Motor vehicle accidents are all too common in Georgia. According to the car accidents statistics published by the Georgia Department of Transportation, over 331,000 vehicle accidents occurred in 2020, approximately 125,000 of those accidents caused injuries, and 1,588 had fatalities.
Furthermore, in 2020 there were over 38,000 car accidents in Fulton County, and over 50% of those car accidents occurred in Atlanta. According to City-Data, there were 115 vehicles involved in fatal accidents in 2020 in Atlanta, with 78 fatalities, and a total fatality count of 142 for Fulton County.
If you sustained injuries after a car accident in Atlanta, whether you had no fault or were partially at fault, you may be able to pursue compensation. The Atlanta car accident attorneys at Hoffspiegel Law offer profound legal knowledge, support, and personalized attention.
Our experience and expertise allow us to move fast and provide consistent results for our clients. We handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis; this means you don’t pay a thing until we win. Call us today at (404) 760-8600 and schedule a free consultation. Let our legal team handle the burden of the legal process so that you can focus on recovery.
What Can an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Do For You
The events after an auto accident can be very confusing and difficult to deal with. Especially if you were not at fault, it is common sense to seek compensation for your damages. However, merely possessing the right to seek compensation does not guarantee a smooth process. You can expect the insurance company of the at-fault driver to fight vigorously to oppose your claim and do everything in their power to avoid paying what you are owed. Even if it is clear that you are the victim, they may even try to shift the blame on you, as well as question and diminish the severity of your injuries.
That’s why it is critical to have an Atlanta car accident lawyer on your side. With a legal expert in your corner, you will be able to avoid any potential victim-blaming tactics and secure fair compensation. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the intricacies of a car accident lawsuit and focus fully on recovery.
At Hoffspiegel Law, our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys offer deep legal know-how and support all personal injury victims. When you entrust your car accident case to us, we will:
- Thoroughly investigate your car accident
- Interview and prepare both expert and lay witnesses
- Determine the liable party or parties
- Seek damages from the party or parties responsible for your injuries
- Shield you from blame-shifting tactics
- Deal with insurance companies
- Assemble medical records and other evidence
- File your personal injury claim and make sure that all the deadlines are met
- Assess the opposition’s case
- Negotiate with the opposing legal counsel
- Negotiate a fair settlement
Needless to say, there are instances where insurance companies may not be willing or able to provide you with the full amount you deserve. In such situations, our car accident lawyers are fully equipped and prepared to protect your interests and take your case to court. But in general, trials are time-consuming processes. Thus, we will do our best to avoid a trial and secure the compensation you deserve out of court.
Finally, our office will also keep you informed about the progression of your case. You can contact us at any time if you have questions or new information relating to your case.
Statute of Limitation for Filing a Car Accident Claim in Atlanta
First of all, the statute of limitations is basically the law that states the deadline for filing a claim after an event. In Georgia, for a wide range of personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years. This also applies to car accidents. However, for car accidents, there are several specific deadlines, depending on the parties involved and other factors.
- If you are seeking recovery only for property damage and not for medical expenses, the deadline is four years
- If you are seeking financial compensation including medical expenses, the deadline is two years
- If you are filing a lawsuit that involves a state-owned vehicle, the limitation is one year
- If the accident involves a city or county vehicle, the limitation is six months
How Is Liability Proven in Car Accident Cases?
First of all, Georgia is an at-fault state. Therefore, if a car accident occurs, someone is deemed responsible for that accident. Moreso, that person’s insurance company is generally responsible for covering the damages resulting from the accident.
By Georgia law, there are several basic rules that set the grounds for liability in a car accident. These are:
- If one motorist was negligent while behind the wheel (i.e. texting, eating, applying make-up, or engaging in other distractive activities), they are most likely at fault.
- If one motorist broke a traffic law, while the other(s) didn’t, they are most likely at fault.
- In case of a rear-end collision, the motorist behind is typically at-fault, because it is considered that they didn’t operate their vehicle properly. GA Code § 40-6-49 (2020) specifies that the “driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent”.
- If a vehicle caused the accident due to being poorly maintained, then the motorist behind its wheel may be considered at fault. However, in case it is a rental or a company car, liability may be more complex.
Second of all, Georgia is a modified negligence state. This means that if you share some fault in an accident, you won’t benefit 100% from the awarded compensation. For example, if it is determined that you had a 10% fault in the accident and the final settlement is $100,000, you will get only $90,000 from that amount. Moreso, if you are found 50% or more at fault, you may be barred from recovering any damages.
When it comes to car insurance requirements, Georgia requires drivers to carry liability insurance to cover potential damages they may cause to others in an accident. The minimum liability coverage limits in Georgia are typically stated as a series of numbers (e.g., 25/50/25) representing the amounts of coverage in thousands of dollars for bodily injury per car accident victim, bodily injury per accident, and property damage, respectively.
Now, if you were involved in a collision in Atlanta, GA, regardless if you were at fault or not, it is recommended to seek legal help from an Atlanta auto accident attorney. Georgia laws may change over time and circumstances can vary. Law firms usually work with a variety of experts and can clearly determine fault even if the circumstances of the accident were complicated. They can also determine your exact fault percentage and the damages that you could recover.
Personal Injury Claims Arising from Automobile Accidents
Often, a car accident or other vehicle-related injury is caused by another person’s negligence. In Georgia, you are entitled to recover damages when another party:
- Had a legal duty to conform to a standard of conduct;
- Breached that duty;
- Through that breach, caused the injury; and
- You sustained damages as a result
The damages sustained in a motor vehicle accident may range from minor injuries and other damages to wrongful death or catastrophic injury. In either case, you shouldn’t have to bear the costs of someone else’s negligence.
Some of the most common damages a person injured in an automobile accident may recover for include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- The cost of assistance/equipment necessitated by your injury
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle
Of course, the damages are different in every case. When you meet with a personal injury attorney at Hoffspiegel Law, we will work with you to itemize damages and gather the evidence necessary to establish your losses.
How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
The worth of a car accident case in Atlanta, Georgia can differ, depending on a variety of factors. As a general idea, for an accident that has caused you only minor injuries, you can expect compensation of only a few thousand dollars, sometimes more. On the other hand, if the accident has caused you serious or catastrophic injuries, you may be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions.
Here are some of the factors that can influence the compensation awarded for your accident:
The total value of your medical bills. In general, for a car accident injury claim, the compensation awarded is meant to cover your medical expenses. Thus, in case of serious injuries, the compensation can be higher.
The impact of your injuries on your ability to work. If an accident has left you disabled and due to this you have lost your job or you are incapable of earning, the compensation may be higher.
Property damage. The total damage to your vehicle or other property can also influence the total worth of your car accident case.
Insurance policy limits. Any motorist in Georgia is required to have a minimum of $25,000 liability insurance. For trucking companies, the minimum is often $500,000 that’s why compensation in truck accidents can be higher. So, if you were injured by another motorist that only held a minimum $25,000 insurance policy, your settlement is likely limited to this amount. In this case, you may have the right to a penalty-free recovery under your own under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage policy.
Amount and quality of evidence. If your car accident was well-documented and you provide clear photos from the scene of the crash, a medical report of your injuries, and solid witness testimonies, it is likely to collect a higher settlement. Conversely, a lack of evidence or untrustworthy witness testimonies can diminish the total value of your settlement.
Fault. As we’ve already mentioned above, Georgia is a modified negligence state, meaning that if you share fault, it is likely that you won’t benefit from full compensation after a car accident.
How Much Does An Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Cost
The wide majority of Atlanta car accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they secure a settlement or obtain a favorable verdict for their client. In the event your car accident attorneys fail to secure any compensation for your damages, you are not responsible for any fees.
As a general idea, car accident lawyers that achieve a successful outcome for their clients will take a predetermined percentage of your compensation award for their services. This amount can range between 30% and 40%.
What To Do After A Car Accident in Atlanta, Georgia
Unfortunately, many people who have been injured in auto accidents make serious mistakes before consulting an attorney—mistakes that may compromise their car accident claims. When you’ve been involved in a car accident:
- Seek medical attention right away, both to protect your health and to create a record of your injuries
- Follow doctors’ orders, to ensure that you don’t aggravate or prolong your injuries through your own fault
- Get contact information from any witnesses, if you are able
- Don’t admit responsibility, because statements you may make while upset and confused may be used against you later
- Document the incident and damages, if you are able, with photographs, video, or other means
- Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, so that your lawyer will have every opportunity to gather evidence, contact witnesses and otherwise prepare your case
After an accident, there are numerous essential tasks to handle, and errors can have significant consequences. It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies often employ skilled attorneys focused on minimizing payouts, so it is wise to have adequate legal support in your corner.
Your car accident lawyer can provide regular updates on the progress of your case, whether it’s through phone calls, emails, or scheduled meetings. They can offer critical insight and guidance, as well as negotiate on your behalf.
What To Expect After Filing A Car Accident Claim In Atlanta
After filing a car accident claim in Atlanta, Georgia, a series of events will be set into motion. While each case is unique and can vary depending on the circumstances, here is a general overview of what you can anticipate:
Claim review: Once the claim is filed with the relevant insurance company, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster will review your claim, including the details of the accident, any supporting evidence you provide, and the extent of damages and injuries.
Investigation: The insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine liability and the extent of damages. This may involve reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, examining medical records, and assessing property damage.
Determination of fault: As we’ve already pointed out above, Georgia follows a comparative negligence rule. Thus, fault can be assigned to multiple parties based on their degree of responsibility. The insurance company will evaluate the evidence and make a determination of fault, which can affect the amount of compensation you receive.
Settlement negotiations: The insurance company may make an initial settlement offer based on their evaluation of the claim. In many cases, they will try to pull the settlement value close to the lowest possible amount. However, if you are working with an Atlanta car accident lawyer, they can negotiate with the insurance adjuster to reach a fair settlement. This process may involve back-and-forth negotiations to reach an agreement.
Lawsuit filing (if necessary): Most car accident cases don’t end up as car accident lawsuits; they are concluded with a settlement. However, if you are unable to reach a satisfactory settlement through negotiations, you may choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This step involves initiating a formal legal process, which can extend the timeline and complexity of your case. Needless to say, the counsel of a professional Atlanta car accident lawyer can weigh heavily in the final outcome.
Discovery and preparation: If a lawsuit is filed, both parties engage in the discovery process, where they exchange information and evidence related to the case. Depositions may be taken, witnesses may be interviewed, and experts may be consulted. Your Atlanta car accident attorney will work with you to prepare a strong case.
Collection of compensation: If you reach a settlement agreement or your Atlanta car accident lawyers win the case at trial, you will receive compensation for your damages, which may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Get the Help You Need with Your Car Accident Case
When you’ve been injured in an accident, you have a lot to manage: physical pain, limitations, trauma, and lost income, just to name the basics. You don’t have to take on the stress of managing your personal injury claim, too. An experienced automobile accident attorney can ease that burden, protecting your rights while you focus on your recovery.
Hoffspiegel Law – Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Who Are Prepared to Fight for You
A surprising number of personal injury attorneys prefer to avoid the courtroom altogether, instead opting to accept the best settlement they can negotiate without trying the case. Unfortunately, that often means that the case is settled for less than full value, depriving the injured party of fair compensation. At Hoffspiegel Law, we don’t settle a case unless we’re confident that it is in your best interest.
Our personal injury lawyers work with a small number of clients, many of whom have suffered serious or even catastrophic injuries, and fully invest in each case. Our law firm treats each claim as if it will go to trial, thoroughly preparing to fight your case all the way to a jury verdict if that is the best option for you. Give yourself the advantage of attorneys who are willing to fight for your rights.
Contact our law firm today at (404) 760-8600 or click the Contact Us button below to schedule a free consultation.
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