifics and the complexity of your car accident case, in general a car accident attorney in Decatur, GA can:
- Communicate with the Other Driver’s Insurer
In any personal injury case, your attorney will open up a line of communication with the insurance adjuster for the other party (or parties) involved. The adjuster has the pocketbook, and so it is critical for a plaintiff’s lawyer to have good communications and a good relationship with the adjuster.
- Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Liability
A good attorney can help obtain all of the evidence that you will need to prove liability in a car accident claim. Although you may have already taken photographs of the accident scene, your attorney will probably go back to the scene him/herself to see what it looks like. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, actually seeing the scene can be worth a thousand pictures. The attorney will make sure to get all of the accident or police reports in the case and will often speak with the investigating police officers and witnesses.
- Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Damages
This is where a good attorney can be essential to your case, especially when you’ve suffered significant car accident injuries.
It is critical to obtain all documentation related to your injuries, but it isn’t always easy to get your hands on those records and bills from health care providers. Although the records are technically yours, and you have an absolute right to them, sending medical records to patients and attorneys is just not a health care provider’s first priority.
Small doctors’ offices may not have the staffing or the time to respond to medical record requests on a timely basis. Large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed in order to respond to medical record requests. If you don’t follow their procedures (which they often don’t publicize very well), they simply won’t respond to your request.
Then, when the health care provider does respond to the request, the records may be incomplete. Any attorney’s secretary or paralegal will tell you that they often have to request the same records more than once and that they have to follow up endlessly with the provider’s office.
Finally, it may turn out that the doctor did not use the “magic words” as to causation, prognosis, and disability in his or her notes. In order to successfully prosecute any type of personal injury claim, you must be able to prove, through medical evidence, exactly what your injury, disability, or physical limitation is, and that it was caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Doctors often don’t mention causation and extent of the injury or disability in their medical records. If this happens in your case, The Law Offices Of Andrew Lynch attorney will write the doctor and ask for a special letter in which the doctor gives his/her opinion that the accident caused your injury or disability and that, as a result of the accident, you will be hindered or disabled for a specific period of time.
- Negotiating with Lien Holders
If you received benefits from a health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurer, that insurer will have a lien on your claim. A lien means that the lien holder gets paid before you do, out of any settlement or judgment you receive. A good attorney will work with the lien holder to try to get the lien holder to reduce its lien. This is important work. Every dollar less that the lien holder takes is one more dollar that goes into your pocket
- Negotiating with Insurers/Defendants
Negotiation is a very specific skill (some might even call it an art). A car accident attorney in Decatur, GA is always going to be far better at settling a car accident case than a layperson would be. A good attorney knows how much the case is worth and knows how to work the case and conduct the negotiations in order to arrive at the best outcome for the client.
Get a Car Accident attorney to Help Win Your Claim
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and you’re ready to discuss your options, contact The Lynch law group and speak to one of the seasoned car accident attorney in Decatur, GA.