If you are involved in a Georgia car accident claim, this article will help you understand what to expect. There are three phases to your claim, evidence gathering, negotiation, and a potential lawsuit. The process can take some time. Although everyone works efficiently to resolve your claim as soon as possible, it is necessary to be thorough at each phase of the process to ensure that your interests are fully protected, and your monetary compensation maximized.
Georgia has seen a disturbing increase in car accident fatalities in recent years. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) reports 1,588 fatal car crashes on Georgia roads in 2020. This represents the single deadliest year since 2007. There were 331,797 Georgia car accidents in total in 2020. This represents a decrease from the previous year.
GDOT maintains that the best way to avoid accidents and catastrophic injuries is to follow three basic rules. First, obey all rules of the road and remember to adjust your driving based on the traffic or weather conditions. Second, do not drive while distracted. This includes avoiding all use of a cellphone while driving unless it is hands-free. Third, always remember to wear seat belts and ensure that car seats are correctly installed and secured.
If you are involved in a Georgia car accident, be sure to speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Dozier Law is comprised of experienced injury lawyers. All our consultations are free. We will meet with you one on one and take the time to explain your options and answer all your questions.
Phase One: Notification, Evidence Gathering
As soon as we begin as your lawyer in a Georgia car accident claim, we will notify the other parties, lawyers, and insurance carriers that we represent you. We will also alert them that you have a claim for damages. This notification means that you will no longer hear from anyone but us concerning your claim.
We will obtain and begin reviewing all the available evidence in your case, including:
- Insurance policies that cover your accident
- Police reports
- Photographic evidence of the accident
- Any video recording of the accident that may exist
- All witness statements (and we begin interviewing witnesses)
- All medical bills you incurred
- Accounting of any lost wages you suffered
- Accounting for any lost business opportunities you suffered
- Any other expenses you incurred as a direct result of the accident
- Any damage to personal property
- The cost of potential long-term care for rehabilitation, physical therapy, or any mental health treatment that is needed
Armed with this information, we can begin to see the entire picture that constitutes your claim. Our attorneys will understand the cause of the car accident and the strength of your case. We will also have a clear picture of your damages, including amounts in compensation for your pain and suffering and any long-term medical needs. Our lawyers will have an initial conclusion as to whether an award of punitive damages may be appropriate in your case. Based on the information we receive from the insurance companies, we will also know how much compensation is available.
This investigation defines the initial universe in which your claim resides. We know the strength of your case, the extent of your damages, and the available coverage provided by the insurance policies that apply. This information allows our Georgia car accident lawyers to provide you with a concrete range of expectations as we proceed to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company adjuster.
Next, we assemble the preceding information into a file that presents your case in the best possible light. This packet will explain the strength of your case and all your damages. This document is then transmitted to the adjustor to open negotiations on your claim.
Phase Two: Negotiation, Settlement
Once we transmit the file to the insurance adjuster in charge of your claim, negotiations commence. The adjuster will generally respond to your file within 20 to 30 days. At this time, we expect to receive an offer from the adjuster to settle your case. Upon receipt of their first offer, we will discuss its terms with you and respond.
Here negotiations tend to proceed rapidly. We will go back and forth until we are comfortable that we have the adjustor’s best offer to settle your claim. At that time, we will discuss the offer and advise you of your options. If you accept the offer, we will wrap up your claim quickly and get you your compensation as soon as possible.
If you reject the offer, then the claim proceeds to phase three.
Phase Three: Lawsuit
If our best efforts to negotiate a settlement are unsuccessful, the final step would be to file a lawsuit. There are risks with every suit, and the judicial system can move slowly.
We will work to move your case through the system as efficiently as possible while keeping your best interests in mind. It’s always possible that the adjuster will make a better offer after being confronted with an actual suit, but it is not certain.
If your case is not resolved, it will proceed to a trial and verdict in civil court. This trial could be by jury or judge. We will call witnesses to testify and present all your evidence to the court. The meticulous preparation we engaged in during phase one will benefit your Georgia car accident claim in this phase as we will be ready to proceed immediately to trial.
The preceding is an overview of a typical Georgia car accident claim. While no two cases are identical, this gives you an idea of what you can expect as we move forward. If you have other questions, please call to speak directly with one of Dozier Law’s Georgia car accident lawyers.
Dozier Law’s car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping car accident victims obtain maximum compensation and justice in personal injury claims or lawsuits. In your consultation, we will thoroughly evaluate your injuries and the circumstances of your accident and advise you regarding the next steps. Dozier Law usually handles injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that attorney’s fees are not charged without you recovering compensation in your case. To get help from Dozier Law’s Georgia personal injury attorneys, call (888) 239-2129 or contact us online.