If you’re dealing with injuries because of a car accident someone else caused in Valdosta, you may be entitled to full compensation of your costs. A lot can be overwhelming in the moments following an accident, and it’s hard to know where to turn. Besides getting any needed emergency medical treatment, the first thing you should consider is contacting a Valdosta car accident lawyer. Having a legal professional on your side from the beginning can make a huge difference in your financial recovery options.
At John Foy & Associates, we believe you shouldn’t have to pay for any costs resulting from a car accident you didn’t cause. That’s why we’ve been helping car accident victims get the recovery they deserve for 20+ years. Our focus is always on injury victims, and we never take the side of insurance companies. Let us give you a FREE consultation to talk about the details or your case. To get started today, call 404-400-4000 or contact us here.
Who is at Fault for a Car Accident in Valdosta?
Georgia is a “fault state,” which means the driver whose negligence caused an accident is liable for damages. Negligence refers to carelessness or acting in a way that puts others in the way of harm. A driver can be negligent without actually intending to cause harm.
For example, say a driver looks down at their phone and drifts into the lane beside them on the highway, colliding with another driver’s vehicle and causing an accident. The second driver suffers whiplash and a broken wrist, plus their vehicle is totaled. Even though the first driver didn’t mean to hurt anyone or cause an accident, they are still at fault because looking at their phone while driving was careless and negligent.
So, if you’re in a car accident in Valdosta and the other driver’s actions (or inactions) led to your accident, they are likely at fault. Usually, this means the driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying those costs—if you can prove the other driver was at fault.
What if More than One Person is at Fault?
The fault should be straight-forward, but it can get complicated sometimes. For example, if both drivers (or more than two drivers) are partially at fault for the accident, comparative negligence would apply. When more than one person contributes to an accident happening, each person will be assigned a percentage of fault. That person’s damages would then be reduced by that percentage.
Say you hold five percent of the fault in a car accident in Valdosta and your damages total $10,000. Your award or settlement would be reduced by five percent, meaning you can still get $9,500 in damages and are responsible for the remaining $500. The other driver would then be liable for 90% of your damages.
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Car Accident Claim?
If someone else’s negligence caused your car accident and resulting injuries, chances are you have a valid Valdosta personal injury claim. But if you’re unsure, speak to a car accident lawyer right away.
An experienced attorney has worked on many car accident cases, and they’ll be able to tell you the strength of your claim based on the details. They can then help you compile the right evidence and give you an idea of the full value of your claim.
Some of the most common accidents leading to car accident claim in Valdosta include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on accidents
- Distracted driving or drunk driving accidents
- Hit-and-run collisions
- Uninsured motorist accidents
- Accidents caused by poor driving conditions, such as rain, hail, or fog
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Valdosta?
Just about everything you do after a car accident can help in building your injury claim. Here are some things you can do right after the crash happens.
Stop and Call Police
Even if the accident was minor, never drive away from the scene. Stop and make sure your surroundings are safe, such as away from oncoming traffic. Then, call 911 to report the accident to the local police—even if the other driver discourages it. You will probably need a police report of the accident to file your car accident claim, and the accident needs to be reported for this to happen.
When the police arrive at the scene, tell them exactly what happened before, during, and after the accident. Don’t guess or give a definite answer about anything if you aren’t sure. If you have injuries and police ask, just say “yes.” If you aren’t sure whether you’re hurt yet, just say you “aren’t sure” instead of “no” because car accident injuries can sometimes show up later.
Get Medical Treatment
If your injuries are serious or life-threatening, get medical attention right away. Don’t delay this.
If you are well enough to stay at the scene, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible after the main details are cleared away. Seeing a doctor will create a record of you getting medical treatment, which shows the insurance company your injuries are as serious as you say. Keep track of all medical bills, hospital costs, and doctor’s notes for evidence in your claim.
Even though the police will ask for insurance information at the scene, it’s a good idea to exchange this information with the other driver yourself, too. Get their first and last name, contact information, and license plate number.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Things can change quickly after a car accident. If you’re able, use your phone or another camera to photograph the accident scene, your injuries, the position of all cars, and vehicle damage. You should also keep any torn or bloodied clothing, as this is physical evidence of the accident and your injuries.
Also, talk to anyone who saw the accident happen and ask for their contact information. Your car accident attorney will likely reach out to them later.
Call an Attorney
Contact a trusted car accident lawyer in the Valdosta area as soon as you can after the accident. They can advise you on the best course of action moving forward so you know you’re pursuing the fullest financial recovery possible.
Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer in Valdosta, GA for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we know how lonely the aftermath of a car accident can feel. And we’re here to help you every step of the way. We’ve been representing car accident victims for 20+ years, and we believe you have a legal right to full compensation of your costs. To schedule a FREE consultation today to talk about the details of your case, call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page to get started.