Auto accidents often lead to life-altering injuries for victims. These lasting effects can have significant consequences on a person’s health along with his or her ability to provide for themselves and their family.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in North Decatur, GA, you could be entitled to compensation. Call SHElaw firm® today at 470-378-1162 to speak with a reputable North Decatur car accident lawyer to understand your next steps for legal recourse.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
It costs nothing upfront to hire our car accident lawyers at SHElaw firm® in North Decatur, GA to represent you. Lawyers, including those at our firm, work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they invest their talent and time trying to recover compensation on your behalf.
If they are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for you, they won’t charge you any money. However, if they successfully make a claim on your behalf, they are paid a percentage of what’s recovered either by verdict or settlement.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car accident in Georgia, do the following immediately after to protect your right to compensation:
You must always call the police when involved in a car accident in Georgia even if there aren’t any serious injuries. The police report may be a valuable piece of evidence when pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses.
Check on Other Involved Parties
You must never leave the accident scene since it is actually illegal to do so. Instead, check on other parties involved in the accident and try to administer first aid if you can while you await the police and emergency responders to arrive and provide better care to injured parties.
You should also get the information of the other driver involved in the accident for coverage claims. Ensure that you get the full name, driver’s license information, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver involved in the accident.
Record the Scene
Use your cellphone to take pictures and perhaps even video footage of the vehicles involved in the accident if there’s visible damage. If you have any visible injuries, you should ensure that you photograph them too.
Never Admit Fault
You should never admit responsibility for the accident or say “I’m sorry” because this could potentially be used against you by the other driver’s insurance company. Don’t say anything even if you think that your actions may have contributed to causing the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after your accident is important since there could be injuries that you aren’t aware of. Furthermore, seeking medical treatment on time helps you protect your legal rights against insurers who argue that you weren’t really injured since you waited to get medical treatment.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
Consulting the experienced car accident lawyers at SHElaw firm® in North Decatur, GA is perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident. Our lawyers will fight to protect your rights and ensure that valuable evidence isn’t destroyed. They will also ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
What’s the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
It is virtually impossible to find the average car accident settlement that perfectly reflects your specific case since each case is unique. Settlement amounts vary substantially depending on the specific nature of damages. Still, some estimates put the average settlement for a minor to moderate car accident at anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000.
The value of a car accident settlement mostly depends on the severity of the accident. It is only the experienced car accident lawyers at SHElaw firm® who can accurately determine what your accident settlement could be worth. So, call us today at 470-378-1162 if you have been involved in a car accident in North Decatur to set up an appointment to determine what your case could be worth.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
Not everyone that’s involved in a car accident needs to seek legal representation. If your crash was complex or severe, however, it is necessary to hire a North Decatur car accident lawyer as soon as possible, so that they can start building your accident claim.
You should get a lawyer for your auto accident if the following circumstances apply to your situation:
- It isn’t clear who is at fault
- The accident caused serious injuries to you or another person
- The accident involved an uninsured or underinsured driver
- If you disagree with the police report
- If the accident occurred in a school zone
- The insurance company is sending mixed signals or giving confusing answers to liability concerns
- The accident involved another motorist, including trucks, other vehicles, a pedestrian, or cyclist.
Why Do I Need a North Decatur Car Accident Lawyer?
It is always advisable to hire a lawyer if you have been involved in an auto accident for the following reasons:
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
It can be overwhelming to shuffle between hospital visits, court premises, and insurance company offices. Hiring a lawyer, however, allows you to focus on your recovery as the lawyers handle all the required paperwork. Your lawyer will help you file your compensation claim, draft your pre-trial as well as trial documents.
You might be surprised to know that most personal injury claims are solved via settlement negotiations. In fact, just about 4 percent of claims ever reach the trial stage. Your lawyer will represent you in the negotiation, mediation, or arbitration processes and will make sure that you receive the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve.
Trial Preparation and Representation
If settlement negotiations with the insurance company fails, you can choose to file a civil lawsuit against them or the at-fault party. Your car accident lawyer can help with this too and will represent you in court. Your lawyer will develop legal theories they can argue in court to maximize the chances of a fair verdict that adequately compensates your injuries and losses.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
You can recover the following types of damages after being involved in a car accident in North Decatur, GA:
Economic damages include any harm that’s capable of being quantified in monetary terms such as the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or earnings/lost wages
- The cost of travel to obtain medical care
- Counseling, physical therapy, or rehabilitation services
- The costs to hire someone to perform yard work, housekeeping, childcare, cooking or other activities that you can’t due to your injuries.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include all other forms of harm or injury that are very difficult if not impossible to quantify in monetary terms such as:
- The fear, shock, anxiety, and distress of being involved in an accident
- Pain and suffering (physical and emotional)
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement, scarring, or physical deformity
- Cognitive or physical disabilities caused by permanent injuries
Punitive damages are rarely ever awarded since they are not aimed at returning you to the pre-accident state but rather to punish the at-fault party. The only way to claim punitive damages in car accident cases is when there’s evidence of willful misconduct, malicious intent to cause harm, or extreme negligence.
Punitive damages in Georgia are capped at $250,000, and 75% of the money goes into the state treasury. If the defendant’s judgment was substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol, there’s no limit on the amount of punitive damages.
How Is Fault Determined?
To determine or prove fault in Georgia auto accidents means showing that the other driver was negligent. All drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. To establish negligence, injury plaintiffs are required to show:
- The defendant (at-fault driver) owed a duty of care to operate their vehicle reasonably safely
- The defendant breached that duty
- The breach of duty of care cause you injury
- Your injuries resulted in compensable damages under the law.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The amount of time within which you are required to file a claim is known as the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for car accident claims and other personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of the accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
The claims process isn’t particularly straightforward and insurance companies will try to make things as difficult for you as possible. That’s why you need a lawyer to help you navigate the process and fight to get all the benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
The North Decatur car accident lawyers at SHElaw firm® have the experience, resources, and reputation needed to help you get the results that you deserve. While you focus on your recovery, our team will:
- Listen to the facts of your case and provide insight on the possible applicable legal options
- Investigate your accident and gather evidence supporting your claim for damages
- Calculate an adequate value that represents your losses from the accident
- Draft your initial demand letter and other documentation needed to initiate a formal claim for compensation
- Negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses
- Ensure that your dispute is resolved through arbitration or perhaps even trial if settlement negotiations fail.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denies My Claim?
Insurance companies will deny car accident claims sometimes, and they usually do so for various reasons. If you receive a denial letter from your insurance carrier, you should:
- Find out why the insurer denied your claim
- Talk to your lawyer about filing a claim
If you were involved in an accident in North Decatur, GA and the insurance company has denied your claim, call us at 470-378-1162 for assistance. Our lawyers at SHElaw firm® are happy to discuss your case and let you know your options.
Do I Have a Case?
You must never doubt yourself when it comes to filing a claim. If you have not spoken to a professional, you must never talk yourself out of having a claim. People think of collisions as just accidents or perhaps even blame themselves for what happened even if it wasn’t their fault.
The law, however, does not see it this way. The vast majority of auto accidents happen because one party was inattentive, careless, or broke the law, which is referred to as “negligence.” If the other driver was negligent, you have a valid case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you have two practical options when it comes to recovering compensation:
If you have uninsured motorist insurance coverage, you can receive a payout for any injuries and damages caused by an uninsured driver. It also means that you will receive compensation to cover your costs against hit-and-run drivers.
The other option would be to sue the driver responsible for the accident. If you choose this option, however, you will first need to determine that suing the uninsured driver is actually worth your time and effort.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
You can obtain an accident report in North Decatur in one of two ways:
- From the Decatur Police Department and paying a $5 fee for it.
- From buycrash.com, which is a website that has accident reports available for download from multiple states and paying an $11 fee for it.
Have You Been Injured in a North Decatur, GA Car Accident? Contact Us!
If you have suffered injuries in a North Decatur, GA car crash, our car accident lawyers at SHElaw firm® can help you navigate the process of recovering compensation for your losses. While the claims process can be complicated, our legal team can help you each step of the way.
Call us today at 470-378-1162 to schedule an appointment at our office to speak with a lawyer about your case!