Have you been injured in a car accident in Georgia? If another driver was primarily or entirely responsible for the wreck, you may be wondering how you can hold them responsible, how much your claim could be worth, and how to know if a settlement offer is fair.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know the answers to these questions without a detailed review of your unique situation. While many insurance adjusters use specific formulas to calculate their settlement offers, these formulas are intentionally devised to favor the insurance companies, not the claimants.
At Butler Kahn, our Atlanta car accident lawyers are committed to helping people in your position get the fair compensation they deserve. When you retain our services, insurance companies know you mean business. Continue reading to learn how to receive a fair injury settlement. You can also contact us to find out how we can help you demand it.
How Do I Receive a Fair Injury Settlement After a Georgia Car Accident?
The best way to receive a fair injury settlement after a Georgia car accident is to work with a seasoned car accident attorney. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer knows how to protect your rights, investigate the accident, negotiate with the insurance company, and take the case to trial if needed.
More specifically, a trusted attorney can help you by:
- Answering your questions and explaining your legal options
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident to identify all at-fault parties and collect valuable evidence
- Communicating with third parties such as medical providers, insurance representatives, other drivers involved in the accident, and other attorneys on your behalf so that you can concentrate on your health
- Establishing a strong foundation for your claim and negotiating aggressively to maximize your compensation
- Taking your case to court and representing you at trial, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement
How Much Should I Expect From a Georgia Car Accident Settlement?
A Georgia car accident settlement can compensate you for a wide range of losses. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to money for:
- Past and future crash-related medical expenses
- Incidental costs, such as treatment-related travel expenses
- Lost wages from any time you miss at work due to your injuries
- Projected losses in your future earning potential if you are rendered disabled
- The intangible costs of accident-related pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
The amount of compensation you could receive depends on the extent of your losses. Here are some of the factors that can impact the value of your claim:
- The severity of your crash-related injuries and vehicle damage
- How long your injuries take to heal, and whether you’ll need future care
- The amount of time you miss at work because of the accident
- How your crash-related injuries impact your ability to return to work and live independently
- Who is at fault for the accident and whether or not you share liability
- The amount of coverage available through all applicable insurance policies
What Are Georgia’s Car Insurance Laws?
Like most states, Georgia requires all drivers to carry certain minimum amounts of liability insurance to drive on public roads. Liability insurance pays for injuries and property damage the policyholder causes in an accident. Liability insurance does not, however, cover the policyholder’s own crash-related expenses.
According to Georgia’s Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, the minimum amounts of liability insurance are:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
There are other types of insurance policies available that can cover your own accident-related losses, such as comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage. However, these coverage types are optional in Georgia, which means you can only rely on them if you already carried them in addition to your basic insurance package at the time of the crash.
If the other driver was at fault, you can file a third-party insurance claim with their provider to seek compensation through their liability insurance policy. However, you must demonstrate that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident and your injuries.
What Steps Do I Take to Maximize My Car Accident Settlement?
The aftermath of a car accident can be a disorienting time. However, what you do following the accident will affect whether you can receive compensation and, if so, how much. If at all possible, you should:
- Seek prompt medical attention to have your injuries diagnosed, treated, and documented in your medical records
- Follow your doctor’s care plan and attend all future appointments
- Gather evidence, such as photos and witness statements from the scene
- Keep all documents related to the crash, such as medical bills, proof of lost wages or missed time at work, and vehicle repair estimates
- Create a “pain journal” to record daily observations about how crash-related pain and physical limitations impact your day-to-day life
- Monitor what you say to the other driver, the insurance company, and any other third parties about the accident since anything you say can be used against you
- Refrain from posting or sharing on social media while your claim is pending
- Contact a knowledgeable Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as possible
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?
Insurance companies are typically willing to offer settlements when the alternative is a more expensive lawsuit. But your ability to back up your settlement negotiations with a lawsuit has an expiration date set by Georgia’s statute of limitations, which gives you just two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
This two-year period begins on the date of the accident. If you fail to file your suit within two years of that date, the court can and likely will dismiss your case as untimely. At that point, you will lose your ability to claim any compensation. That’s why working with an experienced car accident lawyer who can keep your case on track from day one is so important.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today
When you need real results, look no further than Butler Kahn. Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of people like you and look forward to fighting to get you the money you deserve. To learn more about demanding a fair settlement, contact us for a free consultation.