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Injured In A Car Accident? Experience & Service Matter
Auto Accident Attorneys in Atlanta, GA
Car accidents in Atlanta are a common cause of serious injuries, and each one results in 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, and many will be unable to work for weeks or even months. However, all car crash victims have one thing in common: the right to compensation if the collision was caused by someone else’s negligence
We can help you recover from:
WATCH: What to do after a car accident
We’ll fight to get you and your family everything you need.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Atlanta
Driver negligence is the most common cause of car accidents. However, there could be other factors that made an accident more likely or the injuries it caused more severe, including:
Alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit substances can all dull a driver’s senses and delay reaction times, making it less likely that the driver will be able to respond quickly to sudden hazards.
Any action that takes attention from the road can be a distraction, including talking on a cell phone, texting, eating and drinking, or talking to other passengers.
A driver does not have to fall fully asleep for an accident to occur, as even veering out of a lane can cause a crash that pushes the victim’s vehicle off the road.
Speeding, following too closely, changing lanes without signaling, and weaving in and out of traffic are all forms of reckless driving that 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, and the new-found 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 another unsafe condition led to the crash.
While never planned, tens of thousands of people experience a car accident in the U.S. each year.
Steps to Take After a Motor Vehicle 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 as to what you can do so that you will be more prepared in the unfortunate event that you are involved in 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 give the information to emergency workers yourself. Examples of the information you may need include any allergies you have and 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 in an accident is to make sure that the occupants of your car and the other car are uninjured. 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
Georgia law requires several things to happen after an accident before you are permitted to leave the scene:
- Exchange contact and vehicle registration information with the other driver, if your injuries permit
- Show your license, if requested by the other driver
- Provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured at the scene, if you can
- Contact emergency medical services or the police
Leaving the scene before you have fulfilled these obligations could result in being charged with hit-and-run, which is a felony offense.
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 officer conducting the investigation and ask where you can get a copy of the police report when it becomes available.
4. Collect Information and Evidence
Collect the names and contact information from all witnesses to the accident. Also ask the driver of the other car for his or her 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 damage to your vehicle and to the other vehicle, the weather and traffic conditions present at the time of your crash, 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 reason to do so is that the adrenaline rush you experience could be masking the symptoms of injuries in the hours immediately following the accident. 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 injuries that you have.
During your initial medical evaluation and with all further appointments, ask for copies of records including medical reports and bills, as well as an accounting of any medications you receive. 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 head, report the accident to your own insurer as it is likely required in your insurance policy. Answer all of their 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 documentation for them until after you’ve spoken to an attorney. Don’t post about your accident on social media. Remember that 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 likely doesn’t take into consideration 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 a Personal Injury Attorney
Having the representation of someone who is well versed in the legalities surrounding car accidents and personal injury claims can prove invaluable to your case. For a free consultation with one of our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer, contact us online or by calling (404) 596-8044.
Car Accident FAQs
Were you injured in an Atlanta car accident due to someone else’s negligence? If so, take a look below at the answers to some of the most common questions our clients and prospective clients ask our car accident attorney.
You may file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover damages. As long as you’re not an immediate family member of the at fault driver, you may also be eligible to sue for damages as well. However, Georgia law grants immunity to spouses, parents, and siblings against lawsuits arising from accidents in which they have injured members of their family.
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 the duty of 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
Some of the evidence used to establish negligence and the cost of the damages to you includes the police report, photos of the accident scene, witness statements, medical bills, proof of lost wages, bills for 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 actual damages you sustained due to the accident. Damages include economic losses such as medical bills, car replacement and repair, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, as well as non-economic losses such as physical pain, suffering, and 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
It is important to get a medical evaluation even if you don’t think you’re injured. Beyond the adrenaline rush that could be masking the pain of your injuries, some serious injuries present with delayed symptoms, meaning that you won’t realize you’re injured until those symptoms reveal themselves unless they are spotted by medical professionals during an examination or through labs, X-rays, or other diagnostic procedures.
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 in an attempt to prove that the medical treatment you received was not necessary or that your injuries were caused by a pre-existing condition.
As long as your responsibility for the accident isn’t fifty percent or more, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule grants you the ability to sue for damages. However, any damage award you receive will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you bear.
No, 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 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?
Settlements should only be offered after the conclusion of medical treatment and have been released by a doctor or until such time as a long-term prognosis about your medical conditions has been developed. If you are offered a settlement before this happens, then the amount offered is likely not going to be enough to cover all of your expenses. If you accept a settlement and then later medical expenses arise due to your injuries, you will likely be on the hook for covering those expenses.
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