Were you seriously injured in an accident and have questions about how to win your injury claim? Read our blog, then contact our attorneys now!
Choosing an Attorney
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when hiring a personal injury attorney. First, you want to make sure that the attorney you hire dedicates his or her practice solely to personal injury lawsuits. There are many attorneys out there who may spend significant time handling other types of cases, such as criminal cases or bankruptcies, but will also handle a personal injury case too if it comes along. You’re not doing yourself a service if you hire a law firm that doesn’t handle injury cases every day. At The Gunnels Law Firm, we exclusively handle personal injury lawsuits.
Another thing to take into consideration is to what extent the attorney you hire knows how the insurance system works. Insurance companies have their own way of doing things and determining what the value of a personal injury case is. I spent many years representing insurance companies in personal injury lawsuits and know how they work, how they think and what moves the needle. I eventually determined that I was on the wrong side of that litigation and wanted to spend my time helping individuals who had to fight with these insurance companies. Now I can put that experience that I have being on the other side to use for individuals that I represent. It’s important to have an attorney that knows how that system works.
You also want to make sure that the law firm or attorney you’re hiring is getting good results in the personal injury cases they are handling. Ask about results they’re receiving and how often they’re trying cases. It’s important to know that you’re working with someone that is willing to do all the work that is necessary.
The final thing, as previously mentioned, is making sure you have an attorney who tries cases. There are way too many attorneys that aren’t willing to take a case all the way to trial, and the insurance companies know who those attorneys are. We strive to never be an attorney who is going to be looked at as being afraid to take a case to trial. We are in the courtroom a lot, and the insurance companies we deal with know that.
You don’t want to find yourself with an attorney who is going to just take the best offer the insurance company will give you. In many instances, the insurance company is not going to be the one that gives you a fair offer and you’re going to have to take the case to a jury to make sure you are fairly compensated. We pride ourselves in going through the entire process and not stopping until we’ve achieved justice for our clients.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
We frequently see people come into our office who have caused damage to their personal injury claim without even knowing it. The first mistake we often see people make is not calling the police and filing a police report when an accident occurs. It’s essential to have the police arrive and make a police report so that, one, the claim is documented – what occurred, where it occurred and when it occurred – and, two, that we have the information necessary to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. If no police report is taken, those drivers may disappear, and we may never be able to locate them to pursue your claim.
A second thing we see people do is not accurately report their injuries at the scene of the incident. We frequently have people tell the responding officer that they are not hurt, when, in fact, they admit to us that they were already experiencing pain. This is not the time to be tough and hide your injuries. Make sure that your injuries are accurately recorded. It’s not good for us if at the scene you claim to have been suffering from pain, but the accident report says, “no injuries reported.” Tell the officer when you are feeling pain.
Another thing that people do that is very detrimental to their claim is not seeking medical treatment immediately after they’ve been injured. If you are feeling pain at the accident scene, go to the hospital and get checked out. If it’s not until the next morning that you begin to feel pain, which is very common, go that day and get checked out. This does two things: it documents the injuries that you’re having and when you began having them, and it begins your recovery right away.
Finally, make sure you hire an attorney immediately to help preserve your rights and walk you through this process. If you try to handle these cases yourself, insurance companies will take advantage of you because you don’t have a lawyer that knows the process. Don’t just hire a lawyer; hire the right lawyer – one that’s experienced and knows how to handle these cases.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
When people call us to discuss claims, one thing they often want to know is why they need a personal injury attorney to handle their Georgia claim. The reason is insurance companies are not going to treat them fairly without the representation of an attorney. Attorneys that practice personal injury law know how these claims work and know how to build a case. They know the steps that need to be taken in each situation to maximize the recovery of the case. Insurance companies are just going to assume that general individuals who are not attorneys don’t understand these steps, and they’re going to try to take advantage of that in every situation.
We have seen some of the most ridiculous offers from insurance companies to people who did not have representation until they decide to hire us to handle their claim. Make sure that you don’t allow the insurance company to take advantage of you in your personal injury claim. If you have a claim and you need assistance, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you.
Is It Too Late to Hire an Attorney?
We often get calls from people who thought that they could handle their personal injury lawsuit on their own but realized after beginning discussions with an insurance company that they weren’t going to be treated fairly without the representation of an attorney. This happens often, and insurance companies will take advantage of you if you’re not represented by an attorney.
In many situations, a person has begun to work through this process and realizes that they do need assistance. In almost all of these cases we find that the individual, by beginning the work on the suit themselves, has not done any damage that we can’t undo. It is important, however, to get an attorney involved as soon as possible to give us maximum time to get the case on the right track and make sure all the appropriate boxes are being checked.
If you have begun the process of negotiating a personal injury claim and realize that you need representation in order to be taken seriously, please give us a call so we can help you get your lawsuit in the best possible position to maximize your recovery.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
We’re often asked by clients whether they should give a recorded statement to an insurance company that has requested one after an accident has occurred. The answer to that question is no. While people think they may be doing their case a service and making it better by telling their side of the story, they are at a disadvantage in those types of claims. The insurance companies have adjusters who are trained to ask questions and get information from the injured party that could be harmful to the case later on.
We want to make sure that the insurance companies do not ever get a chance to speak with our client without us present and available. To the extent that we ever do have to give recorded statements, always wait until you have an attorney to participate in the recorded statement with you.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in an accident in Georgia and have questions about how to win your injury claim?
Contact the experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys at The Gunnels Law Firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience work for you.
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