An Atlanta auto accident attorney from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can not only help you file your claim with the car insurance company, but they can also pursue a fair settlement on your behalf that covers all losses and expenses related to any injuries related to your car accident. We can settle most claims without going to court. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers will file a lawsuit for you if the insurer is not offering a settlement that covers all of your damages.
Call 678-562-5595 for your free case evaluation, and receive a copy of our free book. This book includes everything You Need to Know After Your Georgia Car Accident. Get the book and learn how you’ll benefit by choosing an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney.
How Can an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Help With My Case?
Negligence and fault are the keys to any car accident liability claim. To establish the other driver’s negligence and fault for the auto accident, we need to prove these two things:
- The defendant acted negligently by driving in a careless or reckless manner. Some common types of negligent driving include:
- Running a red light
- Aggressive driving
- Texting and driving
- Drunk driving
- Changing lanes without looking for other vehicles
- Failure to yield to other vehicles.
- The defendant caused the crash. We may prove the defendant was texting and driving. Or learn another reason that distracted him and caused him to run into the back of your vehicle
We handle your case by first collecting all available evidence. This enables us to build a claim that proves the other party’s negligence and fault.
In What Specific Ways Can An Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Help After An Accident?
Specifically, a car accident attorney can help you with:
- The accidents claims process
- Filing a claim and pursuing it in court
- Negotiating a settlement
Important Things You Must Do After a Car Accident
There are some things you need to do immediately following an accident. It is helpful to be prepared in the event that you are involved in a crash. Keep your registration and insurance information in a handy location, such as the glove box. Always have your driver’s license with you since it is a legal requirement to do so. Here are some other important things you should do after a Georgia car accident.
Call the Police: It is important that you call the police to report the accident. In fact, it’s the law. Georgia code § 40-6-273 requires any driver involved in an accident that results in injuries or fatalities to report the accident to the police. Georgia Code § 40-6-270 requires all drivers involved in accidents to stop, provide information to other drivers, and to provide reasonable medical assistance if needed.
Exchange Driver Information: Obtain driver information from the other driver or drivers in the accident and provide your information to them. It is okay to ask the driver and passengers in the other vehicle if they are okay. While you want to be as polite as possible, do not discuss the details of the accident. It is up to the police to investigate the crash and to issue a report.
It is also imperative that you don’t admit guilt. Accident investigation can be extremely complex, and there could several factors that contributed to the crash. Keep in mind that what you say could be used later to try to prove that you were at fault for the accident. Simply saying “I’m sorry” could be interpreted later as an admission of guilt.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, obtain information from them as well. The police should take witness statements, but it is in your best interest to gather as much information as possible in case the witness statements were not obtained by police.
Take Photos and Notes: Take photos of the vehicles, preferably in the position that they were in on impact. This isn’t always possible and it may not always be safe, so use your best judgment. At the very least, make sure that you take photos of the damage to the other vehicle since you won’t have access to view it later.
Make notes about the accident so you can discuss the details with an Atlanta car accident attorney if necessary. Your memory of the accident may begin to fade, so it is essential to write down everything you can about it now before you begin to forget things. Even minor details could be important to your case, so don’t leave anything out.
Seek Medical Treatment: Do not wait to visit the doctor or the emergency room. If you were hurt in the accident, your injuries could worsen if they aren’t quickly diagnosed and treated. You will need to prove that you were hurt as a result of the accident. That becomes more difficult the longer you wait to visit the doctor. It is always best to go to the doctor immediately after the accident. Do not wait longer than 72 hours to get medical treatment.
The Accidents Claims Process
You’ll have to file a claim with your car insurance company. However, this isn’t any ordinary paperwork. What you write is very instrumental in how your insurance company will determine your liability and for how much they will settle.
You want to be very careful when filling out your accident claim. You don’t want to accidentally misrepresent what happened or write something that could be construed as an admission of guilt. This is where a qualified Atlanta car accident attorney can be especially beneficial to the amount of settlement you receive.
Filing A Claim And Pursuing It In Court
Trials are long, lengthy processes that most people go through because they have to do it. Insurance may not cover everything, and victims are left to cover the expenses themselves. We push our abilities to the limit to make sure our clients are not put in this position and get the compensation they deserve.
Negotiating A Settlement
A Bader Scott auto accident attorney knows how to properly file a claim and manage litigation. Your lawyer can help you determine if filing a claim is in your best interest because sometimes, it’s better to settle out-of-court. 95% of all claims actually do settle out of court.
While it may mean taking less of an award than a jury might offer, a pre-trial settlement comes without having to subtract from it the high legal costs of a trial. A car accident lawyer can negotiate for you to get you the biggest settlement possible. They will do the research to ensure that you go into the negotiation with the best bargaining position you have.
How Does the Auto Accident Claims Process Work in Georgia?
There will likely be two separate claims: one for property damage and one for injuries. The processes are different.
You can usually handle your property damage claim yourself. After you make the property damage claim with the other driver’s insurer, expect a call from the property damage adjuster. The adjuster will evaluate your claim and work with the body shop to estimate the repair costs. The insurer usually pays the body shop directly for repairs.
The injury claims process and how an Atlanta car accident attorney can help:
- Open insurance claims: Upon reviewing information from you and available evidence, an Atlanta car accident attorney from our firm will review all available insurance to identify which types of claims to open (e.g., liability claim against the other driver, first-party MedPay coverage, uninsured motorist coverage).
- Demand letter: We will draft a letter to the car insurance company describing the accident and your injuries. It will contain photographs, medical records, billing statements, and more. The adjuster will then review the demand letter.
- Make a statement: If the car insurance adjuster asks you for a recorded statement, do not agree to give it until you speak with a lawyer. If they can, insurance companies will take the opportunity to use something you’ve said to them against you, this can put your compensation at risk. We can prepare you for the statement, and may even be present with you on the phone when you give it.
- Negotiate settlement: The car insurance adjuster will make a settlement offer, which we will evaluate to determine if it covers your physical, emotional, and financial damages. We will negotiate until we arrive at a fair settlement agreement.
- File lawsuit: If we cannot reach a fair settlement with the auto insurance company, we will file a lawsuit and take your case to court seeking a fair judgment.
Want to know more about the car accident claims process? Call us at 678-562-5595 to set up a free consultation with a lawyer. We will review your automobile accident and injuries to provide case-specific answers to your questions.
Do I Really Need an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney?
One obvious benefit to having a professional auto accident attorney can offer you is obtaining legal representation under laws specifically related to Atlanta. Most people are understandably jarred after an accident. They’re not in a place where they can assess the situation calmly and discuss matters in a rational way. Having a lawyer represent you if you’re injured allows you to focus your energy on healing rather than paperwork.
There are many things that must be done after an accident, and mistakes can be costly. An Atlanta car accident attorney can offer invaluable advice. And as mentioned above, your car accident attorney can step in and speak for you. This can be priceless when you’re put under pressure by your insurance company or by the other parties involved.
What Has To Be Proven To Get Damages From The Other Party?
In order for an Atlanta car accident attorney to succeed on a claim in court, the lawyer must show facts that prove all the elements of a legal violation. Many car accidents, for example, are not intentional.
One driver didn’t actually want to hit the other. The accident occurred because one or both drivers were negligent. Thus, a plaintiff will have to show facts that the defendant acted negligently. These facts have to show that all the elements of negligence were met by a preponderance of the evidence.
The Elements of Negligence Are:
- Duty: an obligation to do something for someone else
- Breach of duty: not doing the obligated thing
- Damages: someone or something was harmed because of the breach of duty
- Cause: the injury was reasonably foreseeable harm due to the breach of duty
For example, a car driver who is participating in distracted driving by texting while behind the wheel ends up hitting another car, that is considered negligent. The driver had a duty to watch where he was going but he failed to do so. He hit another car. It was reasonably foreseeable that if he was driving while looking down at his phone and texting that he could hit another vehicle.
However, not all automobile accidents are negligent. Road rage, for example, is not negligence because it’s intentional. It may be assault, battery, or both. A car accident lawyer will listen to your side of the story. Then take the relevant facts, and determine which cause of action (negligence, or otherwise) best explains what happened to you. Then, they’ll determine if you have a claim for a lawsuit.
What damages can an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer help me get?
Damages are money a civil court awards a party to help make them whole. Damages for a car accident usually include nominal damages, actual damages, and punitive damages. They may also include legal costs and restitution.
- Nominal damages are very small, sometimes just a dollar, if anything. They essentially “name” the plaintiff the victor and signify that the plaintiff prevailed.
- Actual damages are compensatory. Actual damages pay the plaintiff back for what they actually lost. They’re the real monetary cost of the harm done. These include things like lost wages from time missed at work, medical bills such as hospital stays, medications, and surgeries. Even property damage may be included to cover the damage to your vehicle.
- Punitive damages punish the defendant. Juries award this if the defendant’s behavior was especially callous or malicious. Punitive damages may also be awarded to deter others from engaging in the same conduct.
- Legal costs are the costs of preparing for and going to court.
- Restitution is rare in a car accident case. It compensates for a specific thing that was lost or taken. For example, if the plaintiff’s $6,000 violin was smashed in a car accident, the defendant would have to replace it.
But What If The Accident Is “Sort Of” My Fault?
Most Atlanta car accidents are never 100% of any party’s fault. Depending on the state of the accident is litigated, parties may be judged based on a contributory negligence rule or comparative negligence rule. This matters because it affects the plaintiff’s ability to collect damages.
Georgia is a comparative negligence state. Concerning comparative negligence, a party can still recover even if they’re somewhat at fault. The award is lowered, however, by the amount they’re liable.
For example, if a plaintiff is found 30% liable for her injuries, her award is lowered by 30% to reflect her fault. A lawyer can help you figure out how comparative negligence affects your chances of winning in court. In addition, the attorney can also inform you of the chances of having a more successful settlement negotiation.
Additional Car Accident Laws in Georgia
- Insurance Coverage: Every driver is required to have the minimum insurance coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to a single person, $25,000 in property damage, and $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple people.
- Damage Cap: There is no cap in Georgia for compensatory damages, but there is a $250,000 limit on punitive damages.
- Deadline: A person has two years to file a personal injury claim in the city of Atlanta. After this time period, a court will refuse to hear your auto accident case.
Different Kinds of Car Accidents That Can Occur In Atlanta
There are a number of different kinds of car accidents that can occur in Atlanta, these include:
- Distracted Driving accidents, such as when someone is using their phone causing them to crash into another vehicle.
- Uber & Lyft accidents, as these rideshare services have become increasingly popular so has the number of accidents that involve passengers and drivers alike.
- Pedestrian Accidents, in a city like Atlanta where there are limited pedestrian walkways and public transportation available, can lead to a number of different ways pedestrians can be accidentally hit by a vehicle.
- Bicycle Accidents, like with pedestrians Atlanta roads cater to cars more than it does its cyclists.
- Motorcycle Accidents, while riding a motorcycle can be a lot of fun it much different than driving a car. Not just in the skill it takes but the way other drivers might have trouble seeing you.
- Truck Accidents, these accidents happen almost every day in Atlanta so it’s always important to be mindful of semi-trucks while on the road.
Common Injuries Experienced In A Car Accident
Because auto accidents can range significantly in their severity, people can end up leaving a car accident with no injury to ending up with fatal injuries. An injury can range from different kinds of external cuts and bruises to internal traumatic injuries, and even mental distress that could take longer to deal with than some of your physical ailments.
Some of the most common injuries people might experience are
- Whiplash, injuries related to forceful movement in the area of a person’s neck.
- Broken bones such as fingers, toes, ribs, ankles, as well as bones in the face, or neck.
- Head and brain injuries such as concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries, which can lead to more serious mental health issues in the future.
- Contusions and lacerations
- Spinal injuries
- Internal injuries
We recommend that if you experience a car accident, you should get a medical examination to make that you are healthy as injuries may not be apparent right after the accident. Not only is this best practice for your health, but if there is an injury found that was caused by the accident this will help you in securing the compensation to deal with it as you will have medical records documenting your new injuries.
Following an Atlanta Car Accident Accident
You will need to seek medical treatment after a Georgia car accident. It is important to follow through with any medical care plan that was provided. Some injuries are more serious than others. Sometimes a car accident victim may require surgery and extensive ongoing medical care. Your injuries will usually heal over time. You need to make sure that you follow the medical guidance from your physician until the injury is completely healed.
If you stop medical care before the doctor allows, you could have problems collecting on your personal injury claim. You should discuss your medical treatment plan with your doctor and then follow the steps that he provides on the path to complete recovery. Importantly, do not return to work until you are cleared by your doctor. Sometimes you suffer an injury that is permanent. This may be a permanent disability and you may be entitled to compensation.
If you visit your family physician following a car accident, don’t be surprised if he sends you to another doctor. Some doctors specialize in treating car accident injuries and your physician may prefer that you visit one of these doctors. Your Atlanta Car Accident attorney may guide you through the process of seeking medical treatment.
Talk to an Attorney For Free
If you were the victim of a car crash, we can help you recover the money you need and deserve. We do not recommend handling your injury claim alone, especially if you suffered severe injuries. Not only will we fight for the compensation you deserve, but we will protect your rights by managing all communication with the insurance company.
A severe car accident can feel like an uphill battle for months or even years. This is true especially if your bills continue to stack up due to losing work time. At a minimum, we at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can hold the negligent driver responsible for the damages they caused. We will fight and do everything in our power for the full compensation you deserve.
No one wants to be in a car accident! Moreover, no one wants to be hurt twice because of a car accident. Car accidents can leave permanent injuries and psychological trauma, in addition to many expenses. If you experienced a car crash in Atlanta, don’t leave your future to chance. Be sure to hire a qualified auto accident lawyer in Atlanta.
A Bader Scott car accident lawyer will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve and their efforts will help you move on with your life as normally as possible.
If you suffered any automobile accident injuries, and require the services of an Atlanta car accident attorney call the Bader law firm at 678-562-5595 today for your free case evaluation.