Your Car Accident: What to Expect

Guidance from an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

It can be difficult to know what to do, whom to turn to and what to expect after being injured in a serious car accident—especially if you have never been in this situation before. Below, our legal team at Kalka & Baer LLC offers an overview of what car accident victims need to know following their collisions. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys have more than 20 years of cumulative legal experience that can be used to help accident victims protect their rights to compensation.

Steps to Take After Your Accident

The steps you take after your car accident can have a major impact on whether or not you receive a settlement, as well as how much you are able to recover. Here is a list of a few of the things you should do after you are injured in an auto collision:

  1. Gather as much evidence as possible, such as photos of the accident scene and witness contact information.
  2. Go see a doctor. Waiting too long to obtain medical treatment could result in the insurance company later questioning the validity of your claim.
  3. When receiving treatment for your injuries, make sure that the medical care is billed to your health insurance plan, as you may end up losing more of your settlement to medical bills if you do not take this step.
  4. Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can advise you of the best actions to take in order to increase your chances of full compensation. An attorney can also deal with the insurance company on your behalf and handle the logistics of your claim or lawsuit.
  5. Avoid giving any statements or other information to the at-fault party's insurance company without the guidance of your lawyer. The insurance claims adjuster will likely try to get you to make statements that can later be used to lower the value of your settlement.

Choosing the Right Attorney

The lawyer you choose to represent you can also play a major factor in the outcome of your case. You will want to pick an attorney who has extensive experience handling car accident cases. A lawyer who focuses mainly or solely on personal injury law may have a greater level of knowledge of how to best handle car accident cases. Furthermore, you will want a lawyer who has a strong track for success, as well as one who will actually take the time to provide you with personalized service. Before choosing an attorney, make sure you do your research, both through the Internet and through direct questioning of the attorney or a firm representative. Here are a few of the things you should find out:

  • The lawyer's educational background and years of experience
  • How much of the attorney's practice is devoted to personal injury law
  • Whether the lawyer has been recognized within his or her field (such as through inclusion in the Super Lawyers® list and other prestigious honors within the legal industry)
  • How previous clients have reviewed and rated the lawyer (such as through online resources)
  • The level of client-attorney contact the legal professional is willing to provide

How long will my case take?

The length of time it will take for an injury victim to obtain compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit will depend on various factors. With both the claims process and the litigation process, a resolution can take just a few months, or it can even take a few years. One major factor that could affect the timeframe of your case is the seriousness of the injuries. When injuries are more serious or catastrophic, it may take a long time before the full extent and effect of the victim's injuries are apparent. It is important that attorneys not settle or litigate a case before they can prove the full monetary damages (past, current and future) of the victims' injuries. The injuries will likely need to be proven through medical records and statements or testimony provided by medical professionals.

In the claims process, it can take a great length of time to reach a settlement if the victim and the insurance company are not available to agree on a compensation amount. In litigation, the discovery stage (which involves the exchanging of key information between both sides in the lawsuit) and the stage of getting a date for a jury trial can potentially drag out the process. At Kalka & Baer LLC, we do everything we can to help the claims or litigation process go as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

What happens after my case?

After an injury victim receives a personal injury settlement or verdict, entities that paid medical bills on the victim's behalf (or provided other benefits) might try to seek reimbursement through the compensation award. Some of these entities include health insurance companies, auto insurance companies (for medical payments), government-run providers of health benefits (including Medicaid and Medicare) and providers of workers' compensation. These types of claims for reimbursement can greatly reduce the level at which you are able to benefit from your settlement or verdict award. Our firm can help you explore your options for eliminating or lowering your reimbursement obligations.

Learn more about what to expect in your personal injury case by calling our firm and setting up a free initial case evaluation. Contact Kalka & Baer LLC today so we can begin assisting you!