A car accident does not have to slow you down. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you can get fair compensation for your injuries so you can get back to your life.
Talk to your lawyer about how you can obtain fair financial compensation. Many drivers pursue insurance claims, but a settlement or even a lawsuit might also be good options. Generally, in a lawsuit, injured drivers sue the other driver who caused the crash, although other entities, like employers or the government, may be implicated. Car accidents might involve any number of different crashes. Common causes include traffic violations, intoxication, and distractions. Evidence to support your claims might come from the scene of the crash, witnesses, and maybe even recorded videos. Talk to a lawyer about beginning a claim soon, as the filing deadline might be approaching fast. Your damages should account for economic losses and non-economci injuries, and punitive damages might be on the table, too.
For a free, private review of your case, contact our car accident lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
How Can I Get Financial Compensation After a Car Accident in Stonecrest, GA?
Getting financial compensation is often a top concern for people injured in car accidents. Your injuries, medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses might take a heavy toll, and you need financial compensation to put the pieces of your life back together. While many people pursue insurance claims, other options might help you get what you need.
As mentioned, insurance claims are one of the most common courses of action taken by injured drivers after a crash. All drivers on the road are required by law to carry insurance, and claims are typical. Since Georgia is a fault-based or tort state regarding auto insurance claims, you need to prove fault before you see any compensation.
Like many states, Georgia requires drivers to file third-party claims against other drivers’ insurance policies. This is why exchanging personal information with other drivers after an accident is so important. You need their details to file a claim.
The insurance company will require that you present proof of the accident, your damages, and the other driver’s fault. If you cannot sufficiently show how the other driver caused the crash, their insurance company will not compensate you, or they will significantly reduce your compensation.
Even though many people try to handle insurance claims independently, you should hire a lawyer to help you. Presenting evidence and proving fault are things an attorney does best. If you anticipate difficulty proving your claim, or there is very little evidence to support you, a lawyer can help.
Settlements are a common way many people settle legal claims. While settlement agreements often come up in insurance claims, they may also occur outside of the insurance claims process. For example, perhaps the other driver is uninsured, but they do not want to take their chances in court. They might offer a settlement where they will pay for your damages, and you will waive your legal claims against them. If the settlement is enough to cover your costs, this might be a good way to cover your damages quickly.
Unfortunately, the settlement process is not always quick and painless. Insurance companies and other drivers often want to give you the worst possible deal so they can save money. What is more unfortunate is that many injured drivers do not understand the true extent of their losses and end up accepting bad deals. Our car accident attorneys can help you recognize when you are being taken advantage of and negotiate for a much better settlement.
The dreaded lawsuit. While people seem to actively avoid lawsuits, they might actually be the best way to get fair compensation after a car accident. Insurance companies often try to lowball injured drivers, or the other driver’s policy is insufficient to cover all your costs. A lawsuit can help you recover all your damages, even the ones that insurance normally does not cover, like pain and suffering.
The downside to a lawsuit is that it can be time-consuming, complex, and exhausting. However, many injured drivers get all the compensation they need, so they can recover and move on with their lives. Our lawyers can help you fight for economic losses like medical expenses and a replacement vehicle in addition to non-economci injuries like emotional distress or humiliation.
People You Can Sue for Your Damages After a Car Accident in Stonecrest, GA
When discussing car accidents, we often think of the responsible party as “the other driver.” While the other drive may indeed be entirely to blame in some cases, there might be other parties to blame in other cases. Meet with a lawyer to determine exactly who is responsible for your accident and how you can hold them accountable.
Of course, the other driver in your accident should be heavily scrutinized when we go to evaluate fault. Did they violate a traffic law? Were they speeding? Did they do something reckless on the road before the crash? The answers to the questions might help us show how they caused the accident.
In some cases, the other driver’s employer may be held vicariously liable for the accident. This may apply in cases where the other driver was driving as part of their job duties, not just someone who was on their way to or from work. Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for damages caused by a negligent employee if their negligence occurred within the scope of their normal duties. This might come up if the other driver was working as a delivery driver, bus driver, taxi driver, or something similar.
The government might even be to blame in some cases. The state and local government may be responsible for maintaining the road and traffic signals and designing safe intersections and highways. If something about the road is dangerous or in disrepair – a broken traffic light, a poorly designed intersection, severe potholes – the government might be liable for an ensuing accident.
How Car Accidents in Stonecrest, GA Might Happen
The way in which your collision occurred might help us determine who is responsible and where our car accident attorneys should look for evidence. Anyone who has ever been involved in an accident can tell you that no two accidents are the same. Discuss the crash with your lawyer as soon as possible.
One possibility is that you were injured in a T-bone collision. These accidents can be severe, as they often involve a direct impact on the side of your vehicle. T-bone crashes often occur in intersections when someone runs a red light or a stop sign. If the other car hits your driver’s side, you might be badly hurt.
Rear-end crashes are common, and we often think of them as fender-benders with minimal damage or injury. However, rear-end crashes can be deadly serious if the other driver was speeding at the time. You might suffer serious rear-end damage to your car and experience painful injuries like whiplash. You might even be pushed forward into oncoming traffic, where you are hit again.
Another common car accident involves sideswiping. Sideswipe accidents happen when a vehicle sort of brushes up against another in traffic. This sounds minor, but it can be extremely serious. Your vehicle might be pushed into other lanes, or you might lose control of your car.
Important factors to consider in any accident include traffic violations, speed, intoxication, and distractions. While these are some of the more common reasons behind car accidents, you should still discuss your case with your lawyer.
Finding Evidence to Prove Your Claims for Damages in a Stonecrest, GA Car Accident Case
However your accident occurred, we need to find evidence showing how the other driver, their employer, the government, or any other liable parties are responsible. Often, the quest for evidence begins at the scene of the crash. Since many accidents are cleared away by law enforcement rather quickly, we likely have to rely on your recollection of events.
If you took photos or recorded videos of the crash scene before it was cleared away, we can use these photos and videos as evidence. People often do this in preparation for an insurance claim, but these recordings can make for excellent evidence in the courtroom.
If you did not take any photos or videos yourself, someone else might have. For example, we can search the area for security cameras or traffic cameras that caught the accident on video. If we know of any witnesses, we can ask if they had a dashcam in their car that recorded the crash.
Speaking of witnesses, even without a dashcam, they may provide us with valuable testimony. It is important to find and speak to witnesses soon, as they may move away or begin to forget important details if we wait too long.
When to File Your Car Accident Claim in Stonecrest, GA
Filing a lawsuit is a big decision, and it is understandable that you need some time to think it over. Talk to your lawyer about it. They can tell you if a lawsuit is in your best interest. If you decide you want to file, you should do so quickly, as there is a strict deadline to abide by.
According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including car accident cases, is only 2 years. This might appear to be a long time to get a case started, but do not be fooled. This is a tight deadline. It is not unusual for attorneys and plaintiffs to spend months or longer preparing a case, drafting the complaint, compiling evidence, and assessing damages.
If your lawsuit involves the government at the state or local level, you might be on an even tighter deadline. When suing a governmental entity, you must submit a notice of your claim to the government very soon after the accident. Under O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5(b), you have only 6 months to submit a notice of your claim to a local or municipal authority.
If you are suing the state, you have a little longer. According to O.C.G.A. § 50-21-26(a)(1), you have 12 months from the accident date to provide a notice of your claim against the relevant state governmental entity. If you plan on suing the government, speak to a lawyer as soon as you can.
Recoverable Damages in a Stonecrest, GA Car Accident Case
When taking legal action for compensation, it is important to take a thorough account of all your losses and injuries. Understanding just how extensive your damages are may help you maximize potential financial compensation.
Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic injuries and losses. A major factor in these damages is your medical costs. Car accidents can be extremely dangerous, and drivers are often left with painful and even debilitating injuries. The more treatment you need, the higher your medical costs, and the greater your economic damages.
Other considerations for economic damages include the cost of repairing your car and replacing any damaged personal belongings. You should also consider how much income you lost because you were too injured to go back to work.
Non-economic damages include painful experiences that might not have cost you actual money but should still be financially compensated. Pain, suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, and other painful experiences should be accounted for.
Punitive damages may be awarded as a way to punish defendants for seriously bad behavior. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(b), punitive damages may be awarded in limited cases where defendants are found to have acted with malice, willful misconduct, fraud, oppression, or a wanton disregard for others. You must specifically plead for punitive damages, and we must prove them by clear and convincing evidence.
Punitive damages can be high in some cases, but there are limits. Under the law, punitive damages may not exceed $250,000, unless specifically mentioned otherwise by statute. There may be no limits if the defendant had specific intent to cause harm, acted while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (i.e., driving under the influence), and there are no limits for product liability (e.g., faulty brakes).
Call Our Stonecrest, GA Car Accident Lawyers for Help Getting Compensation Today
For a free, private review of your case, contact our car accident lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.