On average, there are 900 car accidents in the state of Georgia every day. Serious injuries result from about 40 of those accidents and around 4 accidents are fatal. However, many more of these car accidents result in damage to property, minor injuries and other losses.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, you have the right to claim compensation for these losses from the person/s who caused the accident. Contact our Alpharetta car accident lawyers today to find out more about how you can file a claim to recover damages.
At Ted A, Greve & Associates, our personal injury lawyers have been helping those injured in auto accidents for more than 25 years and we have helped hundreds of clients receive the settlement they deserve.
What Should I Do After Being Injured In A Car Accident?
What you do directly after you have been in a car accident can either help or harm your personal injury case. You should take the following steps if you were in a car accident:
- Seek medical attention even if you have not visible or noticeable injuries. Remember to keep all your medical records, bills, and other information regarding your injuries and the treatment that you received.
- Take photos or a video of the scene of the accident. Remember to record damage to your and other vehicles as well as visible injuries.
- Collect names and contact information for any witnesses at the scene of the accident. Their testimony can be critical in your personal injury lawsuit.
- Report the car accident to the police as soon as possible or call law enforcement to the accident scene. It is a legal requirement to report accidents that resulted in injuries.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. This is considered fleeing the scene and can have serious implications.
- Don’t say anything that could be considered admitting fault in causing the accident to the police, bystanders or the other parties involved in the accident. Even an apology can be construed as admitting fault.
- Call a lawyer to get advice about what you should do next.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
A car accident lawyer specializes in personal injury law and will use their expertise and skill to ensure the best outcome. In order to do so, they will provide you with the following services.
- Offer you the best legal advice on how to proceed with a personal injury claim.
- Determine who is liable or responsible to pay your claim for compensation.
- Determine what you can claim for and in what amount.
- Prepare your case and file the lawsuit.
- Negotiate a settlement with the liable party, their lawyers or insurance representative.
- Prepare your case and you to go to trial in the event that a settlement agreement cannot be reached.
Your lawyer will aim to settle your case out of court. Court trials take time and cost money and it is in your best interests to settle quickly and save on court and other costs. The outcome of a trial is also uncertain. It is in the hands of the judge and jury to decide how much compensation you will be awarded and whether you will receive compensation at all. Even the clearest cases can go the wrong way in court.
What Type Of Damages Can I Recover In Georgia?
There are 3 types of damages that you can sue for in the state of Georgia:
1. Economic Damages
These are tangible losses that you incurred to which an exact financial value can be attributed and include:
- Damage to your vehicle and other property.
- Medical expenses.
- Loss of wages or income.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Loss of benefits such as vacation time.
If a serious injury has resulted in an inability to work in the same capacity as you did before the accident, you can claim for what you would’ve been able to earn if the accident had never happened. For example, if you are forced to take on “light duties” or are no longer able to work because of your injury, an actuary will calculate what you could’ve earned and this amount can form part of your lawsuit.
2. Non-Economic Damages
These are intangible or subjective losses to which no exact monetary value can be assigned and include:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Stress and anxiety.
- Loss of consortium or companionship.
If your case goes to trial, the jury will decide the value that they place on each of the above non-economic damages according to the evidence that is presented in court. This can result in different amounts being awarded in court trials. In the case of a settlement, the insurance adjuster will attribute a value to one or more of these damages. It is extremely important to have a lawyer represent you to ensure that the adjuster assigns a fair value to the non-economic damages that you sustained.
3. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are awarded by a court in the event of gross negligence. Gross negligence can be defined as extreme recklessness or a willful act that resulted in the accident and your injuries. These damages are awarded over and above economic and non-economic damages and although they do benefit you, punitive damages are intended to punish the liable party in the hopes of deterring them from repeating the behavior that resulted in the accident. Courts do not award punitive damages easily. In some cases, punitive damages can form part of a settlement.
How Is Liability Determined?
The state of Georgia uses comparative negligence to determine fault and therefore liability in car accident personal injury lawsuits. A degree of fault is assigned to each party according to the responsibility that each driver had in causing the accident.
If a driver is more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, then they have no claim for compensation. However, if you are less than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you can claim compensation from the other party relative to the degree of fault that has been assigned to you.
For example, if you have been found to be 30% at fault in causing the accident, the other driver is 70% at fault and is therefore only required to pay 70% of the compensation that has been awarded to you or 70% of the settlement amount.
Liability is decided using the following 4 elements:
- It must be shown that the party had a reasonable duty of care to the injured party to prevent harm.
- That the party was in breach of that duty of care and that their negligence or actions resulted in the accident.
- Causation or that the breach of duty of care (accident) directly resulted in the injuries that were sustained.
- That losses or damages resulted.
How Much Time Do I Have To File A Car Accident Claim In Georgia?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in the state of Georgia is 2 years. This means that you have exactly 2 years from the date of the car accident to file your claim for compensation. If this time period expires, you will no longer be able to file a personal injury claim.
What Is The Personal Injury Claims Process?
Every driver in the state of Georgia is legally required to have at a minimum, limited liability insurance. You will therefore most likely file a personal injury claim for compensation with the insurance provider for the liable party. If the other driver was uninsured, you will file a claim for compensation directly with the driver.
The insurance will then either award or deny your claim. If they deny your claim, contact an attorney immediately for assistance. If they award your claim, it is important to first determine whether the amount is fair before agreeing to the settlement. Insurance companies and their lawyers notoriously take any chance they can to reduce your claim as much as possible and often do not provide for future medical expenses and loss of income. It is imperative to have a car accident lawyer look at the settlement agreement before you sign.
If a settlement cannot be reached, you can take the case to a civil court where evidence will be heard by a judge and jury who will decide whether your claim should be awarded and in what amount. If you were in an accident with an uninsured driver, the case will most likely go to trial. Although it is not a legal requirement to have a lawyer represent you in civil court, you have a better chance of being awarded a claim that is fair if you have a lawyer by your side.
How Much Will An Alpharetta Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Ted A. Greve and Associates provide their legal services on a contingency basis. This means that you aren’t required to pay any upfront fees, a retainer and that you won’t be billed as the case progresses. If we lose your case, we won’t charge you any legal fees. When we win, we will charge a small percentage of the settlement or amount that was awarded by a court.
Types Of Car Accidents We Handle
We handle all types of car accident cases, including:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Speeding accidents
- Reckless driving accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Uninsured motorist accidents
Contact Our Alpharetta Car Accident Lawyers Today
Because car accidents are so common, most people assume that the process for claiming compensation is simple. However, personal injury law is complex and complicated. It is highly recommended to hire an Alpharetta car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses.
Contact our accident law firm near Alpharetta today at (844) 387-8677 to schedule a free consultation to assess your car accident case and get started filing your claim for compensation.