If you're wondering what a car accident attorney can do for you in the state of Georgia, you might also be wondering whether or not you even should. It's possible for you to submit a claim and possibly get money back on your own. That might actually be fine if there's only some body damage to your car and you walked away without scratches. However, that's only a might or maybe. Some injuries and trauma might not actually manifest or present themselves for several days.
While many insurance companies are pretty reliable about paying for car repairs or replacements, that's because it's a lot cheaper than paying out for personal injuries. Such physical damages are also rather indisputable about how they happened and who was at fault.
However, they're not as reliable about paying out damage to people with injuries. Sadly, part of that has to do with the many people attempting to scam the insurance industry with claims of substantial and even irreparable damage to their physical bodies when nothing actually happened. Given this, insurance companies have a practice of stress-testing cases against their policyholders just as much as they can get away with. Even if you get a personal injury attorney within three days of your accident, that's three days the insurance company lawyers have already had to start putting together their defense against your claim, whether you eventually file one or not.
Kenneth S. Nugent, P.C.
1 Bull Street
Savannah GA 31401
An experienced auto accident attorney or law firm can prove essential if you want a satisfactory outcome to your claim. More than likely, you're going to need help to get the potential compensation that you deserve following an accident that left you injured.
If you suffered any property damage or physical injury to your body during a car accident, then you might be curious whether or not an attorney can be someone who helps you. You might also be wondering if it's even a good idea for you to attempt dealing with the insurance company on your own to settle the claim. Of course, much depends on the complexity and specifics of your particular case, but in general, a good attorney can do several things for you.
First of all, they can handle communication with the insurance provider of the other driver. Dealing with an insurance company on your own can be stressful, at a time when you might be facing considerable burden in going through your physical and mental recovery from the accident. By letting a legal professional handle the communication, you're sparing yourself this particular responsibility. It's also usually safer for a lawyer to handle all communications, as they won't fall for the traps that many insurance companies use. Consider them calling you to ask how you're feeling and doing after an accident, and you tell them you're doing better. It seems like simple conversation, but they might be recording it so they can use it in court as evidence of your injuries not being as serious as you claim. A good attorney won't let you fall for such traps.
Even if the insurance company in question doesn't use such dubious tactics, and some honestly don't, they're still looking out for their own profit margin more than anything else. Still, it's to your benefit for your lawyer to be the one talking to them. It's the adjuster who signs the final check you get, which makes it important for you as a plaintiff to have an attorney with sound communication skills so they form a good working relationship with that adjuster.
Secondly, the right car accident attorney or law firm can collect any necessary evidence to prove or assign liability in your case. The law offices of Kenneth S. Nugent, PC knows what qualifies as potential evidence and what doesn't, which is important, because you might not have any idea what sort of photos, statements, medical records, and many other documents or interviews might qualify as sound evidence in negotiating a settlement or filing for a civil trial. Furthermore, even if you do, you might not be physically able to collect such evidence given your particular injury at the time. Time is of the essence on gathering evidence, as paper trails start disappearing, people drift away, memories lose their potency, and physical evidence begins deteriorating.
Even if you took photographs at the scene of the accident, or had someone else do it, a seasoned attorney is likely to return to the scene to it for themselves. It's true that any one of your own pictures is worth a thousand words, but a good attorney seeing the scene with their own eyes can wind up being worth thousands of pictures, as it lets them see how all the pictures work together.
Your Savannah attorney will also know how to get accident reports related to the case, and they'll also know how to find and talk to the witnesses and investigating police officers. One of the dedicated team members of the law offices of Kenneth S. Nugent, PC won't leave anything to chance in regards to your case, as they will cover every single lead and questions in regards to your potential claim.
Third, a good Savannah auto accident attorney can go about organizing your medical bills and records. These are especially important in proving a physical injury or emotional distress. Where there are gaps or missing records, an attorney can work with health care providers to get missing records. They'll work with your doctors to be sure they have more than enough medical damage to prove damages in your claim to a judge or jury. They'll organize and then present this evidence so that liability and damages are obvious.
In regards to gathering the documentation that relates to your injuries, this is unfortunately not something you might be able to handle with emails and phone calls while you are laid out recovering from your injury. Getting bills and records from health care providers is not always easy. The records technically belong to you, and you're totally legally entitled to them. However, sending out records to lawyers and patients just isn't usually a high priority for many health care providers. Hopefully, patient care is their primary focus, but even after that, there's no profit for them in handling record requests.
Smaller offices might not even have the time or staff to handle record requests in a timely manner. Also, larger establishments, like hospitals, might have specific protocols that have to be followed in order to dispense medical records. They don't typically publicize these very well or help out people filling out such requests, so if you don't adhere to their procedures to the letter, they just won't help you.
Even worse, when requests are responded to, the records might not be totally complete. Many paralegals and legal secretaries will honestly tell you that they have to follow up their record requests repeatedly before they get anywhere. In the end, even with medical records in hand, you might find out that doctors didn't use certain terms or vocabulary in their notes in regards to causation, disability, and prognosis, which is necessary for a specific claim to prove damage or an injury. A dedicated attorney familiar with Georgia car accidents will communicate with doctors, requesting specific notes or formal opinions about the accident being responsible for your injury or disability, as well as the concrete consequences.
Fourth, a Georgia car accident lawyer will negotiate with any lien holders of your claim to possibly minimize the amount those liens have. This would include disability, health, and workers' compensation insurers. If you get benefits from certain insurers, then they are going to have a lien on any claim you place. That would mean they get paid money before you do, and it would come out of your compensation. Every dollar an attorney can prevent the lien holder from taking is another dollar in your wallet.
Fifth, they will prepare to file a lawsuit and then pursue it in court, but they'll also work to negotiate a settlement with the defense attorney or insurance attorney. Of course, the final decision on accepting a settlement is up to you as the client, but a good attorney can usually negotiate a satisfactory settlement, even before a trial takes place. Consider that there are usually far more civil cases, claims, and lawsuits filed than actually wind up going to trial. Court cases are often the last resort, but preparing a strong case makes negotiating a settlement much easier and more effective to do.
This isn't an easy task, as negotiation requires particular skills. In fact, preparing a lawsuit for trial can sometimes be easier, even though negotiations can resolve matters faster and get you your compensation quicker. A seasoned accident lawyer will always be better prepared at negotiating a settlement for you than you would be as a legal layperson and private citizen. A great lawyer knows just how much your case is worth, how to work it, and how to handle negotiations that you get the most money possible from an insurer.