Rear-end accidents are widespread on Georgia highways, often caused by drivers who are distracted or tailgating the car in front of them. These crashes can cause significant injuries to your body and expensive damage to your vehicle. When another driver is negligent and hits you from behind, you deserve financial recovery.
When this kind of collision happens to you or a loved one, you need help to know how much you should settle for if you were rear-ended in Georgia. The experienced car accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates will listen to your story and help you build a strong foundation for your claim. Whether you are seeking an insurance settlement or a jury award from a lawsuit, our firm is known as the Strong Arm across Georgia, and we are ready to work hard for you.
How Can I Recover Money After a Rear-End Accident in Georgia?
Since Georgia is an at-fault state, the person who caused the vehicle accident is liable for all costs you incur. Those costs are known as damages, and the at-fault driver or their insurance company should reimburse you for your injuries and property loss. To seek financial recovery, you need to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company. A good rear-end collision accident lawyer can help you do this.
In the event the driver who hits you is uninsured, your own insurance policy will be responsible for paying you back, provided you carry uninsured motorists coverage. If you do not have this coverage, you may still be able to pursue reimbursement from the other driver through a personal injury lawsuit. Uninsured motorist insurance is activated when the at-fault driver meets one of the following conditions:
- They carry no insurance at all or do not carry enough to cover your damages.
- They left the scene of the accident or cannot be found, thereby committing a hit-and-run offense.
Important Points to Remember After a Crash
In the aftermath of a rear-end collision, you should only exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Never admit guilt or apologize, and do not discuss any injuries you have suffered. Accept medical treatment if first responders are called.
Do not say anything to anyone about the accident until you have spoken with an attorney. Even after you have hired a lawyer, you should avoid speaking with anyone about the crash and not post anything on social media.
It is especially critical that you do not agree with the other driver to keep the crash “just between us” and avoid contacting insurance companies. You should also refuse to accept money from the other driver or anyone at the scene. Do not speak with a representative from their insurance company or sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed it.
Insurance companies will try to deflect blame from their policyholder and pin the fault on you to minimize or deny a payout. At John Foy & Associates, we have decades of experience and will push back to secure a fair settlement for you.
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How Lawyers Reach a Settlement After a Rear-End Crash
A skilled car accident lawyer will take on the job of speaking with insurance providers to show proof the other driver was at fault and that you deserve full compensation. They will have a professional team that can pull together evidence from many sources to support your claim, such as:
- Records of medical treatment at the scene and afterward
- Auto repair bills and estimates
- Photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and damage to your property
- Receipts for items damaged in the crash, such as computers, car seats, or cellphones
- Video from dashcams or traffic cameras
- Cellphone records that show if the other driver was using their phone at the time of the crash
- Black box data that indicates if the other driver was speeding or braked before the accident
- Pay stubs showing your lost wages
- Reports from a third-party accident investigator
Discussing the fine points of each of these categories makes negotiating with insurance adjusters and lawyers very tedious. Your lawyer knows how to get the most reimbursement for every type of damage you have incurred.
They also know when a company is stalling to try to exhaust you and when it is time to stop talking and start filing a lawsuit instead. Insurance companies are in the business of keeping their money, and they will use every tactic they can to encourage you to accept a lowball offer.
What Amount Is a Fair Settlement from a Rear-end Accident?
A fair settlement is one that covers all the past, present, and future expenses you will face as a result of the accident. Because every case is unique, this amount will vary widely from a few thousand dollars to possibly hundreds of thousands. Completely replacing a car versus making minor repairs will make a big difference.
The severity of your injuries probably has the most impact since many problems may not appear until days or weeks later, such as whiplash or nerve damage. When negotiating a fair settlement, your lawyer will seek economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that often have a specific price tag associated with them. Non-economic ones are more subjective but no less harmful to your health and enjoyment of life. Some examples of these costs include:
Your medical costs will likely make up a considerable part of your damages. Even seemingly minor injuries can have hefty doctor bills or worsen with time, requiring ongoing care. It is important to accept medical treatment at the accident scene and to follow up with your doctor for further assessment.
Keeping a record of your injuries from the moment of the crash makes it easier for your lawyer to draw a direct line from the accident to your expenses. Keeping accurate records of your injuries becomes critical if they develop into something more severe or disabling. It also strengthens your claim that the other driver is liable for what you have suffered.
Some typical medical costs included in a settlement are:
- Doctor visits
- Hospital costs, such as ICU, ER, or surgery bills
- Emergency transportation costs, such as ambulance or helicopter
- Prescription medications
- X-rays and other tests
- Medical devices
- Physical therapy
- Home renovations to accommodate disabilities
- Travel costs to and from your medical treatments
In addition to maintaining a complete record of medical expenses, you should also start a pain journal to describe how you are feeling each day and any physical reactions to medications or treatment.
Depending on the size of the vehicles involved, damage to your car may be significant after a rear-end accident. You have a right to recover any costs for vehicle repair or replacement. The same holds true for damage to personal property in your car at the time of the crash.
Take photos at the scene of your car and any broken items, such as laptops, work equipment, cellphones, or car seats, and collect repair estimates for everything. If your car or personal items are totaled or destroyed in the crash, your lawyer will help you gather evidence of actual costs to replace them. This can be valuable for items that quickly lose value after purchase and use, and a fair settlement will cover what you would pay to buy a new car or other property.
You will likely have to miss work because of the accident and your injuries. However, your lawyer will make sure you receive financial compensation for any lost wages you incurred due to the collision. In the event you are self-employed or run a small business, the losses could be even greater.
For example, if your work computer is damaged during the collision and you lose the use of your car, your entire business could be at risk until those items are replaced. A skilled lawyer will help you make a full accounting of what you are owed.
Damages related to pain and suffering are harder to calculate since they do not involve concrete numbers like a hospital bill or vehicle repair appraisal. However, a rear-end collision accident lawyer can determine a fair number for any emotional damages you endured since the accident. Your pain journal can help provide documentation to support your claim for these non-economic losses.
Examples of emotional damages you can sue for after a rear-end collision include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship (with family and children)
- Loss of consortium with your partner
- Isolation from disability, scarring, or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Psychological trauma (like PTSD)
- Distress brought on by adjusting to a disability
Emotional damages can be more debilitating than you expect. Even if a rear-end accident seems minor, you could suffer anxiety, fear, or panic about driving again. You may lose sleep or experience bouts of uncontrollable crying.
The suddenness of an accident coupled with physical injuries can lead to psychological trauma no matter how strong a person you think you are. Receiving compensation for these effects on your life can make it easier to take the time you need to heal.
Insurance Companies Will Offer Less than What You Deserve
Fighting with insurance companies to pursue financial compensation on your own is a difficult battle. They will always start with a low offer in the hopes you accept it and close the claim. If more injuries or property damage appear later, you are left without the reimbursement you need to recover fully.
A skilled attorney will always negotiate hard on your behalf to ensure all your expenses are covered. Legal experts know the types of games insurance companies play, and they are not afraid to be aggressive when demanding fair compensation after a rear-end accident.
It is tempting to think your insurance provider is on your side, but you should be cautious. Even your own company is in the business of keeping their costs down and will try to reduce what they pay you. If either insurance company continues to stall and offer low settlements, an attorney can take them to trial.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000
Partner with a Qualified Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Now
When you want to know how much you should settle for if you were rear-ended in Georgia, you need a top attorney who will not let the insurance companies take advantage of your situation. Rely on the rear-end collision lawyers of John Foy & Associates to negotiate a full and satisfactory insurance settlement for your losses.
Our professionals also know when to stop wasting time and go to court to get the compensation you deserve. Our team has been representing car accident victims for more than two decades, and we know how to handle insurance companies. Call or contact us online to request a free consultation today.