When faced with an accident claim in Georgia, a Georgia accident lawyer can help you claim damages or defend against a damages claim. The most important aspect of accident law is assigning liability. As long as the police have not already assigned liability, you will be able to make a case to hold the other party liable for damages. The damages can be used to pay for repairs, lost wages due to a lack of transportation, and injuries sustained as a result of the accident.
Georgia accident lawyers generally aim to avoid litigation, opting instead to work on contingence and negotiate a favorable settlement for the client. Such an arrangement is advantageous as it avoids a costly and lengthy trial and prevents the decisions from being made by jury, which can be unpredictable and could jeopardize the claim. It is important to act quickly after an accident as the statute of limitations to files for damages tends to be short with Georgia only allowing 2 years upon the discover of the injuries related to the accident.
What is the importance of liability in accident cases?
Most importantly, especially for auto accident cases, never admit liability, either to the police, other party or the insurance company. Admission of liability will end the case before it begins as this is an indicator that the other party is not at fault and can recover damages from you. If the other party has admitted liability, then you will be able to recover damages readily in the settlement.
What should I do before meeting a Georgia accident lawyer?
Georgia accident lawyers can help you navigate the otherwise difficult process of filing claims and working with the insurance companies. In some accident cases, the insurance company is the primary target if there are factors such as the refusal to disburse benefits that are needed by the client. When meeting with Georgia accident lawyers, be sure to collect relevant information such as police reports and your account of the accident. Hopefully you have not already admitted liability and have only spoken with the police.
With this information, an accident lawyer can help you build your case. You should be able to produce documents that prove your injuries as well as police reports that document the incident. The police report will serve as an objective assessment of the accident and the medical report will help to prove that there was an injury sustained that is a direct result of the accident. Police reports are also useful for those attempting to disprove a Georgia accident lawyer claim for damages as the accused party will need to prove that the other party is just as liable or that the other party did not sustain injury, which are the grounds to file an accident damages claim.
What are possible fee arrangements that can be made with a Georgia accident lawyer?
The majority of auto accident cases are settled out of court so it is important to find a Georgia accident lawyer who will work on a percentage contingency fee. Not only will you not need legal aid services to deal with the costs, you will generally only be responsible for court filing fees. This reduces the common barriers to filing accident compensation claims. Contingency fees may be either flat rate or percentage of the award. Obviously, the percentage fee gives Georgia accident lawyers a better incentive to win a greater fee for the client, ensuring that they too will receive a better return on their fees. Unfortunately, the temptation will be high for the lawyer to settle early if the fee is flat rate and the lawyer will want to move on to other clients and maximize his or her time.
As settlements are an important part of auto accident law, you may be able to negotiate a lower fee with the Georgia accident lawyer for settling out of court. After all, this saves the time of the Georgia accident lawyer and ensures that you both will not have to spend an indefinite amount of time going through the motions necessary for trial litigation.
Negotiating a lower contingency fee percentage with accident lawyers is always an option, so feel free to consult with multiple lawyers for an advantageous fee or settlement fee provisions. Some parties may be especially contentious and unwilling to settle, particularly when they have filed a counter claim for damages. During these instances, a lawyer with trial experience will be exceptionally useful if the case must proceed to litigation. In the event you are defending against an accident claim, a Georgia accident lawyer with trial experience can also be of use by dissuading the party bringing suit from pursuing litigation and accepting reasonable settlement offers.
How do I know my Georgia accident lawyer is legitimate?
All lawyers in Georgia must be members of the unified Bar Association. In addition, to practice any law in Georgia, they must be active members that pay the required dues. This arrangement serves as a disciplinary and education mechanism for Georgia accident lawyers as this organization will not only ensure that they remain professional and ethical, but also will keep them informed of changes to Georgia law that might affect their law practice. Ensure active membership in the State Bar of Georgia before having the Georgia accident lawyer perform any services.
What are questions to ask a Georgia accident lawyer?
What is the current statute of limitations on a case such as mine?
How strong is my claim and do you think the other party will be willing to settle?
Will you work for a percentage contingency?
Are there other fees associated with your contingency arrangement?
What happens if the case goes to trial? Will you collect a higher contingency fee?
Whenever you are the victim of an accident in Georgia, you should receive a consultation on the accident from a Georgia lawyer. An accident Georgia lawyer is familiar with the statutes of limitation and other possible laws and precedents that could affect the outcome of your case. When seeking an accident Georgia lawyer, look for a lawyer that is an active member of the State Bar of Georgia. Those who are not members of the State Bar may not perform any legal services in Georgia. Once you have vetted your accident Georgia lawyer, work out a fee agreement with the lawyer, preferably having the lawyer work on contingency.
You should be able to determine in the initial consultation if the goal in the lawsuit will be to achieve a favorable settlement or achieve a jury award through a trial. Although circumstances may change the case, a goal for the outcome of the case will be useful to plan fee arrangements and formulate acceptable demands for damages.