Injured In An Atlanta Car Wreck?
An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you
A car accident can change your life in a matter of seconds. You can sustain serious injuries that require surgery or other extensive medical care.
You’re undergoing MRIs and X-rays and looking at a long road to recovery. The medical bills start adding up and your regular bills keep coming in, but you can’t go back to work because of your injury, so you’re losing income. You deserve compensation for your injuries, but getting it won’t be easy.
The car accident attorneys at Gary Martin Hays & Associates can help. We’ve handled countless cases for injury victims in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, and our car accident lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies to get you the compensation you’re entitled to.
Put our aggressive representation to work for you so you can maximize the value of your claim and pay your bills. Contact us today for your free consultation.
What should I do after a car accident?
The first thing you should do after a car accident is see if anyone needs medical attention. If you, your passengers or anyone else involved in the crash are injured, call 911 right away and tell them you need an ambulance. Don’t try to move anyone who’s been injured unless they’re in immediate danger or you’re trained to do so.
If you can still drive your car, you may need to move it to make sure you aren't blocking traffic. Otherwise, it’s best to leave the crash scene as is until police arrive to fill out an accident report.
Get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident along with any witnesses. Exchange insurance and contact information with others involved in the crash, but try not to talk about the accident.
Stick to the facts of what happened and never say anything that could be construed as admitting fault. Determining fault for a car accident can be complex, and you're not in a good position to make that call at the scene of the crash. When the police arrive, ask them how you can obtain a copy of the official accident report.
If you have a smartphone or camera with you, take pictures of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles involved, and any visible injuries. Be sure to also take pictures of tire marks, relevant street signs, and traffic signals.
Write down what details you can remember from the accident, including the approximate time it happened, where it happened, and if weather or road conditions were a factor in the crash.
See a medical professional as soon as possible and let them know that you were in a car accident. Go to the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care physician. Make sure you tell your doctor about all your symptoms, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, even if they seem minor (such as stiffness, headaches, or dull pain). Car accidents sometimes cause internal damage that has delayed onset symptoms, so getting checked out by a doctor is important for your health. If your doctor doesn’t take your injuries seriously, get a second opinion.
Notify your insurance company of the accident promptly, but again, stick to the facts of what happened. Don't say anything regarding fault.
Finally, contact our legal team right away. Retaining a car accident attorney from our Atlanta law firm early in the process will give you the best chance of resolving your case successfully.
What if the car accident wasn’t my fault?
Georgia is a “fault” car insurance state. This means that the driver who caused your accident is generally responsible for paying damages. What it means for you as a victim is that you have different options for seeking compensation.
In Georgia, all drivers are required to carry car insurance. Drivers must carry minimum amounts of liability coverage, a legal term used to describe insurance coverage designed to pay for accident-related expenses in the event of a car accident.
All drivers in Georgia are required to have minimum amounts of liability coverage for injuries and property damage caused in a car accident. The minimum coverage is:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
- $25,000 for property damage
The cost of a car accident often exceeds these limits. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy additional coverage on your insurance policy.
You can add several different types of optional coverage to your policy. For example, med-pay (also known as personal injury protection) can help pay the cost of your medical expenses. Collision coverage can help pay for the damage to your vehicle from the accident. And UM/UIM coverage can help pay damages if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
What can I expect when I file a car accident claim?
When you file a car accident claim with the insurance company, you can expect to deal with an insurance adjuster who will decide whether or not to make you an offer to settle the claim. Often, that amount doesn’t come close to covering the true cost of all your accident-related expenses.
The insurance adjuster may suggest that you are at least partially to blame for the accident. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire an experienced car accident attorney to protect your rights and negotiate a better settlement offer that meets your needs. If the insurance company tries to say the crash was your fault, a car accident lawyer can stand up for you and gather the evidence that proves you didn’t do anything wrong.
Sometimes, the insurance company won’t negotiate a fair settlement. If that happens, our car accident attorneys aren’t afraid to take the fight to court to protect your rights and get you the compensation you’re entitled to.
What is the statute of limitations on personal injury in Georgia?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 2 years from the date of the accident, and 4 years to file a lawsuit for property damage. Once those deadlines expire, you often cannot take legal action against the other driver’s insurance company.
Is Georgia a comparative negligence state?
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means if you’re found partially responsible for the accident, you won’t receive 100 percent of the compensation that’s awarded. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for your accident, your settlement will be reduced by that amount. Let’s say your settlement was $100,000 and you were found to be 20 percent at fault. You would receive $80,000 under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law.
What is the average car accident settlement in Atlanta?
The amount of compensation you receive for your car accident will depend on the specific details of your case. If you were injured in a collision that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages from missed time at work, pain and suffering, and more.
How much does an Atlanta car accident lawyer cost?
Most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any fees unless they win your case. If you are awarded financial compensation, your attorney fees will then be deducted from that amount.