When you’re filing a personal injury claim, you might wonder whether or not you can and should do so without a lawyer. Below, we’ll discuss how to file a personal injury claim on your own and weigh the pros and cons of going it alone versus consulting with an attorney.
Where Do I File A Personal Injury Claim?
You will file your injury claim with the insurance company of the person who caused your injuries. When an accident occurs, that person should provide you with their insurance information so that you know who to contact. If you can prove that their policyholder was liable for the accident, they will be responsible for compensating you.
Who Do I File My Claim Against?
Georgia is what is known as a “fault” state, which means that you will file your personal injury claim against the person who was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. This person is liable for compensating you, though you will need to be able to demonstrate how they were at fault to succeed in your claim.
How Do I Win My Personal Injury Claim?
There are several steps you should take if you want to succeed at getting the compensation you deserve:
- Take photos of property damage, your injuries, and the scene of the accident. Having a visual record of what transpired can significantly strengthen your case.
- Obtain a copy of the police report, which will include many pertinent details about the accident
- Seek immediate medical treatment. Most insurance companies require you to be seen within 72 hours of an accident.
- Obtain copies of your medical bills and other relevant documents.
- Gather other evidence to help support your case, such as witness testimony and photo and video evidence.
- Don’t make a statement to the insurance adjuster when they call. Don’t allow them to record you. Anything you say could be used against you.
- Send a demand letter outlining your financial losses.
- Be wary of settling too soon or settling for a lowball offer. Negotiate with confidence, because the insurance adjuster will not make a fair offer unless you fight for it. Know what amount you are willing to accept and do your best to stick to it.
Winning a personal injury claim on your own will likely be more difficult than it would be if you consult with an attorney. Below, we’ll look at some of the reasons why hiring an attorney to represent you through the claim process may benefit your case.
Are You Sure That I Can File An Injury Claim By Myself?
While it is certainly possible to file an injury claim by yourself, most experts recommend consulting with an attorney. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Knowledge of the law: An experienced injury attorney will be intimately familiar with and up to date on all local laws surrounding your specific legal issue. If you decide to pursue a claim on your own, it may be more difficult for you to properly represent yourself.
- Resources: A personal injury attorney will have the resources to conduct a comprehensive, independent investigation into the accident that caused your injury, and will be able to properly assess the damages that you are owed so that you get the full amount you deserve. If you are recovering from severe injuries, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to build your own case. You’ll likely also have a difficult time gathering the evidence you need to prove liability. An attorney can remove that burden from your shoulders by doing everything on your behalf.
- Cost: Perhaps you have decided to pursue a personal injury claim on your own because you are concerned about the cost of working with an attorney. But the reality is that not working with an attorney could actually cost you more than the cost of hiring one. As you enter into negotiations with the insurance company, the insurance adjuster will use various tactics to try and minimize the amount they must pay you. If you don’t know how to subvert these tactics, or accidentally provide them with information that they can use against you, you may end up with far less than you actually deserve, which means you could be paying out of pocket for medical expenses, property damage, and other expenses caused by the accident. That worst-case scenario can be avoided by consulting with an attorney, who will know exactly how to circumvent those tactics and will fight aggressively for the full amount of compensation you deserve. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim or would like to consult with one of our dedicated injury attorneys, contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today. We will work tirelessly to investigate your accident, gather evidence to support your claim, and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.