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Car accidents are by far the most common type of case we handle. You may think a car or auto accident claim is simple enough. No matter how small or severe your car accident injuries, it can be hard to get a fair and reasonable settlement from insurance adjusters.
Insurance companies spend a lot of time aggressively lowering settlement offers on car accident claims because these are the majority of their claims. Their interest is in their bottom line, not helping you. That is why you need someone like our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers protecting your interests and making sure they do not take advantage of you.
Brauns Law has always been and always will be focused on the clients’ interests first. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to anyone injured in an accident in Atlanta. This gives you an opportunity to ask the questions that have been on your mind since your accident.
We also go above and beyond to help you with common post-car accident problems like the following.
- Help you get medical care, even without insurance
- Help you get your car repaired or replaced, and can help you get a rental car
- Help with bill collectors who are bothering you about unpaid bills
Our law firm handles all types of accidents and injuries in the Atlanta area.
- Bicycle Accidents
- Burn Injuries
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Car Accidents
- Class Action
- Construction Accident
- Uber Accidents
- Lyft Accidents
- Distracted Driving
- Drunk Driving
- Dog Bite
- Truck Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Pedestrian Accident
- Premises Liability
- School Bus Accident
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Fatal Accidents (Wrongful Death)
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Insurance Claims
- Scooter Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Child injuries
- Birth injuries
- Train Accidents
- Boating Accidents
And if you have been avoiding talking to lawyers because you are worried about costs, do not be. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not collect a fee unless you collect a fair settlement.
One of the first questions we hear is: how much money can you get after suffering an injury? It is impossible to answer this question specifically without examining the circumstances of your case, as your claim’s value depends on the losses that stemmed from your particular accident and injury. To learn about your potential financial recovery, you should schedule a consultation with Brauns Law directly.
In general, to determine the value of an injury claim, our attorneys calculate a client’s total losses. This not only includes the losses you already experienced, but also the losses that will continue into the future.
Losses to consider as part of your claim include:
Medical expenses – Serious injuries need medical care, and we all know that the costs of treatment add up quickly. From emergency transportation to hospitalization to surgery, the costs of stabilizing your injuries can be extensive. Then, many people require ongoing rehabilitation and additional healthcare, as recovery from certain injuries can take months. If an injury is permanent, the costs of treatment and medical equipment can be lifelong, and we know how to factor all of these costs into your claim’s value.
Lost earnings – Injuries often keep people out of work, and whether you miss a few hours or months on the job, you can lose income you rely on to pay the bills. You may need to recoup this income as part of your claim. If your injury resulted in permanent impairments that prevent you from returning to your prior job, you might need to find a lower-paying job or rely on disability benefits. We work to calculate how much your future lost earnings might be, depending on your age, education, training, experience, and other factors.
Non-economic damages – Injuries can also result in damages that do not stem directly from bills or financial loss. These non-economic losses can be challenging to calculate because it is difficult to put a number on your pain, suffering, and other impacts on your life from your injuries.
These losses can include:
- Physical pain and suffering from your injuries
- Mental trauma from the accident and your injury recovery
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Many factors go into determining the value of your non-economic losses, and these can be a major part of your financial recovery if you suffered severe or catastrophic injuries.
You might have a feeling that someone else caused your injuries, or in some cases, it might be quite obvious that another party was at fault, such as when a driver stumbles drunk out of a vehicle following a crash. However, even if you know that you deserve compensation for your losses, you will not automatically receive a check in the mail. It is necessary to follow the steps of the personal injury process to make sure you recover the full amount you deserve.
Each claim is different, though there is a general process for seeking compensation for your losses from a negligent party. Most drivers, companies, medical professionals, and other parties should have insurance policies that provide coverage if they injure others. If there is an applicable insurance policy, the first step of the personal injury process is to prepare and file an insurance claim, and some people need to file multiple insurance claims if more than one party shares liability.
Once the insurance process is underway, you will likely receive a settlement offer from the insurance company. You should have your lawyer review this offer to ensure it is sufficient, and if you decide to accept the offer, your case is over. However, you also have the option to have your attorney negotiate for a higher offer, which is often necessary.
If the insurance company will not meet you at a fair amount, the next step is to file a personal injury lawsuit in the proper civil court.
The litigation process follows strict procedural rules, and some steps of this process include:
- Drafting and filing a petition or complaint
- Serving the proper parties with the complaint and summons
- Pretrial motion practice
- Discovery, which can include depositions, interrogatories, and requests for production of evidence
- Settlement negotiations
Even if your case must involve a lawsuit, there is a good chance that you can still reach a settlement agreement before your trial date. This saves all parties’ resources, as well as the uncertainty of a decision by a judge or jury. However, you always want to have a highly skilled litigator handling your claim who is ready to stand up for your rights in court if needed.
Deciding to hire a personal injury attorney in Atlanta is an important step in protecting your rights as an injury victim. However, where do you start? How do you know which of the many attorneys available is right for you?
While choosing an attorney is a highly personal decision, you can look for the following to help you find the right lawyer for your specific case:
- Recommendations – Have any of your family members of friends been involved in car accidents or other injury claims in recent years? If so, find out if they were happy with their law firm and why. Be wary of people recommending attorneys who they know personally, but might not regularly handle personal injury claims. Just because a lawyer handled someone’s divorce does not mean they have the knowledge and experience to take on a defective product, truck accident, or medical malpractice claim.
- Online resources – A quick Google search for “Atlanta personal injury attorney” returns more than 10 million results, so this does not really narrow down your search. Fortunately, there are resources online that can help you sift through your options. The State Bar of Georgia can provide guidance, as well as lawyer rating and review sites, such as Avvo. These resources can help you decide which websites you want to explore further.
- Law firm websites – Lawyers often have pages on their website that detail their legal experience and background, their approach to cases, and the types of cases they usually handle. This information can give you a good feeling about a lawyer, and whether they might represent you properly. Some personal injury attorneys focus on car accident claims or straightforward cases involving minor injuries that settle quickly. This is not the lawyer you want if you sustained a catastrophic injury in an accident with complex circumstances.
- Free initial consultation – Personal injury law firms should offer free, no-obligation consultations to prospective clients (if a law firm charges for a consultation, you should likely cross that option off the list). This consultation allows the lawyer to evaluate whether you have a viable claim, but it also allows you to ask questions to decide whether the lawyer is a good fit for you. Have your questions prepared in advance, so you do not forget anything if the conversation takes a different path.
When looking for an Atlanta personal injury attorney, you want someone who:
- Has the resources and experience to handle your type of case
- Has a communication style that suits you (do you want more updates or fewer communications in general?)
- Will not rush to settle a case for any amount simply to get it over with
- Can show you results achieved in cases like yours (while these results are not indicative of your case, it can give you an idea of how the lawyer has helped clients)
Attorneys generally charge hundreds of dollars for each hour they work on your case, right? This might be true for attorneys in certain practice areas, but it is generally not the case for personal injury attorneys. Instead of charging hourly fees, personal injury lawyers accept their cases based on a contingency fee agreement.
When you meet with an attorney, they should clearly discuss their contingency fee arrangement with you before you sign a representation agreement.
Generally speaking, the following apply to this arrangement:
- You do not pay anything upfront for the lawyer to work on your case
- The lawyer covers the general expenses of your case
- If the lawyer obtains a settlement or award for you, they will receive reimbursement for the case expenses, as well as an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement as their fee
- If the lawyer fails to obtain compensation for you, they generally receive no payment
This arrangement means that it essentially costs nothing to hire a personal injury attorney. You do not need to write any checks or come up with funds to start the injury claim process. This is a relief for many people, who are already dealing with the financial stress of an injury and their expenses. Even if you win your case, the fee comes straight from your settlement, not your bank account, so you do not need to put together those funds during your case.
The percentage of your settlement you will pay as a fee often depends on how the lawyer resolves your case. Settling directly with an insurance company is less time-consuming than initiating litigation, and settling a case during pretrial litigation requires fewer resources than going to trial. Often, the earlier in the process a lawyer resolves your claim, the lower percentage you will pay. You will agree to these percentages before the attorney begins representing you.
Do You Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Many people file auto insurance, health insurance, or property damage claims in their lives. What is so different about an insurance claim for a personal injury? Can’t you handle this on your own? Do you really need a lawyer’s help?
Of course, there is no requirement that you need legal assistance to file an insurance claim – or even a lawsuit for that matter. You are allowed to represent yourself during this process.
However, the risks of doing so include:
- Insurance companies know how to take advantage of unrepresented parties and get them to accept much less than they deserve
- Many people think that accepting a low insurance offer is their only option (it is not your only option), and by accepting an offer, they waive their right to seek more compensation down the road
- People trying to file a lawsuit on their own likely do not know the proper procedural rules and requirements, and errors can jeopardize your claim
- While you are dealing with your medical treatment and recovery, you likely do not have the time to adequately devote to the personal injury process
- You might not have the resources to gather sufficient evidence to prove your claim
Our experienced personal injury lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and civil courts, and we take this stress and burden off of you, so you can focus on your treatment and healing. We take away the risk that you will accept less than you deserve, as we will always stand up for the full amount of compensation needed in every case. While it is not necessary to have a lawyer for an injury claim, there are certainly many, many benefits to having the right legal representation during this already stressful time.
While dealing with an injury and medical treatment can consume your life, take time to find the right attorney to start working on your injury claim as soon as you can. Once your health is stable, you should not wait any longer to seek a free case evaluation with Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm. The insurance process takes time, and if that is unsuccessful, litigation takes even more time. There are strict time limitations for filing injury lawsuits in Georgia, and if you miss that deadline, you lose your right to obtain compensation. It is best to get started now with a possible case.
With a 2013 population of approximately 448,000 and an average age of 33.1 years, this lively city is also known for its heavy commuter traffic and complex road systems.
Atlanta is the largest city in the state and if you look at a map of our highways, it really is the “heart” of Georgia. Nearly all of Georgia’s major highways run through or around Atlanta, including I-20, I-85, I-75, I-285, US 78, SR 316, SR 200, SR 154/166/Langford Parkway, GA 400, and so many more. Atlanta is a primary transit hub for many national companies, and a popular pass-through to many of Georgia’s other major cities, which may be why the roads in the city see so many crashes.
Even with public transit options like MARTA in place, Atlanta is largely a driving city. Commuters are constantly coming in from the metro areas such as Lawrenceville, Duluth, Cummings, Marietta, Suwanee, Decatur, and beyond. With a bustling city like Atlanta, we see our fair share of tourists and business conventions, adding to the congestion downtown as people try to reach unfamiliar destinations. If you have ever driven through downtown Atlanta during rush hour, you know the dangers of our everyday traffic.
Atlanta Car Accident Statistics
According to information from City-Data.com from 2013, the following fatal accidents occurred in Atlanta:
- 48 fatal accidents
- 77 vehicles involved in fatal accidents
- 50 fatalities
- 10 fatal accidents involving drunk persons
With Georgia’s largest population, it is no wonder that Atlanta’s fatality rates are so high. Many of these accidents took place on the major interstate highways, particularly on I-285 and I-75.
There are many medical centers in the area that can care for victims of serious car accidents.
- Emory University Hospital
- Northside Hospital
- Grady Health
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Atlanta Medical Center
If you are in a car accident in the Atlanta metro area, the Atlanta Police Department will complete and file a report about the incident. You may obtain a copy of this report immediately through www.BuyCrash.com or by calling the APD Central Records Unit at 404-546-7461 to request a report.
Injury claims that require a trial in order to settle fairly are often heard at the Superior Court of Fulton County. This is the Atlanta Judicial Court, located at 136 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303.
It is normal to not want to call a lawyer because you do not want to sue somebody or have to go to court. Most people are also afraid they will have to pay huge attorney fees. But that is not how it works. Bringing a claim is different from filing a lawsuit. We build your claim’s evidence like we are going to file a lawsuit, but then negotiate with the insurance company to try to settle your case without having to do so. We are able to settle most of our cases before trial, but are not afraid to take a case to trial when we know a better settlement is warranted.