Car accidents can be some of the most traumatic events that a person will ever experience in their lives, and the recovery process can take months, years, or be an ongoing process for a long time to come. Making a traumatic car accident even worse is the financial troubles that can come with it, such as:
- Hospital and doctor’s bills,
- Missed days at work, and
- The cost to fix your vehicle or purchase a new one.
However, this is where working with an experienced local auto accident attorney will prove invaluable. A Conyers car wreck lawyer at MG Law will aggressively pursue the at-fault party for damages, ensuring that you are not left with the large fee that another should cover for their negligent driving. Reach out to us to speak with one of our compassionate auto wreck lawyers in Conyers, GA today and to find out how we can help you achieve your compensation goals.Table of Contents
Negligent Driving in Georgia
The vast majority of traffic collisions in Conyers and around the country are caused by negligent drivers. These
This party is called the negligent party and can be held liable for the other party’s damages. Sometimes, there is some confusion about who caused the crash, and other times multiple parties will be found negligent. It is necessary to have a Conyers car accident lawyer at your side who can successfully argue your side of the story and prove that you either did not cause the crash or that your actions only played a very small role in the crash, and that the other party should bear the majority of the blame. The more at fault you are found, the less compensation you will be able to receive, as explained below.
“How can I find a good car accident lawyer near me?”
People ask this question all the time. Our Conyers auto wreck lawyers at MG Law assist injured parties to get back on their feet after car accidents by providing them with the highest level of legal assistance and resulting compensation that comes from persistent, meticulous legal work. We are here to help. So the next time you hear someone ask, “who is the best car accident lawyer near me?” you can tell them to reach out to MG Law. Contact us today to set up a consultation.
Med Pay or Medical Payment Coverage
“Medical payments coverage” includes insurance coverage for the insured and others for reasonable and necessary medical expenses or funeral expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury or death caused by a motor vehicle accident, regardless of whether the policyholder is liable for the accident or not.
Such coverage shall be available to the named insured, resident spouse, and any resident relative while occupying the covered motor vehicle, and to any other person legally occupying a covered motor vehicle.
Driving is Becoming More Dangerous than it has Since Before the Time of Airbags
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,664 traffic fatalities in Georgia in 2020, which was an 11.5 percent increase from the year before. Just over 400 of these fatalities involved a drunk driver, the highest number of alcohol-related driving deaths since 2011.
These tragic numbers continue to increase as more people and cars are on Georgia roads and highways. However, the real driving force behind the increase in fatalities often has to do with driver distraction, aggression, and impatience.
Technology’s Role in Driving up the Traffic Death Rate
According to CNET, people spent an average of 4.8 hours every day on their phones in 2021, an increase of 30% from 2019. It should come as a little shock then to see the correlation between time spent on a mobile device and traffic fatalities; there are not suddenly two and a half more hours in the day.
People are spending more time than ever before looking down, away from the road, while driving. Drivers are frequently using their mobile devices when behind the wheel too:
Talking on the phone, texting, using GPS, using social media websites, playing games, answering and sending emails, and reading the news.
Simply talking on the phone can cause serious distraction, while texting or browsing the Internet takes the driver’s eyes and mind off of the road.
Who has Accident Liability in a Car vs. Pedestrian Accidents?
Drivers must always be cautious and alert while behind the wheel, especially when driving in areas where pedestrians might be present. It is the responsibility of every driver to exercise reasonable caution while operating a motor vehicle, but there are occasions when even the most cautious driver is unable to avoid an accident.
How is accident liability determined if there is an accident involving a pedestrian and a car? Even in the cases of a car-pedestrian accident, the pedestrian is not always faultless, a pedestrian can be found at fault in a car-pedestrian collision.
- Duty of Care
When operating a vehicle, drivers are responsible for driving with the appropriate amount of care in any given circumstance. This responsibility is referred to as a duty of reasonable care or due care. The law recognizes that not all circumstances are the same. Therefore, the duty of reasonable care requires that a driver exercises the caution that a reasonable, careful person would use in the same situation.
A reasonable person slows down and pays close attention when they are aware that pedestrians are nearby or maybe nearby. This responsibility supersedes other laws like the speed limit. If a driver saw a child on a bicycle, for example, the law would not consider it reasonable to maintain the 30 miles per hour speed limit, and the driver would likely be considered at fault should a collision occur.
Duty of care is at the center of many personal injury lawsuits. In the case of a collision, the plaintiff is trying to prove that the damages they have suffered were caused by a driver who breached their duty of care. But pedestrians are also expected to act in a reasonable manner to avoid traffic accidents, or they might be found at fault in a collision.
- Accidents caused by pedestrians
A reasonable driver would take any possible precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian. However, sometimes pedestrians behave in a way that makes it impossible for even a cautious driver to avoid a collision. For example, a pedestrian might dart out from between parked cars right in front of a moving car or walk on a busy street at night while wearing dark clothes. It is unlikely that even someone driving very cautiously would be able to avoid a collision given the circumstances.
The court will likely find that the pedestrian caused the accident in this instance. Suppose a pedestrian acting in this manner forced a driver to take evasive action resulting in injury or damage to another vehicle. In that case, the pedestrian may also be found liable for those damages. For example, if the driver swerved at the last second to avoid hitting the pedestrian and struck another car in one of the above scenarios, the pedestrian would be considered at fault and liable for damage to both vehicles and any injury to the occupants of the cars.
- Shared blame
There is not an entirely guilty party and an entirely innocent party in many situations, and collisions involving drivers and pedestrians are the same. When this is the case, the jury will determine what percentage of liability the plaintiff bears for their own injuries and what percentage of fault is on the driver. The impact that this determination has on the lawsuit varies by state.
In some states, if the jury determines that the pedestrian is 60% responsible for the accident and the driver is 40% responsible, the driver must pay 40% of the damages related to the accident. In other states, the driver would not be required to pay anything in this scenario since the pedestrian was judged to be more than 50% responsible for the collision.
When To Call An Attorney After A Car Wreck
Car accidents are stressful and place their victims in situations where the next course of action may not always be clear. However, there are many important things that you must remember to do immediately after an accident, and a few things to do soon after, including calling a Conyers car accident attorney.
1. Check the condition of everyone involved
Car crashes are dangerous, and people can receive some serious injuries as a result. Before assessing property damage, make sure everyone involved is ok. If anyone has been hurt, do not hesitate to call for medical assistance. If someone complains about head or neck pain or is unconscious, do not move them unless they are directly in danger where they are.
2. Remain at the scene of the accident
There are grave criminal penalties for people who leave after a car crash. Leaving the scene of an accident is known as a “hit and run.” The criminal charges for a hit and run increase if someone involved in the crash is severely injured.
3. Contact local law enforcement
If anyone involved in the accident is injured or if the crash resulted in any significant property damage, you should call the police. When the police arrive, request a police report be filed, and get the name and badge of the officer that handled your accident.
4. Get the information of the other people who were involved in the car accident
Ask the other drivers for the following particulars: their name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and general insurance information. If passengers are involved, get their names, contact number, and address. You should do your best to be polite and cooperative.
Everyone’s emotions will be running high from the accident, and being rude will not help the situation. However, you may not want to apologize at the scene of the crash. Apologizing means you admit that the accident was your fault based on what you know happened at the collision. However, an accident can have several causes, and you only know your side of the story.
5. Speak to any witnesses
If anyone witnessed the crash, ask them what they saw. A witness may be able to shed light on what exactly happened, and who is at fault for the accident. You should also get their name, contact information, and address if possible.
6. Take photos of the scene
Photographs provide extraordinary evidence about a car crash. You should try to take pictures of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and the general scene where the accident occurred. You may send pictures of your car to your insurance company to help an insurance adjuster determine how much compensation you need for your damages.
7. Contact and inform your insurance company
You should notify your insurance company that you have been in an accident as quickly as possible. You need to cooperate with them and tell them the truth about what happened in the crash and how severe your injuries are. It is imperative that you explain the accident as clearly and truthfully as possible. If an insurance company learns that you lied to them about an accident, your insurance may be revoked, and you will be forced to pay for the damages of the accident on your own.
8. Get an evaluation of your property damage
Once you obtain your insurance evaluation of the repair costs and compensation amount, you may feel that the value is too small. You should then get two other estimates or replacement quotes. If the new estimates are far off from your insurance company’s estimate, you should voice your concern. If you and your insurance can not agree on the value of the damage, you may need to seek mediation or consult a Conyers car accident attorney at MG Law.
9. Call a Car Accident Attorney
If anyone sustained a serious injury, your insurance company is being unfair to you, or if you and the other parties involved cannot decide who is at fault for the accident, you may want to hire an accident attorney. A Conyers car wreck lawyer can maximize the compensation you will receive for your injuries, or defend you better if your mishap was the cause of the crash.
Accidents Involving Company Cars, What To Do?
Gather Insurance & Other Information
To preserve your right to compensation, you must complete specific steps following an accident involving a company car. Be sure to:
- Get all involved parties’ contact information, including name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle license plate, and insurance information.
- Take photos of the scene and vehicle damages. Include photos of debris, skid marks, and any other details that could be important in a claim investigation.
- Call the police to respond to the scene and take a report. The police report is a great way to document the scene officially but may also be a requirement of the employer who owns the involved vehicle.
Correctly documenting the scene is crucial as those details can make or break a liability investigation. Remember, the other driver’s insurance company will be looking for any way to hold you primarily at fault for the collision. Defending your rights starts in those immediate moments following the crash.
Contact Your Employer and Report the Accident
Because you are driving a vehicle owned by your employer, you must report the accident. Your employer may have specific rules on how long you have to report the accident as well.
Most likely, your company has an external insurance policy on the vehicle. The contact person at your company will need to file a claim with the insurance company.
If you sustained injuries in the accident, you might have a work injury claim. If you were traveling for work or in the course and scope of your employment at the time of the collision, you might need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
That is another reason you need to report the accident timely. Georgia law requires you to notify your employer within 30 days for workers’ compensation claims. However, you should not wait that long to report the accident.
If you were not traveling for work or conducting work-related duties at the time of the collision, you still need to report the collision to your employer.
Don’t mistakenly assume that you don’t have a valid workers’ compensation claim if you were driving home or to your workplace. Report the accident and let your employer’s insurance company open an investigation.
Analyze Who Is At Fault for the Collision
Determining fault in accidents involving a company-owned vehicle follows the same procedure as if you were driving your own vehicle. The at-fault party should be responsible for reimbursing you for your injuries and property damage to your company.
Is there a risk of you having to pay money to the other party if you are primarily at fault? Possibly. However, most auto accident claims involving company cars will be handled by the insurance company.
There’s a risk of being sued personally, but it’s very infrequent. The other driver is more likely to sue your employer as they have “deep pockets.”
If you sustained injuries in the accident, you need to know who is legally responsible, as you may need to present a claim to their insurance company. Perhaps the other driver was speeding and rear-ended you or ran a red light.
You would file a third-party liability claim with their insurance company to get reimbursed for your injuries and other damages. That is why it’s imperative to get all parties’ contact information.
In limited situations, your employer might be the at-fault party. For example, you received a defective vehicle from your company. Perhaps a tire blew out, or the brakes gave out in the collision. While the auto manufacturer might be brought into the claim, there’s a chance your employer could be liable.
Your employer can be partially liable for giving you a defective vehicle to drive and not ensuring routine maintenance was completed.
In Georgia, you can apportion fault between multiple parties, so your employer, another driver, and the auto manufacturer could share liability.
Understand What Vicarious Liability Is and Why It’s Important to an Accident Involving a Company Vehicle
Generally, you can sue someone’s employer when their employee injures you while working. This concept is known as “vicarious liability.” Vicarious liability allows injured people to obtain compensation when injured by someone working.
The general premise developed out of fairness. Employers have “deeper pockets” than most individuals. They should not be able to deny any financial responsibility for their employees who act negligently or carelessly while on the clock.
If you were the primary cause of the collision and working at the time of the accident, the other driver might hire a local auto wreck attorney to represent them.
Their attorney might sue your employer as well as make a claim against the insurance policy. For vicarious liability to be applicable in this situation, you must have been in the course and scope of your employment.
Were you running errands for your boss, driving to or from visiting with a client, traveling to or from a conference or work training? These are examples of activities that might mean you were working at the time of the accident.
If you were on your way home, it might not qualify as vicarious liability. However, some companies that provide vehicles to their employees consider workers to be on the clock 24-7 for liability purposes.
If you believe you’re being treated unfairly by your employer who denies you were working at the time of the collision, you may need to contact your own car wreck lawyer for assistance.
Get The Company Car Repaired
When you report the accident to your employer, they will tell you where to take the vehicle to get repaired. Or they will advise you they are handling the repairs themselves.
If the other driver was at fault for the collision, that person’s insurance company should be the one paying for your company’s car repairs.
Insurance companies typically have a network of shops they recommend and trust. Be wary of shops suggested by the other driver’s insurance. Always make sure your employer agrees on where the company car should be repaired.
What happens if your employer has no collision coverage on the company car policy? While not a frequent situation, it could happen to smaller companies with only one or two vehicles.
Don’t be shocked if your company bills you for repairs if you are at fault for the crash.
Be sure to review any company handbooks and policy manuals that deal with driving company vehicles. These resources should detail who is responsible for fixing the vehicle in the event of an accident.
Potentially Recoverable Damages in a Conyers Car Accident
Every auto wreck is different, but there are certain types of damages you could be entitled to recover. Compensation generally falls under two main categories: special and general damages.
Your special damages include items such as:
- Medical expenses,
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
General damages are more challenging to calculate because they are not tangible financial losses.
Examples of general damages include:
- Loss of consortium,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental anguish,
- PTSD, and
Calculating damages can be challenging, which is why you need a skilled local auto accident attorney on your side.
Georgia Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
Like other types of accident claims, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in Georgia. Understanding how the statute of limitations can affect your case is important. In most Georgia car accidents, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Generally, you won’t be entitled to pursue compensation for your claim if you miss the filing deadline. It doesn’t matter if you are presently in negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company either. The insurance adjuster will ask for proof that you filed a lawsuit before the deadline expired. If you miss the deadline by even one day, the court will likely dismiss your case, so it’s crucial to contact a Conyers car accident lawyer early on in the claims process.
While the general rule is two years, that deadline is not absolute in all situations. If the accident victim dies from their injuries, surviving family members would have two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death action. If the defendant is a government agency, you could have considerably less time to file a lawsuit. When the plaintiff is under 18, the statute of limitations can be temporarily stopped from running. The time limit will start running once the minor is 18 years of age.
Several other situations can impact the statute of limitations deadline, including if the defendant has left the state. Rather than risk jeopardizing your case by inadvertently missing the deadline, speak with MG Law today. We can review your case and determine the correct filing deadline based on your circumstances.
Our Skilled Conyers, GA Auto Wreck Lawyers
What Can a Car Accident Attorney in Conyers Do For Me?
They help clients collect evidence and investigate the circumstances of the car crash. Further, a good lawyer will communicate with insurance companies to ensure a fair settlement. If a company refuses to settle, an attorney will help file the lawsuit, ensure you meet every deadline, and ultimately put you in the best position to win your case.
Help with the investigation
A car wreck attorney can help you determine who is at fault. Knowing who is at fault is essential so you can contact the right insurance company to settle your case. If the insurance company refuses to pay a reasonable amount, the evidence produced by the investigation will help prove your case.
A lawyer will contact witnesses to get valuable testimony about the accident. They can also review pictures, videos, and documentation to build your case. Further, attorneys are trained to collect evidence to prove your injuries. The evidence will then help you establish an acceptable compensation range.
Help settle the case
Some people think they do not need a lawyer because the insurance company is willing to pay. These people are wrong.
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They often do this by paying out as little as they can. Providing unreasonably low payouts is much easier when a skilled lawyer does not represent the victim.
A good attorney will ensure the insurance companies are handling your case fairly. Additionally, lawyers should know the costs associated with car accident injuries. This knowledge helps them identify when an insurance company might be lowballing you.
Help file the lawsuit
Most car accident disputes are settled out of court. Unfortunately, sometimes insurance companies do not want to reach a reasonable settlement. When this happens, you may need to take them to court.
MG Law will help you file your lawsuit in the proper venue. Correctly filing a lawsuit will save time and effort throughout the court process.
Help keep track of deadlines.
Once a lawyer files a lawsuit, deadlines become very important. There will be multiple stages in the lead-up to the trial. Once the trial starts, there will be numerous moving pieces that need to be coordinated for you. A good law firm will handle everything while keeping you informed. Further, your law firm will continue negotiations with the insurance company as the lawsuit plays out.
The GA statute of limitations for car accidents is two years. This is one of the most critical deadlines in your case. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible helps ensure that you will beat this deadline if you must take the other party to court.
Help win your case
Ultimately, a good attorney’s primary purpose is to help you win your case. Whether through a settlement or a lawsuit, an experienced attorney will put you in the best position to obtain all the compensation you deserve.
Why Should You Choose MG Law as Your Car Wreck Attorney?
Dedicated To Providing Justice For Our Clients
If you are searching online for “car wreck attorney near me,” contact our office. 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 accident lawyers in Conyers 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.
- Bike Accidents,
- Trucking Accidents,
- Child Injuries,
- Crosswalk Accidents,
- Drunk Driving Accidents,
- Mass Torts,
- Motorbike Accidents,
- Trip and Fall Accidents,
- Wrongful Death,
- Pedestrian Accidents,
- Premises Liability,
- Uber/Lyft Accidents,
- Dog Attack,
- Traumatic Brain Injury,
- Burn Injury, and
- Catastrophic Injury.
Our lawyers 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. We have also been awarded the 2022 Top Attorney Award in Covington.