Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
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Injured in a Car Accident? Our Atlanta Accident Attorneys Can Help.
Car accidents in Atlanta can lead to serious injuries and unique struggles for victims and their families. Some people will need immediate medical attention. Others may feel pain in the days after a fender-bender. Many will be unable to work for weeks or even months after their accident. However, all car crash victims have one thing in common: the right to compensation if the collision was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Know What To Do After A Crash
WATCH: What to do after a car accident
We’ll fight to get you and your family everything you need.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Atlanta
Driver negligence is the most common cause of car accidents. However, there could be other causes and contributing factors, including:
Alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal substances can all dull a driver’s senses and reaction times, making it less likely that the driver will be able to respond quickly to sudden hazards on the road.
Any action that takes attention from the road can be a distraction, including talking on a cell phone, texting, adjusting the radio or GPS, eating, drinking, or talking to other passengers.
When a driver is overly tired, they are more likely to make mistakes on the road. A drowsy driver will have slower reaction times or they may even veer out of their lane.
Speeding, following too closely, changing lanes without signaling, and weaving in and out of traffic are all forms of reckless driving. These behaviors can lead to accidents.
Some elderly drivers may face a decline in cognitive or physical function, placing them at risk of causing accidents due to impaired vision, inability to turn their heads to check mirrors, or failing to recognize the dangers of their actions.
Teen drivers are more likely to cause a crash than any other age group. Their lack of driving experience makes them less able to recognize and respond to road hazards. Their newfound freedom of driving can lead to distracting or reckless behaviors.
DEFECTIVE CAR PARTS
In some cases, it is the condition of the vehicle that is to blame for an accident. We can help determine whether defective tires or brakes, faulty vehicle design, manufacturer negligence, or other unsafe condition led to the crash.
Thousands of people experience car accidents in Atlanta each year.
Steps to Take After an Atlanta Car Accident
Do you know the steps you need to take after you’ve been in a car accident? Read on for more information:
Be Prepared in Case it Happens
No, most of us don’t plan for an accident. But maybe we should. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers the following tips, so that you can be prepared in case of a crash:
- Keep relevant documents in your car, such as registration and proof of insurance. Additionally, you should keep a list of medical information that may be important if you are ever seriously injured and unable to communicate with workers yourself. This can include a list of allergies or the name of your regular doctor.
- Keep emergency items in your car, such as flares, cones, and blankets. Also, keep a pen and a notepad handy in case you need to jot down names and contact information for witnesses or the license plate number of a car.
- Ensure that you have the right type and amount of auto insurance for your car to cover expenses if you’re involved in an accident.
1. Safety First
The first thing you should do after an accident is make sure the occupants of your car and the other car are okay. Any injuries should be reported to 911 immediately. Additionally, you should move your vehicle from the roadway if possible to avoid a chain-reaction collision. Have the occupants exit your vehicle if they are able, and stand a safe distance from the roadway.
2. Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
Under Georgia Law, before you can leave the scene of an accident, you must:
- Contact emergency medical services or the police
- Provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured at the scene, if you can
- Exchange contact and vehicle registration information with the other driver, if your injuries permit
- Show your license, if requested by the other driver
If you leave the scene before you've fulfilled these obligations, you could be charged with a felony hit-and-run.
3. Make a Report
If you have not already done so, contact 911 to report the accident. If the accident is not serious and there are no injuries, it is sometimes possible to do this online or at the police station rather than waiting for the police on the side of the road. If the police do respond to the scene, be sure to get the name and badge number of the investigating officer and ask where you can get a copy of the police report.
4. Collect Information and Evidence
Collect the names and contact information of all witnesses to the accident. Also, ask the driver of the other car for their name, license, car registration, insurance card information, and the vehicle make and model. It is sometimes faster to take photos of this information. You should also take photos of the accident scene, including any injuries, property damage, weather conditions, traffic conditions, nearby signage, and any other points of interest at the scene.
Be sure when talking to the other driver that you avoid discussing who is at fault for the accident, as these statements can be used against you when it comes time to file a third-party insurance claim.
5. Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you don’t “feel” hurt, you should seek medical treatment. The adrenaline rush you experience after an accident could be masking any injuries. Additionally, some injuries present with delayed symptoms, making it hard for you to know for sure whether you’re injured. Seeking prompt medical treatment is the best way to discover any hidden or delayed injuries that you have.
During your initial medical evaluation and with all further appointments, ask for copies of records including medical reports, prescriptions, and bills. Additionally, keep a record of missed workdays as well as a journal of how the injuries have impacted your daily life.
6. Notify Your Insurer
While the details are still fresh in your mind, report the accident to your own insurer. It's likely that you're required to report the accident, as part of your policy. Answer all of your insurance company's questions completely and truthfully, and be sure to inform them of the extent of your injuries. Lying to your insurance provider may lead to penalties that include denial of coverage.
7. Use Caution When Discussing Your Car Accident in Atlanta
The only individuals you should be discussing your accident with are your attorney, your insurer, and your doctors. Use caution in discussing the details of your accident with anyone else, including the other driver’s insurance provider. Don’t give a statement to the other driver’s insurer or sign any of their documentation until you’ve spoken to an attorney. Don’t post about your accident on social media. Remember, any statements you make about the accident can be used against you during the claims process or a personal injury lawsuit.
Further, while agreeing to a quick settlement may seem like an easy way to get the money you need for your injuries, that settlement won't likely cover your future medical needs or the impact your injuries will have on your quality of life. Once you’ve signed an agreement to a settlement offer, you may not be able to collect more money if you need it in the future.
8. Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney
It can be invaluable to your case to have someone representing you who is well versed in the legalities of car accidents and personal injury claims. For a free consultation with one of our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers, contact us online or by calling (404) 596-8044.
Car Accident FAQs
Do you have questions following your Atlanta car accident? Here are some of the most common questions we discuss with our current and prospective clients.
Yes. You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover damages. If you’re not an immediate family member of the at-fault driver, you may also be able to sue for damages as well. Georgia law grants immunity to spouses, parents, and siblings against lawsuits arising from accidents in which they have injured members of their family.
If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, the process might look different.
Georgia personal injury lawsuits require that plaintiffs prove negligence to recover damages. In order to prove negligence, you must establish that:
- The driver owed you a duty of care, which includes driving safely and obeying all traffic laws
- There was a breach in the driver’s duty to you
- This breach caused the accident, which resulted in damages to you and/or your property
Some of the evidence used to establish negligence and the cost of the damages includes the police report, photos of the accident scene, witness statements, medical bills, proof of lost wages, bills for the repair or replacement of your car, and testimony from an accident and medical experts.
Your attorney will assign a value to your case that is based on the damages you sustained due to the accident. Damages can be economic (medical bills, car replacement and repair, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity) as well as non-economic (emotional distress, pain and suffering, or loss of your enjoyment of life).
Not necessarily. The first course of action will be to determine the value of your case and seek a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled before they reach the courtroom. However, your personal injury attorney should feel comfortable with representing you in court if it becomes necessary to do so.
No. Not before speaking to a personal injury attorney. Medical records should only be released under limited circumstances, as the information contained in them could be used against you. Insurers may try to claim that the medical treatment you received was not necessary or that your injuries were caused by a pre-existing condition.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that as long as you’re less than 49% at fault, you can still recover in the accident. However, any damage award you receive will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you bear.
Yes, you are free to file a suit against a government entity when one of its employees causes an accident during the normal scope of employment. However, different time limits and processes apply when filing suit against a governmental entity, so it is strongly recommended that you seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
This is a difficult situation with limited options for damage recovery. Some of the things your attorney will look at in cases like these include:
- Do you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or an auto policy that provides medical payments? How about health insurance? Your own insurance company can be a source of recovery in circumstances like this.
- Are there other sources of liability and insurance? In many circumstances, there is more than one at-fault party. Examples of additional sources of liability include the employer of the at-fault driver if the accident occurred in a company vehicle during the normal scope of the driver’s employment or the manufacturer of defective auto parts that may have contributed to the accident.
- Would pursuing a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver be feasible?
- Is there any victim’s compensation available to you through the state or private organizations in cases where the driver’s actions were particularly reckless or negligent?
If you are offered a settlement before you’ve finished your medical treatment or before your doctor releases you, then the amount offered is likely not going to cover all of your expenses. If you accept a settlement and then incur more medical expenses, you’ll likely have to pay for those yourself.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you've been injured in a car accident in Atlanta, Fulton County, or elsewhere in Georgia, we can help. Contact our Atlanta accident attorneys today at 404-596-8044 by phone, text, or chat. We don’t charge upfront fees unless we win.
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