If you were hurt in a car accident, you should take your case very seriously. There may be opportunities to get your case compensated through insurance, but insurance companies rarely offer to pay full damages until a court forces them to do so. If our lawyers cannot negotiate a fair settlement and need to turn to a lawsuit to get you the damages you deserve, you could be entitled to substantially more compensation than what the insurance company’s initial settlement offer contains.
Our lawyers can review your case and help you understand how strong your case is, what your damages should be worth, and what your chances of success are. Trying to handle a case on your own with an insurance claim can often leave you with uncompensated areas of damages and minimum compensation for the areas that do get paid.
For a free review of your case, contact Howe Law’s Atlanta car accident attorneys today at (844) 876-4357.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Car Accident Case in Woodstock, GA
Car accident cases often start with an insurance claim, then move on to negotiations with the insurance company, and – if their settlement offers are still too low – a lawsuit. Once a case gets to court, it is often complex in ways that you cannot go without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to guide you through the filing deadlines, the documents to file, the evidence needed, and the trial itself (if the case gets to trial).
Our lawyers can also guide you through the process of collecting evidence, helping you to gather your medical bills, document expenses, and track your recovery process. Further, we can help you know when you need to respond to insurance company demands for statements and help guide you through the process of making a statement that does not contain information your opponent could misconstrue as an admission of fault.
We can also help you understand what your case is truly worth and hold insurance companies to account for the full damages. If they refuse to, our car accident attorneys can use the power of the courts to hold the driver liable and enforce payment.
All throughout the process, we can also answer any legal questions you have about what to expect, how long the case might take, how much your case should be worth, and more.
Types of Car Accidents Our Attorneys Handle in Woodstock, GA
Our lawyers can help you with all kinds of injuries from all kinds of car accidents. The actual arrangement of vehicles in a car crash tends to fall into one of only a few categories, though the actual facts of a car accident case and the events leading up to the crash can vary in infinite ways. As such, the following are only some of the cases we handle, but they should cover most types of crashes:
When one driver rear-ends the other, it is likely the fault of the driver to the rear. The front driver is usually entitled to drive at a reasonable speed and stop in a reasonable way. If they slam on the brakes all of a sudden for a real emergency, that is also a reasonable reaction to what is in front of them in the road. All in all, if a crash happens, it is usually because the driver behind them was following too closely to prevent a crash.
Georgia law agrees, making it illegal to follow too closely or tailgate. However, if the driver in front slammed on their brakes to intentionally or recklessly cause a crash, that should outweigh any negligence on the part of the driver behind them.
When one driver backs up into another car, that is usually their fault. This tends to happen most in parking spaces or when a driver overshoots the intersection’s stopping point and has to back up to avoid blocking traffic but does so without the space necessary.
Head-on or front-end collisions tend to happen when one driver is not where they are supposed to be in the roadway. If they are going the wrong way down a one-way street or cross the dividing line into ongoing traffic, the accident will almost always be their fault. If there is no literal dividing line, then drivers are expected to only use their half of the roadway, using an imaginary line down the middle. They are not permitted to use the whole roadway, and they certainly cannot hit other cars while doing so.
The other common way that front-end crashes happen is when a driver is waiting to make a left-hand turn across oncoming traffic and fails to yield. If they pull out and get hit by an oncoming car, that usually makes the crash the turning driver’s fault because they were the one who was supposed to yield.
Lastly, these crashes can often occur when one driver goes around an obstruction or obstacle in their lane. It is their responsibility to wait until the road is clear, and they are not entitled to jump out in front of oncoming cars that have a clear road in front of them.
Intersection T-Bone Accidents
If one driver crashes into the side of another car in a T-bone shape, you can usually determine who is at fault by looking at which driver was legally supposed to be in the intersection. Roadways are set up so that one driver never crosses another driver’s path at the same time. One driver is nearly always required to yield or stop and wait their turn, and the most common ways to make them wait is with red lights or stop signs.
If a driver ran a red light or stop sign and crashed into you, then that accident is their fault because they ignored the traffic control device. Even if you had a green light and pulled out into an intersection only to hit a driver who cut you off, that accident would still be their fault. Even though you “hit them,” the crash is their fault because they failed to yield. Fault follows whichever driver broke the law, not whichever driver got their last.
When one driver crashes into the side of another car traveling next to it in the same direction, it is usually because someone left their lane illegally or failed to look out for other cars. These accidents often happen when one driver simply drifts out of their lane without warning, bumping into the side of another car. Alternatively, these accidents can happen when someone changes lanes or merges into another roadway without properly signaling, checking their blind spots, and yielding to other cars already occupying that lane.
These crashes can often lead to secondary crashes based on how the victim reacts to being hit or almost being hit. Drivers tend to jerk their vehicle away from the danger, so if a car begins drifting into your lane, the natural reaction might be to steer away, potentially crashing into a third car. If you are actually hit and pushed into another lane, that can have the same effect.
Ultimately, the reasonableness of each driver’s actions will determine whether they did what they could to avoid a crash or whether they share liability for the crash with the driver who caused the initial crash.
Pileups and Multi-Car Collisions
Similar to how side-swipe accidents can cause a secondary collision, a crash between two cars always runs the risk of bringing a third or even many more cars into the crash, too. When there is a chain of vehicles following too closely, we will have to investigate whether the second driver was responsible or whether other drivers along the chain can be held at least partly responsible for the resulting “pileup.”
When one crash happens and other drivers cannot react in time to the crash, they too could become victims of the initial driver’s mistakes. This often makes these cases more complex, as insurance limits often include a “per accident” limit that makes it hard to divide funds among three or four or more injured people.
Parked cars are often involved in crashes in potentially dangerous ways. If a driver swipes alongside or hits the bumper of a parked car with no one in it, it is unlikely that anyone will be seriously hurt, and the driver of the moving vehicle is likely at fault.
However, parked cars are sometimes left in dangerous locations, such as around “blind corners” or sticking out into a lane of traffic. When this happens, the driver who parked their car in a dangerous or illegal place could be liable for the injuries it causes to drivers on the road.
While parked cars are usually unattended, an occupant in a legally parked car could be seriously injured in a crash and would face damages. There is also a possibility that a driver or passenger could be hit while getting out of the car or while opening the door. It is usually the person opening the door’s responsibility not to open it into traffic, so that accident could be their fault. Other crashes involving people who just left a parked car could be the driver’s fault.
Lastly, pedestrians and cyclists pinned between parked cars can often sue the driver who caused the crash and would likely not have a case against the driver of the unattended vehicle unless their parking somehow contributed to the accident.
Calculating Damages in a Woodstock, GA Car Accident Case
If you were hit by a car, it can be difficult to know how much your claim should be worth. Our car accident lawyers can review your medical bills, your wages, and other financial evidence to help you calculate these damages. We can also look into how the accident affected your life and your well-being to calculate pain and suffering damages.
Calculating Economic Damages
All of the damages that have an economic or financial value attached – like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage – can be quite readily calculated. Usually, the cost of a bill for repairs or medical care will suffice to show how much the care cost, but additional expenses and payments you made can be proven by providing receipts and bank statements instead.
The value of money you missed out on from work will be shown by looking at your average wages before the accident and comparing it to your average wage now. This can account for time you spent out of work entirely as well as time you spent working reduced hours or light-duty positions. If you cannot work anymore, it is much harder to calculate the total lost wages you will experience going forward, taking into account your potential raises and promotions you would have achieved as your career progressed toward retirement age.
There are many bills and expenses you might not think to include in your case – such as replacement household tasks and childcare – that our lawyers can help you claim in your injury case.
Calculating Non-Economic Damages
The term “non-economic damages” is usually used interchangeably with “pain and suffering” to describe everything that Georgia law calls “general damages.” These damages flow generally from an injury and can be claimed without proof that the damages exist, though you do still need an argument as to the value of these damages. This includes things like the pain of being injured and the mental suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, fear, embarrassment, trauma, and loss associated with the accident.
If your injury was worse, then pain and suffering damages are higher. As such, these are often calculated by applying a multiplier chosen to reflect the severity of your injury to the rest of your economic damages. Alternatively, a per diem rate can be chosen for your daily suffering and multiplied by the time you spend suffering. Some methods are better in certain cases, and our lawyers can help you make sense of how much to claim in your injury case.
Call Our Woodstock, GA Car Accident Injury Attorneys Today
After a serious accident, call Howe Law’s car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation at (844) 876-4357.