After a car accident, you will need compensation for your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, any wages you lost from work, and pain and suffering. Insurance companies will often deny their driver’s liability and refuse to cover you in full. They may even issue you a small “nuisance settlement” just to end your case quickly but still leave you with unpaid damages. For help getting full compensation, you might want to work with an attorney.
Our lawyers can take your case and look for evidence that will help strengthen your claim, then present it to the insurance company to try to negotiate a fair settlement. If a good settlement cannot be reached, we can take your case before a judge and jury to get you compensation that way.
Call Howe Law’s car accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357 for a free case evaluation.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help in Dunwoody, GA
Trying to get compensation without the help of a lawyer usually means calling an insurance agent, waiting for hours on the phone, answering questions while the insurance company tries to undercut everything you say, and then waiting for a check that never comes. It may take even more time on the phone just to try to get the claim appealed, and if and when it is paid, it might cover only the minimum of vehicle damage and medical bills. However, there are additional damages you should be entitled to, and our car accident attorneys can help you get them.
We can send letters to the insurance company to show them we mean business. We can also negotiate on your behalf with their lawyers for a settlement that actually covers your needs. Our lawyers can also take your case to court where a lawsuit can be filed to have the case put before a jury instead of an insurance adjuster.
We can also collect evidence, help you track your medical bills and other expenses, and help you prepare logs and journals documenting the difficulty of your recovery. If you missed work or will miss work going forward, we can use financial experts to analyze your damages and see what those lost wages should be worth to you, taking into account the fact that you might miss out on future promotions and raises if your injury is permanent or long-term.
We can be your guide through a difficult time. Our lawyers are your legal counselors, but we can also counsel you through the process, helping you understand what the road to recovery looks like, and how long (or short) that road might be.
Having a lawyer on your side also helps you stand up to big insurance companies and their legal teams.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident Case in Dunwoody, GA
To get compensation for a car accident, you need to show that the other driver was the one who caused the crash. However, they do not need to be the sole driver who caused the crash; injured car accident victims can seek partial damages from each driver who contributed to the crash, and victims can even recover damages if they are partially liable themselves.
Elements to Prove
Car accident claims are filed in court as negligence claims. Negligence requires 4 elements to win your case: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Proving duty and breach means showing that there was a legal duty the defendant was supposed to follow that they violated. You must also prove that the violation was what actually caused the crash and that your injuries resulted from that accident rather than some other incident.
Burden of Proof
Plaintiffs have the burden of proof in their case, which means that they need to produce evidence and witnesses to convince the jury their claim is true. The standard they need to meet is a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, which means that you need to convince the jury your claim is more likely than not. That means you need to just barely win your case rather than prove it beyond a reasonable doubt like a criminal case.
Proving your claim means producing evidence. Evidence can be hard evidence – actual items involved in the crash, like a car itself. However, courts usually use photos and videos of the cars rather than bringing the vehicle into the courtroom. Witness testimony will also be important evidence, primarily your own testimony about how the accident happened and what the other driver did to cause the crash. Our attorneys can help you prepare to testify and understand what you should and should not say in your testimony or depositions.
Courts can assign partial fault to each driver involved in the crash. If you are suing as a passenger, then you usually will not be blamed for causing the crash, but if you were one of the drivers, then you might be accused of partial fault.
Courts assign a percentage of fault to each driver and determine the total damages, then the court orders each driver to pay that percentage of the total damages. So if you sue 2 drivers for causing the crash, and the court finds the damages were $20,000, a finding of 50% fault for each driver would mean each driver pays you $10,000 in damages. A finding of 75% fault for one driver and 25% for the other would mean one pays you $15,000 and one pays you $5,000.
Fault can also be shared with non-drivers, such as a trucking company whose truck hit you because it had maintenance problems.
If the court finds you partially liable, your share of damages do not get paid to you, and you are left to pay them out of pocket. For example, if the defendant is found 75% at fault and you are found 25% at fault and the damages are $20,000, they are ordered to pay you $15,000.
If your share of fault is 50% or higher, your case is unfortunately dismissed under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33.
Call Our Dunwoody, GA Car Accident Attorneys for Help Today
Reach out to Howe Law’s car accident lawyers today at (844) 876-4357 for a free case review.