Getting the damages you need for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering can be difficult after an accident. Working with a lawyer can help you fight back against stubborn insurance companies and drivers trying to dodge liability for the crashes they cause.
Our lawyers can work with you to collect evidence, build a strong case, and fight back against the driver who hurt you. Never accept what the insurance company says your case is worth without talking to a lawyer – and talk to a lawyer quickly to avoid losing your right to sue.
For a free evaluation of your case, contact our car accident lawyers at Howe Law by calling (844) 876-4357.
Common Types of Car Crashes in Albany, GA
Car accidents happen for many different reasons. While some accidents are true accidents, meaning that no one could have avoided what happened, most accidents have some root cause in one of the driver’s actions. When crashes occur, they often occur in one of the following scenarios:
When one driver is tailgating another or approaching slower traffic without paying attention to the road, they can often crash into the back end of the car in front of them. Drivers also cause rear-end collisions by speeding on the highway before arriving at a sudden slow-down and in many other situations.
Usually, the driver to the rear is at fault, but some rear-end accidents are actually the front driver’s fault, such as if they were backing up into the other car (e.g., in a parking lot) or if they were “brake-checking” the driver to the rear (which often means that driver was also partially at fault for following too closely).
It is difficult to crash into another driver head-on if both of you are in your proper lane traveling in the proper direction. However, drivers who go the wrong way down a one-way street or who pull out to make a left turn into oncoming traffic can often be held liable for front-end collisions. Our car accident lawyers can also help you with head-on crashes by determining how the crash happened and how the other driver is at fault.
When roadways intersect, there are rules governing who goes first and who has to yield. Traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs, and general rules of the road create specific systems to keep drivers from crashing into one another, but when one driver violates these rules, they can often crash into other drivers at a right angle, causing a T-bone accident.
It might initially look like the driver who gets T-boned is the victim, and the driver who T-boned them is at fault, but the recipient of the force could be at fault instead. This kind of situation happens all the time when drivers pull out into cross traffic and get hit by drivers who were supposed to have the right of way.
When a driver is drunk, they have reduced control over a vehicle. Not only do they have reduced judgment and reaction times – meaning that they cannot react to what happened even if they can properly determine what happened is dangerous – they also might be tired, distracted, or driving recklessly. DUI accidents are often more serious because of these factors and because the inability to react in time to slow down before a crash often means that these crashes happen at full speed.
The fact that the driver might face criminal charges for a DUI accident does nothing to restrict your right to sue; both civil and criminal cases can be filed against the same driver for the same accident.
Hit and Runs
If the driver who hit you pulls away from the scene of the accident, it can be difficult to get justice for what happened. However, drivers are often caught in these situations and can be brought to justice through criminal charges and civil injury lawsuits.
Recovering Damages in Your Albany, GA Car Accident Case
The term “damages” is a legal term that encompasses the losses, injuries, and expenses a plaintiff experiences during and after an accident. Damages may refer to physical injuries and actual damage to personal property. Damages may also refer to intangible losses, like money or personal experiences.
Among your many damages, we should account for your vehicle. Perhaps your car is badly damaged or totally wrecked. You might have to pay for expensive repairs or an entirely new car. This is certainly not cheap. These costs should be assessed and included in our damages calculations. We should also take into consideration the value of damaged personal items that might have been in your vehicle during the accident. In a crash, plaintiffs often lose phones, laptops, wedding rings, and other belongings.
We must also assess damages for your injuries and medical expenses. Your injuries may give rise to a few different forms of damages. First, we must account for the money you spent on medical care. If your injuries were severe, you might still be undergoing treatment, and we can help you assess the cost of reasonably expected future medical care.
Second, your injuries might be extremely painful and traumatic. If you have permanent scarring or complications, you might be going through severe emotional turmoil while you cope with how your life has changed. These damages deserve substantial compensation.
Many people cannot go back to work after a car accident. For some, this is a short-term issue. For others, they cannot work for the indefinite future. Either way, you might be losing income and wages. Our car accident lawyers will assess how much income you have missed out on, in addition to income you might continue to miss out on going forward, and add it to your damages.
How to Get Evidence to Support Your Car Accident Case in Albany, GA
We need evidence to back up your car accident claims. Without evidence, your case might be dismissed as nothing more than a list of baseless accusations. Evidence can be a tricky thing to deal with. Sometimes, it is easy to find. Other times, it is the most difficult part of the case.
A good place to begin our search for evidence is the accident scene. Many car accidents happen on busy streets lined with homes and businesses. It is possible that some places around the accident site have security cameras that caught the accident on video. We can also talk to witnesses in other vehicles who might have had dashcams that recorded the crash.
Another excellent source of evidence and information is witness testimony. Other drivers, passengers in other vehicles, and pedestrians who were walking by when the accident happened can testify about what they saw. If we can get multiple witnesses to testify, we might be able to cover details from various vantage points, making for a more complete picture.
Perhaps the most important testimony is your own. There are certain details that only you can talk about in court. Only you can testify about how fast you were going, whether you stopped at a light or sign, where you felt the force of the impact, and the pain of your injuries.
We can also collect various details from the accident scene and witnesses to reconstruct how the accident happened. This often requires an accident reconstruction expert who can scientifically recreate the crash, often with startling accuracy.
Fighting Insurance Companies for Damages in an Albany, GA Car Accident Case
If you want damages for your injuries, it is important to look skeptically at any insurance companies that offer you a settlement. The damages they offer in an initial settlement are usually too low to cover your needs in full. While they might offer to pay for your vehicle damage in full, they might come up short when it comes to medical bills, lost earnings, and payments for “non-economic” damages like pain and suffering.
Our attorneys can work with you to put forth strong evidence so the insurance company has no grounds to claim their driver was not at fault. Once they see their driver was the one who caused the accident, they might be more willing to settle for a fair value, knowing that if the case goes to trial, they might lose and be ordered to pay even higher damages.
Sometimes, settling after negotiations gets you the necessary damages, given that settlements are quicker and cheaper than going all the way to trial. However, our attorneys can press your case in court if the insurance company or the at-fault driver is unwilling to pay you a fair value for your injuries.
Once you accept the money from the other driver’s insurance company, it usually means the end of your case. Because of this, it is important to have a lawyer review any paperwork before you sign it and to have us calculate how much your case should be worth.
How Long After a Car Accident in Albany, GA Should I File My Case?
After a car accident, injured victims are sometimes a bit overwhelmed with everything that goes on. You might have to call out of work for a while. You might be making numerous trips to various doctors for treatment. The recovery period might be longer than you realize. In all the chaos, losing sight of your damages and legal rights is easy. It is important to avoid waiting too long before speaking to an attorney because time is of the essence.
When filing an insurance claim, your specific deadline depends on the rules the insurance company sets. If you file a third-party claim, check with the other driver’s insurance company about important deadlines. Depending on the insurance company, you might have a few weeks to a few months to submit an insurance claim. If you do not have the other driver’s insurance information, talk to your lawyer about what to do next.
If you want to file a lawsuit, you must file your case with the appropriate court within the statute of limitations. According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you have only 2 years to file your case with the court. You might lose your right to sue for the accident if you miss this deadline.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Case in Albany, GA?
People sometimes think they can handle their case on their own, often in an attempt to save money on legal fees. This is not a good idea if you have no legal background or training. Insurance claims and court procedures are complex, and the law is known for being complicated. It is best to have an experienced attorney who can handle your case and get you fair compensation from the defendant.
First, your lawyer can help you navigate the insurance claims process. Insurance claims involve a lot more than filling out some forms and sending them off to an insurance company. Georgia is a fault-based insurance state, meaning you must prove to the insurance company that the other driver is at fault. Even if you present strong evidence, the insurance company might come up with a reason to disbelieve you and deny your claim. At that point, your lawyer can help you escalate the case to a full-blown lawsuit.
If you pursue a lawsuit, your lawyer should help you draft a formal complaint. Again, this is more than merely filling out paperwork. The complaint must contain specific details about you, the accident, your damages, and evidence supporting your case. The complaint is like the blueprint for your case and sets the tone for almost everything that comes after.
Call Our Albany, GA Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review
Reach out to the car accident lawyers at Howe Law today for a free case review by dialing (844) 876-4357.