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Do I need an attorney for automobile accident settlement in Georgia?

Columbus, GA |

My family was in a wreck on Sunday and vehicle is totaled. My insurance company provided their estimated Actual Cash Value substantially below value based on CCC One, that provides an artificially deflated value based on negotiations and incentives with dealers or by set percentage if dealer does not participate. Under 120-2-52-.06 Total Loss Vehicle Claims for Georgia this clause almost seems legal however the values they calculate are below list or advertised price. I am awaiting the proposal from the at-fault drivers insurance however I have found the are also a customer of CCC One. There will also be medical settlements involved as well since everyone was injured from mild to moderate. Should I inform them I will be hiring an attorney.

Attorney Answers 14


  1. Best answer

    You should NOT talk to the insurer at all. Every word you say will be recorded and used against you, and they already have a lawyer ready to go. Studies show that unrepresented people generally receive 70-80% less than represented parties.

    Let me focus on the part of the question you glossed over. It is very possible that the personal injury claims will significantly exceed the car claim. This is the area where attorneys make all the difference in the world. It is vital that you seek medical care with no gap in treatment, and if you have not sought care, do that TODAY. Gaps in treatment will diminish your claim and may also hurt your health.

    As to the car, you are entitled to the actual fair market value, and many insurers will initially try to cheat you on this also. Make sure you research the NADA and other reputable sources for real numbers. While your PI lawyer doesn't focus mostly on the property damage claim, having a PI lawyer involved tends can give the extra push you need there.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  2. You should certainly consult with one before you talk to the insurance company, and in most cases it will make sense to retain someone. Our office, and many others, do not charge any fee on recovery of any property damage claims. I advise you find an attorney who operates similarly. There are also professional appraisers who specialize in these claims and they are very reasonable to work with. Glad nobody was seriously hurt and talk to an experienced attorney to get maximum compensation. Good luck

    For more information, contact us at Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always free. This post is intended to provide general guidance, and should not be construed as legal advice. While I am an attorney, unless we sign a retainer agreement, I am not your attorney, and any information shared on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it.


  3. Your main focus right now should be getting proper medical treatment for everyone that was injured.
    Although you didn't state it outright, you mentioned the "at-fault drivers insurance" so this answer is given along the lines that there was another driver who is liable for the collision. If your car was a total loss your insurer should provide you with a rental (provided your policy provided for it) for a limited time. As for value of your totaled car, try Kelly Blue Book or even talk with a local car dealer who should be happy to provide you with additional information in hopes of you buying a new car from him. Speaking frankly, you are in over your head with all of this (especially the personal injury claims) and I strongly recommend you hire a good personal injury attorney with substantial experience in auto accidents. You could call any of the AVVO attorneys who will take the time to respond to your questions and who may be more local. As for me, I travel the entire state so Columbus isn't that big a deal. Whatever you do, cooperate fully with your insurer (you are required to) but politely, but firmly, do not provide anything to the at-fault driver's adjuster until after you have consulted with an attorney. I wish you the best.


  4. You should have absolutely no further communications with either ins. co. until you retain counsel!!!

    Disclaimer: This response is provided to you by attorney Robert G. Rothstein (404) 216-1422 for educational and informational purposes only.No attorney-client relationship has been created hereby. Other attorneys may have different opinions or responses. If you found this response helpful, please indicate Best Answer to Avvo. Thank you.


  5. You will be much better off if you retain an attorney. A skilled lawyer will be able to help you with all aspects of your case.


  6. You should take advantage of a free consultation with a highly qualified accident injury attorney regarding your options. The free consultation does not obligate you.

    The above is general advice regarding applicable state law. It does not create an attorney-client relationship in any specific case.


  7. Immediately consult a GA personal injury attorney. Quite communicating with insurance adjuster, they work for the company not you - I know, I used to train adjuster. Good luck

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.


  8. Interesting question about the total loss and your research into CCC. I deal exclusively with injury claims but occasionally help client's out with property damage claims when the insurance company is being a problem. From what I've seen, CCC is typically pretty good at calculating the total loss. They go by actual sales price of like vehicles as opposed to what you see listed. That said, if you press them many insurers will go ahead and expand their CCC search into additional states which can sometimes drive the value up.

    As you have already seen, insurance companies don't have your best interests in mind - they are interested in maximizing profits. Unfortunately, all too often I see where a person thought they could handle their claim on their own and when the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation they seek our help - frequently by this time we must decline the case. Best thing for you to do is consult a personal injury lawyer in your area to handle your injury claims and ask them to review the total loss paperwork.

    p.s. The total loss should settlement needs to reimburse you for taxes and title fees for a comparable vehicle. Be certain this is included in the estimate.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.


  9. Retain a local personal injury lawyer now, and let your lawyer handle everything


  10. My clients find it comforting and beneficial to have an expert speaking for them through the claims process, whether it is the property damage or bodily injury claim. I would without hesitation recommend that you engage a car accident attorney to represent you under these circumstances.

    *Attorney Thomas Andrew Miller (678-907-3600) provided this Reply which is intended to be helpful to the Asker and the Avvo Community, but it does not constitute legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship. You are urged to seek the advice of an attorney or, in some cases, a tax professional, before taking any action. **Was this Answer helpful? Please click to give the Answer a Helpful Vote or make it the Best Answer!


  11. As you can see, everyone here is highly recommending you retain a personal injury lawyer. The reality is that these cases are complicated when it comes to injuries and valuation. Lawyers spend years training and learning the best techniques to help you maximize your recovery. A good personal injury lawyer will take care of all of this for you.


  12. Please immediately consult with an attorney. Do not attempt to deal with the insurance company without an attorney. Insurance adjusters are trained to pay you as little as possible on any claim you file. Good luck. www.urhurt.com

    By providing this legal analysis of the issue presented, no attorney/client relationship is being formed. Additionally, attorney is not agreeing to represent the individual who presented the question concerning the legal issue. A signed retainer agreement is required before an attorney /client relationship is established. The analysis provided is meant solely to provide general guidance about the legal issue presented.


  13. Yes. Speak no further to any insurance company. I would be happy to speak with you. The consultation is free. Please call me at 800-529-6333.

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