Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Georgia

why hire personal injury attorney in Georgia

A personal injury attorney is often the most cost effective and efficient solution to your accident claim.

A personal injury attorney is more than just a lawyer. With a top legal professional, you have an advocate for your rights and a expert who can handle all the paperwork, negotiations and red tape surrounding your accident claim.

Don’t believe everything you hear. For every negative stereotype of a lawyer, there is a legal advocate working tirelessly to earn top compensation for his or her client. A lawyer is simply required in many accident cases, and this article helps you understand when and why it’s best to put your claim in the hands of a top Georgia personal injury attorney.

Personal injury lawyers – 13 things they do

What Does a Personal Injury
Lawyer Do?

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5 reasons to hire a personal injury attorney in Georgia

1. Attorney fees are less than your medical expenses.

Potential plaintiffs often worry that the cost of an attorney will outweigh the benefits of hiring one. “Billable hours” scare accident victims away as people picture $300 an hour fees. Though that can be a hefty sum, this potential cost could be much less than your medical bills.

For example, let’s say a lawyer bills you $200 an hour and works 6 hours on your case. That amounts to a $1,200 legal fee.Consumer Reports, however, explains that the cost of the ambulance ride alone may be $2,000. This doesn’t include the emergency room visit, medicines, long-term treatment, etc. Therefore, the cost of an attorney may be small in comparison to your healthcare costs.

Additionally, some personal injury attorneys only take a lump sum of your damages. Thus, nothing comes out of your pocket. Yes, you could lose $4,000 out of a $12,000 settlement, for example, but you need to ask yourself: Would you have received $12,000 without legal representation?

2. Attorneys can fight the insurance companies and big corporations for you.

If another person caused the accident, his/her insurance company should cover your medical bills. Insurance companies, however, won’t make money if they pay the full cost of every claimant’s accident. Thus, the company will often try to cut corners and offer you the smallest total possible. Without the guidance of an attorney, you may not be able to gauge what is fair compensation.

Similarly, certain personal injury claims involve big corporations, such as trucking accidents or medical malpractice claims. These companies have corporate attorneys working tirelessly to keep their potential costs down. In turn, you should have an attorney on your side to keep your claim a fair fight.

Remember: the other party’s insurance company is NOT trying to give you the maximum compensation you deserve.
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3. Attorneys may be able to minimize your liability.

Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. That means that you must be less than 50% responsible for your accident in order to recover damages.

We all make mistakes. Maybe you stopped short to avoid hitting an animal when your car was rear-ended. If that person was speeding or driving while intoxicated, for example, your actions shouldn’t prevent you from recovering damages. Lawyers can explain how your liability will affect the compensation you could receive, and will fight to minimize your percent at fault.

4. Your lawsuit requires the help of expert witnesses.

Though you may be convinced that your lawsuit is a simple case, you’d be surprised how quickly a lawsuit can turn into complex litigation. Opposing counsel may request expert witnesses to re-examine your injuries or to testify a product’s safety, for example. Accident reconstruction specialists may also be called in to detail how a car or truck accident happened.

Expert witnesses make a lawsuit more expensive as the witnesses are paid for their services. Similarly, if the defendant calls for an expert, you need help choosing the right professional for your court case. Thus, a personal injury attorney will help with your selection process and will also try to recover the expense in your damages calculation.

Enjuris tip: Want to try to figure out your potential damages on your own? Use our expense worksheet to help with the calculations.

5. Settlements are not an easy process.

Many plaintiffs incorrectly believe that a settlement means they don’t need to hire an attorney. Personal injury attorneys, however, are experts at managing settlements. It’s true that most personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Thus, an attorney knows what a fair settlement looks like and will evaluate your case to see that all of your bills and expenses are covered by the settlement. Long-term medical expenses and financial compensation to your family are easily overlooked in damage calculations, and a personal injury attorney will spot all the missing elements.

Enjuris tip: Remember that there is no financial cap on pain and suffering damages in Georgia.

Many settlements often take place in a mediation or arbitration. Though these are less rigorous than a trial, these are still formal legal proceedings. The mediator or arbitrator will expect you to do fairly quick thinking and compromising, and a lawyer will certainly make the process less intimidating. Furthermore, the defendant is likely to have an attorney present. Thus, both parties should have equal legal footing.

Beyond the reasons above, it’s important to remember that an attorney has an ethical duty to protect your best interests in a lawsuit. By taking you as a client, your lawyer pledges to do everything in his or her power to win as much compensation as possible. This promise is part of a binding ethical duty that is worthy of your trust. Lawyers who fail to protect their clients face fines and a revocation of their license. You may lose a lawsuit—even with the best attorney—but a lawyer’s main job is to give your claim a fighting chance.

When do I not need an attorney?

Not every legal claim requires an attorney. Most fender benders or minor accidents don’t require legal assistance. When injuries and/or car repairs are minimal, insurance settlements may be enough to cover all the damages adequately. Similarly, if you know that the potential defendant is uninsured and/or unable to afford damages, a lawsuit may be a costly hassle you want to avoid.

There are a few reasons why your claim might be denied an attorney, as well. This infographic offers a quick overview to keep in mind before you try to hire a personal injury lawyer:

Why Might a Personal Injury Lawyer Decline My Case?

Why Might a Personal Injury Lawyer Decline My Case?

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Nevertheless, if you are emotionally and physically drained from an accident, it may just be easier to hire an attorney. There is nothing wrong with that! Your consultation is likely to be free, and some personal injury attorneys may just charge you an hourly rate to take care of your paperwork. Also, you don’t want to run the risk of the statute of limitations running out on your claim.

Enjuris understands that even the smallest of accidents can leave an accident victim distraught and exhausted. To help you find an attorney faster, read our guide to finding a personal injury attorney in Georgia and peruse our directory of Georgia personal injury attorneys.

Free personal injury guides for download to print or save. View all downloads.

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