With an increasing number of people on the road, auto accidents have become an everyday thing in the state of Georgia. Even with more stringent laws to help curb the increase in accidents, people still have a habit of driving recklessly, under the influence and overlooking traffic rules.
If a negligent or careless motorist causes an accident that leads to injuries and damages, it is well within the rights of the victim to seek compensation. However, the legal process of filing a claim is not as straightforward as we would all want, and the complexities of a case can be stressful. That’s why it is best to have a reputable Duluth car accident lawyer by your side.
The team at The Herro Law Firm has been helping victims in Duluth and surrounding areas seek justice and get the compensation they deserve for years. Our Duluth personal injury lawyers will fight to protect and enforce your rights. So, don’t hesitate to seek the legal representation you deserve by calling (404) 433-6876 today!
Georgia Auto Accident Statistics
According to the Georgia Department of Transport and Department of Public Health, auto accidents are still the leading cause of injury deaths, and second for ER visits in the state.
In 2020, there were 331,796 recorded car crashes, 1,588 of which were fatal, leading to 1,730 deaths. At least 125,000 individuals were injured and this alarming trend continued in 2021. Even with the lockdown, this trend did not slow down.
What Is the Cost of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?
When it comes to making a claim, most victims are worried about the costs that come with hiring a lawyer. However, you do not have to fret as most car accident lawyers in Duluth, GA, including those at our firm, operate on a contingency basis.
This is an agreement where you don’t have to pay a cent unless we secure a settlement or win your case in court. We agree on a certain percentage of your compensation. The contingency fee agreement is ideal as it gives you access to top-of-the-line legal representation without having to pay anything upfront. So, do not hesitate to reach out.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Duluth, Georgia?
What you do after a car accident dictates the leverage you have in a claim. As such, you will want to do the following:
Call the Police
The first step is to contact the relevant authorities. If it is an emergency, an ambulance will be dispatched to your location to provide the necessary medical assistance. The police are also important as they will create a report required when making a claim.
Check on the Others
Do not leave the scene unless staying poses a severe risk to your safety. If possible, check on the other parties involved in the accident and provide first aid if needed.
Record the Scene
If possible, use your phone to take videos and photos of the accident scene. Ensure you capture your injuries, damages caused to the cars, traffic signs, skid marks, weather conditions, road conditions, and any other relevant details.
It is important to exchange relevant information with the other party including names, contacts, license and registration details, insurance details, etc. If anyone witnessed the accident, approach them politely and ask for their contact information as well. They may come in handy in proving your side of the story.
Never Admit Fault
The natural empathy trait in a human being makes us gravitate towards apologizing after an undesirable event. However, this is the last thing you want to do in a car accident as you might be held liable, even if you were not at fault. Avoid statements like “I’m sorry” as they could be considered an admission of guilt.
Seek Medical Attention
Following an accident, it is important to visit the doctor, even if you feel okay. Some of the most severe injuries like whiplash and internal bleeding do not manifest themselves immediately. A thorough examination by a qualified practitioner will help prevent severe conditions down the road and also help include what you should be compensated for.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
A skilled Duluth car accident lawyer will help protect both your rights and future through ideal guidance on how to handle an auto accident claim. If you choose The Herro Law Firm, you will be thankful for our services as we will fight relentlessly to ascertain maximum compensation.
What Is the Average Settlement for an Auto Accident?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average auto accident claim in 2019 settled for $18,417. For the same year, the average property damage was settled for $4,525.
However, this amount doesn’t dictate the exact amount you will get for your case, given the many factors to consider. The nature and severity of the injuries, whether they are temporary or permanent, and your medical bills and other expenses, are some of the major factors.
A competent lawyer will evaluate your case and provide a fair estimate of how much you can expect from your claim.
Why Do I Need a Duluth Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accident lawyers are beneficial in a number of ways especially when it comes to:
When you hire an auto accident lawyer, you’ll have an effective representative to handle all the legal aspects of your case. This includes collecting the necessary evidence, handling the paperwork, communicating with the other party, and ensuring you don’t miss any deadline.
Your lawyer will also handle all the communications with the insurance adjusters and lawyers. Our lawyers have excellent negotiation skills to ensure that you do not get an unfair settlement. If they lowball or deny your claim, we will be ready to fight them in court.
Trial Preparation and Representation
If the negotiation stage does not bear fruit, your lawyer will be prepared to take the case to trial. Here, the jury will be responsible for determining liability and compensation amount. As such, our lawyer will represent you accordingly to ensure the odds are in your favor.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
When it comes to minor accidents, the services of a lawyer are not usually necessary. However, accidents that result in severe injuries or damages call for the help of a reputable Duluth car accident lawyer. Here are situations where you should contact a lawyer immediately:
- The accident led to substantial injuries.
- You don’t agree with the police report.
- The accident occurred in a school zone.
- The accident involved another driver.
- The accident involved an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
- Fault for the accident isn’t clearly established.
- The insurance carrier is hesitating in regards to compensation.
It’s also advisable to consult a lawyer if you get into a car accident involving a government vehicle, public service car, or government employee. That’s because these types of cases tend to be more complex and have varying specifics and deadlines.
In addition, you have nothing to lose by consulting a lawyer, regardless of the nature of your accident. The Herro Law Firm provides a free initial consultation which includes advice on how to go about the claim.
How Much Can I Expect to Get for My Damages?
Figuring out the amount of damages in an auto accident case is rarely a straightforward process. Every accident is different, meaning there can never be a number written in stone. There are numerous factors that come into play when determining the compensation amount. These include:
- The time spent at the hospital
- The time spent during recovery
- The type of therapy needed
- Presence of disfigurement, permanent scarring, or disability
- The psychological and emotional impact of the accident
What Damages Can You Recover?
Car accidents, especially collisions tend to lead to severe injuries and property damages. If you have been a victim of a car accident that was not your fault in Georgia, you may be eligible for the following:
These entail out-of-pocket expenses that you may experience due to the accident. Examples of economic damages include property damage, medical expenses (past, current, and future), loss of earning capacity, lost wages, travel expenses to doctor appointments, rehabilitation expenses, etc.
These entail intangible losses incurred but can’t be calculated objectively. Examples include loss of enjoyment in life, emotional distress, pain and suffering, anxiety and depression, scarring, disfigurement, etc.
These are not designed to be compensatory damages, but to serve as extra punishment to the party at fault. Punitive damages are rarely awarded for car accident claims and are reserved for grossly negligent, malicious, or extremely reckless drivers. They are also put in place to discourage others from speeding, driving under the influence, knowingly driving an unsafe car, etc.
How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Georgia?
To determine liability, you need to prove negligence. In the state of Georgia, there are three elements of negligence. These include:
Duty of Care
First, you need to prove the other party had a duty of care towards you. All drivers have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and drive in a safe manner.
Breach of Duty of Care
Proving the defendant breached their duty of care is the next step when it comes to showcasing liability. This is an important step in proving that the defendant was negligent. Examples of breaching duty of care include speeding, running a red light, distracted driving, and much more.
You also need to prove that the injuries and losses incurred were a direct result of the accident. This tends to be a tricky aspect, as the other side will try to put blame on you. Your damages need to be caused by the negligent actions of the other party, and an experienced lawyer can help you prove this.
Next, you need to prove you experienced damages as a direct result of the car accident. The damages can either be economic or non-economic. Note that Georgia is a comparative negligence state. This means that you are still eligible for compensation even if you were partly at fault for the accident. The compensation amount will be adjusted to account for your percentage of fault.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in GA?
The statute of limitations in Georgia stipulates that you have 2 years from the date of the car accident to file a claim. This applies for personal injuries but for property damage, you have up to 4 years.
How Can a Duluth Car Accident Lawyer Help File My Claim?
Diligence is essential when it comes to comprehending the claims process. The process usually involves the following:
- Filing Your Claim – You submit your claim for injuries and damages incurred.
- Confirmation – The insurance company and the other party confirm they have received the claim.
- Investigation – After receiving the claim, the investigation process starts.
- Claim Approval and/or Denial – The insurance carrier will send an investigation report, stating whether your claim is approved or not.
- Settlement Negotiation – You have the choice of accepting or rejecting the insurance company’s settlement offer. Negotiations are best left to an experienced lawyer.
- Filing a Lawsuit – If negotiations fail, a lawsuit might be the best course. At this stage, the court is responsible for assigning liability and deciding compensation.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denied My Claim?
Regardless of what you think about your claim’s worth, the insurance company will try to deny or settle for the least amount possible. With the help of The Herro Law Firm, however, you don’t have to worry about these aspects as we are passionate about fighting for the rights of our clients.
Hire Herro Law as Your Duluth Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Car accidents in Georgia are commonplace even with the increasingly stringent laws over the years. If you or a loved one are a victim of an accident on the road, do not hesitate to call our Duluth, GA law office at (404) 433-6876 today!
Our team at The Herro Law Firm will fight to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation, and you pay nothing until we win your case.