A personal injury attorney will change the course of your case if and when you choose to hire one. But the first question to address is: can you handle a personal injury claim on your own or should you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side? To begin with, it depends on how big your claim is.
Getting injured can adversely impact your health and livelihood, and even the well-being of your loved ones. You are entitled to get compensation for the challenges posed by the accident that occurred because of someone else’s fault. You have nothing much to worry about if you are confident that the liability and the injury claim process can be easily processed. But that rarely is the case.
Insurance companies are usually determined to lowball your claim and you may find it hard to negotiate with them on your own. Hiring a Georgia injury and accident attorney from the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm will be your best bet to protect your interests in cases where you were injured due to another’s negligence.
When Can You Settle a Personal Injury Claim on Your Own?
Rather than attempting to work your own case at first and later hiring a lawyer, it is better to make that decision early on. Mishandling your case is a mistake you cannot afford to make. Unless you are fully confident about your claim and believe you can handle it yourself, you should consider hiring a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
You can manage your own case if:
The Accident Caused Minor Injuries
Most of the time, personal injury occurs in motor accidents. In such cases, if the damage caused to the vehicle and the passengers is minimal, the settlement amount usually includes the cost of fixing the car and the payment of the medical bills. In cases with minor injuries, filing an insurance claim would be more than enough to cover the costs. If you feel content with the service of the insurance company and the amount of the insurance claim, there is no need to contact an attorney.
You have been Offered the Maximum Settlement Amount
Going forward with a case when the highest possible insurance claim has been already offered to you is futile. The insurance policy of the defendant will have a maximum limit, and if that amount is already being offered to you in the settlement, there is no use in moving for a bigger claim.
You are Confident with Negotiating
If you believe that you can go through the grueling process of negotiation with the adjuster, then you do not need a personal injury lawyer. Negotiation will also involve being well versed in state laws as well as fault and legal liability. Being comfortable with legal talk is essential if you want to handle your own case.
What will a Personal Injury Attorney do?
You can miss out on several details of a personal injury claim if you aim to settle on your own. A lawyer will help you with:
- Negotiation: Whether you are fighting the case against an individual or a big corporation, the other side of a personal injury case will most likely have an attorney. Having one by your side will create a balance in the proceedings, and the negotiations are likely to go smoother.
- Documentation: Hiring a professional would mean that no aspect of the proceedings would be missed out. All the required documentation like medical bills, written statements, and forms would be filed accordingly.
- Investigation: Your injury and pain will have to be proved before the court, and a lawyer can help you navigate that. They can hire private investigators and also ask for expert witnesses to prove that your claim is valid.
- Advice: A personal injury attorney will have the expertise to guide you throughout the trial and mediation. Their legal advice will be more sound and will help you understand the process better.
- Experience: A lawyer’s expertise will benefit your case immensely, and they will provide an objective perspective in their approach.
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
This question has a simple answer. When you realize that your injury is not as minor as you might have originally perceived it to be, it is time to hire a professional legal specialist to help your case, literally. There are a number of scenarios that might require the support and advice of a personal injury lawyer, such as:
- Major injuries caused in a motor vehicle accident
- Slip and fall injuries
- Wrongful death
- Product liability claims
- Medical malpractice
- Toxic poisoning
Apart from these scenarios, there are some other factors that you might not be able to navigate on your own. You will have to let a personal injury lawyer take your case based on the following:
The extent of your injuries
The initial shock might make you agree to a settlement that was not worth the harm caused. A seemingly minor injury can develop into something more damaging, and that is why any personal injury lawyer would ask you to carefully evaluate the extent of your injury first.
Pain and Suffering Damages
In Georgia, pain and suffering damages cover the physical and mental trauma a victim or their family suffers from the injury and the inconvenience caused by it. Since this pain and suffering cannot be shown in terms of hard physical evidence, strong legal representation from a professional is essential to establish the damages caused and negotiate a good amount for compensation.
This monetary compensation by the court would be calculated as the basis of the extent of pain, the incapacity to lead a normal life, and the impact of the injury on the immediate family. You can have pain and suffering damages attributed to you if your case moves before a jury. You will miss out on this settlement if you accept an offer without consulting a personal injury attorney.
Fighting Against Insurers and Corporations
It is one thing to fight the case against an individual you were involved in an accident with. When you are going for a settlement against a large insurance company or a corporation, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. They can negotiate well and are familiar with the exact legal procedure and methodology.
Insurance companies catering to big corporations will provide you with a settlement claim but might not cover all the expenses you were aiming to recover. These companies will try to offer you the smallest amount possible. If you are handling your own case, you might miss many details that can make or break your case. But an attorney would not. You will need a personal injury attorney to be on your side that can fight hard on your behalf for a fair settlement and is also prepared to go to trial if necessary.
Gathering evidence and organizing it all for presenting in the court is also something the attorney will take care of. If you are going for a substantial financial claim, it is necessary to have every bit of physical and forensic evidence, witness statements, and photographs and/or videos from the accident scene. All the documentation to be gathered would include medical bills and doctor reports that will prove the extent of the injury. Your settlement claim would also include the number of workdays you missed and the employer’s official statement stating the amount of lost wages.
With personal injury claims, many legal complications may arise. You would probably not be able to handle it if you were pleading the case yourself. The legal complications may include shared blame. In a modified comparative negligence state like Georgia, you can lose a part of your claim based on the percentage of your fault in the accident.
Your settlement money will also be shared with the medical or health insurance companies. This is legal, and they have a right to a proton of your settlement money. A personal injury attorney will help you navigate through these proceedings and reduce the amount of the medical lien so that you end up with more settlement money.
In cases with inter pleaders, the settlement amount will have to be shared by all those parties. In cases such as these, the settlement amount might not be enough for every plaintiff. An attorney by your side will negotiate the proportion you should get of the settlement so that you get your due.
Why should you hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you are still unclear on whether a personal injury attorney will help you claim a settlement, you should consider that paying the medical bill will likely cost you far more than the lawyer’s fees. And since the appointed lawyer has the professional skills, they can fight for the proper settlement against big corporations. Personal injury attorneys will anyway work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay a dime unless you obtain compensation.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This entitles you to recovery settlement from the party at fault as long as the percentage of your fault is less than theirs. Going by this law, you will be eligible to get damages worth the percentage of fault you were not responsible for. A personal injury attorney will help you minimize your fault percentage in the incident with their experience in similar cases.
Choose CEO Lawyer for a Strong Legal Representation
A personal injury claim can be complex to handle on your own, which is why our experience will help you every step of the way to get you the compensation you are entitled to. Whether it is medical malpractice or a motor accident injury, our legal team at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm will answer all your questions regarding your personal injury claim and provide you with the right advice. All you need to do is call us at (833) 254-2923 for a free consultation.