When we get a call from a new client, one of the first things we ask them is when their auto accident took place. There are a few reasons for this. First, we need to know if they have already filed an insurance claim. Second, we need to make sure the Georgia statute of limitations hasn’t expired. Finally, we like to have an idea of when the crash occurred. This way, our Columbia auto accident lawyers know how much time they have to prepare your case.
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may not know if you need a lawyer. Most people attempt to handle the matter themselves at first. It isn’t until they run into a problem that they call one of our Columbia injury lawyers. There’s nothing wrong with that.
You aren’t legally required to retain an attorney. However, dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident can be overwhelming. Just dealing with the insurance company can be enough to frustrate you. That’s why it’s a good idea to at least talk to an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer in the days or weeks following your car accident.
Here, we’ll discuss the timing of your case and when it’s a good time to get a lawyer for your auto accident. We’ll also explain some of the benefits of having a lawyer by your side. If you still have questions after reading this article, feel free to give us a call. We can set up your free, initial consultation right over the phone.
You Need to Make Sure You File Before the Statute of Limitations Period Expires
Every state has its own rules about how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. This law is called the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations period is two years. If you don’t file your auto accident claim within this time, your claim will be dismissed.
One of the reasons we encourage accident victims to contact one of our Columbia injury lawyers sooner rather than later is so that you don’t miss the filing deadline. If you file even one day late, the judge will dismiss your case. Usually, the defendant’s lawyer will notice you’ve missed the deadline and file a motion to dismiss. The court will have to grant this motion.
Even if the defendant doesn’t file a motion, the judge will still dismiss your case. Their court clerk will take a look at your papers and notice how old the case is. The judge will not grant you an extension. If you wait until the last minute to call our office, there’s only so much we can do. Even a Columbia auto accident lawyer can’t convince the court to extend the statute of limitations period.
Don’t Want to Wait Until Your Claim Is Denied to Contact a Columbia Auto Accident Lawyer
Another question some accident victims ask is whether they need a lawyer before they file their insurance claim. We always recommend that you at least talk to a Columbia injury lawyer before you file your claim. If not, there is a chance the insurance adjuster will try to take advantage of you.
If the insurance company thinks you’re not represented by legal counsel, they may try to convince you to accept a low settlement. Knowing that you need the money to pay medical bills, they’ll push a low number at you and tell you that if you don’t accept it, they’ll take it off the table.
If you have a lawyer by your side, this won’t happen. This doesn’t mean they won’t offer you a settlement. They’ll just make sure it’s a fair one. They know your attorney isn’t going to allow you to take anything less than what you deserve. At a minimum, they’ll ensure you walk away with enough to cover any out-of-pocket expenses.
There’s a Good Chance the Defendant Will Have a Lawyer
In Georgia, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance. Hopefully, the person who hits you has insurance. If so, their insurance company is legally required to defend any lawsuits filed against them in relation to a car accident. This means the defendant will have a lawyer (or team of lawyers) by their side.
Knowing this, it’s a good idea to have an attorney by your side as well. If your case does go to court, you’ll be at a loss. You won’t know the law or the court rules. If you make a mistake, the court isn’t going to feel bad for you. Nor will they bend the rules for you.
One thing our clients think is that, if they go to the court clerk, they’ll help them file their lawsuit. This isn’t the case. The court staff aren’t allowed to give you any legal advice. All they can do is hand you a bunch of forms and tell you who to make your check payable to.
Rather than be at this kind of disadvantage, you should call our office sooner rather than later. Find a date and time that works for you so we can schedule your free, initial consultation. Make sure you keep all your accident correspondence together so you can give a copy to your attorney. They’ll need this to evaluate your case. And, if they agree to represent you, they’ll need as much information as possible to prepare your case.
Contact a Seasoned Columbia Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, there’s a chance you may help. Dealing with a car crash in Georgia can be complicated. It may be a good idea to hand your case over to someone who knows the law. Our Columbia injury lawyers help dozens of clients throughout the year dealing with the same issues you’re facing. We’ll make sure you aren’t taken advantage of by the insurance company. We’ll also work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call our office today so we can schedule your free, initial consultation. Take the time to sit down with someone who can answer any questions you may have. Just make sure you call us in plenty of time to meet the filing deadline. The last thing you want to do is miss the statute of limitations period and have your case dismissed.
Since your consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. And remember – you don’t pay your lawyer until your case is settled.