After a car accident, you’ll have plenty of unexpected expenses arise. From medical bills to property damage, you’ll want to be compensated for these losses, especially if it wasn’t your fault.
One of the most common questions that are asked of personal injury lawyers is how to know if a car accident claim is valid. These points will help you determine if you may be able to pursue a claim.
Negligence Was Involved
In order to make a car accident claim for a personal injury claim, it needs to involve negligence. Georgia defines negligence as a lack of care that an ordinary and careful person would have exhibited in a similar circumstance.
It stands to reason that when you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, you operate it with care and consideration for the laws as well as for others on the road. If someone should fail in that duty, they are considered negligent. A negligent party in a valid car accident claim could be another person, a company, or a government injury.
As the accident victim, it will be your responsibility to prove the other party was at fault for your injuries. It’s a wise idea to have a lawyer represent you to ensure you are fairly represented.
You Have Damages
Along with establishing negligence, you must also have damages caused by the negligent person. These are costs or losses that have resulted from your injury. With a lawyer, they will help you calculate the full extent of your losses incurred from the accident.
These factors – an injury that is caused by an accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence and damages from the injury – are what make for a valid car accident claim.
What Damages Can Be Compensated in My Car Accident Claim?
Unfortunately, many car accident victims think that they need to take the first settlement offer given to them. However, many times, it does not fully reflect the full extent of your personal injury damages. Medical bills from the emergency room might cross your mind, but if you will need surgery as a result of your injuries, physical therapy, or ongoing medical care for the rest of your life, you may not accurately calculate it on your own.
Additionally, you’ll have lost wages, loss of future income, property damage, and perhaps other damages like scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, or pain and suffering.
Why You’ll Want a Lawyer to Help
While a lawyer can be instrumental in helping to fully calculate all of your losses from the accident, they have another role. They can help ensure you file your claim in enough time. In Georgia, you have just two years from the date of your crash to file your claim, according to the statute of limitations. It may seem like a lot of time, but it’s best not to wait and file it as soon as possible.
It’s not always easy to find evidence after time has passed by. If you wait too long, footage from nearby surveillance cameras at businesses or traffic cameras at intersections will be gone. Key witnesses who observed the entire accident may move away or have memories fade as time goes by.
With recent evidence and witnesses, you’ll stand to have a better outcome. Contact a Sandy Springs car accident lawyer to find out if you have a valid claim.