When you schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer, come prepared with questions. This appointment is a critical stage in your journey after your accident – a journey that should conclude with you recovering all of your accident-related losses.
After all, you want to be certain that your car accident lawyer in Atlanta has the right skills and experience to win your case.
The Law Offices of Andrew E. Goldner will never charge you for your consultation, and there’s no obligation to work with us afterward. Even still, finding out as much as you can during your first appointment with us or any other Atlanta personal injury law firm is critically important.Here are the five questions you should ask during your free initial case review. You can schedule your free appointment now when you call 404.869.1580 or contact us online today.
How Strong Is My Case?
During your appointment, your Atlanta injury lawyer will listen closely to your description of your case. They may ask a few questions to get clarification. Afterward, they will describe the most important factors that may affect your case.
No car accident lawyer in Atlanta can predict the future, but they can make judgments based on their experience. Because of this, a better way to ask the question “How strong is my case?” might be, “What are the most important factors in my case?”
An ideal car accident personal injury case has documented damages, clear fault, and a clear relationship between the accident and the injury.
Fault is measured by the legal concept of negligence. To prove negligence, an injury victim has to establish that the person being accused of fault had a duty of care that they violated, which directly led to an injury.
If any element – duty of care, breach of duty, direct causation – is unclear, the case will be more difficult to argue. This is not to say that the case is “bad,” just that it will take more time and effort compared to other cases.
Other factors that can complicate a case include how many people could be at fault, whether you were one of those people, and whether your accident involved a semi truck or large commercial vehicle.
If your injuries were major and you still have a long way to go to recover, your case may also be delayed until your medical outcome is more clear.
All of these factors can affect the success of your case. What qualifies as success in cases like these? A reasonable settlement offer or a favorable trial verdict.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
There are many forms of compensation available in car accident cases. The legal term for accident losses is “damages.” Georgia law describes several possible damages (O.C.G.A. §51-12-2).
These include “general” damages, like pain and suffering. There are also “special” damages, which refer to specific monetary losses that the personal injury victim can prove.
Special Damages commonly include:
- Hospital bills, past and future
- Medical treatment costs, past and future
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury
- Loss of income (lost wages)
- Loss of domestic services
- Lost benefits
- Lost earning potential
General Damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of love, comfort, or companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability, disfigurement, or impairment
Some cases may also seek punitive damages. These are issued by courts to deter others from repeating the negligent or intentional actions taken by the plaintiff.
How Will My Car Accident Case Play Out Step-by-Step?
Your attorney will inform you of the steps involved in filing a car accident injury case like yours. Normally, you and your attorney will seek a reasonable settlement offer from an insurance company. If no settlement offer can be reached, your attorney may advise mediation, filing a lawsuit, or even taking your case to trial.
You will want to understand your role and responsibilities during the case process. You will also need to know how to pay your attorney for their services. Usually, the attorney will waive all up-front fees in exchange for a set percentage of the settlement or jury award.
Once your settlement or verdict has been reached, you’ll learn how you can expect payment. Get details on how to pay your attorney, medical bills, and more from your settlement.
The Atlanta car accident attorney you meet with will describe a timeline of events and give you an overall picture of how long the whole process might take.
Have You Handled Car Accident Cases Like Mine Before?
If an attorney has experience with some of your unique case factors, then they are more capable of filing a strong claim and/or lawsuit.
For instance, suppose your case involves a truck accident with a carrier of hazardous materials. Your attorney may know of relevant past cases where it was proven the carrier was liable. They may also have seen an injury similar to yours, so they know how to estimate your pain, suffering, and future treatment costs with greater accuracy.
Having experience with cases like yours can be the single most important factor for predicting a case’s success.
What Do We Do Next to Start My Car Accident Injury Claim?
If you like what you hear during your consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer, then you will want to know what you can do in the immediate future to start your case. This will most likely involve writing a demand letter to insurers. Sometimes, the next steps include investigating your accident or getting a more thorough diagnosis.Find out what you can do to begin your case and form a strong legal strategy during your free case review at the Law Offices of Andrew E. Goldner. Call us at 404.869.1580 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation now.