Were you or a close family member seriously hurt in an accident in Georgia? If that accident happened because of negligence—failure to take due care—of any other party, you have the right to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim. That being said, personal injury claims are hard. Corporations and insurance companies fight aggressively to try to pay out less.
Too many injured victims make avoidable errors in the aftermath of their accident. At Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC, we are a Georgia law firm committed to helping people and families get justice. Within this article, our Georgia personal injury attorney highlights seven all-too-common mistakes that could undermine your personal injury claim.
- Failing to Seeking Immediate Medical Attention for Your Injuries
One of the most common mistakes victims make post-accident is delaying medical attention. All significant injuries require prompt care. Do not delay. Not only can waiting too long to get medical care harm your health and your recovery, it could also hinder your personal injury claim. Insurers may argue that if an injury was serious, the victim would have sought immediate treatment.
- Assuming that You Do Not Have a Claim At All
Do not assume that you have no options after an accident. You should always consult with a Georgia personal injury attorney. Free, no obligation consultations are available. Another all-too-common mistake is prematurely concluding that you lack grounds for a claim. The intricacies of Georgia’s personal injury laws may surprise you—what may appear as an insurmountable obstacle at first glance might be surmountable with the right legal guidance.
- Providing a Recorded Statement Directly to an Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters often come across as friendly and disarming. Indeed, it is their job to do so. That being said, regardless of what they say, insurance adjusters are not on your side. They are tasked with protecting the best interests of their employer. Offering to provide a recorded statement without guidance from a Georgia personal injury lawyer can undermine your claim. Insurance adjusters work hard to try to get people to inadvertently say something that can be used against them in the legal claims process.
- Admitting or Accepting Partial Fault for an Accident
Admitting or accepting partial fault for your own accident is a big mistake. Georgia operates under a modified comparative negligence system (O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7). If you are found to be partially at fault for your injuries, your compensation could be reduced in proportion to your level of blame. Admitting fault—even partially—could result in a reduction of your financial compensation.
- Signing Documents from Defendant/Insurers Without Understanding Them
After a serious accident in Georgia, you may receive a barrage of documents from insurers or defendants. Without legal knowledge, it is easy to become overwhelmed and sign without full comprehension. Doing so could result in waiving rights or even agreeing to terms that are not in your favor. It is crucial to have any paperwork reviewed by an attorney before signing.
- Agreeing to a Settlement Without Knowing the Full Value of Your Case
It might be tempting to accept the first settlement offer—especially if you are facing medical bills and lost wages. You need financial compensation to provide for your family. However, initial offers are often lower than the actual value of a claim. It’s essential to understand the full scope of your injuries, potential future medical costs, lost earnings, pain, and suffering before settling. A quick settlement might not cover long-term costs, leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses down the road.
- Waiting Too Long to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Do not go up against a big corporation or large insurance company alone. It is a major mistake to try to take on the personal injury claims process without guidance and support from a top attorney. An experienced Georgia personal injury attorney can help you get justice and the absolute maximum compensation. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the better your chances for success.
Speak to Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC, we are devoted to protecting the rights and interests of victims and their families. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the personal injury claims process, please call us now or contact us online to set up a free, no obligation initial legal consultation. From our law office in Atlanta and our law office in Augusta, we are proud to serve communities throughout the State of Georgia.