Car crashes happen every day. Whether it’s a simple fender-bender or a large-scale collision, your accident matters and may be more serious than you think. You shouldn’t have to pay for the aftermath of your accident if you didn’t cause it.
With the help of a car accident lawyer in Doraville, you could get paid back for the damages you’ve suffered and the expenses you’ve had to pay. An attorney will be able to investigate your case, calculate your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that your claim gets you every penny you deserve.
Learn more about personal injury lawyers in Doraville. If you have any questions, a member of our team at John Foy & Associates is available to give you a free consultation today. With our help, you can turn the page and move on from your costly ordeal.
What to Do After a Car Crash
After a car crash, you should have two priorities. The first should always be the health and safety of yourself and the people around you. The second should be gathering evidence and going through the necessary steps to make sure your car accident claim is as strong as possible.
When you’re involved in a car accident, you should:
Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, they can cause complications days or even weeks down the road. Plus, you don’t know if anyone else involved in your accident was hurt. Call an ambulance as soon as you can.
Call the Police
To file your claim, you’ll need an official accident report that the Doraville police will provide. If you don’t receive one at the scene of the accident, you can most likely get it online or from your nearest police station.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
For your claim, you’ll also need the other driver’s contact information, license plate number, and the name of their insurance company. You don’t have to confront them or accuse them of anything. Chances are, they will need your information as well.
Take Photos or Videos of the Scene
Any evidence that you can gather yourself will make your attorney’s job easier later down the road. Take photos or videos and write down everything you remember happening while your memories are still fresh in your mind. Just try not to move anything at the scene.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else saw what happened, talk to them and get their contact information for your lawyer to use. Be careful what you say to them, though–the other party’s lawyer may also try to get in touch with them, and if you admit fault in any way to a witness, it could be used against you.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Doraville
After your crash, the other party’s lawyer and the insurance company will try to get in contact with you. Be polite to them, but only tell them what they absolutely need to know. They will try to twist your words against you to reduce your settlement. Don’t sign anything they give you until you’ve talked with an attorney.
When you have a Doraville car accident lawyer by your side, you not only have someone who can argue your case. You also have protection – experienced attorneys know all the tricks in the book and can keep the insurance adjusters and predatory lawyers from taking advantage of you.
As soon as you’re ready to talk, you can get a free consultation with a member of our firm. We’re available to consult with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Claim
In your accident claim, the compensation you receive is based on the damages that the other party has caused. Those damages are calculated using your medical bills, repair receipts, weekly wages, and other documents. Damages you could be able to recover in a car accident claim include:
Car crashes are serious matters, and sometimes, they can be seriously expensive. Financial costs pile up quickly, especially if you need prolonged medical treatment. That’s why negligent drivers are often liable to pay for economic damages, which are the costs that you have had to pay because of your accident.
Economic damages often include:
- Medical expenses
- Car repairs
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Lost wages
Car accidents aren’t just expensive. They’re also painful and frightening, sometimes to the point that your pain can greatly affect your day-to-day life. Because of that, at-fault parties are sometimes liable to pay non-economic damages, which compensate you for the toll that your accident had on your mind and body.
Non-economic damages often include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
When your attorney tallies up the damages that you’re owed, they’ll take into account both those that you’ve already suffered, as well as those that you’re likely to suffer in the future. That way, you can be compensated for every penny that the other driver and their insurance company owe you.
Comparative Negligence in Georgia
One way that the other party’s lawyer may try to reduce your compensation is by invoking Georgia’s comparative negligence rule. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that, as long as a plaintiff is less than 51% at fault, you can recover damages.
That’s good news for car accident victims, but it comes with a catch: your compensation can also be reduced if you are in any way at fault, even if you had a small part in your accident. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33, your compensation can be docked according to the percentage of fault that you had.
For example, if you were hit by another driver but were looking at your phone at the time, the other side could argue that you were 30% at fault for your accident. Then, if you would have normally gotten $10,000, you lose out on $3,000 of that, leaving you with $7,000.
Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible to protect their bottom line, so they may try to give you a smaller settlement because of comparative negligence. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can prove that you were only a victim and had no fault of your own.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
In cases like yours, states impose strict deadlines, called statutes of limitations, by which you need to take action or possibly lose out on compensation altogether. Georgia’s statute of limitations for car accident injuries is two years, according to OCGA § 9-3-33.
Two years might seem like a long time, but it’s not. It takes time to put together a strong claim, and your deadline might be much shorter – possibly even weeks. Plus, as time goes on, it becomes harder and harder to gather the evidence needed to prove that you are owed compensation for all your damages.
That’s why it’s important to get in touch with a Doraville car accident attorney as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more you risk losing the compensation you deserve.
Doraville Car Accident FAQs
Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have any intention of filing a claim, or if you know that another driver was at fault for your accident, then yes, it’s likely that hiring a car accident lawyer is worth it. Even if your damages do not seem that bad, they can add up, and hiring an attorney shouldn’t cost you more than you make from your settlement.
At John Foy & Associates, you don’t even have to pay up front for your lawyer’s help. That’s because we work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we don’t make anything until you get results. That way, you have no risk of paying legal fees for a claim that won’t yield anything.
Our attorney’s contingency fees come out of a portion of your compensation, so you will always come away with more than you went in with. That percentage will depend on the details surrounding your accident, though, so it’s impossible to say how much you will have to pay for your car accident lawyer in Doraville.
If you’re not sure whether it’s worth pursuing a claim, you can always talk to one of our personal injury attorneys about your case. Someone from our firm can tell you what options you have and how much our services may cost.
When Should I Hire an Attorney for My Car Accident?
There may be situations in which you don’t think a lawyer is necessary when you would actually benefit from legal help. Even if you were in a fender-bender or a rear-end collision that does not seem serious, you may end up having higher bills than you expect. If the insurance company makes you an offer, they may be lowballing you.
While there is no legal requirement to hire an attorney for a car accident in Georgia, you also have the legal right to an attorney at any point throughout an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Having an attorney by your side can take the burden of figuring those out off of your shoulders while you focus on resting and recovering.
If you’re wondering when in the process of your claim or lawsuit you should hire a lawyer, the answer is as soon as possible. There will be people like defense attorneys and insurance adjusters trying to take advantage of you from the moment they find out about your plans to pursue compensation. The sooner you act, the better.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Georgia?
With itemized receipts and clear monetary amounts, it’s much easier to put a price tag on car repairs and medical bills. But it’s much more challegning to assign a value to any physical and emotional pain you endure. How does someone quantify the money you should get for something that you feel, not something that you paid?
When they’re tallying your damages, your car accident attorney will use your economic damages to calculate your pain and suffering. Lawyers in Georgia often use the multiplier method. With the multiplier method, there is a certain number that is assigned depending on the severity of your pain and suffering, and that number is multiplied by your financial damages.
The multiplier used for your pain and suffering damages can range widely, so it’s hard to tell how much you might be able to get without talking to someone who knows how damages are counted. You can get a free consultation with a lawyer in Doraville who can give you an estimate of the compensation you may be able to receive.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Doraville Today
If someone else caused your crash, you shouldn’t be saddled with the burden of paying for the consequences. With the help of the Doraville car accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates, you could be able to collect compensation to help pay for your bills and hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence.
To get a FREE initial consultation with one of our attorneys, all you need to do is call us or contact us online. We’re available 24/7 and are ready to talk with you today.