Atlanta Accident Attorney
Over 350 motor vehicle accidents occur in Georgia each day. The vast majority of these car and truck wrecks happen within the city limits of Atlanta. Statistics show that you will be involved in a road accident at least twice in your lifetime. That is why Georgia requires you and every other person on the road to maintain car insurance to ensure that people are protected when an injury does occurs.
What is the Typical Insurance Claim Process?
Injured clients come to my office asking how long their injury claim will take. Unfortunately, there is no set timeline, but most claims follow the same pattern. The first step is to actually setup the claim. This involves notifying all insurance companies that you are hurt and that their policy may cover your loss. You should promptly notify the the driver’s insurance that hit you, the insurance covering the car you were driving/travelling in, and any other insurance policies that you maintain. This process is relatively quick and should take no longer than a week. The insurance information you receive will give both you and your attorney a better idea of how much insurance coverage is available for your accident claim.
Next Step – Getting Medical Treatment
The next step is to go get medical treatment. How quickly you recover varies from person to person depending on the severity of injuries and how badly someone is hurt. Most folks respond to treatment and typically recover from their injuries within 3-5 months. More severe injuries may require more aggressive forms of treatment such as injections, nerve ablations, surgery, and pain management. In these situations, medical treatment may last longer than 12 months, but eventually resolve. In the most extreme circumstances, an injury may be permanent lasting a lifetime. Your attorney will need to decide when to try and make attempts to settle your case depending on the facts of your claim.
Next Step – Demand Package Preparation
Numerous documents need to be included in a well thought out demand package. Your attorney should obtain all your medical records and bills related to your treatment. He or she should also contact your employer to get any documents evidencing your lost wages. Likewise, photos depicting the vehicles, your condition after the accident and during treatment should be included. You should also include in a demand package how the accident has affected your life. This stage typically takes 30-60 days to complete once you have finished treatment or your attorney has decided that it is an appropriate time to send a demand.
Negotiations shouldn’t take too long in a car or truck accident case. Your attorney should have a good idea of what is a fair value of your accident case. He or she should be able to quickly determine if the other side is going to offer or accept a fair compensation. Negotiations typically last 30-60 days.
Failed Negotiations? Lawsuit & Litigation
Approximately 85-90% of accident injury claims settle without the need for court. However, it is imperative that your attorney file a lawsuit if you cannot settle your case. This is the only way to ensure that you will get fair compensation for your injuries. The first step of the litigation process is called the Complaint and Answer. As the names suggest, this is the basic outline of what your case is about, and what the other side’s position is on the matter. The next step is discovery, were the parties share documents and have the chance to take recorded statements of each other, any witnesses, experts, and any other persons that may testify at trial. Lawsuits are expensive and a lengthy process, however give both sides the opportunity to continual evaluate your case based on the new information uncovered. The last step is trial in front of your peers. Most lawsuits go to trial approximately 16-24 months after filing a lawsuit.
Final Steps – Take Care of Other Issues
Obtaining a settlement or verdict is never the final step in a case. Your attorney needs to tie up loose ends associated with your case so that it brings a final closure to your claim. He or she should ensure that your medical bills are negotiated and paid from your settlement. Likewise, hospital liens and health insurance liens should be dealt with on your behalf. A full accounting of the compensation recovered should be provided to the client as well as their responsibilities following the conclusion of their case.