Your car insurance does not cover your lawyer’s legal fees. There are several types of insurance policies you can have as a car owner. However, they all focus on bodily injuries and property damage rather than attorney’s fees.
If you wish to seek compensation for legal fees incurred after a car accident, you may have to sue the liable party. A lawsuit would also enable you to seek compensation for pain and suffering or reduced quality of life.
What Legal Fees Include
The term “legal fees” includes any expenses you incur while taking legal action against someone else or fighting a legal action someone has taken against you. Specific examples of fees you may have to pay include:
- The cost of filing legal paperwork
- The cost of requesting documentation to support your case
- Travel expenses associated with going to meet other involved parties or appearing in court
- The cost of hiring experts to submit statements about particular aspects of your case
- Lawyer’s fees, which may be paid hourly or only after the case is concluded, depending on the law firm
The longer your case goes on, the more fees you can have to pay. Fortunately, many car accident cases can be settled relatively quickly, as the insurance company does not want to spend much time or money on the case any more than you do.
If you are tempted to forego hiring a lawyer and file a case on your own to cut down on legal fees, consider the fact that the insurance company has its own attorneys. Their team is very knowledgeable about the law and can do what it takes to minimize the compensation you receive for legal fees and other expenses.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Types of Car Insurance Offered in Georgia
The Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (OCI) lists the types of insurance available for purchase by Georgia car owners. Some types are required by law, including bodily liability insurance (at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident) and property damage liability (at least $25,000 per accident).
You may purchase more than the minimums indicated here if you want extra protection. You can also consider other types of car insurance, such as:
- Collision insurance: This can reimburse you for damage done to your vehicle after a crash, even if the accident was your fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers vehicle loss or damage stemming from events other than car accidents, such as if it is stolen or hit by a tree branch.
- Uninsured motorist insurance: If you are hit by a driver who does not have the legally required insurance, you can collect compensation from this policy instead.
These policies are designed to pay for a driver’s medical treatment and property damage following an accident, so they do not have to pay out of pocket. However, there are many things they do not cover, including:
- Legal fees, such as lawyer’s fees and the cost of filing and requesting forms
- Pain and suffering related to physical and psychological injuries
- Reduced quality of life due to severe, permanent, or disabling injuries
- Any medical treatment or property damage that exceeds the limits of the policy
To receive compensation for items of this type, you have a limited time to consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or another party who caused the accident.
How to Get Reimbursement for Legal Fees
Filing a lawsuit involves taking some or all of the following steps:
- Collecting evidence from as many sources as possible to support your case against the liable party
- Calculating how much to ask for, including “converting” physical and emotional pain into dollars
- Notifying the liable party and the presiding court that you are suing
- Negotiating with the liable party’s insurance company to get an appropriate settlement amount
- Taking your case to court if, for any reason, negotiations do not work or are not an option for you
- Protecting yourself from attempts to undermine your case by guarding what you say around other parties and researching what fair compensation looks like for you
If this process seems overwhelming, you have the right to hire an attorney to manage the case on your behalf. This would give you less to worry about and more time to focus on recuperating from your injuries.
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Learn More About Car Insurance Coverage
For more information about your legal options and what your car insurance does cover, call us for a free case review at any time. We are proud to help Georgians recover fair compensation after negligence-related car accidents.