Hurt in Georgia? Here’s When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Americans may be stereotyped as the most litigious people on earth, but the truth is that a lot of us are at least a little hesitant to hire a personal injury attorney. Maybe you’re worried about how much it will cost. Maybe you think personal injury lawyers are all ambulance chasers and hucksters looking for a big payday. Maybe you don’t want the hassle and just want it all to go away.
But if you’ve been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault—whether from a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or any other cause—hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and fight on your behalf is something you need to consider. In fact, it may be the best decision you can make for yourself and your family.
In this blog, let’s take a closer look at when and why you might consider reaching out to a personal injury lawyer, and how they can help you.
I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.
Is It Really Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
The answer here is almost always a strong yes.
It’s possible that if you have only minor injuries and a relatively small personal injury claim, you may be able to handle your case on your own. Certainly, the insurance company wants you to believe that this is the case. But fault has to be crystal clear, your damages must be fairly small and easy to calculate, and you need to be calm, patient, and confident in advocating for yourself.
Most personal injury claims, it’s fair to say, don’t go quite so smoothly. Insurance companies aren’t exactly eager to pay out big settlements, and they’ll look for any opportunity they can take to reduce their costs. That’s especially true if the case involves serious injuries, big medical bills, and/or disputes about who was at fault. They also have huge teams of lawyers dedicated to fighting against your personal injury case.
Even if you think your case couldn’t possibly be simpler, or that the at-fault party’s negligence couldn’t possibly be more obvious, that’s no guarantee the insurance company will see it that way. Just recently we represented a young woman injured in auto accident. Until we got involved, the insurer was still trying to pin some of the blame on her, even though the at-fault driver herself acknowledged that she was at fault!
CLIENT STORY: Khadija’s Story
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Handling a case on your own can be time-consuming, stressful, and fraught with danger. The insurance company is looking to play hardball. They’ll almost certainly either reject your claim or offer you a lowball settlement that doesn’t come close to fair, and hope you’ll take it.
Personal injury lawyers work to level the playing field. We know the tricks the insurance company uses. We also know how to:
- Gather relevant evidence. This includes not only eyewitness testimony and evidence collected at the scene, but also expert witnesses, security footage, maintenance records, and more, depending on what’s available and the type of case you’re fighting.
- Get maximum value for your claim. When you’re trying to recover compensation for your injuries, how much is “fair”? Answering that question requires intimate knowledge of your injuries, how they are likely to affect your life going forward, and how insurance companies typically calculate pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and other non-economic damages. An attorney can calculate this for you accurately, so when an insurance company puts a settlement offer on your desk, you don’t have to guess about whether it’s actually reasonable.
- Protect you from accidentally damaging your case, and fight for fair compensation. It’s no surprise that people who hire a personal injury lawyer tend to receive much more in compensation than those who don’t. Part of that comes from knowing how much your case is really worth, but part of that comes from knowing how to avoid word games and other traps the insurers use.
- Relieve your stress and anxiety. Fighting legal battles is stressful, particularly when you’re not a legal expert and you’ve got your own health to worry about. Handing off your case to an experienced personal injury lawyer can lift a significant weight off your shoulders.
There are other benefits to hiring a personal injury attorney you might not think of, too. For example, an attorney can not only help you through the legal side of your personal injury case, but can also link you up with experienced medical providers and ensure you get the high-quality treatment you need for your recovery. We can even help you set up appointments.
RELATED POST: What Is a Fair Amount for Pain and Suffering in Georgia?
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Ideally, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident, or as soon as possible after you’ve received any necessary emergency care.
The insurance company’s adjuster is not necessarily going to wait until you’ve talked with a lawyer or reached maximum medical improvement to contact you and start asking questions. And because their job is to save the insurance company money—not to look out for you—they’ll be hunting for ways to poke holes in your story and get you to make statements they can use to damage your personal injury claim.
Simply put, the earlier you seek legal representation, the better your chances of a successful outcome. That said, if you’ve already started the personal injury claims process on your own and are starting to have some second thoughts, it’s never too late to reach out for a free consultation.
Here are some additional signs it’s time to contact a personal injury law firm:
- You’re dealing with serious injuries that are leading to major medical expenses, lost wages, and significant pain, suffering, and hardship in your daily life. The insurance company isn’t going to have sympathy for you here. Quite the opposite, in fact: The more they stand to lose from an insurance claim, the harder they’ll fight against it.
- Your injury was the result of medical malpractice or a defective product. These cases can be especially complex and may have significant filing restrictions, so never try to seek compensation on your own.
- The insurance company is disputing whether their client was at fault, or fault might be shared by multiple parties.
- You’ve received a settlement offer from the insurance company but feel it’s too low, or if you don’t really know how to calculate fair compensation for your own claim.
- You are simply confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated with the process and need someone to help you shoulder the load.
Addressing Common Concerns About Hiring a Lawyer
Sometimes, people injured in car accidents still hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer even when they understand the potential benefits. Let’s take a moment to address some of the most common concerns we’ve heard from previous clients during the initial consultation process.
“It Will Cost Too Much.”
The vast majority of personal injury attorneys (including our team at The Brown Firm) work on contingency, meaning that we don’t get paid unless we help you get compensation—whether that’s from a settlement with the insurance company and awarded at trial. Those attorney fees come straight out of your compensation check, meaning you are never at any risk of paying out of pocket.
No one should be shut out from fair compensation just because they can’t afford an attorney.
“I Don’t Want to Give Up a Percentage of My Settlement.”
While you might be tempted to try to go it alone and not pay a percentage of your award in legal fees, study after study after study shows that personal injury sufferers who hire an attorney receive significantly more in compensation on average than those who do not—more than enough to make up for legal fees.
Insurance companies don’t hesitate to take advantage of injured people who aren’t represented by a personal injury lawyer. They will almost certainly try to argue that you were at least partly responsible for your injuries and offer you a lowball settlement that’s far beneath what you actually deserve. Without your own legal counsel, however, you may have no idea how to calculate a fair settlement, avoid the legal traps the insurance company sets for you, or how to assemble the evidence and expert witnesses you’ll need to refute the insurance company’s version of events.
By working with an experienced lawyer, you greatly increase your chances of getting maximum value from your valid claim, which accurately reflects the amount of long-term medical care and pain and suffering damages that you’re entitled to.
“I Don’t Want to Have Go to Trial.”
Did you know that most personal injury cases never actually go to trial? Even when the parties fail to find common ground and a personal injury lawsuit has to be filed, there’s still a pretty good chance the case won’t go that far. Both sides can continue to negotiate and attempt to reach a pre-trial settlement right up to the actual court date.
Trials are risky and expensive for both parties, so there’s a ton of incentive on both sides to reach an agreement. While you usually do have to file a personal injury lawsuit, this merely begins a formal legal process in which sides must share information and sets an end date where a conclusion ultimately has to be reached, one way or the other. It also shows the insurance company that you won’t be bossed around and are willing to fight to get what you deserve.
Of course, sometimes cases do go to trial when the insurance company is simply unwilling to offer a fair settlement to your valid claim. However, trials in real life aren’t nearly as dramatic as the ones you see on TV. Your attorney will make sure you are fully prepared.
“I Just Want It All to Go Away.”
If you don’t want to deal with the stress and hassle of fighting the insurance company and just want it all to go away, hiring an attorney is actually the best thing you can do. You can rest easy, knowing that your lawyer is handling all aspects of your personal injury claim and dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.
Ignoring the financial problem is not going to make it go away. With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you can fully focus on your own health and your family while we defend your legal rights.
RELATED POST: Timeline For A Personal Injury Case in Georgia
Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?
Now Is the Right Time to Call The Brown Firm
Whether you’ve just been in an accident a few hours ago or you’ve already received a settlement offer from the insurance company and don’t know what to do next, your next step should be contacting The Brown Firm for a free consultation.
Our aggressive and experienced legal team has helped people across Georgia and South Carolina get through their toughest and darkest times, after car accidents, workplace injuries, wrongful deaths of loved ones, and more. We know the tactics insurance companies use to get out of paying fair compensation, and we won’t back down from a fight.
Don’t fall for the insurance company’s tricks, and don’t say yes to a settlement offer that isn’t fair. To request your free consultation, contact The Brown Firm today at (800) 529-1441, or complete our simple online contact form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.