A Georgia car accident claim hardly ever leads to court, but there are times when it’s absolutely necessary. Even if it’s not a major accident or against a large trucking company. There are times when it simply comes down to whether the insurance companies are willing to negotiate on a reasonable settlement. Or, there are times when your insurance company fails to comply with standard expectations.
What is the Resolution Process for a Georgia Car Accident Claim?
Resolution for a car accident should be really straightforward and to the point. It should look something like:
- Inform the insurance company of the crash
- Submit a statement
- Take the care to the appraiser
- Submit your medical bills for proof of injuries
- Receive compensation check to cover the damages
The issue here, and it’s no laughing matter, is that car accidents hardly ever follow that process. It’s the ideal process that insurance companies put out into the world so that their customers will believe that resolving a crash is no big deal.
The fact is that it’s much more complicated and will often require an Atlanta, Georgia car crash attorney. An attorney will take actions that many people don’t during the claim resolution process. For example, local Atlanta car accident lawyers will create a demand letter with a specific dollar amount expected for compensation. Then they will actively participate in negotiations to get a higher amount for a fair payout. Along the way, they may enlist people to create a fair value on the injuries or property damage.
These aspects of the resolution process are not frequently discussed because the insurance companies involved want to avoid them. One of the most common things customers of insurance companies hear is, “Oh, you probably won’t need an attorney.” They’re not saying, “don’t get an attorney,” which would bring in all variety of legal strife. But, they are saying that they don’t want you to get an attorney.
Is Court Necessary?
Sometimes court is necessary to resolve a Georgia car accident claim fully. Although personal injury claims usually resolve through settlements, an insurance company may refuse to budge. They may make an extremely low settlement offer and refuse to provide anything further. In that case, it would be up to you on how to proceed.
Before going to court, you’ll have in-depth conversations with your attorney about the changes to the legal fees, attorney fees, and what to expect in terms of compensation. There are cases when it may pay off. For example, if your crash was a result of a drunk driver, then it’s possible that going to court could result in receiving punitive damages. However, that doesn’t mean that everything will go your way.
Going to court is risky because a judge could decide that your compensation request is excessive. They may even decide that you had a much more substantial role in the fault of the crash than the insurance companies did.
When Should You Just Accept a Settlement?
A settlement offer that is within 10 or 15% of your goal may be reasonable to accept. If you figure that your attorney fees and legal fees could make up that difference, it’s likely that you would not receive that percentage of the award anyway. Then there is the aspect of hassle and delay.
Although fast settlement offers are hardly beneficial, it could be worth it to take a settlement offer now, then fight in court for the next year or two. Personal injury cases don’t always move quickly through the court system, which is why time delay is a factor to consider.
Before accepting a settlement, talk to your car accident attorney about the opportunity to obtain a higher payout. Going to court can be arduous, and if you’re not ready to participate actively, then it may be best to accept a settlement.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney for Help With Your Georgia Car Accident Claim
An experienced car accident law firm in Georgia knows that every case is a little different. That means that it’s often too difficult to give a blanket answer on when it’s best to accept settlements or not. At The Weinstein Firm, we carefully measure all the aspects of the case before helping you to decide if accepting a settlement is best or not.
As always, the decision comes down to you. If you don’t want to go to court, then you don’t have to. But, if you’re determined to fight for fair compensation and that means taking your case to a judge, then we’ll be right there with you. Schedule a consultation at our offices to discuss your Georgia car accident claim further.