Auto Accident Law Firm
A car accident can happen to anyone at any time and it’s important that you hire an experienced Savannah car accident lawyer if you’ve been injured in a traffic collision. Even if you drive exceedingly safely, you do not control what other drivers do on the road. Car accidents can cost you dearly in medical costs, expensive car repairs, lost work time, and mental and emotional scars that can linger for years. If you are injured in a car wreck caused by someone else’s negligence, it is time to seek the advice of a GA auto accident attorney.
The skilled attorney at Thomas Hunter Law Firm in Savannah, GA, can assist you in preparing a compelling insurance claim to recover damages. In addition, we can walk you through the proper procedures to prosecute your legal rights as a car accident victim, since we have years of experience. So get in touch with us today!
Everything You Need To Know About Car Accidents
What Should I Do If I Am Involved In A Car Accident?
As soon as the car accident occurs, everything you do and say thereafter is potential evidence in your case. So, the moment that the vehicles come to rest after a collision, you are, whether you realize it or not, constructing your vehicle accident claim. Following an accident, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your claim:
- You must report the car accident to the police.
- Get the name, phone number, and insurance information of the other driver.
- Photograph the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries (perhaps with video).
- Obtain the names and contact information of the witnesses
- Get medical attention as soon as possible.
- Contact a car accident lawyer.
What Can I Do After A Car Accident To Protect My Rights?
After a car accident, you’ll need to document the incident, gather evidence, get your injuries treated as soon as possible, and seek legal assistance.
1. Documenting The Scene
- If you can, take photographs and/or video of the place where the accident occurred. Be intentional in what you photograph or videotape. What are you trying to show in the photo or video? What is depicted and what is missing? Should there have been a stop sign, which is not present, for example. Are there skid marks? Where did the vehicles end up? What parts of the vehicles are damaged? If you can do it safely, photograph the interior of the opposing vehicle. Are there beer cans, liquor bottles, pill bottles, marijuana or drug items on the floorboard or ashtray? Is there a cell phone holder? Is there blood evident anywhere? Did the airbags deploy? If there is a wrecker on the scene, who is it? Get a photo to show who they are and where they are located.
- Call the police and give a statement about the accident and explain what happened to the responding officers.
- Take photos or videos of your injuries, and your car's damage.
- Do not apologize or acknowledge fault to anyone, including the other driver, any witness, the police officer, the wrecker driver, any ambulance personnel or any insurance adjuster or investigator.
- Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Each of these actions can assist in the creation of a record of the car accident, which is vital for filing an insurance claim.
2. Getting Your Injuries Examined and Treated
After you’ve left the scene, go to the ER, an urgent care facility or your doctor, but make sure you get in to see a medical provider that day, if possible. The longer it takes for you to get medical attention and get your injuries documented, the more difficult it will be to convince the opposing liability carrier that you were hurt or that your injuries were serious. Everyone expects that, if you are hurt, you will get medical attention. They will also surmise, rightly or wrongly, that if you do not get medical attention, especially right after an accident, that you must not have been hurt or hurt significantly. Get whatever and as much treatment as you need for your injuries. Don’t worry about who will pay for those expenses. Getting the treatment that you need will help you recover sooner and more completely, will make sure your injuries are documented and will negate the insurance adjuster’s argument that you must not have gotten hurt because you waited so long to get treated.
Keep a record of all medical bills, doctor notes, and other documents related to your injuries and medical expenses.
3. Making Notes About The Mishap
Keep track of events leading up to, during, and following the car accident. You should keep a daily journal after the collision to note how your injuries have affected your normal daily activities. Write down how you felt after the accident and how your injuries have affected your daily life. At the same time, keep track of the names and contact information of anybody you’ve spoken with regarding the accident.
4. Obtaining A Vehicle Inspection
Calculate the cost of repairing your vehicle’s damage (or replacement, if your car was a total loss). Before the other driver’s insurance company steps in, you might need to see a few separate inspectors, or your own insurer if you have collision coverage, to get an idea or an average estimate of how much your vehicle damage is worth.
5. Keeping Track Of Your Losses
Keep account of all expenses incurred as a result of your car accident. To keep all of your documents and notes in one place, create a file or folder. It should include the following:
- The claim number
- The name of the insurance adjuster
- All medical bills and documentation
- Repair quotes for vehicles damaged
- All pertinent contacts with their full names, phone numbers, and addresses.
6. Getting In Touch With A Car Accident Attorney
Make an appointment with an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure that you do everything possible to preserve your rights following the accident. If you do not know how to deal with an insurance company, you will be at a disadvantage. An experienced lawyer can help you avoid that and can assist you in securing the just compensation you deserve as well.
If the insurance company or another driver contests your claim, your lawyer will be there for you every step of the process, even if you have to take the other driver to court.
Basically, after a car accident, be cautious in whatever you do or say. Do not admit fault and do not apologize for anything. Do not downplay your damages or losses. Do not give a statement to anyone, unless you have an attorney with you. An experienced lawyer can guide you through this painstaking legal process, safeguard your legal rights and pursue full reimbursement for the damages you have suffered due to the other driver’s negligence.
Is It Worth Hiring A Car Accident Attorney To Represent You?
In most cases, if you suffered serious injuries in an accident, engaging a car accident lawyer is well worth the money. Most accident attorneys, including Thomas Hunter Law Firm, will represent you on a contingent fee basis. You will pay nothing unless you win a settlement or judgment and your payment will come from the proceeds collected from the other side or insurance companies.
Insurance companies employ entire teams of adjusters and attorneys, all of whom are well-versed in how to persuade you that your claim is worth far less than it is. Their job is to get you to settle for less than fair value. They are not your friends and they are not looking out for you. You cannot rely upon anything they say to you, whether legal or factual. For example, you may not know what types and amounts of damages you can claim. As a result, accepting a settlement without the help and advice of experienced legal counsel could result in your losing a lot of money. When you settle, your claim is over, so you will need to claim all of your damages – past, present and future – when you negotiate your claim with the other side.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help?
When searching for “car accident lawyers near me” Thomas Hunter Law Firm, can help you with a variety of issues of your auto claim, including:
- Investigating the accident scene (and reviewing photos taken at the location) to look for liability evidence and possible other negligent parties
- Reviewing the police report, medical records, and other critical documentation
- Interviewing witnesses who were present at the time of the accident
- Calculating all of your damages, including medical bills, lost paycheck, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering damages
- Negotiating a reasonable agreement on your behalf with the insurance company. After an accident, it's usual for the insurance company to offer you a small payment. They might call you or write you a letter. Accident claims are adversarial and they will never pay what they owe unless they are made to pay it. A car accident lawyer can protect you from being exploited.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should I Contact A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
The short answer is as soon as possible. It would help if you spoke to a lawyer directly after an accident so you know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. The lawyer may be able to help make sure you get appropriate medical care. This step is essential as it can help protect your rights should you file a suit for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
Does Filing A Claim Mean I Have To Go To Court?
No, a car accident lawyer will work with you to determine what course you should pursue and what compensation you may be entitled to collect. If a claim cannot be settled, then a lawsuit may be filed, but, even then, it may get resolved before actually going to court. We do not file lawsuits in all cases or right away, for many reasons, not the least of which is that it could actually delay the resolution of your claim. We file suits only when a good reason exists to file it – the carrier will not pay fair value for the claim, we are concerned that the adverse party may “disappear” and make it difficult for us to perfect service one day or we have specific client-based reasons to do so. Sometimes we just need to show the insurance company that we will litigate to get fair compensation. Should we file suit and the insurance carrier thereafter agrees to pay fair compensation, we may settle your case before the case goes to court.
What Information Should I Give Insurance Companies?
Under no circumstances should you give the other party’s insurance company a statement – written or oral, recorded or unrecorded – or give them any medical records. Constantly, insurers will ask you to make a recorded statement; have them communicate with your attorney for information. At Thomas Hunter Law Firm, we are professional in dealing with these types of requests.
Professional Attorneys In Savannah
If you’re in a car accident and suffer severe injuries, it’s essential to choose the right firm for your legal advice. Thomas Hunter is experienced in auto injury cases and claims. With years of experience negotiating prosecuting and resolving personal injury claims with excellent results, we will we provide personal attention and care to your claim and we will make sure your claim is handled the way it should be.
To schedule an initial consultation or discuss your car accident’s circumstances, contact us to determine if you have a claim.