Auto Accidents Legal Help
After a car accident you are overwhelmed with emotion, concern and physical pain. The first reaction of a person that has been injured are:
- Will I make it to work tomorrow on time?
- Who will pay my bills this month?
- Will my boss fire me?
- How will the damage to my car and my medical expenses be paid?
With Over 20 years of experience in fighting automobile accident cases in multiple States on behalf of thousands of injured victims, Mr. Ferguson and his staff strive to treat you like family, communicate with you frequently, and fight hard for you and your family.
Checklist – After a Car Crash What Should I Do?
The moments after a car accident are critical in terms of caring for yourself and your loved ones while preserving evidence.
- Seek Medical Attention/Call 911 – Do not hesitate to contact emergency medical personnel immediately. Moments after an accident you have no idea the extent to which you and others have been injured. Emergency medical personnel are there for a reason. We have found over the years that most emergency medical professionals view their work as a calling and welcome the opportunity to help an injured victim. Call them and do not hesitate to do so.
- Take Photographs & Videos – To the extent possible, take photos and videos of the accident scene, vehicles, and injured victims.
- Always Make a Police Report – Auto Accidents do not happen at convenient times or locations. No matter the location, time, or circumstances, always, ALWAYS, make sure that a police report is made following your accident. If the other party insists on leaving, call the police. If the other party begs you not to call the police, call the police. Do not subject you and your family to medical expenses, pain and suffering at your own expense because you chose not to make a police report. Always, ALWAYS make a police report immediately.
- Collect Witness Contact Information if Medically Able – Many times witnesses show up to accident scenes and leave without talking to the police. Maybe they are in a hurry or simply “do not want to get involved.” The the extent possible, try to get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
- Call Us – The honest truth of this business is the quicker you get us involved the smoother and better the outcome. Whether it is getting you and your family to adequate healthcare, providing timely legal advice or just simply having someone that cares, we are here for you and your family 24/7. Do not hesitate to contact us following an accident via text, email or phone. We are here to help you.
Three Key Issues to Remember!
What is the value of my case? How long will my case take to settle? There are three things to remember in any car accident case:
- Did the person or entity that hurt you or your family do something wrong?
In order to seek compensation for the careless actions of a person or entity, you have to be able to prove that they did something wrong. The first question to ask is: Did the police give the other party a citation or were they listed as being the “at fault” party on the police report?
- What is the extent of your injuries?
You simply cannot recover if you cannot prove that you were hurt. If you were not hurt, there is no compensation for personal injuries sustained in a car crash. Personal injuries may include, present medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
- What insurance coverage issues are involved?
There are a number of insurance issues that must be addressed following a car crash. These include:
(a) Do I have health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare?
If you have health insurance, Mediaid or Medicare, make sure that emergency medical personnel and facilities are made aware of it. Keep your health insurance cards close to your identification so that if you are unable to speak or communicate, medical providers will know that you have a means of paying for your healthcare. Realize that your health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare may, depending upon the circumstances, be entitled to reimbursement for any amounts paid to you in the form of a personal injury settlement, but in emergency situations make sure that everyone knows you are covered. We will help you and deal with reimbursement issues later. Focus on getting proper medical care for you and your family in this time of suffering and injury.
If you do not have health insurance or other coverage please see our section entitled “What if I don’t have health insurance?” below.
(b) Does the other party have car insurance that provides coverage for their mistakes and what are their limits of coverage?
Liability insurance covers a negligent driver for mistakes that he or she makes while driving. If a negligent driver rearends you, fails to stop at a traffic signal, turns in front of you or otherwise fails to follow the rules of the road, liability insurance covers any damage that the person or entity may cause to you, your loved one or property.
Liability coverage, however, is usually not limitless in terms the amount that an insurance company will pay on behalf of the at-fault party.
(c) Does my uninsured motorist coverage apply and to what extent?
If you are injured by an uninsured motorist, you will need uninsured motorist coverage on your one automobile insurance. We recommend that you never waive this coverage and always remember that in spite of car insurance being mandatory in most States, some careless individuals and companies will simply not comply with the law.
In some instances, uninsured motorist coverage actually provides coverage when the person that injures you or your family member does not have ENOUGH coverage. For examples, let’s say that your case is worth $100,000.00 but the person that injured you only has minimum limits of $25,000.00. Under certain circumstances, your uninsured motorist coverage may provide additional coverage.
You will need to contact us if the person or entity that injured you or your family either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance but remember that the insurance coverage for the at-fault party is not the only automobile insurance that may apply.
(d) Do I have medical payments coverage under my car insurance?
Medical payments coverage provides coverage for medical bills that are incurred in an accident regardless of who is at fault. Under most circumstances it does not have to be paid back if you receive a personal injury settlement, but not always. It is important that we review your own auto insurance policy to determine whether your medical bills may be covered.
(e) Do resident relatives of my household have uninsured motorist or medical payments automobile insurance that may cover me, even if I am not listed on their policy?
You are struck by an uninsured motorist or a person who is under-insured and does not have enough liability coverage to cover your damages.. You were trying to save money and did not have uninsured motorist coverage or merely paid for the least amount of coverage possible. You or your family have been injured by the careless, negligent behavior of another driver who did not care about the law or other people enough to maintain minimum, legally mandated liability coverage on their vehicle. What happens now?
This is one of the most confusing and misunderstood areas of uninsured motorist law. In many States a person is covered for uninsured and/or under insured motorist coverage under the automobile insurance of another person living in their household that is a resident relative unless the resident relative’s insurance specifically excludes the injured party from coverage. This coverage may also “stack” on top of and provide an additional layer of uninsured/underinsured coverage protection for an injured party. It is virtually impossible to identify this coverage without the guidance of an experienced automobile accident attorney and this coverage is often missed and not provided to an injured victim.
The simple rule to follow is: if you are injured by a person that doesn’t have enough insurance or who flees the scene of an accident (hit and run) contact us immediately.
Do I Have a Case?
Every single case is different. If you find yourself pondering the question of whether you have a case or not, you need to contact us. We do not charge for consultations. We welcome your call. If you call us, and you don’t have a case, you have gained a friend who will be honest and will guide you and your family in the future. If you have a case, we will be honored to help you Do not rely on billboards, false advertisements or promises that cannot be kept. Call us and we will provide you with an honest assessment of your case at no cost.
What Should be my Biggest Concern if a Careless Driver Injures Me?
Personal injury lawyers are everywhere. Promises are made. Wrecks and checks are used in the same sentences. For the lawyers and staff at the Ferguson Law Group, LLC our goal is to treat our clients the same way that we would want our family treated. Our founder, Jason M. Ferguson, encourages and challenges every person working in the firm to always ask the question: would you hire this firm to represent your injured child, parent, sibling, friend or family member? If the answer is no, we are doing something wrong.
Part of this commitment also involves being honest with our clients and focusing on the concerns that a client in an automobile accident should have in terms of the accomplishing the best results. If you or a family member has been injured by a negligent driver, you should be concerned about the following:
Hire an Attorney Early, Do NOT do This Alone
Many people attempt to handle their case themselves without the assistance of a lawyer. Honestly, this is a mistake. You will be “guided” by an automobile insurance adjuster who is promoted based on how little you are paid. They will attempt to lull you into a sense of security. They will tell you what they will and will not “cover.” In the end you will be left in pain, confused and unable to achieve a maximum result in your case.
Over the years, Mr. Ferguson has observed that people who handle cases alone experience the following problems:
(a) Confusion – This process is confusing. It often involves various areas of law that changes frequently including insurance law, healthcare law, personal injury law, automobile tort law and traffic laws. It is impossible for a person in pain to deal with these issues. You’re family has been through enough. Do not place this burden on yourself or your family.
(b) Missing the Statute of Limitations – A statute of limitations is a law that provides that after a certain period following an accident, you may never pursue your claim again, no matter how bad you have been injured. For example, in Georgia and Alabama the statute of limitations for an automobile accident is two years. While 2 years seems like a long time, it will be very hard to get an attorney involved in your case at the eleventh hour right before the statute of limitations passes. Also, during this two year period of time, the insurance companies will likely string you along, make you feel comfortable and ultimately offer you the same amount of money that they would have offered your one week into the case. Do not let this happen to you.
(c) Failing to Obtain Proper Medical Treatment – An insurance adjuster will try to convince you that proper medical treatment will not be “covered” by the insurance company for the person that carelessly caused your injury. This is NOT the way it works. You deserve proper medical treatment for all of your injuries because you did not cause this problem, they did. Spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, headaches, neck problems, arm and leg pain, wrist issues, and mental anguish are not things that you deserve.
Our team has spent years developing relationships with medical providers that can help you recover. Do NOT let an insurance company “guide” your health care.
Document Medical Complaints Immediately
Go to the emergency room immediately. Start with the top of your head and move to the bottom of your feet and disclose every single thing that is hurting. You did not cause this. Someone who was careless crashed into you. Tell emergency medical responders and hospital workers every single part of your body that is experiencing any level of pain or discomfort. Do not make the mistake of leaving anything out. In our experience, people who have been hurt tend to focus on one area of their body that hurts more than any other. Don’t neglect minor aches and pains. Disclose everything.
A Good Lawyer Can Assist You With Obtaining Medical Treatment, Even if You Don’t Have Health Insurance
You deserve the best medical care for your injuries. Do not let health insurance, workers compensation adjusters, Fortune 500 car insurance companies guide and dictate your medical treatment. Call us instead.
Have a Medical Treatment Plan and Stick to it
You cannot simply go to the emergency room and hope that your pain resolves on its own. Realize that an emergency room is not going to resolve long-term, chronic pain that arises from a car crash. You may need orthopedic care, neurological care, would care, physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, or surgery depending on the circumstances. These issues cannot be resolved with one visit to an emergency room. Instead, you need a plan of treatment that includes medical experts and legal guidance. We can help.
Avoid Large Gaps on Medical Treatment
We often see cases where an injury victim goes to the emergency room following a car accident, but does not follow up with additional medical care for a week, two weeks or even a month following the accident. This is a very avoidable but tragic flaw in many cases that we see. DO NOT delay in seeking follow-up additional medical treatment. Understand that you only have one opportunity to correct the damage that a careless person has caused. You cannot come back two or three years later and claim that your pain was caused by the person that hit you, even if it is the truth. The law, called a statute of limitations, requires that you make any claim for injuries within two years of the accident date. Claims against public entities and municipalities may be require even more stringent timelines. The point is this: document, document and document. Do not forgo medical treatment. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney and establish a clear plan of medical treatment.
Types of Accidents We Handle
We handle all car crash cases where a person has wrongfully harmed you or a family member.
Tifton Office225 East 2nd Street, Tifton, GA 31794