Offices in Conyers, Covington & Atlanta
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. Unfortunately, our city’s drivers are not the safest in the country, 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 sustained injuries in a crash, contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
At MG Law, our car accident lawyers in Atlanta have negotiated favorable settlements for our clients, and we stand ready to assist you. 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.
Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are traumatic incidents that leave many people bloodied and bruised. The most common car accident injuries our firm has seen in Atlanta include:
- Soft tissue injuries,
- Nerve damage,
- Back injuries,
- Head injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries, and
- 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?
A car accident on the freeway is different from other car accidents, such as fender benders in a parking lot. Vehicles on the freeway are traveling very fast, and many victims will suffer serious injuries due to excessive speed. If you were involved in a freeway accident, you might not know what to do. Below, our Atlanta car accident attorney hits the highlights of what you need to know.
1. Pull Over to the Side of the Road
Wrecked vehicles can block traffic, which inconveniences everyone. According to the Georgia Driver’s Manual (Section 11), motorists should pull over to a safe place on the side of the road. Of course, your vehicle might be so wrecked that you can’t move it. You might also have severe injuries and that you can’t feasibly drive. In either case, you might need to wait for the police to come and have your vehicle towed. But if you can drive, then pull your car to the side of the road. Once parked, you still have to worry about getting hit by vehicles racing by. You should turn on your hazard lights, or set out reflective triangles if you have a safety kit in your vehicle.
2. Call Georgia State Patrol
You should report the accident so an officer can come out. You can call 9-1-1, and a dispatcher will send an officer to your location. Remember, Georgia law requires reporting accidents Georgia law requires reporting accidents if someone suffered a bodily injury, no matter how minor, or if there was at least $500 in damage to the vehicles. In most highway collisions, there is enough damage to warrant calling the police.
3. Swap Insurance & Personal Information
You should do this after every accident, regardless of where it happens. Remember to get the name of the driver’s insurance company so you can make a claim if the driver was at fault. Also, collect the names of everyone who witnessed the accident. If you were involved in a multi-car pileup, which often happens on the freeway, it could be exhausting to track down everyone’s personal information. Fortunately, this should be on the police report, which you can gain access to later.
4. Get Pictures — If Safe to Do So
Photographs can help a lawyer later reconstruct how an accident happened. However, taking pictures is more challenging after a crash on the freeway. For one thing, you don’t want to walk into the road to take a picture, since you could get struck by another vehicle. You also need to be careful simply walking around vehicles, as getting too close to traffic can be deadly. Take what pictures you can while remaining safe. After the police come, you might need to pull off the highway with the other driver so you can get better pictures in a safer location.
5. Reach Out to a Car Accident Attorney in Atlanta
Hiring an Atlanta accident lawyer is an absolute necessity after a highway accident. If multiple vehicles were involved, then trying to allocate fault is a very difficult task. Just who is to blame for the accident? You might assume the car that hit you is to blame, but they might have been pushed from behind by another vehicle, or the driver had no choice but to take defensive action and ended up pinballing off you. A seasoned car accident lawyer in Atlanta will take the time to fully review what is known about the crash. Reconstructing a highway accident is often difficult. We rely on photographs, police reports, and witness testimony to try and identify who is ultimately to blame for the accident and who must pay our client compensation.
6. Give Testimony as to What Happened
As someone who survived a highway accident, you have important information. We find that many cases turn on the testimony of those who were there. If necessary, you can give your version of events to all relevant insurance adjusters, but make sure you have a lawyer by your side during the questioning. Some adjusters might try to get you off track or ask irrelevant and irritating questions. We can make sure that questions stay focused on the accident and don’t twist what you say.
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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 work tirelessly to hold them accountable.
Damages Available for Atlanta Car Accidents
Car accidents are expensive. One minute you are riding down the road, and the next your life has been turned 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; and
- 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 requires that motorists carry only $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, and many motorists carry only the bare minimum. This amount of liability insurance 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.
5 FAQs About Car Accidents
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 company. 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 the:
- At-fault party owed you a duty of care;
- Duty of care owed to you was breached;
- Breach was the proximate cause of your harm; and
- 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. 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 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 crash victim 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 coverage 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?
NO! After your accident, you’ll likely interact with the insurance adjuster many 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 serious as you claim. It is wise to refuse any social media friend requests after an accident and ensure that your profiles are set to private. Better yet, get off social media altogether until your case is resolved..
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 process involves protecting your rights and:
- Initiating an independent investigation;
- Gathering all necessary documentation and evidence;
- Locating and interviewing all witnesses;
- Hiring industry experts as needed, such as an accident reconstructionist;
- Handling all communications with the insurance company;
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf;
- Filing a lawsuit when the defendant’s insurance refuses to negotiate or the statute of limitations is approaching; and
- Preparing your case for trial if necessary.
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. A fault state status means that the motorist 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 determining 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.
Some of the most common causes of Atlanta car accidents include:
- Driver fatigue,
- Refusal to yield,
- Failure to use turn signals,
- Passing illegally, and
- 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 an experienced attorney comprehensively investigates all major crashes. 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 responsible for the crash. In these cases, liability will be divided in proportion to each party’s degree of blame. A driver found 20 percent liable for a crash is responsible for 20 percent of the damages.
Although Georgia is a fault-based car accident state, motorists can 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, they 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.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Atlanta Car Accident Case
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 lawyers 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. Your Atlanta car accident attorney only gets 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. That is where hiring an Atlanta auto accident attorney will be a huge help. Do not go up against the big insurance companies alone. The team 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.
What Are Georgia’s Right of Of Way Laws?
All states have traffic laws to ensure smooth traffic flow on roads and highways. Before getting behind the wheel of a car, you need to apply for a driver’s license and show you understand the rules of the road. For many drivers, that application process and the written test were many years ago.
Unfortunately, some drivers on the road may not be as quick to remember what they learned, such as the right-of-way laws. All drivers must understand who has the right of way in various situations as it can eliminate a lot of accidents.
What Does the Term “Right of Way” Mean? Do We Mean By “Right of Way”?
The term “right of way” refers to the legal authorization to enter a roadway or change lanes. When a driver has the right of way, it means the law permits them to make a specific move. Other drivers must stop and wait their turn. When the other driver does not yield the right of way, it can result in an accident.
When a driver fails to follow the rules of the road, they could be responsible for paying your injuries and property damage. People wrongly assume that if one vehicle strikes the other, that driver is automatically at fault. Investigating liability requires a deeper look at the circumstances of the accident, especially right-of-way laws.
Who Has the Right of Way At Intersections?
Determining who has the right of way to pass through an intersection is crucial. Intersections with signals make the process easier as the lights tell you when it’s lawfully your turn. Despite this, many accidents occur at intersections because people fail to stop at a red light.
The actual confusion starts when you approach an intersection without traffic lights. Some standard rules that motorists need to remember include:
- All drivers must stop when approaching a four-way intersection with stop signs at all four ways. If a pedestrian is present, drivers need to yield the right of way to the pedestrian first. Otherwise, the driver with the right of way is the one who arrived at the intersection first.
- If only one driver has a stop sign, that driver must stop and yield to any pedestrians or approaching cars.
- If you find an intersection with no stop signs, the driver who reaches the intersection first would have the right of way. If both drivers arrive simultaneously, the driver to the left should yield the right of way to the driver on the right.
- Drivers intending to make a left turn at an intersection should yield the right of way to any approaching vehicles.
Even if you have the right of way, approach an intersection, or execute your turn with caution. Just because you have the legal right of way doesn’t mean all other drivers will respect that. Taking those extra seconds to stop or slow down before proceeding could avoid a serious collision. After all, the best way to come out ahead in a car accident is not getting in one in the first place.
Right of Way When Merging with With Traffic
Merging with traffic can be anxiety-inducing, even for experienced drivers. Accidents involving merging traffic can be deadly as many motorists drive at top speeds on the highway. Remember these helpful rules involving merging vehicles:
- If you are the driver merging, adjust your speed accordingly to enter the lane safely. You might need to speed up or slow down depending on the flow of traffic.
- If another lane is merging into yours, try to change lanes to the left to free up space if possible.
- When you enter the highway from a road, stop and yield the right of way to any pedestrians and vehicles already traveling on the road. These same rules apply if you intend to cross the highway, not turn onto it.
Learning to merge with traffic takes a lot of practice. It’s not easy because every situation you approach will present different challenges depending on the number of cars and how those drivers react. Always remember to yield as you enter a highway, which could even require you to stop in some circumstances.
Emergency Vehicles & School Buses: Who Has the Right of Way?
When you encounter an emergency vehicle or school bus, the right-of-way rules will differ. Any emergency vehicle using its emergency lights needs to get to its destination right away.
Try to move to the shoulder of the road if there is one. If you cannot move to the shoulder, try to move as far right as possible. Motorists must look out for other hazards when making space for emergency vehicles, such as other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.
School buses have flashing yellow lights that activate when preparing to stop. Drivers must exercise caution around school buses as there’s a high likelihood of children present.
If you see a school bus turn on its lights, prepare to stop. When the lights turn red, you must stop. You could face criminal penalties for passing a school bus with its red lights on and a stop sign extended.
Right of Way When Making a Turn on a Red Light Right and Left Turns On A Red Light
In Georgia, you can make a turn on a red light under certain circumstances:
- If you intend to make a right turn on red, you must first check there is no sign that expressly prohibits it. Before executing your turn, you must come to a complete stop and check for pedestrians and traffic with a green light. Only make the right turn when it’s completely safe to do so.
- Turning left at a red light is possible only when you’re turning left from the left lane of a one-way road onto another one-way road. Check for any signage that prohibits a turn on red and come to a complete stop. Verify there are no pedestrians or traffic before starting your left turn.
Unfortunately, the “rolling stop” is a common practice by many drivers. However, it is illegal. Be sure to make a complete stop at any red light; otherwise, you could cause a collision and injure other people.
Why Should You Choose MG Law – Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys
Dedicated to Providing Justice for Our Clients
MG Law is dedicated to the cause of justice. This passion drives our attorneys to provide the best legal representation possible.
Whether that means obtaining an in-depth understanding of city ordinances or fully understanding 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 lawyers 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 lawyers have been awarded the prestigious National Trial Lawyers, 40 Under 40, and Top 100 Trial Lawyers awards. We also handle clients with other types of injury cases, including:
- Bike Accidents,
- Trucking Accidents,
- Drunk Driving Accidents,
- Trip and Fall Accidents,
- Wrongful Death,
- Uber/Lyft Accidents,
- Mass Torts,
- Motorbike Accidents,
- Pedestrian Accidents,
- Premises Liability,
- Dog Attack,
- Child Injuries,
- Crosswalk Accidents,
- Traumatic Brain Injury,
- Burn Injury, and
- Catastrophic Injury.
We have a 10/10 rating on Avvo and are rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. If you are searching for an Atlanta car accident lawyer, contact our office today.