A car accident can turn your world upside down. Facing injuries from a collision, especially when the crash was not your fault, can result in huge medical bills plus auto repair expenses. You have the right to recover compensation from whoever hurt you, and you will need a skilled car accident lawyer to do it right.
Known as the Strong Arm across Georgia, the attorneys at John Foy & Associates are ready to help you determine how much money you can get from your car accident. We have helped our clients receive over $1 billion in settlements and jury awards in the past 20 years. Our team will listen to your story and guide you in seeking justice for your injuries.
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What Costs Can a Car Accident Settlement Cover?
Each accident is different, and the total amount of a settlement or jury award will differ. You can still recover significant damages by filing a claim on the other driver’s insurance or pursuing them in a personal injury lawsuit. No matter how you seek compensation, you are entitled to:
- The full cost of all of your medical bills (including treatment, medication, and ongoing therapy)
- The total cost of any car repairs or other lost or damaged property
- Money to offset any wages you missed because your accident kept you from working
These fall under the category of economic damages: hard financial costs that have an exact dollar amount. Even if all your bills are paid, you will still face damage that is not measurable in dollars. These intangible losses are considered non-economic, but they are just as important when you need reimbursement.
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Types of Damages You Can Seek
Some examples of the different kinds of damages you can seek include:
- Hospital bills, including ER, ICU, and surgery
- Doctor bills
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
- Treatment by specialists
- Ambulance or helicopter (“life flight”) expenses
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle
- Travel expenses for treatment
- Renovations to your home if you are disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium with your partner
- Loss of social activity
- Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Loss of companionship with family members
- Emotional distress
- Isolation from disfigurement or scarring
When you suffer the loss of full use of a limb or a permanent disability, the law allows you to recover extra money depending on how severe your pain and loss of activity is. The total for past, present, and future damages for a minor disability can be a few thousand dollars. For a life-changing permanent disability or dismemberment, your settlement could reach a value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In addition to keeping all your medical bills and property repair receipts, you should keep a pain journal to record your recovery. Sharing these documents with your lawyer can help them build the strongest possible case and negotiate the highest settlement. By law, all your expenses and losses must be considered by an insurance company or court, and John Foy & Associates have the skill to support your claim for the most satisfactory outcome.
How Much Is an Average Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Each car accident is different and has unique circumstances that will affect its value. A settlement amount depends on many factors, such as the insurance company adjusters or the findings of a jury and court. If the adjusters are challenging to work with, you and your attorney may have a long negotiation process on your hands.
If a jury is not sympathetic to your situation, they may reduce the amount of your award. Your lawyer is responsible for presenting the most persuasive argument about your injuries and losses, using evidence and expert testimony. Against an insurance company, they will stand firm to get you the best offer possible.
In court, your attorney will create a story that demonstrates how you were wronged and why you deserve the full measure of justice. More severe injuries often produce higher settlement amounts, and the actions of the other driver can sway an insurance company or court in your favor. Drunk or reckless drivers make choices that deliberately endanger others, something your lawyer can use against the person who hurt you. Insurance companies that know their client is at fault will often negotiate a better settlement when the evidence is strong.
Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend
In a perfect world, if you were the victim of an accident, you would receive the total amount of damages allowed by the law. However, insurance companies are in the business of keeping money, not giving it out. Even though you pay monthly premiums, their interests lie in refusing claims if they can help it.
Insurance adjusters are employed to minimize or deny claims despite evidence that you are in the right. Insurance company lawyers will fight your claim through several different methods:
- By claiming that you are the one at fault: Blaming you is the easiest way for the insurance company to get out of paying.
- By claiming that you are partly at fault: Georgia allows both drivers involved in an accident to be considered partially at fault, and the insurance company will do anything possible to argue how much of the fault you share.
- Arguing your injuries: Sometimes insurers will dispute whether your injuries are as bad as you say they are, whether the treatment you got was appropriate, or even whether the injury was related to the car crash at all.
- Delaying tactics: Insurers may drag on your claim for months, or even a year or more, hoping you will cave in and accept a lower amount.
The best way to fight against these techniques is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer. They will negotiate with insurance companies to fight for a fair and reasonable settlement on your behalf. While recovering from your injuries and trying to put your life back together, your attorney will drive a hard bargain using carefully gathered evidence to prove your claim.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
In addition to fighting insurance companies, your car accident lawyer should assist you in finding the best doctor for your injuries. They can obtain documents and evidence to demonstrate that the damages you request are justified and true. For example, your lawyer can pull together evidence such as:
- Medical records and bills
- Accident reports from police
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Traffic and dash cam footage of the accident
- Photographs of the crash scene
- Driving record of the person who caused the accident
- Testimony from medical and other experts
- Testimony from witnesses and bystanders
Your lawyer may hire a third-party accident investigator to produce an accurate report of the crash. This ensures you have evidence that is untainted and objective. Insurance companies hire teams of lawyers to poke holes in your claim and reduce payments.
Having a qualified attorney on your side with experience in pressuring these companies is the best way to receive the justice you deserve.
When Someone Dies from a Car Accident
Sometimes, the very worst happens, and a victim will suffer fatal injuries. Whether the death occurs at the scene of the crash or in the weeks afterward, their families are left with a devastating situation that deserves compensation. On top of all the medical expenses you or your loved ones face, your family must now learn how to deal with a future that no longer includes that person.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you or your family recover all the same economic and non-economic damages as a personal injury lawsuit. They can also seek additional costs, such as:
- Loss of potential inheritance
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
Who Can File?
Georgia has specific laws applying to wrongful death and who can file for compensation. Family members have the right to seek justice from insurance companies or through a lawsuit against the person who is to blame for the accident. A lawyer can aid these individuals in their claim, in this order:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children (if there is no spouse)
- Parents of the deceased (if no spouse or no children)
- The estate of the deceased (if no spouse, children, or parents)
How Quickly Should I File My Claim or Lawsuit?
When an accident happens, you should notify your automotive and medical insurance providers as soon as possible. However, this does not mean you should file claims for payment immediately.
Many injuries take time to appear, and insurance companies will be eager to close out your claim by quickly offering a lowball settlement. They hope you will take it and go away.
How a Lawyer Can Help Your Case
A good lawyer will advise you to take your time in gathering the necessary evidence and testimony to get a complete picture of your injuries and the compensation you will need. They will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get what you deserve and will not rush the process. Your lawyer should understand how to keep pushing for as much reimbursement as you are eligible for until you are satisfied.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, there are limits on how long you have to file. You will still need to gather evidence and prepare your case, but you must file the suit within two years of the date of the accident. In wrongful death lawsuits, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you fail to file your claim in time, you will lose the right to sue and receive compensation.
In some situations, there can also be extensions to the window, and your lawyer can advise you if you qualify.
Contact John Foy & Associates Today for a Free Case Review
Our lawyers aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel to win the maximum settlement or jury award for you. We listen to your story and build the best case possible to seek the compensation you need to face life after a car accident. We offer a free consultation to review your case and help you understand your options.
John Foy & Associates are ready to help you with some of Georgia’s most experienced and respected personal injury lawyers. You can rest easy knowing you will pay nothing unless and until we win the case for you. Contact us through our online form to get started today.