Being involved in a car accident can ruin your day if the accident is only a fender bender and you suffer no injuries in the crash. If you are injured, it can ruin your week or your month or even leave you with disabilities for the rest of your life. Car accident victims could be entitled to thousands or even millions of dollars in damages from the responsible parties, but getting those damages is often harder than one might expect.
Our lawyers can help you fight in court to get the damages you need if insurance companies are reluctant to pay what they owe. We can also help you understand what your case should be worth so that we can negotiate fair settlements and stop insurance companies from trying to take advantage of you.
For a free case evaluation, call our car accident lawyers today at Howe Law by dialing (844) 876-4357.
Determining Who is at Fault in a Car Accident in Milton, GA
To hold someone responsible for a crash, you need to determine that they were at fault. You also need to prove this to their insurance company or, in the case of a lawsuit, to the court. Evidence of fault often comes from testimony about what happened and photos of the accident scene and damage involved. But you also must understand what fault is and how to determine fault in a car accident.
For a party to be at fault, legally speaking, there must be proof that they violated a legal duty, and that the breach of that duty was what actually caused the crash to happen. Fault can also be divided among multiple parties.
Violation of Duty
In most traffic accidents, that violation of duty will either be a violation of everyday safety rules, like keeping your eyes on the road or checking your blind spot, or it will be a violation of explicit traffic laws. When there is a traffic violation that caused a crash, there might also be a police officer who issued a ticket or citation for the offense, and that ticket can help you prove that the other driver was at fault.
To show that their violation actually caused the crash, you need evidence that the violation and the crash were closely connected in time and place and that the accident likely would not have happened without their violation. If the violation happened a few miles back, it is hard to blame the crash on that violation. Similarly, if they failed to signal before passing you on the left, but you both crashed into a sliding tractor-trailer, it is likely the crash would have still happened if they did signal, and they could not be at fault because their violation did not create the danger.
Assigning Partial Fault
In many cases, the facts are confusing and assigning blame is difficult. One common issue is that multiple drivers did something wrong, so multiple drivers can be made to pay their fair share of the damages in the case. If you were partially to blame, our car accident lawyers can still file a lawsuit for you, and courts can assign a percentage of fault to you and each driver. As long as your fault is under 50%, Georgia law allows you to recover partial damages from the other at-fault driver(s) for their percentage of fault.
Damages for Car Accident Victims in Milton, GA
When you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit for compensation after an accident, you can receive compensation for any economic or non-economic damages you suffered because of the accident. That usually means damages in each of the following areas are available:
Any expenses to treat your injuries should be reimbursed. This can include not only the cost of treatment at the hospital but also follow-up appointments with other doctors, therapists, and more. The cost of X-rays, testing, crutches, and more should also be covered.
Any time you miss at work because of the accident means lost wages. These wages can be reimbursed as well. Many injuries keep workers from returning to their duties far into the future, especially if the injuries are permanent. Lost wages going forward can also be projected and included in your claim. If you can still work but draw a lower paycheck because your work is limited by your injuries, that reduction in pay can be claimed as damages.
Other Bills and Expenses
With a serious injury, there come many other bills and expenses to get through life with those added disabilities or injuries. For example, you might not be able to care for your children while you are in the hospital, requiring you to hire a babysitter or nanny. If you used to do your own laundry and cook, an injury might prevent you from doing so, requiring you to hire a laundry service and order food. Reasonable costs like these should be included in your claim as well.
Pain and Suffering
Many people use the term “pain and suffering” to include all non-economic damages in their case – that is, all damages that do not deal with bills and money. As such, the following damages could all be considered factors in your overall pain and suffering: emotional distress, physical pain, mental anguish, discomfort, embarrassment, fear of future injury, and more.
Although punitive damages are rare, Georgia law does allow you to claim additional damages to punish the at-fault parties in some cases. Usually, what they did has to be quite severe to meet the threshold for these damages. Unlike other damages that reimburse you for injury and harm, these damages strictly punish the defendant, so the factors that go into calculating these damages are quite different.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers in Milton, GA for a Free Case Review Today
If you were hurt in a car accident, call Howe Law’s car accident lawyers today at (844) 876-4357 for help.