Should I hire an attorney after a car wreck in Georgia?
A lot is going on after a car wreck. Even if you are unhurt, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. Your immediate concern is injuries – to yourself, your passengers and other people. Remember that car accident injuries sometimes don’t become apparent for hours or even days after the accident.
If everyone is OK, you need to go into information-gathering mode. At minimum, you should get the other driver’s name and contact information, their insurance information and, particularly if you feel that the other driver was at fault, you may want to talk to witnesses and collect their contact information as well.
Take photos of both cars and the surrounding area. Take close-up photos of the damage, wide shots of the area and where the vehicles came to a stop. This information will tell a story that may become important in court.
Most importantly, never admit fault at the scene, even if you are pretty sure it was your fault.
Are you feeling overwhelmed just reading this? An attorney can help.
Investigating the accident
An attorney will use all the information you gather and your photos to piece together the accident. They will call the witnesses you spoke to and even visit the scene to check for possible surveillance cameras that might have captured the wreck. As many video surveillance systems record over old footage after a few days or a week, time is of the essence.
Comparative negligence laws
Georgia has comparative negligence laws that apply to car wrecks. Even if you were partially at fault for the wreck, if a judge or jury decides you were 49% at fault or less, you can receive monetary damages from the wreck.
Again, your attorney will use all available evidence to argue that the other party was at greater fault.
Personal injury lawsuit
If you or the other party decide to file a lawsuit for damages, you will need an experienced attorney to represent your interests. For-profit Insurance companies will seek to pay you as little as possible for medical bills, lost income and property damage. You will have a much better chance of receiving a fair payout if you have an attorney arguing on your behalf.
How much will it cost?
Most personal attorneys are paid out of your settlement. In other words, they don’t get paid if you don’t get paid. There is no downside to consulting an attorney about your wreck and possible damages.