If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident in Decatur, you need an experienced attorney. While some injuries may seem minor initially, they can develop into severe long-term conditions that cost you thousands of dollars in medical care. When you call a Decatur car accident lawyer at our firm, you get someone who will fight for you.
For over 20 years, our law firm has represented car accident victims like you. Our goal is simple: to make sure you get the best possible recovery from your injuries and to help you achieve the settlement or court award to do it.
Call John Foy & Associates today for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
Protecting Yourself After a Car Accident
After a crash, it’s important to document the incident thoroughly to protect your rights. This means gathering evidence at the scene and seeking medical care for your injuries as soon as possible.
Documenting the Crash
Georgia law requires you to stop at the scene of a crash you are involved in to exchange contact and insurance information. In addition, you must report a collision when someone is injured, or there is significant property damage.
After a crash, victims should:
- Contact law enforcement and report the incident, so they can come to the scene and complete the accident report.
- Use their phones to photograph everything, including injuries and vehicle damage.
- Avoid making any statements that admit blame. This means not apologizing to the other driver or saying too much before you have all the facts.
- Get eyewitnesses’ names and contact information to be located later to give their statements.
Getting Your Injuries Checked Out
It’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a crash. Even if your injuries do not seem severe, it is always best to see a doctor for an evaluation. Some car accident injuries do not appear immediately but may manifest themselves hours or days after the crash.
The sooner you seek medical care and create a record connecting your injuries to the incident, the better it is for your case. You should also save all medical records and bills related to your injuries and medical expenses.
Documenting the Crash
As a crash victim, you should keep detailed notes about the incident. This includes writing down the events of the accident while they are still fresh in your mind. It is also good to document how you feel in the days, weeks, or months following the crash and how your injuries affect your day-to-day life.
Getting a Car Inspection
Your vehicle’s damage must be assessed as part of your accident claim. Have your vehicle looked at by a certified mechanic who can estimate its property damage.
Additionally, you need to think about the diminished value of your vehicle now that it’s been in an accident. This means understanding that the vehicle’s value will decrease even if all repairs are made.
After a car or truck accident, keeping track of the losses you sustain due to the incident is important. All paperwork should be kept safe and turned over to your attorney immediately.
The documentation you present to your attorney should ideally include the following:
- The insurance claim number
- The name of the insurance carriers involved
- All medical bills and records
- The names, phone numbers, and addresses of all involved parties
Contacting a Car Accident Lawyer in Decatur, GA
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the negligent actions of another driver in the Decatur area, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you examine the claim and determine your next steps.
A lawyer can investigate the incident, handle all communication with the other parties, and negotiate with insurance carriers for a fair settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
Get the strong arm
Your Case Is Stronger with an Experienced Decatur Car Accident Attorney
You can always pursue a case without a lawyer, but your chances of success are likely better if you hire one. Insurance companies take you more seriously when you have professional legal representation. Even if your accident was minor, you could still reap the benefits of hiring an attorney to help you.
One of our dedicated car accident attorneys in Decatur, GA, can review your case to ensure you have accounted for every penny you are entitled to. They can also help you hire experts to testify on your behalf. For example, in some cases, we may need an independent accident investigator to analyze how the crash happened.
Many people injured in traffic accidents think the insurance company will cover everything. But unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
Insurance Company “Tricks”
Insurers may even use deceptive tricks, including but not limited to:
- Calling and asking “friendly” questions: They may ask how you feel. Then, if you say you are doing well, they may later use your words against you to prove that you do not need more money.
- Making a quick offer: The company may give you cash as soon as you report your accident before you know how much the injury will cost. If you accept the money, you surrender your right to recover anything else.
- Delaying your claim: Instead of sending you money right away, they may drag their feet for months before doing anything to process your claim. They do this so that the financial pressure will build up, making you desperate enough to take any offer they finally make.
- Blaming you for the accident: In some cases, the insurance company may blame you for an accident that was not your fault. Even if they admit liability, they may say your injuries are not as bad as you claim.
Insurance companies know that most victims do not know how to fight a complicated legal claim. Therefore, a personal injury lawyer levels the playing field; hiring an attorney is often enough to get a higher offer immediately.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents can result in many injuries, some of which can be life-altering. Here are a few of the injuries victims of car accidents can experience:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a neck injury when the head is forcefully jerked back and forth in a collision. It can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.
- Broken bones: Car accidents can cause bones to fracture, break, or shatter. The severity of the injury depends on the force of the impact and the location of the break.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can cause permanent damage, resulting in paralysis or loss of sensation.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): These head wounds can range from mild concussions to catastrophic injuries that cause permanent disability or death. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and mood changes.
- Internal injuries: Car accidents can cause severe injuries, such as internal bleeding, organ damage, and other injuries that may not be visible.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, seeking medical attention is important, even if you feel okay. Some injuries may not present symptoms until hours or even days later. Additionally, seeking prompt medical treatment can help strengthen your personal injury claim and help you obtain a fair settlement or court award.
Financial Compensation You Can Recover in a Car Accident Claim
Almost all expenses or losses caused by the accident can be covered by a successful claim. The most common costs are:
Getting the liable party to cover your medical expenses after a car accident should be a top priority. With the high cost of healthcare for even minor injuries, it is imperative to ensure the individual or entity that caused your injuries is held accountable.
In addition, covering all your costs protects you from unnecessary financial burdens. Examples of medical bills to request compensation for include:
- X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other diagnostic imaging
- Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications
- Co-pays and transportation expenses
- Ambulance bills, the surgery costs, and your hospital stay
- Physical and occupational rehabilitation
- Mental health counseling
- Hospital beds, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and other necessary medical equipment
- Accommodations to your home (installing a wheelchair ramp, for example)
- Any medical costs that arise in the future
Vehicle-related expenses are another financial loss resulting from a collision. The at-fault party should be required to cover every cost related to your vehicle’s damage, including:
- The car’s diminished value
- Vehicle repair expenses (including parts and labor)
- The cost of a rental car
- The expense of purchasing a new car
When you live paycheck to paycheck or are just getting by, a loss of income can devastate your family. The party who caused your injuries should repay you for every income-related loss, which could include:
- Lost wages due to missed work during your recovery
- Diminished earning capacity if you cannot return to work
- Loss of employer-provided health insurance
- Loss of employer retirement savings contributions
- Loss of paid time off, including vacation pay, sick time, and other employee benefits
- Loss of potential salary increases, performance bonuses, and holiday pay
Non-economic damages refer to losses not easily quantifiable in dollars and cents. Here are some examples of non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering: This includes physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident and the resulting injuries.
- Emotional distress: A car accident can cause emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of enjoyment: A car accident can prevent you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, such as hobbies or sports, leading to a loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of consortium: If you’re married, a serious car accident can deprive you of an intimate relationship with your spouse.
- Disfigurement and scarring: If a car accident results in disfigurement or scarring, this can be a significant source of emotional distress and psychological harm.
- Inconvenience and discomfort: A car accident can cause inconvenience and discomfort, such as having to undergo medical treatment, attend appointments, or wear a brace or cast.
It’s important to note that non-economic damages are subjective and can vary from person to person. An experienced Decatur car accident lawyer can help you understand which non-economic damages you may be entitled to and how to pursue them.
Determining If You Have a Valid Car Accident Claim in Decatur, GA
If you have not yet spoken to a legal professional, do not talk yourself out of pursuing a claim. Many people think of collisions as random accidents or blame themselves for what happened, even if it was not their fault. However, the law does not see it this way.
Most car accidents happen because one party was careless, inattentive, or broke the law. These behaviors constitute negligence. If the other driver was negligent, you have a valid case and deserve fair compensation. Even if the other driver is uninsured or fled after a hit-and-run, we may still be able to help.
Car Accident Claims do Not Have to Go to Court
Most car accident victims never go to court. However, if the insurance company refuses to negotiate, presenting your case before the DeKalb County Court may be the best choice. If this happens, we will tell you if your case will likely win at trial. If you choose to move forward, we will take care of everything.
Ultimately, going to court will be your call, but in most cases, no trial is needed. Insurance companies will pay out if we present a strong case, and negotiations can continue even after we file a lawsuit.
When you hire one of our auto accident attorneys, we investigate your accident for ourselves. We review police records, witness testimony, and expert medical opinions to determine what happened. Most importantly, we determine what compensation is needed to help you fully recover, which is usually all it takes to get the insurance company to make a fair offer.
Decatur Auto Accident Lawyer Fees
As an accident victim, you should not have to pay upfront for legal representation. That’s why we offer a simple payment structure:
- Your initial consultation with us is always free.
- You pay nothing out of pocket.
- You will not owe us anything if we do not win your case.
If we win a financial recovery for you, our fee is a percentage of what you recover, and you keep everything else. This allows you to get the legal help you need without risk.
Deadlines for Filing a DeKalb County Personal Injury Claim
The court system in Decatur uses deadlines set by state law. The deadline can vary depending on the details of your case. For example, some accident cases are allowed up to two years to file, while others only give you a few weeks after the accident date.
If you miss your deadline, you will likely lose your right to recover any money. This is why speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible is crucial.
Free Consultation With a Decatur Car Accident Attorney
You do not have to face insurance companies and the courts alone. At John Foy & Associates, we’ve been winning car accident cases for over 20 years. So let us give you a free consultation and show you how we can pursue the maximum compensation available for your injuries.
Remember: we handle cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you don’t have to pay upfront. Call and talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Decatur or fill out the contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.