Need is a strong word. The honest answer is, legally, no. You do not need a personal injury attorney to handle your case following a car, motorcycle, slip and fall or any other kind of accident. You can, if you so choose, go it alone.
A better question might be
Is a personal injury attorney a good idea?
We think that answer is “Almost always.” I’m an attorney and I do not cut my own hair, replace my own engine, perform my own dental work. It is much more cost effective to leave that up to the folks who are properly trained and do it every day. That person will do a much better job, more efficiently, with more desirable outcomes.
The insurance companies hire and train people whose job it is to do it every day. Those employees have a singular goal:
Save the company money.
IIf your interests get trampled in process, guess what? That’s not their job!
When you retain me as counsel, it is my job to ensure your interests are protected. We talk the language, understand the process, recognize red flags, and stay current with company tactics. We bring the benefit of doing this just as often as the insurance companies do.
Although it is very difficult to forecast how much compensation will be recovered in any case and no lawyer can guarantee a client a specific amount of compensation, the statistics back this up. While the numbers vary between two and three times more money, studies repeatedly show people involved in personal injury cases recover higher damages awarded than those that choose to go it alone.
Insurance companies are trained in protecting their interests. They know you are emotionally, physically, and financially impacted. That can make negotiations tough for you and easier for them. Hiring an attorney immediately reduces that stress for you and provides a buffer between you and the insurance company.
Whether you proceed with this claim on your own or with a personal injury attorney such as myself, please be aware that a Statute of Limitations may apply to your case. This means that there may be a limited time during which you can seek recovery, so you should start addressing this matter immediately. The Statute of Limitations, in an action for personal injury in Georgia, is ordinarily two (2) years from the date of injury.
There may also be shorter time limits that apply to your case. They include but are not limited to, time limits set in insurance policies, six (6) or twelve (12) month notice requirements for municipal/county/state governments and or shorter time limits found in other jurisdictions (i.e. states). For the bodily injury claims of minors, the Statute of Limitations extinguishes all claims 2 years after the minor turns 18 years old. Medical bills of a minor, however, are the claim of the parents and suit must be filed within two (2) years of the date of injury.
Still not sure what to do? Contact us here, or give us a call at (912) 544-0244 extension 2. It’s a free call – that’s a pretty good price tag for a little peace of mind.