What Should I Do To Maximize My Car Accident Settlement In Georgia?
Don’t check to see if his car is parked in the exact spot in his apartment complex that it always is. You’re driving fairly fast, and you need to keep your eyes on the road.
“It will only take a second.”
You let your eyes dart to your right to look in his parking lot. Sure enough, the black coupe is where it always is. As you look, the doors are being opened. From the passenger side emerges a leggy blonde. You have no time to see who this person is. You turn your head to face forward and see that there is a car driving towards you in your lane. You floor the brakes but cannot avoid the head-on collision.
“I’m so sorry! I was gazing at that blonde chick and didn’t see you,” says the man who emerges from the car you just crashed into.
It appears that both of you are in the wrong, and both of you have been injured. Who compensates who? Don’t even attempt to settle this before contacting a personal injury attorney.
So, You Want to Settle
Car accidents are very popular in Georgia. In general, the majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. However, if you are faced with an unreasonable insurance company, you may want to keep the option of litigation on the table.
Parties are allowed to reach a settlement before the matter is decided by a judge or jury or even before a lawsuit has been filed. Right before trial at the eleventh hour is permissible as well. Settlement negotiations might take place at any time and are often encouraged by the Court. In actuality, negotiations with an insurance provider or adjuster do not need filing a lawsuit first.
Consider the Limitation Period to Make a Personal Injury Claim
First, to ensure that there is even a payment, you must keep the limitation period in mind. Accident victims have two years to launch a case, according to OCGA 9-3-33. Missing this deadline will probably result in you losing your claim for compensation.
Trust us; this time will fly by very quickly. It might be difficult to gather the necessary evidence for your case and assess your level of responsibility for an accident.
You read that correctly – you may be partially responsible for the accident. A personal injury attorney with integrity will be honest with you about how the facts may appear to a Court. Any settlement you could receive will be limited if you are found partially at fault per Georgia’s modified comparative fault law.
Your Settlement Is Affected If You Are Partially to Blame for the Accident
Because Georgia is a modified comparative fault state, you are only eligible for compensation if you bear less than 50% of the fault for the accident. The amount of your payout will depend on how much of the accident is your fault.
Even though you share some of the blame for your injuries, the responsible party or parties must pay you compensation for your losses as long as your share of the blame does not exceed the proportion of fault of all other parties combined.
The damages awarded will be diminished by your share of the liability. In effect, if a jury finds you to be 40% at blame, you are entitled to reimbursement for 60% of the losses.
Wait Until You Have Fully Recovered
One cannot accurately estimate the price of your injury and recuperation until after receiving all necessary medical care. Depending on the injury and the person, regaining health will take some time.
Before you have either fully recovered from your injuries or received a clear medical prognosis, your attorney is unlikely to advise you to settle your claim. The prognosis will be provided in the form of a report from an impartial medical professional, which will validate the severity of your wounds, the time frame by which you recovered or are anticipated to recover, and the likely long-term effects. The reason you should wait to settle your claim until this medical documentation is complete is that once a claim is resolved, it is considered final, and no additional compensation can be provided in connection with that claim.
Therefore, you would run the risk of settling for a small figure if you agreed to a settlement before either fully recovering or having a solid prognosis in place. Additionally, you would lose the option to seek additional compensation if your injuries persisted longer than anticipated or got worse in the future.
Don’t Leave Out Anything When Drafting Your Claim
Your ability to demonstrate your losses to an insurance provider or other party obligated to pay for your losses will determine your ability to receive compensation for them. All potential health issues you may have as a result of the accident you experienced should be included in the amount you request. Some losses are easier to prove than others.
Wages lost, cost of medication, transportation costs, and specialized medical care are just a few expenses that can be easily proven with the submission of receipts, invoices, and quotations. These are economic damages.
On the other hand, time lost away from family and friends, reduced quality of life, pain resulting from the accident, and mental distress connected to the loss are more difficult to prove. These are non-economic damages. You will need an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer in Georgia to help estimate what this figure will likely look like.
Frequently Asked Question
Will we appear in court?
In the majority of cases, we come to a settlement agreement, but if that is not possible, we may need to go to court, which will take more time.
The Parisi Injury Law personal injury attorneys provide our clients with the tools, knowledge, and track record in the legal sphere that they require to seek fair compensation for their losses and hold others accountable. Make an appointment to speak with us! We will review your case for free, explore your options and establish a plan.