An auto collision can cause more than just physical injuries. For many claimants, the trauma of the accident can result in long-term emotional distress – not to mention the added financial pressure of paying unexpected medical bills and lost wages.
Further, some injury claims can be legally complex. If you were hurt in a traffic accident, you likely have many questions about your financial recovery options. Here, we’ve compiled a car accident FAQ where you can get the answers to some of your most pressing questions.
If one of your questions isn’t answered below, don’t worry; you can reach out to our team to explore your legal options further.
“When Should I Consider Legal Advice?”
You should consider partnering with a car accident lawyer if:
- Your accident involves multiple parties who could be responsible––for example, an employee driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the accident.
- You sustained serious injuries from the accident.
- You are unable to return to work, or your ability to work is affected by the injuries you suffered.
- Fault for the accident is unclear or contested by the opposing party.
- You are being unfairly blamed for causing or contributing to the accident.
- An insurer has unfairly denied or delayed your claim.
- You have received a low settlement offer or are unsure about the value of your case.
- You feel unfairly treated by an insurer.
- You are too injured to pursue the matter alone or would like a car accident lawyer to manage the claims process for you.
You do not have to manage a legal case on your own. You have every right to partner with an attorney who can manage the claims process for you.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
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“How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?”
Your attorney should have one person’s interests in mind during your injury case: yours. When you entrust your case to an injury attorney, they will render services that meet your case’s obligations, such as:
- Guiding you through the legal process, so you know what to expect
- Protecting your rights and ensuring you are treated fairly by the involved parties
- Managing all aspects of your case, such as evidence collection and interviews
- Ensuring paperwork is completed correctly and filed within specific deadlines
- Identifying potentially liable parties
- Assessing the physical, emotional, and financial impact of your injuries
- Negotiating an appropriate settlement offer
- Taking your case to court if we cannot reach a suitable settlement agreement
- Providing regular case updates and promptly responding to your questions
Your lawyer will also combat any challenges that prevent you from getting the compensation you need. For instance, suppose that the insurance company partially blames you for the collision. While this wouldn’t bar you from seeking damages, it could affect how much you can recover through a claim or lawsuit.
“How Much Can I Recover for My Injury-Related Losses?”
No two accidents are the same, so there is no fixed amount of compensation awarded in these situations. Financial recovery largely depends on the facts of your accident, the severity of your injuries, and your quality of life. As a general guide, however, compensation can account for:
- Current and ongoing medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and compensation (if your ability to work is affected in the future)
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Any adaptations to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries
- Property damage costs
To recover what you need, it’s important for your lawyer to understand your diagnosis and prognosis. This way, they can assess what healthcare costs you may incur in the future and have your settlement cover those expenses.
To calculate what you need, your lawyer will assess your medical bills, testimony from your healthcare team, and other aspects of your situation, including whether you now have a long-term disability.
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“What Can I Do If I Lost a Loved One in a Car Accident?”
If a negligent driver caused your loved one’s passing, legal help is available. We can help you hold the at-fault driver financially responsible for their actions and your losses via a wrongful death case.
Compensable losses in your case may comprise:
- Loss of emotional and financial support
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- The cost of medical bills resulting from the accident before your loved one’s passing
- Funeral and burial costs
- Any other related losses
“How Long Do I Have To Pursue My Case?”
If it’s necessary to file a lawsuit to be compensated for your injuries, you will need to submit it within a specific deadline. Georgia law limits your time to bring a lawsuit, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. You generally have two years to file your lawsuit, whether you personally suffered harm or lost a loved one.
The statute of limitations is just one time-sensitive aspect of your case. You want to consider prompt legal action because:
- Vital evidence can be collected and preserved before it is lost, destroyed, or forgotten.
- It allows enough time for your lawyer to thoroughly investigate your accident and build a robust case.
- The insurance company may contest your claim if you wait too long to file it.
“Is It Expensive to Hire a Lawyer?”
We believe everyone should be able to access legal help. Therefore, we provide our services on a contingency-fee basis. This means our clients face minimal financial risk when partnering with us.
You pay nothing up front for our assistance. We don’t charge hourly rates, either. Our fees and expenses are only recovered if we achieve a favorable settlement offer or court verdict on your behalf. You pay us nothing while your case is pending.
“What Are Some Actions That Constitute Negligence?”
Negligence constitutes any careless or reckless action that puts others at risk of harm. Per the Insurance Information Institute, some examples of negligence include:
While O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241 outlaws many forms of distracted driving, this does not stop some motorists from engaging in certain practices. Distracted driving can include:
- Texting or using a smartphone while driving
- Talking to other passengers
- Using in-car technologies
- Driving while upset or angry
- Smoking, drinking, or eating behind the wheel
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391 outlaws driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance. A motorist could be considered negligent if they drive with:
- A blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater
- A BAC of .04 percent or more (if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the accident)
- A BAC of any amount if they’re under 21 years old
- Any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in their system
If a driver injured you or a loved one while under the influence, you could pursue compensation from them. However, you will need to prove the at-fault party was negligent. When you entrust your case to a lawyer, they can prove the other party’s negligence and fight for what you need.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving
Reckless driving constitutes any action behind the wheel that puts others at risk of harm. Examples of reckless and aggressive driving include:
- Driving too fast for road or weather conditions
- Ignoring traffic controls, signs, or signals
- Unsafe lane changing or passing
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Road rage
“Can I Still Be Awarded Compensation if I Contributed to the Accident?”
Georgia follows a fault-based system for motor vehicle accidents, per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. Provided you are less than 50 percent at fault, you may still recover compensation.
However, your percentage of fault will affect how much you can seek. For example, if you are found 20 percent liable, you would be awarded 80 percent of your damages rather than the full amount.
“What Should I Say to the Insurance Company?”
You should only tell the insurance company basic information about the collision, including its time, date, and location. Anything else could jeopardize your case. For instance, if the claims adjuster asks, “How are you feeling today?” and you reply, “Fine,” this could be used to contest your case’s validity.
When you partner with a lawyer, they can give the insurance company the appropriate information. They can also present compelling evidence, present the cost of your damages, and negotiate for what you need.
Here’s a helpful tip: don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance company. This will not help your case move forward. Instead, it will only give the insurance company more information to contest your case.
“Do I Have to Accept the Insurer’s First Settlement Offer?”
In short, no; you do not have to accept a settlement offer. In fact, it is very rare for an insurance company to open negotiations with its best offer. So, chances are, the initial offer is much less than you need.
Our car accident lawyers can assess the full financial impact of your injuries. That way, when we negotiate for what you deserve, we won’t leave a single penny on the table.
“What Are My Rights If I Feel Unfairly Treated by an Insurer?”
You have rights against bad faith insurance practices under O.C.G.A. § 33-6-34. This means that all insurance companies must treat claimants honestly and fairly. When you partner with a lawyer, they can protect you against bad faith insurance practices.
If an insurer engages in dishonest behavior, your lawyer can help you by:
- Appealing a denial
- Renegotiating a settlement offer
- Filing an official complaint with the insurance commission
- Filing a bad faith insurance lawsuit against the insurer in civil court
- Citing the liable insurance policy
“What Should I Do After a Car Accident?”
First, we recommend that you seek medical attention for your injuries. This way, you can connect your injuries to the collision itself. Other considerations after your collision include:
- Keeping all documentation of your losses. This includes keeping all receipts, billing statements, and invoices related to your injury-related expenses.
- Limiting what you share online. Anything you share online can hurt your injury case. Even posting a picture of yourself with friends and family members could cause the insurer to discredit your injuries’ severity.
- Following all necessary medical treatments. Do not stop treatment before your doctor clears you. Not only could this complicate your recovery period, but the insurer may refuse to pay for certain costs related to your treatment.
You can learn more about what post-accident measures you should consider by consulting a car accident lawyer. They can give recommendations that benefit your unique situation.
“Will the At-Fault Party in My Case Go to Jail?”
Whether the at-fault party in your case goes to jail depends on your situation. For instance, if the at-fault party in your case is a chronic drunk driving offender, they could face prison time for their actions. However, if your accident was caused by an inexperienced teenage driver, they likely won’t face criminal charges.
Furthermore, if the at-fault party in your case goes to jail, this would not yield compensation for your loss. To secure damages, you must file an injury claim or civil lawsuit.
“Where Can I Learn More About My Legal Options?”
The car accident attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you understand your legal options during a free initial consultation. Our legal services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so there are no up-front fees or ongoing costs for you to pay unless we win your case.
“Why Choose Bader Scott Injury Lawyers?”
Our car accident injury lawyers are committed to bringing quality service to our clients. We are constantly evolving to meet our clients’ needs, which include:
- Consulting with field specialists on any gaps in our knowledge
- Keeping up to date with changes to state and federal law
- Building genuine relationships with our clients
- Maintaining high levels of client satisfaction
- Operating with transparency, honesty, and openness
- Representing our clients’ best interests and delivering results
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, we can help. We offer free case reviews where you can ask us any questions about your car accident case in Georgia.