Car accidents are a fact of life in Atlanta. Almost every single day vehicles collide in parking lots, driveways, and out on the open road. Our city’s drivers are not the safest in the country, unfortunately, and it shows in the number of collisions that could have been avoided. These accidents cause countless injuries to innocent victims who must pay for expensive medical care and possibly miss work.
None of this is acceptable. If you were injured in a crash, help is available. At MG Law, our Atlanta car accident lawyers have negotiated favorable settlements for our clients, and we are able to help you today. With extensive experience successfully handling a wide range of motor vehicle accident claims, we know how to hold careless drivers and big insurance companies accountable. Contact our Atlanta law office for a free, no obligation review of your personal injury case.
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Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are traumatic incidents which leave many people bloodied and bruised. At MG Law, our firm has seen clients suffer from the following:
Soft tissue injuries
Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Life-threatening internal organ damage
The best step is to immediately seek medical treatment for any pain you experience after a crash. A doctor can help diagnose even slow-developing injuries and provide proper advice for getting better.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Atlanta?
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It is normal to be stressed out and overwhelmed after a crash. Remember that you are not alone. Professional resources are just a phone call away. By knowing what to do, you will be in a far better position to protect your health, well-being, and legal rights. No one wants to be on the hook for a car accident that is not their fault. Here are six key steps to take after a motor vehicle accident in Atlanta:
Stop your vehicle and report the accident to police;
Exchange information with other parties involved in the crash;
Take photographs of the collisions and get contact details for witnesses;
Seek immediate medical care for any injuries;
Avoid speaking directly to another driver’s insurance company; and
Consult with an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney.
The Insurance Company is Not On Your Side
You cannot rely on the big insurance companies to look out for your best interests. Insurance companies—even your own insurer—are focused on protecting their own bottom line. Insurers train their adjusters to present themselves as friendly and neutral. The reality is anything but—their job is to look for things to use against you in the claims process. Do not go through the auto accident claims process without strong legal representation. At MG Law, our Atlanta car accident lawyers know how insurance companies operate. We will protect your rights and hold them accountable.
Compensation after an Accident
Car accidents are expensive. One minute you are riding down the road, and the next your life has been tossed upside down. Many people go deeply into debt after an accident, even one that is not their fault.
In a settlement, our team will aggressively pursue compensation for the following:
Medical bills, such as the cost of surgery, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and rehabilitation
Lost wages and lost income
Property damage, such as the cost of repairs to your damaged vehicle
Pain and suffering
Members of the public often want to know how much they can receive. This is an excellent question, but the reality is that the amount of compensation available depends on many factors, including the severity of a person’s injuries.
Another consideration is the amount of insurance that the other driver carries. Georgia only requires that motorists carry $25,000 inbodily injury liability insurance, and many motorists carry only the bare minimum. This might not be enough to cover all of the financial losses associated with your injuries. However, if you have underinsured motorist insurance, then that could also step in and pay benefits.
1. What Do I Have to Prove to Win My Car Accident Case?
When you’ve been in a car accident in Atlanta that’s caused by the fault of another party, you maintain the right to bring forth a claim for damages against that party’s insurance. However, it’s important to note that the insurance company won’t be eager to pay out your claim – you’ll need to actually prove that their client (the driver who hit you) was responsible for your accident and that any damages you’re claiming (medical expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, etc.) are a direct result of that accident. While uncommon, if your case goes to court, you’ll have the burden of proving that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, that the duty of care owed to you was breached, that the breach was the proximate cause of your harm, and that you’ve suffered actual damages as a result. You may also be responsible for proving that your own negligence did not contribute to the accident or your damages in any way. In order to prove all of this, you’ll need various sources of compelling evidence, including the police report, testimony from various excerpts (such as accident reconstruction experts), photographs, vehicle control module data, witnesses’ testimonies, and more.
2. What Happens if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Another question that we frequently hear from those who have been in a car accident is in regards to what happens if the at-fault driver is uninsured. A similar question is, “What happens if I was in a hit-and-run accident?” In both cases, the victim of a crash may feel as though they have no recourse, as the driver either a) cannot be identified or b) doesn’t have insurance to cover the cost of your injuries. When this is the case, there may be some other options available–
First, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company, particularly if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage pays for your injuries when you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for the harm you’ve suffered. You may also have other types of insurance coverage that apply, such as medical payments coverage.
3. The Insurance Adjuster Added Me on Social Media – Should I Accept?
After your accident, you’ll likely interact with the insurance adjuster a number of times. Chances are, they’ll be very nice and friendly – helpful. What’s more, the insurance adjuster may even go so far as to add you as a friend on a social media site, such as Facebook or Instagram. While you may think that this is perfectly innocuous, don’t be so quick to accept; the insurance adjuster may be trying to gather evidence that they can use to reduce the value of your claim. Insurance adjusters are notorious for finding any way to devalue a claim, and your social media account may provide the keys. For example, you may have pictures on your social media site showing you smiling and having a good time; or a check-in at your favorite recreation area. These can be used to tell a jury that you are being untruthful about your injuries, and that you wouldn’t be “smiling” or at a recreation point if your injuries were as truthful as you claim. It is wise to refuse any social media friend requests after an accident and to ensure that your profiles are set to private; better yet, get off social media altogether until your case is settled.
4. What Happens If I Don’t Agree with a Settlement Offer?
You will get a settlement offer at some point in the process – after the insurance company has finished its investigation and you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). You may be eager to receive the settlement, but upon reviewing it realize that it doesn’t fairly compensate you for the harm you’ve suffered. What should you do?
The best strategy for navigating an unfair settlement offer is to bring the offer to an attorney for review. From there, your attorney can work with you to negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that more fairly compensates you.
5. What Will a Car Accident Attorney Do During My Case?
A car accident attorney is responsible for handling the logistics of your claim and advocating for you throughout the process. This involves conducting an investigation, working with experts, calculating your damages, negotiating your settlement, and more. The outcome of your case may be significantly improved with an attorney on your side.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Injury in Georgia?
Georgia has a strict two-year statute of limitations for auto accident injury claims. To bring a personal injury lawsuit, you must act within two years of the date crash (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33). The statute of limitations matters. Failure to stick to the deadline will be used as justification to dismiss your case and deny financial compensation.
There are very few exceptions to Georgia’s motor vehicle accident statute of limitations. Do not wait to get started with your case: The sooner you initiate the auto accident injury claims process, the easier it is to access full and fair financial compensation. Call our Atlanta car accident attorneys today.
Is Georgia a Fault or No-Fault State?
Georgia is a fault state. This means that the motorist who is responsible for the accident must pay compensation to injured victims. In a no-fault state, like Florida, each driver carries their own personal injury protection injury, which they can use if involved in an accident regardless of fault.
Because fault is important in Georgia, we must carefully analyze the circumstances that led up to the collision. Another word for “fault” is negligence, and motorists are negligent when they injure someone by virtue of not using adequate care.
Many accidents are caused by:
Refusal to yield
Failure to use turn signals
Other careless or reckless acts
In Georgia, fault is generally based on the legal doctrine of negligence. Our state defines negligence as a failure to exercise due care. In car accident cases, negligence can come in many different forms—from distracted driving to speeding. As liability is based on fault, it is crucial that all major crashes are comprehensively investigated by an experienced attorney. You need evidence to hold another party accountable for your injuries.
Georgia uses a comparative negligence standard for determining fault after a car accident (O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33). Multiple parties—including an injured victim—may share liability for a collision. To be clear, this means that you can still recover compensation for a car accident even if you are partially at-fault for the crash. In these cases, liability will be divided in proportion to each party’s degree of blame. A driver found 20 percent at-fault for a crash is responsible for 20 percent of the damages.
Although Georgia is a fault-based car accident state, motorists do have the ability to purchase optional no-fault auto insurance coverage. In fact, it is strongly recommended that every driver buy some degree of medical payments insurance. Often called ‘Med Pay’ coverage, it is a form of no-fault insurance that will cover your initial medical expenses up to a set policy limit regardless of who was to blame for the accident. Med Pay coverage offers an additional level of financial protection.
Comparative Fault for Atlanta Car Accidents
Georgia recognizes that in some accidents both motorists have been negligent. Under our laws, a court will compare the negligence of each driver. If a driver is at least 50% at fault for an accident, he or she cannot receive compensation. If the driver is less than 50% to blame, then compensation is available, though the amount the victim receives is reduced by their percentage of fault.
Look at it this way: Tammy and Mike collide head on, and the jury finds that Tammy suffered $100,000 in damages. However, she is also 30% to blame. In this example, Tammy can receive a maximum of $70,000. Mike can receive nothing, because he was 70% to blame for the crash.
Because of the comparative fault law, we need to understand what our clients were doing in the moments before an accident. We can then try to minimize how they might have contributed to a crash.
We know that you have a lot to deal with after a car accident. The last thing you need is another bill to pay. At MG Law, our Atlanta auto accident attorneys are here to put money back into your pocket—not take any more out of it. We represent injured victims on contingency. You do not have to pay upfront fees or other out-of-pocket costs for our legal services. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys only get paid when you get paid. Do not worry about the cost of hiring a top attorney.
Reach Out to Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Today
The insurance system in Georgia is confusing, and many victims feel intimidated trying to bring their own claims. This is where hiring a lawyer will be a huge help. Do not go up against the big insurance companies alone.
Theteam at MG Law has helped many people just like you get the compensation you need after a serious Atlanta car accident. Please reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation. We represent injured victims in Fulton County, DeKalb County, and beyond.
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Dedicated To Providing Justice For Our Clients MG Law is dedicated to the cause of justice. This dedication drives our attorneys to provide the best legal representation possible. Whether that means obtaining an in-depth understanding of city ordinances or being able to fully understand an insurance policy to maximize the recovery for our client, our focus on personal injury cases provides us with the knowledge and focus necessary to take on all types of cases and win. We stop at nothing to get our clients the best possible results.
We Have Experience Representing The Injured At the law offices of MG Law, our attorneys only practice injury law, which means that we are devoted to being up to date on all matters of personal injury laws, rules, and regulations. Our attorneys have been awarded the prestigious National Trial Lawyers, 40 Under 40, and Top 100 Trial Lawyers awards. We have a 10/10 rating on Avvo and are rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.