Assisting Atlanta Car Accident Victims with their Personal Injury Cases
Car accidents sometimes occur out of the blue, often when the driver and passengers least expect them. In addition to causing significant property damage, these accidents can also result in personal injuries that need a great deal of medical treatment, time off work, pain, and suffering.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in the greater Atlanta region, Georgia law may entitle you to monetary compensation. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Brauns Law can work with you to recover the damages you need to resolve your case fully and fairly.
Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents can occur for many reasons. Common car accidents in and around Atlanta include:
- Rear end accidents – Where another motor vehicle collides with the rear of the accident victim’s vehicle, usually resulting in whiplash-type injuries
- Head-on collisions – Where one motor vehicle strikes another motor vehicle head-on, usually on smaller roads or dual highways
- T-bone collisions – Where the front of one motor vehicle collides with the side of another motor vehicle
- Drunk driving accidents – Where a motor vehicle collision occurs because one of the drivers was under the illegal influence of drugs or alcohol
- School bus accidents
Car accidents can also occur for many different reasons. Some common causes of car accidents in and around Atlanta include:
- Speeding – Where the other driver exceeds the posted speed limit and collides with another vehicle
- Distracted driving – Where the other motor vehicle is texting, making a phone call, disciplining a child, or otherwise not paying attention to the roadway
- Driver fatigue – Where the other driver, usually on a long road trip, falls asleep at the wheel and collides with another motor vehicle
Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Pretty much everyone agrees that car accidents can result in serious injuries and medical treatment. Soft tissue injuries are most common in rear-end collisions, due to the quick back-and-forth movement that occurs. These injuries can happen when the driver’s head snaps forward or backward at the point of impact or strikes some part of the vehicle’s interior, such as the steering wheel. In more serious, high-speed motor vehicle collisions, the drivers can sustain other injuries, such as fractures, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and severe head injuries.
As part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit, you must show that Georgia law entitles you to monetary damages. Those damages may include compensation for all of your medical bills and treatment, lost wage compensation, pain and suffering, and inconvenience, to name just a few. The skilled Atlanta car accident lawyers at Brauns Law can pursue legal damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf—or against your own insurance company, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Atlanta Car Accident Local Stats and FAQ
Car accidents are among the most common causes of accidental injuries in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and we have dedicated much of our to helping car crash victims get the compensation they are entitled to under Georgia law. Below, we’ve shared some statistics published by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and some answers to questions we often hear from accident victims.
For more information or to discuss the specifics of your case, contact a car accident attorney in Atlanta who is ready to assist with your case.
How common are Atlanta car accidents?
Car accidents injure millions of people each year throughout the United States. Not surprisingly, the frequency of crashes changes from year to year, and certain communities and areas tend to see more accidents than others.
For example, in Gwinnett County, there tend to be between 30,000 and 40,000 crashes each year. Dekalb County has similar statistics but typically has a few thousand fewer. 2017 was an outlier year, with Dekalb County reporting almost 41,928 crashes and Gwinnett County reporting 39,473. Fulton County typically has more crashes than both Gwinnett and Dekalb Counties, reporting anywhere from 43,776 to 63,984. In the Atlanta area as a whole, we typically see between 70,000 and 106,000 accidents reported each year.
What causes car accidents in Atlanta?
Car accidents can occur for any number of reasons, but a significant number of crashes happen due to the negligence of people behind the wheel.
Some examples of driver negligence that can easily lead to a serious wreck include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Fatigued driving
- Ignoring poor weather conditions
- Improper turns
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Traffic violations
Importantly, some accidents occur because of defectively designed or maintained roads or defective vehicles. For this reason, you should always have a car accident reviewed by a lawyer, even if it was a single-vehicle accident, or you believe the accident was not another driver’s fault.
How often do Atlanta car accidents result in injuries?
Of course, not every car wreck results in injuries. In fact, serious injuries tend only to occur in a fraction of cases. For example, in a year in which there reported 39,473 crashes in Gwinnett County, there were only 325 accident-related serious injuries. That said, in the same year, there were 13,535 accident-related injuries.
Similarly, in a year in which there were 105,912 accidents in the Atlanta area, there were only 1,509 suspected serious injuries. There were, however, 34,068 total injuries reported.
While only a fraction of car accidents result in serious injuries, it’s critical to remember that all of your accident-related losses are compensable. Common losses that accident victims successfully seek include medical expenses, lost income, lost quality of life, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. Insurance companies are known for trying to pay out as little as possible on every claim they receive, so it’s in your best interest to retain an attorney to represent you, regardless of the severity of your accident.
What kinds of injuries do Atlanta car accident victims sustain?
Car accident victims can sustain a wide variety of serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Serious soft tissue injuries
In addition to these physical injuries, some car accident victims experience significant psychological trauma. In some cases, they may even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or similar conditions that have a significant impact on their daily lives. Fortunately, Georgia law allows you to recover for both physical and psychological trauma. As a result, you should discuss all of your accident-related issues with your Atlanta car accident lawyer. If you do not, it could leave you with significant uncompensated losses.
Can I recover compensation for my Atlanta car accident?
As mentioned, many accidents happen due to drivers who speed, are impaired, or who are otherwise in violation of the law or making careless decisions on the road. When this is the case, any other people injured in the accident should hold the negligent driver liable for their losses. Losses commonly include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Sometimes, it might be clear that you should recover compensation from another driver or drivers. For example, if two cars were drag racing and one lost control, colliding into your vehicle, it is obvious that the drag racing drivers should cover your expenses and losses. The same should go for drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, and other parties who were blatantly negligent or reckless.
On the other hand, liability is not always clear following a car accident. In some situations, each driver will point fingers at the other, accusing them of causing the crash. It is important to have the right car accident lawyer investigating your accident to determine whether you can recover compensation or not.
An experienced car accident attorney will know how to identify fault in a car crash, as well as how to gather the necessary evidence to prove liability. Because consultations are free, you have nothing to lose by having an attorney evaluate your rights to possible compensation after a collision.
Will my Atlanta car accident case go to trial?
If you do have a viable car accident case, and you want to seek compensation for your losses, it is easy to assume that your case will take place in a courtroom. After all, we see many injury victims taking the witness stand on TV and in movies. In reality, however, very few car accident cases go to trial. Instead, the large majority of car accident claims resolve well before a trial date.
First, your attorney will file an insurance claim, which requests compensation directly from the insurance company without involving the courts at all. Negotiations will likely occur between your lawyer and the insurance adjuster, and, many times, your lawyer can obtain an insurance settlement offer that covers all of your losses. If this happens, your case is over, and you will not need to file a court case.
If the insurance company does not offer a sufficient amount of compensation, your attorney might need to file an injury lawsuit on your behalf. This still does not mean that you will have to go to trial. A major part of the litigation process involves rounds of settlement negotiations with the defendant and their insurance company.
Often, the insurance company wants to avoid the cost and uncertainty of trial so it is more willing to offer an acceptable amount during pretrial litigation. This is why most cases do not have to go to trial for car accident victims to receive compensation.
Do I need to retain a car accident lawyer in Atlanta?
If a car accident case starts with an insurance claim, do you really need the help of an attorney? After all, many drivers file car insurance claims on their own on a regular basis. While you may certainly file a claim, you might not realize all the work that the insurance company is putting into limiting your payment, and you might end up with far less than you deserve.
Insurance companies should be on the side of injured claimants – after all, that is why their coverage exists. However, insurance companies often put profits first, and the less they pay on claims, the greater the profits might be. This means that insurance adjusters often receive training to limit payouts, which is especially successful with claimants who are unrepresented by an attorney.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be familiar with all of the tactics the insurance company might use to minimize your compensation. Once you get an attorney involved, the insurer will know that the chances of getting you to accept an inadequate settlement offer significantly decreased. Having an attorney handle your claim often brings better results in a quicker time frame. In the event your claim does have to go to court, you certainly want a skilled litigator handling this complicated process.
How much is my Atlanta car accident case worth?
Naturally, car accident victims will wonder how much they might receive from an insurance claim or lawsuit. This answer is extremely fact-specific, and you want a lawyer to evaluate the value of your claim based on your circumstances.
Some factors that might affect the value of your claim include:
- How severe your injuries were
- How much medical treatment you needed
- Whether you needed to miss a significant amount of work due to your injuries and recovery
- Whether your injuries left you with permanent effects and impairments
- Whether your injuries prevent you from engaging in your usual activities and hobbies
- How much work you missed
The more expenses you have and the more your injury affects your everyday life, the more compensation you might recover. Many damages, like pain and suffering, are noneconomic and can be very difficult to prove. This is yet another reason why it is critical to have a car accident attorney on your side.
How long until I receive compensation for my Atlanta car accident?
You will not receive compensation from the at-fault party or his or her insurance company until your case resolves through a settlement or you obtain a judgment at trial. Car accident cases can take anywhere from a few months to years to conclude.
Some of the factors that may affect how long your case take include:
- Whether the other party is conceding liability
- The number of parties involved
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you were partially at fault for the accident
- Whether drugs or alcohol were involved
Fortunately, there are ways to pay your accident-related expenses while you are waiting for your case to settle. For example, many healthcare providers will provide care without need up-front or immediate payment if you agree to allow them to place a lien on any settlement or award you may receive in the future. Similarly, some companies will extend loans for other expenses to Atlanta car accident victims based on the strength of their cases.
An Atlanta car accident attorney will give you an idea of how long your case may take to resolve. In addition, a lawyer can often put you in contact with healthcare providers or lenders who often work with people who suffered injuries in car accidents.
How much does it cost to retain an Atlanta car accident lawyer?
One reason why you might hesitate to call a car accident lawyer—even if you suffered serious injuries—is because you might think that lawyers are expensive to retain. You likely hear about high-powered attorneys charging hundreds of dollars per hour, which could mean even a phone call or email can rack up your bill.
The good news is that not every type of attorney charges hourly fees, and your car accident attorney should not do so. This is because it is standard for accident and injury lawyers to take cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means that you pay nothing upfront and out of pocket, and you pay nothing unless the lawyer successfully obtains compensation for you.
If you do receive a settlement, the fees will come out of that amount, and you should agree to a specific fee percentage before starting your claim. This arrangement allows injured accident victims to get the legal help they need without having extra money available to hire a lawyer. When you are facing medical bills and lost income, the last thing you need is another expense. Contingency fees make it possible for you to fight for full compensation without writing a check to your attorney at the start of your case.
In short, car accidents happen often in the Atlanta area, and they regularly result in serious injuries. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car crash, you should never hesitate to protect your rights and interests by consulting with a car accident law firm you can trust.
Car Accident Injury Statistics in Atlanta, GA
The Insurance Company’s Role
In car accident cases where the at-fault driver has adequate insurance coverage, you will be dealing mostly with that driver’s insurance company when it comes to settling the damage aspect of your personal injury case. If the at-fault driver did not have adequate insurance coverage or was underinsured, you may be able to make a claim against your own insurance company for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.
Insurance companies and their adjusters are not on your side in a personal injury car accident case—even your own insurance company when you file an uninsured or underinsured motorist theory of recovery. In fact, insurance company adjusters will do everything they can to lessen the amount of damages you receive in your car accident case. Their job, in a nutshell, is to see that the insurance company pays out as little money as possible to satisfy a personal injury claim. Insurance companies make their money when people pay their premiums—not by paying out personal injury settlements.
The lawyers at Brauns Law understand the tactics and tricks used by insurance companies and their adjusters in personal injury car accident cases. Our litigation team can negotiate with the appropriate insurance company on your behalf and maximize the available damage compensation in your case.
Deciding to File a Lawsuit
During the settlement negotiation process, both sides to the dispute go back and forth until the parties either decide to settle the claim or they reach a roadblock. In the latter case, the car accident victim’s attorney will usually file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In some cases, where the at-fault driver and the owner of the vehicle are different individuals, the accident victim can file a lawsuit against both the vehicle driver and, in some car accident cases, the owner.
Filing a suit in an Atlanta car accident case serves a couple of different purposes. One purpose is to try and convince the insurance company to offer more money to settle the claim. In some cases that happens, but in other cases, it does not. The other purpose for filing a lawsuit in the court system is to begin the litigation process. This ushers in discovery, settlement conferences, mediations, and other legal proceedings. The majority of car accident cases do not proceed all the way to trial. Rather, they settle at some point out of court. A car accident case can usually settle right up until the time of trial.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in an Atlanta car accident, time may be of the essence. In the majority of car accident cases, accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver and anyone else who may have caused the accident. Otherwise, you essentially waive your right to file a claim or lawsuit. At Brauns Law, our experienced legal team can file the necessary claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer, please call us at (404) 348-0889, or contact us online today.
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