No one wants to find themselves the victim of a car accident—but it happens to the best of us. The aftermath of an accident in Atlanta can involve thousands of dollars in medical bills and vehicle repairs, physical pain and discomfort, missed wages from taking time off work, and sometimes, injuries that don’t get better. But you should know you have options.
It’s a scary time, and you might be wondering where to turn or what to do next. To gain the most clarity about the best decisions for you, we recommend contacting an Atlanta car accident lawyer. They’ll know the car accident legal process best, and they’re always on your side.
This is what we do at John Foy & Associates. Maybe you’ve seen John Foy on television referred to as the “Strong Arm.” That’s because he’s been representing Atlanta personal injury victims and their loved ones for more than 20 years, and he knows how to win cases. Every attorney at John Foy & Associates brings years of experience and a successful track record to the table. Our business is exclusively personal injury cases, and car accident cases are some of the most common we take on. And we don’t get paid unless we win you money, so working with us is risk-free to every injury victim.
For a FREE consultation with a trusted Atlanta car accident lawyer today, call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form on this page to get started.
How Can an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A good car accident lawyer is the only person who will be truly on your side during the legal process following your accident. This is why we recommend contacting a trusted attorney as soon as you can. They will help your case in a variety of ways—with the goal of getting you a full financial recovery for your costs and damages.
Here are some of the most common ways an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you.
1. Investigating the Details of the Accident
Once you begin working a car accident lawyer, they will start researching your accident case. This can include:
- Sending an investigator out to the scene of the accident (or recreating the accident)
- Taking pictures of the scene and/or the damage to your vehicle
- Interviewing you thoroughly about the accident
- Getting statements from any witnesses
- Looking over police reports of the accident
- Researching yours and the at-fault driver’s driving records
- Analyzing your medical records and consulting experts
The more information you and your lawyer can gather about your accident, the better. Your attorney will be looking for ways to prove the other driver’s negligence (basically, another word for carelessness) led to the accident. If the other driver did or didn’t do something that they were supposed to in order to prevent the car accident from happening, they were being negligent.
Under Georgia personal injury law, the negligent party can be determined as “at fault” for the accident. This means they are now liable for all damages from the accident.
2. Calculating Your Damages
“Damages” refer to any losses from an accident that can be compensated. Damages can include:
- Special damages, such as financial losses like medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs
- General damages like physical pain and suffering, lifelong disability, mental anguish, or anything else that may lower the victim’s quality of life
Damages also take the future into account. If you have injuries that will require ongoing treatment far into the future, you can claim these too.
Special damages are usually easier to quantify because they have a clear price. But general damages are basically meant to compensate you for suffering. This can be very hard to calculate, but car accident lawyers are skilled in making sure the final “price” meets your needs as fully as possible. We know money can never bring back what was lost, but we find it can help a victim and their family cover expenses and start the moving on process.
3. Creating a Fair Insurance Claim
There’s a larger way your car accident lawyer will assist with damages, too. They will make sure you seek what you actually deserve from the other driver’s insurance company.
After reviewing the information obtained from you and from their own investigation, your lawyer will create an insurance claim stating your injuries and all damages, how the other driver was exercising negligence, and the request for financial compensation based on those damages.
4. Negotiating with the Insurance Company
It would be nice if insurance companies had our best interests at heart. But the truth is, they are for-profit businesses looking to save money—which means they may not want to pay out your full insurance claim. It’s very common for the insurer to use tactics like:
- Offering you a lump sum of money upfront that is much less than the value of your total losses
- Denying your initial insurance claim amount
- Contacting you after the accident and using certain things you say against you
This is why it’s so important to always contact a car accident attorney before speaking with the insurance company. Don’t disclose or discuss any details with anyone except for the doctor who treated you and your car accident attorney.
Your lawyer will create an insurance claim that takes all of your damages into account—and they’ll know what to do if the insurer pushes back against your claim. They can also communicate with the insurer on your behalf and negotiate with them if your claim gets denied.
5. Representing You in Court
Most car accident cases end without the need to go to trial. Ideally, your lawyer and the other driver’s insurance company will reach a settlement amount that is fair to you and covers all your losses. But sometimes, negotiations are still unsuccessful.
If the insurer won’t budge, your attorney may advise taking your case to court. During the court trial, your lawyer will present your case. Then, a judge or jury will use what they hear to determine whether you’re entitled to financial recovery, and how much.
5 Questions to Ask About Your Car Accident Claim
When seeking financial recovery for your accident damages, it’s important to consider all expenses and losses you face—now and into the future. Here are some key questions to ask yourself following the accident.
1. What is the total of my medical bills?
Keep a thorough track of every medical expense you face because of the accident. At the very least, you’ll have medical costs from seeing a doctor. Your costs may also involve tests, prescription medications, x-rays, hospital stays, surgeries, or more. You may also have to pay extra for fuel costs if your doctor is far from home. Keep receipts of all bills and payments for medical expenses.
Medical costs often make up a big part of an Atlanta car accident claim, and you shouldn’t have to pay out of your own pocket for injuries that weren’t your fault.
2. What is the extent of my injuries?
Be honest and upfront with your doctor about all injuries. Even if something is minor or doesn’t feel “that bad,” tell your doctor about it. Some injuries, such as whiplash, can take a while to fully show up and may get worse with time.
Also, do your injuries impact your ability to live as you did before? Do you have permanent scarring or disfigurement that causes you emotional pain?
These are all questions to consider. A car accident attorney will account for all the ways your injuries affect your life, and they will make sure your claim includes them.
3. Will I need future medical care?
You’ll also want to consider how your injuries will affect you in the future. Ask your doctor about the prognosis of your injuries. Will you need future treatment and care? Will you still be able to perform the duties of your current job? What about future jobs you might have?
4. Will I need a new automobile?
Don’t forget about how your vehicle was damaged during the car accident. Repairs costs from serious accidents can be astronomical, and you might even need to replace your car completely.
Keep track of anything you pay and any quotes you receive regarding repairs or replacement. You’ll want to account for these expenses in your insurance claim.
5. Did I have to miss work because of the accident?
Most car accident victims have to miss work because of the accident and their injuries. You’re likely already dealing with mounting medical bills and repair costs. Having to miss work time—your source of income—at the same time can be extremely stressful.
But don’t panic. If you had to miss work because of the accident, that is a damage you are entitled to include on your insurance claim. Compensation for missed work time also includes promotions or raises you may have received if you hadn’t been injured.
Keep track of how many days you’ve had to miss. Your car accident lawyer will help you calculate financial recovery based on loss of wages from the accident.
Types of Car Accidents that Happen in Atlanta
There are a number of ways car accidents can happen. Some of the most common situations include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting and driving
- Drunk driving
- Rear end collisions
- Speeding or other reckless driving
- Head-on collisions
- Dangerous road conditions
We also routinely see accidents involving uninsured motorists and/or drivers that hit and run. An Atlanta car accident lawyer will know how best to proceed with any type of accident in your area. In any of these situations, if you were not to blame for the accident, you likely have a right to financial recovery.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in a Car Accident?
Any type of injury can result from a car accident in Atlanta, but here are some we see most often:
Whiplash Accident Injuries
Whiplash is a very common car accident injury that’s also often misunderstood. It can be extremely painful, but many accident victims don’t realize until later they have whiplash. Plus, whiplash is often falsely portrayed on television, in movies, and by insurance companies who may question its validity.
In reality, whiplash can be incredibly debilitating and last months or even years. The medical term for whiplash can refer to a number of injuries in the neck area caused by forceful movement. During many car accidents, your body is restrained but your head is not. This can cause your head to get suddenly thrown forward, whipping your neck.
The movement that causes whiplash extends your spine past its regular range of motion. This can damage the ligaments in your neck, the discs of your spine, and even sometimes result in brain injury.
Other Neck and Back Injuries
Besides whiplash, a car accident can cause other injuries related to your neck or back. This may include spinal cord damage, herniated discs, or minor to serious strains and sprains.
Head and Brain Injuries
Collision with either the inside of the car, such as the dashboard, windows, or items in the vehicle can cause serious brain- or head-related harm. This can include:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
Broken bones are very common in car accidents because the impact of a crash is so severe. Car accidents can lead to fractures of the face, neck, spine, or skull, broken bones in the arms or legs, pelvis, rib, or hips, and broken ankles, wrists, or fingers and toes.
Many people know how painful broken bones can be. If the fractures are serious enough, they can require years of treatment, such as reconstructive surgery or physical therapy, or may leave someone permanently disabled.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Bruises, sprains or strains, bursitis, and other soft tissue injuries can lead to headaches, sleeping problems, trouble concentrating, muscle spasms or stiffness, tingling, numbness, and more.
Any area of your spine can become damaged during a car accident. If you suspect spinal injuries from your accident, see a doctor immediately. Spinal damage can be extremely serious, causing paralysis, loss of sensation, and even death.
Whether it’s minor or very severe, don’t delay seeing a doctor for your injuries soon after the accident. Even if you feel “fine” or your injuries seem small, you should see a doctor. Since your body is running on adrenaline after the stress of an accident, you might not fully feel an injury until hours or even days later.
And if your injuries will require ongoing treatment well after the accident case is closed, you’ll want to ensure sufficient financial recovery to account for the costs. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you seek the right amount of compensation for all the injuries you have.
4 Things Most People Don’t Know About Atlanta Car Accident Claims
Many car accident victims have never been in an accident before, so it’s completely understandable if you aren’t knowledgeable about the claims process. That’s why car accident lawyers exist—to help you seek financial recovery with the law on your side.
That being said, it helps to have some understanding of the basics so you can know what to expect and how to help yourself. Below are four pieces of knowledge that can be advantageous to know after a car accident.
1. Georgia Is a Fault State
There are “no-fault” states and “at-fault states” when it comes to personal injury law. Georgia is an “at-fault” state, which means the at-fault driver is responsible for injuries, property damage, and other costs resulting from the crash. Most of the time, the money actually comes from the driver’s insurance company, not out of his or her own pocket.
This can be very good news for the victims of car accidents because it means they may not have to pay for any damages they didn’t cause. However, it makes car insurance claims in Georgia quite complex because the victim must be able to prove the other driver was at fault.
2. There Are No Damage Caps
The State of Georgia used to have statutes limiting how much money a victim can receive in a personal injury, also known as “damage caps.” But damage caps were struck down in 2010, so personal injury settlements no longer have caps on the damage you can recover. (This excludes punitive damages, which have a $250,000 limit and are common in drunk driving settlements.)
No damage caps means your car accident lawyer will be able to create an insurance claim that easily covers all your injuries and other damages.
3. Gathering Evidence May Improve Your Outcome
Starting as soon as the car accident happens, you can start compiling information that may help your case. Here are some beneficial steps you take after the accident:
- Taking pictures of your injuries, vehicle damage, and the accident scene
- Getting the other driver’s information, including license plate number
- Speaking with witnesses and getting their contact information
- Making notes about everything you remember from the accident
- Telling the police if you suspect the other driver was drinking or acting recklessly
You’ll also want to report the accident to the police right away and ensure responding officers create a report of the accident. Then, call an Atlanta car accident attorney as soon as you can and give them all the information you’ve gathered.
4. The Deadline for Filing Comes Quickly
You have two years after your accident to file a car accident claim. This might seem far away, but the time goes faster than you’d think. Plus, memories can fade and it can be harder to represent your case as time goes by. Don’t delay getting a personal injury lawyer on your side early in the process so you can submit your claim soon.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we know a car accident can be troubling—physically, emotionally, and financially. We’re here to take away as much stress as possible while fighting for your right to a FULL financial recovery. We have been representing car accident victims and their families for more than 20 years, and we know how to win cases. Don’t let someone else’s negligence keep you from getting the money you need and deserve to get past the accident. Call us today at 404-400-4000 to get a FREE consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys.
Working with us is risk-free, meaning even after the free consultation, we don’t get paid unless we win you money. To get started with your free consultation today, call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form on this page.