Injuries from Georgia car accidents may be life-altering, and accident victims rely on compensation from a lawsuit settlement or verdict to pay their medical bills, recover lost wages, and cover their future medical expenses. Although a car accident claim is supposed to make a victim whole, recovering compensation in a car accident lawsuit isn’t automatic or guaranteed. Your specific actions following an auto accident can help you secure the money you are entitled to in a personal injury claim against an insurance company or other liable party.
When you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, it’s important to build a strong case for your lawsuit. Here are 5 tips that can help ensure your success:
Tip 1: Gather and Preserve Evidence
If you haven’t been in a car accident before, it is understandable that you may not know what to do. If you file an insurance claim as an accident victim, you will need to present evidence to the insurance company about how a crash occurred. At any accident scene, gathering and preserving evidence should be a priority. Sometimes, it is very easy to establish what happened, such as when multiple people at an intersection witnessed a vehicle run a red light and T-bone another vehicle. Occasionally, a responsible party will immediately admit their negligence. It is also possible that the damage to the vehicle will make it obvious.
It’s always advisable to act quickly to preserve evidence - and take photos and videos of the accident scene, the vehicles, and the individuals involved. If necessary, ask someone at the scene to assist. Always request that a law enforcement agency (police or sheriff) conduct their standard investigation and make a report. If the accident occurred in a driveway or parking lot, or in front of a business, the auto accident may have been captured by surveillance video. Record names and contact information of witnesses that can provide an account of what happened.
Tip 2: Get Medical Attention and Keep Records
Depending on your injuries, going to the hospital right after a car accident may seem unnecessary or unimportant. It may be tempting to go home and rest and see if you’ll feel better the following day. However, delaying or skipping immediate medical attention following car accidents can be detrimental to your personal health and for a future medical claim. If you do not go to the hospital for three days following a car crash, and then pursue a car accident claim for severe injuries, the insurance company will certainly ask you why you waited, and may even go so far as to allege that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
You can clearly link your accident to your injuries by seeking medical attention promptly following an accident. In other words, receiving medical care on the day of your accident is important evidence in a car accident lawsuit. Weeks or months following a car crash or motorcycle accident, when you make a claim for damages, your relevant medical records (supporting medical bills and future medical expenses) for the accident will be part of your claim.
Tip 3: Obtain Witness Statements
Depending on the circumstances of a crash and what other evidence is readily available. A witness can be an extremely important asset in a car accident case and can make an otherwise uncertain case stronger. Get witness contact information as soon as possible, and ask witnesses to record or write down their version of events and parties involved promptly, in anticipation of needing it in the future. Ideally, a witness account should be a full version of the events witnessed, so that someone who was not present (like an insurance claims adjustor) can clearly understand what happened.
Memories, by their nature, fade. You probably don’t remember much about what someone else was doing on a random day a year ago. It is only natural that witness recollections of specific details will fade quickly in the days, weeks, and months following an auto accident. The voice memo app on your smartphone can be a valuable tool to record exactly what happened, immediately following a motor vehicle wreck.
Tip 4: Hire An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
An experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer will get to work immediately after you hire them to begin building your case. Once you have an experienced car accident attorney working for you, they can act on your behalf and advocate for your legal rights. If necessary, your lawyer can arrange an independent investigation of your accident to establish or strengthen your claim.
Not all lawyers can get the same results. If you have an inexperienced or unqualified lawyer representing you, you may leave money on the table. An inexperienced attorney may not realize what economic damages are available or what future medical expenses you may be entitled to. They also may not understand situations when punitive damages may be possible.
Tip 5: Act Quickly To Preserve Your Rights
Every state, including Georgia, has a specific window of time following an automobile accident where a victim can legally bring a claim for personal injuries or the wrongful death of a family member. This is known as a statute of limitations and once it passes - any claims brought by the victim will be dismissed.
It’s always advisable to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible following a wreck, to ensure evidence is preserved, witness recollections are accurate, and no statutory deadlines pass. Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer promptly will remove you from any burden or responsibility of statutory deadlines. Your personal injury attorney will handle your case for you, while you focus on your recovery. Before you accept any settlement offers or provide a recorded statement to any insurance company, talk to a lawyer.
Contact a Car Accident Lawsuit Attorney At The Graham Firm
Car accidents are unfamiliar events and are often difficult to navigate physically and emotionally before you add in a personal injury claim to file. You do not have to be a legal or medical expert to be fairly compensated for your injuries - you just have to hire an experienced, capable car accident lawyer who will fight for you.
The Graham Firm has recovered millions of dollars for car accident victims in Georgia - our dedicated lawyers understand what is at stake and what you are facing. We know how to maximize claims and secure compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today at (404) 526-9955 to schedule your free case evaluation of your potential car accident lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Lawsuits
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial in a car accident case, especially if it caused a wrongful death, severe injuries, or extensive property damage. Your lawyer will guide you through the legal process, safeguard your rights, and help you obtain fair and maximum compensation for your losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, etc.
With the expertise of a seasoned car accident attorney whose fighting for your rights, you can benefit from effective negotiations with the insurance company and representation in court if necessary. By having a lawyer, you will have peace of mind and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
When pursuing a car accident lawsuit, many factors can influence the resolution timeline. Depending on the complexities of the case and jurisdiction in which it is heard, your claim could be resolved within several months to several years - each situation is unique.
To give yourself the best shot at success, having an experienced and top-rated local personal injury attorney on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. They can guide you through the process and make sure your case is handled efficiently, giving you the best chance of getting the maximum compensation you deserve.
A: In Georgia, pain and suffering refer to non-economic damages for physical and emotional distress caused by an injury. The most common formula for calculating these damages is the "multiplier method". This approach multiplies the cost of medical expenses by a value between 1 and 5 to arrive at the estimated amount of pain and suffering. The higher the multiplier, the more severe the injury.
For example, if medical bills total $10,000 and the multiplier is 3, the estimated pain and suffering damages could be $30,000. This is just an estimation and the final amount will be decided by the judge or jury based on the evidence presented in the case. Having a highly-qualified personal injury lawyer can help ensure a fair outcome.