When you get into an auto accident, there will be a lot of things running through your mind. At first, you’ll be angry at the person who hit you. You may want to scream and yell and demand that they pay to fix your car. At the same time, you’re probably a little bit afraid. You have no idea what you’re supposed to do. Do you trust that the insurance company will pay your claim? The best thing to do when you’re feeling like this, you should call and talk to a personal injury lawyer in Georgia.
One of the big questions you may have is how soon you should talk to an attorney after your auto accident. Do you call on the same day as your accident? Or do you wait until your claim is denied and then scramble to find a lawyer really quickly? The truth is, only you can choose when it’s the right time. As long as you call early enough that your Georgia car accident lawyer can help with your claim, you should be okay.
Here, we’ll talk about when it’s the right time to call an accident lawyer. You have no idea what the future holds. You’re in a much better position having a lawyer by your side.
There Are 4 Things You Need to Do After an Auto Accident
If you’re involved in an auto accident, there are 4 things you need to do. Obviously, you need to call 911. If you don’t call the police, you won’t have any way to prove the other driver was at fault. When the police come out, they’ll do a thorough investigation of the accident scene. They’ll put all of their notes into their final report. Your lawyer will need a copy of this report to prove your case.
The second thing you need to do is go to the hospital. This is the only way to prove you were injured. Once you’ve done this, you need to get in touch with the insurance company. This is around the same time you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Georgia. This way, your lawyer can help you file your insurance claim. Once the insurance adjuster learns you have a lawyer, they’ll take your case more seriously.
You Don’t Want to Miss the Statute of Limitations Deadline
Every state has something called the statute of limitations. This is the law that dictates how long a person has to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is 2 years. If you plan on suing somebody, you need to file suit within 2 years from the day of your accident.
There are no extensions. If you miss the filing deadline, your case will be dismissed. This is just one more reason why you should contact a Georgia auto accident lawyer as soon as you can. Even if you choose not to sue, you still want to have a legal professional by your side.
What Happens if You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you miss the court’s filing deadline, there is nothing your Georgia auto accident lawyer can do. The judge isn’t going to make an exception for you because you were a week too late. That’s why we always warn our clients to come and see us sooner rather than later. For every week you wait to talk to an attorney, you make it a little harder to prove your case.
There are only a few exceptions to the statute of limitations deadline. They are very rare. They include the following:
- The plaintiff is a minor
- The defendant committed fraud in order to avoid service
- The plaintiff is mentally incapacitated
In any of these exceptional cases, the clock starts ticking as soon as the issue has been resolved. For example, the day the minor plaintiff turns 18, the clock will start.
Give Your Georgia Auto Accident Lawyer Plenty of Time to Prepare
Your Georgia car accident lawyer is going to need months to prepare your case. Of course, they’re going to make sure your insurance claim is filed immediately. If they pay your claim, you won’t need to pursue legal action against the other driver. However, if your claim is denied, your attorney will have some work to do.
Even though your case is probably going to settle, you still need to assume the worst. In order to adequately prepare your case, your lawyer will need to do the following:
- Get a copy of the police report and review it in detail
- Get the contact information for any witnesses and try to talk to them
- Review your medical records and document your injuries
- Gather up all of your bills to see what kind of damages you can demand
- Negotiate with the insurance company to work toward a settlement
- File all the necessary papers with the courts
- Hire experts if necessary
These things take time. If you wait until the last minute to hire an attorney, they won’t have enough time to do all these things. You have to remember – your lawyer has more than one case they have to tend to. They can’t prepare your case in one week and take it to court.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re even thinking about hiring a Georgia car accident lawyer, then you need to give our office a call. If you plan on hiring a lawyer, there’s no time to waste. The longer you wait to hire a personal injury lawyer in Georgia, Georgia, the less time your attorney will have to prepare your case. We recommend that accident victims call us within a couple of days of their accident. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing the statute of limitations period.
It isn’t hard to hire an attorney. All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. You can sit down with one of our lawyers for a half hour or so and tell them your story. Once they have an idea of what happened, they can let you know if you have a case.
If so, they’ll reach out to the insurance company and let them know you have hired them. If they approve your claim, great. If not, you have an experienced car accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process.