In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, your most pressing priorities are to contact emergency responders, check on the well-being of other individuals involved in the crash, and seek medical care. Once these needs are met, however, you may be unsure of what to do next – particularly if you have never been in a serious car crash before. During this time, a car accident lawyer can serve as your advocate and your legal advisor. A personal injury attorney in Douglasville, GA, will ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to protect your legal rights and options, and to seek just compensation for your losses.
Protecting Your Legal Rights and Options
It is not necessary to file a claim with the insurance carrier immediately following a car accident. In fact, you may inadvertently compromise the strength of your case, depending on what you say to the insurance adjuster. Instead, it is best to contact a car accident lawyer first. Provide your personal injury attorney with the insurance carrier information, along with the details of the crash and your injuries. He or she will advise you of the next steps to take and prevent you from making costly errors, such as signing a medical authorization and release for the insurance carrier.
Evaluating the Insurance Company’s Offer
The accident attorney will take some time to investigate the crash, and to determine the nature and extent of your injuries. He or she will compile information, such as the extent of the property damage and the estimated cost to repair the vehicle, along with your medical expenses and other damages. Your accident attorney will use this information to negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier. With the guidance of your attorney, you will need to decide whether to accept the settlement offer.
Deciding to File a Lawsuit
If the settlement offer does not cover your expenses and your losses are significant, your accident attorney will advise you on the merits of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. If you file a lawsuit, you may win a substantial jury award or obtain a larger settlement offer. On the other hand, there is always the risk that you will lose the case. Talk to your attorney if you are unsure what to do.