Rear-end collisions can sometimes seem minor, but you can often be hurt more than you realize. According to Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a common result of rear-end accidents and can cause long-lasting complications.
If you have hospital bills, auto repair expenses, or other damages from an accident that you didn’t cause, you shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences all by yourself. The car accident lawyers in Doraville from John Foy & Associates can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Can You Sue for a Rear-End Collision in Doraville?
Yes, depending on what happened and what damages you suffered because of your accident, you can sue the other driver involved. In any car accident case, the following things must be true for you to have a valid claim:
- The other party owed you a standard of care. That’s the basic level that someone can be held to in their treatment of you. In car accident cases, that standard is safe driving without distractions.
- The other party breached their standard of care – this is known as negligence. Common examples of negligence in rear-end accidents include using the phone while driving, speeding, or driving erratically.
- The other party’s negligence caused damages to your finances and your quality of life.
The truth is, though, that your claim will most likely not become a lawsuit at all. That’s because, before you go to court, the other driver’s insurance company will want to reach a settlement agreement. Lawsuits are expensive for them, and they’ll want to avoid getting caught up in a months-long legal battle.
However, if the insurance company offers you a settlement before you’ve talked with your own lawyer, you shouldn’t take it. To save money, the insurance company may try to short you on your compensation. Be careful what you say to them as well–they may try to use your words against you to decrease your settlement.
That’s why it’s important to talk to a Doraville rear-end collision attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer can advise you on the best course of action and protect you from parties that many want to take advantage of you.
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How Much Is a Rear-End Collision Settlement Worth?
The amount that people receive in settlements for rear-end collisions varies widely on what happened and how extensive their damages are. A minor fender-bender may result in hundreds or thousands of dollars, while a more severe collision could mean hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of dollars in damages.
To show how much compensation you deserve, your lawyer will have to calculate the damages that you suffered. To do that, they will use your bills, receipts, diagnoses, and other documents that prove how much you had to pay to recover from your accident.
Damages are generally split into the categories of economic (the financial cost of your recovery) and non-economic (the emotional and mental cost of your accident). They can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Auto repair bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death
Your car accident lawyer won’t just tally up the damages that you’ve already suffered. They’ll also calculate how much you’re likely to pay in the future for rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other ongoing expenses. That way, you’ll be able to receive every penny you’re owed.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Our firm has found that, in most rear-end collision cases, the driver in the rear who collided with the back end of the other car is at fault. In most of those cases, the rear driver is not paying attention, is speeding, or is on their phone. In those cases, the driver in front collects compensation for the damages that the driver in the back caused.
However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the driver in front makes a sudden stop or reverses and causes someone else to run into them. These cases are harder to prove, but it is possible. If another driver “brake checks” you or fails to indicate that they are stopping, they are at fault and should be liable to pay for the damage they caused.
Comparative Negligence Laws in Georgia
There is another dimension to fault in car accident cases in Georgia. That’s because of the comparative negligence rule, written in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33. According to that statute, if you are found to be partially at fault, while still having less than 51% of the blame, your compensation can be reduced proportionately.
For example, if you stopped quickly and were rear-ended by a driver who was speeding, you could be found to have 30% of the fault in your accident. In that case, if your compensation would usually have been $10,000, you would lose 30% of that, leaving you with $7,000.
The other party’s lawyers may try to argue that you were also negligent in your rear-end collision, even if you weren’t. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer by your side who is an expert when it comes to investigating and negotiating. A good attorney can build a strong case for you.
Talk to a Rear-End Collision Attorney in Doraville for Free
Even a minor rear-end collision can have major consequences. Whiplash and other injuries can be expensive to treat and can take you out of work for weeks. You don’t deserve to deal with the financial consequences of someone else’s mistake.
The Doraville rear-end collision lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help you hold the other driver liable for their actions. You have a limited time to act, so don’t wait too long to get help with your claim.
For a FREE consultation with a member of our firm, call us or contact us online today.