Getting into a car accident that you know you didn’t cause is incredibly frustrating. You’re suddenly dealing with painful injuries, vehicle damage, and other worries that you weren’t expecting, all because another driver was careless.
While it takes some time to get over a car crash that was not your fault, you can start by seeking compensation for your damages. A car accident lawyer can help you by showcasing evidence of your financial losses, collecting proof from the scene to exhibit the other driver’s liability, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf for a fair settlement.
It Can Happen to Anyone and You Have Options
Unfortunately, car accidents are very common. According to the highway safety statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III), there were around 6.7 million vehicle crashes in the United States in 2018.
Your mind might go immediately to questions like “Why me?” or even “Was this my fault?” But you are not alone, and although an accident can impact your life on many levels, you have options.
Car accidents happen every day, and that’s why car insurance is required for every driver. You have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In your claim, you’ll need to include the full value of your damages like:
- Past, current, and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
A car accident lawyer can help you gather the right evidence of the accident, the other driver’s negligence, and your damages. This typically requires waiting until your medical treatment is completed and all losses have become apparent.
Get the strong arm
Let Yourself Feel the Emotions Following a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault
Getting over the financial impact of a car accident is just one piece of the puzzle. There is a very emotional side to car accident trauma too, and it can stick around long after physical injuries have healed and vehicle damage has been repaired.
You might feel a lot of anger towards the other driver for putting you in this situation. Other emotions you might experience include sadness, apathy, fear, embarrassment, or excessive worry. Common mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a car accident.
It’s important to let yourself feel your emotions after a car accident and not be afraid to reach out for help from a professional. Also, be open with your Georgia car accident lawyer about how the accident has made you feel. You may be able to include the costs of certain mental health treatment, such as therapy, and pain and suffering damages in your claim.
How to Build a Strong Insurance Claim for Your Damages
Thankfully, recovering your costs from a car accident can also help you get over the crash. A lot of stress from an accident results from worries about how to pay for the costs. If you were not at fault for the car accident, you should not have to pay for the damages.
In Georgia, the negligent party in an injury accident is liable for all damages. That means, as a victim of the accident, you can seek damages as compensation (Georgia Code § 51-1-6). Here are some ways you can begin building a strong claim to file with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Report the Car Accident
In Georgia, you are required to report your car accident to the police if there were injuries and/or at least $500 in property damage. Call the police after your crash happens.
Officers will respond to the scene and create a police report of what happened. This will be the first official piece of evidence showing your accident occurred.
Use your phone to capture images of:
- The accident scene
- The location of all vehicles
- Your injuries
- Your vehicle damage
- Anything else that shows how the accident looked and where it was located
Picture evidence preserves the scene even after it has been changed or cleaned up.
Exchange names, license numbers, and insurance information with the other driver while you wait for the police to arrive. You might also note the driver’s license plate number and appearance of their car.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else saw the accident happen, get their name and contact information. Your lawyer will reach out to them for a statement to back up your version of events.
Keep Track of All Expenses
Make sure you save all bills, receipts, and other evidence of the costs you face because of the accident. You will need to include these in your claim.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible. They can make sure you are doing everything possible to build a strong claim. The goal is full compensation for your damages from the at-fault driver so you can begin getting over the accident.
Proving Negligence in Your Car Accident Claim
To further prove your innocence in the case, your car accident attorney may also pinpoint the presence of the four elements of negligence. These elements include:
- Duty of care: The other driver owed you a reasonable duty of care.
- Breach of duty of care: They violated this duty.
- Causation: The liable party’s breach directed caused losses and injuries.
- Damages: You suffered financial losses and physical injuries that a financial award can compensate.
Your case can prove that your crash was preventable. You should not have to feel anxious about your losses extending into the future if your injuries are proven to be permanent.
Implications of Georgia Being an At-Fault State
Because Georgia is an at-fault state, when an accident occurs, the responding officer will assign blame to one or both of the drivers involved. Georgia law permits for there to be percentages of fault assigned in a car crash.
There could be one of three scenarios – the other driver is completely responsible, you and the other driver are equally liable, or one driver shares the majority, but not all, of the blame. If you are found responsible for a portion of the accident, you can recover compensation for your damages so long as the other driver was more than 50% at fault.
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
John Foy & Associates can help you with your car accident case, as we have been doing for countless victims of the past 20 plus years. There is no risk to work with us because we don’t take a fee unless we win you money. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with a FREE consultation.