When someone else’s negligence causes damage, destruction, or diminished value of your personal property, the at-fault party can be held financially accountable for their actions. If you or someone you love suffered property damage or loss due to negligence, you can seek appropriate compensation. An Atlanta property damage lawyer in your area can explain the steps involved in effectively navigating the monetary recovery process.
This article addresses eight questions you can ask your property damage lawyer that will help you understand your financial recovery options. For example, you will want to ask a lawyer how they plan to deal with the insurance company. A lawyer will also help you learn more about working with a specific law firm, building a solid case, and complying with the personal injury laws in your state.
Ask You Property Damage Lawyer Who Is Responsible for Compensating You
No one should experience unreimbursed financial hardship because of another person’s or entity’s negligence. If your vehicle was damaged in a car accident, a personal injury attorney can help you identify the negligent party. Financial liability could fall to:
- A negligent driver if their actions caused your accident
- A vehicle maker due to a manufacturing or design flaw
- A government entity if road conditions were at fault
You do not have to identify the responsible party on your own. Your legal team can explain how fault is determined after a car accident. They will also explain how they investigate the accident and pursue appropriate damages.
Ask Your Lawyer How They Will Prove the At-Fault Party’s Financial Liability
An investigation into your accident will uncover evidence that identifies the at-fault party and proves the cause and cost of your property damage claim. The evidence your lawyer collects can include:
- Car accident report
- Auto shop repair estimates
- Vehicle replacement guides
- Photos of both involved vehicles
- Photos of points of impact
- Accident scene photos
- Witness statements
- Video footage
In addition to collecting supporting evidence, your lawyer will submit it to the at-fault party and their insurance company. The accumulated evidence can also help steer your case toward a settlement versus a trial.
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Ask Your Property Damage Lawyer How Much Compensation You Can Request
You do not have to accept the insurance adjuster’s initial offer for repairing or replacing your car. A lawyer can help you seek a fair offer for your property damage case by consulting authoritative vehicle value guides and requesting multiple repair evaluations and estimates.
According to Georgia’s fault law, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, you can recover damages as long as less than half of the accident’s cause is attributed to you. If any portion of liability for causing the accident is assigned to you, your lawyer will explain how you can still get compensation.
Ask Your Lawyer How Long You Have to File Your Property Damage Lawsuit
In the state of Georgia, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury lawsuit, according to O.C.G.A § 9-3-33. The same statute generally gives you two years from the date of a loved one’s demise to file your wrongful death lawsuit.
If you are seeking compensation from a government agency, O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5 determines how long you have to file your claim. If the notification or filing deadlines expire, your ability to compel compensation could be jeopardized. A car accident lawyer will help you understand the filing deadlines that apply to your case.
Ask Your Property Damage Lawyer if They Will Deal With the Insurance Company
Representing the insurance company representing the at-fault driver can be a long and involved process. It can mean multiple avenues of connection, exchanges of information, and proving their policyholder’s negligence. Your lawyer will:
- Speak with the insurance adjuster
- Handle verbal and written communication
- Protect you from bad faith tactics
If your car accident was caused by an uninsured driver, your lawyer will also deal with your own insurance company to recover the damages you are owed.
Ask Your Lawyer if Your Property Damage Case Has to Go to Court
This is rare as most cases like these are resolved with an insurance settlement. This typically happens when the evidence indicates fault for the collision. Your lawyer will weigh each settlement offer you receive and its feasibility. They will not usurp your right to make the final decision but will guide you toward the right outcome for you.
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Ask Your Property Damage Lawyer About the Benefits of Hiring Their Law Firm
Hiring a property damage lawyer versus working on your own allows you to focus on your physical recovery after an accident without losing time to build your case for financial recovery. Your legal team will:
- Investigate your accident
- Assess your property damage
- Canvass for photos and video
- Interview lay and expert witnesses
- Negotiate a favorable settlement
- Represent you in court if needed
- Draft and file your property damage case
Your lawyer will also keep you informed on any developments in your case with regular and timely updates on its progress so you are not left wondering about its outcome or timeline.
Ask Your Lawyer About Their Law Firm’s Free Structure
Most car accident lawyers will accept your case on a contingency fee basis. This type of fee structure means the law firm will:
- Cover any upfront costs of preparing your case
- Start pursuing your property damage case immediately
- Speak to witnesses while their memories are fresh
- Avoid a potentially costly delay in filing your lawsuit
A contingency fee agreement means you will only compensate the law firm if they obtain compensation for you. If they do not, you will owe no legal or attorney’s fees at all.
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Contact Our Case Review Team to Get Help With Your Property Damage Case
If you or a loved one suffered property damage caused by someone else’s negligence, a property damage lawyer can help you have your property repaired or replaced. These eight questions to ask your property damage lawyer can help you find the right law firm for you.
Learn more about working with our client-focused law firm by contacting our case evaluation team at Kaine Law to get started today.