Car Accident Lawyer Atlanta

Car Accidents

Every year, thousands of Americans are involved in auto accidents. Some car accidents can lead to a disability or serious injuries, while others can be fatal. Many factors can contribute to an accident, including distracted driving, failure to follow traffic laws, and poor weather conditions. If you have been injured in a car accident, you must contact a car accident lawyer Atlanta. The compensation awarded in a car accident claim can cover damages including medical expenses and long-term care that’s not covered by your insurance plan. With an attorney from the Ferguson Law Group by your side, you have a significantly higher chance of receiving the compensation needed to cover the cost of damages including medical expenses, property, damage, pain and suffering, and more.

Factors that Can Affect a Car Accident Claim

In an auto accident, there are many different factors at play, each of which can impact a car accident claim.

These factors can include:

  • Poor road conditions
  • Broken traffic lights or missing/broken traffic signs
  • Defective vehicle parts
  • Driver error
  • Distracted or drunk driving

These factors can make a significant difference to a claim, which is why you need to meet with an accident attorney. An attorney can investigate the accident and identify all parties responsible for the collision.

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney Atlanta

An attorney can fully investigate an accident to determine the cause of the collision and all of the parties at fault. The accident lawyers at the Ferguson Law Group in Atlanta are prepared to go head-to-head with insurance companies and take your case to court if settlement negotiations fall apart. The goal of the accident lawyer is to fight on behalf of the victim and reach a settlement agreement that’s fair and covers the cost of the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages from work, pain, and suffering, and more. Going it alone, an accident victim may not know how to negotiate with insurance companies or the defendant’s attorney and may end up accepting a lowball settlement offer that will not cover damages.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Most auto accidents are the result of a negligent driver. Because of this, accident victims must meet with an Atlanta auto accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate the accident to determine who is at fault.

Driver Negligence

An accident victim has the best chance of winning their claim and receiving a fair settlement if their Georgia car accident lawyer can prove negligence. Examples of negligence can include failure to yield, distracted driving, and driving while intoxicated.

Defective Car Parts

If the defendant’s vehicle or the victim’s vehicle had a defective part before the collision, the accident victim may have a claim against the vehicle manufacturer. To prove this type of claim, the other driver must not be at fault and an attorney must be able to prove that the collision was caused by the defective car part.  This type of two-part claim can be very complicated, which is why legal representation is essential. An attorney can hire a private investigator and/or an accident reconstruction expert to help identify the cause of the accident and how the defective car part contributed to it.

Road Conditions

Though the state of Georgia allocates a large sum of money toward road maintenance every year, auto accidents still occur due to poor road conditions, and faulty road construction and design. When this happens and there are no other factors at play, the other driver is not considered responsible. Faulty traffic signals, a lack of traffic signs, or other issues with the maintenance or design of the roads can all contribute to compensation in an auto accident claim.

Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents

Every auto accident is caused by unique factors and can result in several types of injuries. Unfortunately, treatment for certain types of injuries may not be covered by the accident victim’s insurance policy.

Injuries sustained in an auto accident can include:

  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Loss of limbs
  • Scarring
  • Whiplash
  • Back or neck injuries
  • Muscle or joint damage/injury
  • Fractured bones
  • Head trauma
  • Burns

In some cases, the injuries resulting from a collision can entitle the accident victim to compensation. However, it can be very difficult to pursue a claim with the negligent party’s insurance provider as the insurance adjuster will be looking out for their company’s interests when it comes to paying out. Because of this, it’s important to work with a car accident attorney. An attorney will fight for their client and handle all communication with an insurance company to ensure their client doesn’t hurt their claim and receives a fair settlement.

What to Do After a Car Accident that’s Not Your Fault

Immediately after an accident, the driver may be injured and shaken up. But gathering evidence following an accident can be crucial to a claim. If you and the other parties involved are not seriously injured, there are some important steps you must take right away that can help protect your rights and your case.

Be Safe

If possible, make sure your car isn’t blocking the roadway. Next, help the passengers in your vehicle or any of the other vehicles involved.

Contact 911

Contact emergency personnel for medical treatment, if you or anyone else involved has been injured. The police will make a report during this time, which you will need to keep a copy of, for evidence.

Gather Any Evidence Available

Use the camera on your phone to take photos of the scene of the accident. This will include taking photos of the road and weather conditions, and damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved.

Speak with Witnesses

Speak with any eyewitnesses and obtain their contact information and full name. An attorney will speak with them at a later time to get the details of the accident.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you feel okay after an accident, you must seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may not be readily apparent until several hours after an accident has occurred. If you fail to seek medical attention following an accident, only to receive treatment days later, an insurance company or the defendant’s lawyer can argue that you were injured after the accident occurred.

Go to the emergency room for medical treatment. Do not wait for a scheduled appointment with your primary care physician. At the emergency room, a doctor will examine you and order any appropriate tests. Make sure you closely follow the ER doctor’s treatment instructions and follow up with your primary care physician as soon as possible. Make every scheduled appointment and stay on top of recommended medical treatment.

Contact an Accident Lawyer

While you may be required to contact your own insurance company to report the accident, avoid speaking with the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with an accident attorney. Contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Taking Legal Action After an Auto Accident

In most cases, an insurance company will be unwilling to meet your claim, or they may present evidence they believe indicates you are at fault, all to avoid compensating you after an accident. While an insurance company is always securing its own interests, as an accident victim, you have a right to a claim based on many factors that are related to the accident.

It’s important to take legal action immediately following an accident to protect your claim. At the Ferguson Law Group, our auto accident lawyers will gather the evidence needed to prove fault and pursue compensation on your behalf to cover damages.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Filing a claim can be a complicated, confusing process. First, the accident victim must determine if they’re filing a claim against a car manufacturer, the state or county due to road conditions, a car parts manufacturer, or the other party or parties involved in the accident. For many people, this can be an intimidating process, especially if they are struggling to recover from the injuries sustained in the accident. The team at the Ferguson Law Group can take over the investigation and communicate with the other parties involved in the case, including insurance companies.

Once a claim has been filed, an Atlanta auto accident lawyer will begin investigating the accident and will take over communication with the other parties involved.

How an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help

Many accident victims hesitate to call an attorney after an auto accident, wondering whether or not doing so is necessary. Legal guidance with your personal injury claim can significantly increase your chances of recovering damages and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Here are some ways that an attorney can help after an auto collision:

Investigation

Once a claim has been filed and the accident has been investigated, an Atlanta auto accident lawyer can assist you in several ways. In some cases, fault in an auto accident is not always clear. Even when it is clear, evidence must still be collected to prove fault. Negligence, or fault, can have a major impact on the size of the settlement you can receive. Unless you’re able to prove the negligence of all parties involved, you may not be able to recover compensation for any of your damages. An investigation will begin as soon as you hire a car wreck lawyer. The attorney will go into action to collect all possible evidence. This can include witness statements, medical records, video footage, police reports, pictures of the accident scene, and any other physical evidence available.

The Process

An attorney will begin the negotiation process by sending a settlement demand letter that includes a settlement request that’s significantly higher than what you need to cover the cost of damages sustained from the accident. The insurance company will respond to the demand by making a counteroffer that’s somewhat higher than their initial offer. This back and forth process can go on for weeks or months, until one party agrees to a fair settlement offer. A lawyer who has experience negotiating with insurance companies will know the right strategies to use to force the insurance company to pay a fair settlement and will not be intimidated by an insurance company. Instead, the lawyer will challenge them, fighting on your behalf in negotiations to ensure the best offer is made.

Litigation

If a fair settlement agreement cannot be reached during negotiations, then the claim can be taken to court. An Atlanta car accident lawyer will be prepared to defend a claim and help you recover the highest amount in compensation based on the damages you’ve suffered.

Should I Hire an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer?

Consulting a lawyer after an accident is not required, but it could be beneficial in helping you win the compensation you deserve. Having a car accident attorney from the Ferguson Law Group by your side throughout the claims process can ensure that your rights are protected as you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Negotiation Experience

An attorney with experience, one that’s well-versed in traffic law, can help you with your insurance claims. Negotiating with an insurance company on your own without speaking with an attorney can hurt your claim. This is because an insurance adjuster will do anything they can to harm your case. They may ask if they can record your conversation. Doing so will allow them to review your answers and use anything you say against you in an attempt to claim that you admitted full or partial responsibility for the accident.

Types of Car Accidents

Many types of auto accidents occur every day. Learning about these types of accidents can help you learn how to minimize your risk of being involved in one.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll never be involved in a collision since an accident can be caused by the negligence of other drivers on the road.

Common types of car accidents personal injury attorneys see often include:

Side Impact

This type of collision occurs when one car crashes into the side of another vehicle. This type of collision can be particularly dangerous because there’s less space on the side of a car to absorb the impact of the collision and help protect passengers.

A T-bone collision typically occurs when a vehicle runs a stoplight or stop sign, then collides with a car that’s traveling through the intersection.

In some cases, this type of collision can be avoided by looking both ways for oncoming traffic, even when you have the right of way. Never automatically assume that another driver will follow the rules of the road.

Crashes when Merging

This type of accident occurs when two lanes of traffic merge and one vehicle sideswipes another car. This type of collision is often caused by a driver who is attempting to merge and failed to check their blind spots when they were changing lanes.

A merging accident can be avoided by always turning your head when merging, to ensure your blind spots are clear. Avoid speeding in an area where other vehicles will attempt to merge. If you’re driving over the speed limit, other vehicles will not have enough time to see you when they’re trying to merge.

Rear-End

The most common type of accident in the country is a rear-end collision. Common situations in which rear-end accidents can occur include when a vehicle has stopped at a traffic light, or when the flow of traffic slows down unexpectedly. A driver who is distracted and following too closely can fail to notice the slowed or stopped traffic and will not have enough time to react appropriately.

These crashes can be prevented by keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Avoid texting, talking on the phone, or any other type of distraction when driving, especially when you’re in a high traffic area where there are a lot of vehicles close to each other.

If someone is tailgating you, try to change lanes if possible, to minimize potential danger.

Head-On

This type of accident is extremely dangerous and can be fatal in some cases. Head-on collisions often occur at high speeds that make it difficult for an airbag or seatbelt to absorb the impact enough to protect the driver and passengers from serious injuries. While these accidents often involve other vehicles, they can also involve trees, animals, or other types of fixed obstacles, including traffic signs. These accidents usually involve drivers who are under the influence or wrong-way drivers.

A head-on collision can be avoided by obeying traffic laws and avoiding any type of reckless driving, including speeding.

Multi-Vehicle

A multi-vehicle accident can involve three or more vehicles and often occurs on highways, freeways, or busy roads. These collisions can be more dangerous than a head-on accident because vehicles may experience impact from several angles. Multiple impacts can be difficult for a car to absorb, regardless of how many safety features it has.

These accidents can be difficult to avoid since some victims can be caught between a couple of negligent drivers.

Always stay alert and use extreme caution on busy highways and roads where vehicles are traveling at a higher speed. Pay attention to the other vehicles around you. If another driver is making dangerous maneuvers or seems distracted, move away from them if possible, to avoid being involved in a collision.

Claiming Damages

After an auto accident, a lawyer will conduct an independent investigation to determine the types of damages that apply to a case. Often, an insurance company will attempt to contact an accident victim as soon as possible to begin negotiating a settlement. The initial offer is usually not enough to cover the cost of all damages. A lawyer can negotiate on the behalf of the victim to seek a fair and full settlement.

In the event a settlement agreement cannot be reached, the accident victim will need to file a lawsuit. In the lawsuit, the victim can outline the specific damages they are seeking.

Before a case is settled, charges and expenses related to the accident can often begin to pile up.

An experienced personal injury lawyer, such as those at the Ferguson Law Group, can help an accident victim to recover a large settlement to cover the cost of damages.

Compensation the accident victim may be entitled to can include:

  • Wrongful death
  • Punitive damages
  • Loss of future earning ability
  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses

Economic Damages

The amount of economic damages awarded may be less or more than that of non-economic damages. This can depend on the specifics of a case. Unlike some states, Georgia does not restrict the amount of damages awarded. Economic damages can include the losses incurred due to the accident. These damages are usually more concrete than non-economic damages because they can be documented and calculated more easily than non-economic damages.

Medical Expenses

One of the most significant kinds of economic damage awards is medical expenses. Medical expenses will not only include the cost of treatment immediately following an accident but will also include all follow-up care that’s related to the injuries you sustained in the accident. Your medical bills will start to add up over the days following an auto accident. In a major accident, paramedics and an ambulance will arrive on the scene to transport you and other people injured in the accident, to the nearest hospital.

Aside from the visit to the emergency room and the ride in the ambulance, you can also accumulate other medical expenses, including:

  • Long-term nursing care
  • Follow up visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Lab tests
  • Diagnostic imaging

Rehab Expenses

Major injuries can take a toll on the accident victim’s body. The road to recovery can take weeks, months, or years. Rehabilitation is a big part of the healing process for many accident victims. Some people recovering from an accident will spend a significant amount of time in a hospital bed, which can cause the loss of muscle function. Physical therapy will play a big role in helping the accident victim to regain muscle loss and can help increase any lost range of motion.

Some accident victims will suffer permanent injuries that can interfere with their ability to perform their usual daily tasks. Occupational therapy can help them learn how to handle their injuries and learn new ways to accomplish certain tasks. Language and speech therapy, in addition to mental health services may also be included in a person’s rehab program. The more involved and intense a rehabilitation plan is, the more compensation the accident victim deserves for their car accident claim.

Lost Wages

Another common type of economic damages is lost wages. Some accident victims may only be out of work for a few days or weeks; however, others may not be able to return to work for months or years. In some cases, the injuries may be so severe that the accident victim is unable to return to their job. Once you’ve exhausted sick pay and other forms of paid time off, you will be forced to take unpaid leave from your job.

If you’ve missed work as a result of the injuries sustained in an accident, a lawyer will include lost wages in your car accident claim.

In some cases, you may qualify for disability benefits. However, disability payments will only cover two-thirds of your usual pay. The more time missed from work, the higher the value of your claim. If you’ve suffered severe injuries that prevent you from going back to work, an attorney will also include an estimation for future lost income.

Home Modifications

After you return home after an accident, if you sustained serious injuries, you may need to make changes to your home, to make it more accessible.

Examples of home modifications that can increase the value of your claim include:

  • Multiple wheelchair ramps
  • Handrails
  • Grab bars in the bathroom
  • Creating a main floor living space in homes with stairs

The cost of home modifications can range from a couple hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Property Damage

Compensation for property damage can include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any personal property in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Compared to economic damages, non-economic damages are more subjective. These damages relate to the types of harm that don’t come with objective documentation.

Common types of non-economic damages can include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.

Economic damages are meant to restore an accident victim to their original condition, while non-economic damages are considered a form of compensation that can account for the accident victim’s suffering, emotional distress, pain, and other issues that are related to the accident.

While economic damages are meant to cover the cost of lost property, expenses, and medical bills, the effects a car accident has on the victim’s life are more than economic. An accident can result in a serious injury that will have a major impact on the victim’s quality of life. Non-economic damages can help by compensating the accident victim for the losses that impact their enjoyment of life.

The goal of recovering non-economic damages is to bring the accident victim as close as possible to the state they were in before the accident occurred.

Proving Damages

Both non-economic and economic damages are available in most auto accident cases. However, all damages must be proven. While economic damages can be easy to prove in some cases, since the accident victim will usually have billing statements and medical records to support their claims, it can be much more difficult to prove non-economic damages.

To help prove economic damages, keeping every single receipt and billing statement is critical.

There’s no type of documentation available for non-economic damages. Calculating the correct amount of monetary compensation for non-economic damages can be a difficult and complex process. To determine the value of non-economic damages, monetary value must be assigned to a subjective and nonspecific injury.

How Much is My Claim Worth?

Putting a dollar amount on an accident claim can be very challenging. There are several factors that can influence the value of a claim. Settlement negotiations often focus on reaching an agreement concerning the value of an accident claim. The at-fault party, their insurance carrier, and their attorney will assess a claim’s value much lower than what the accident victim’s lawyer will.

While most auto accident claims will settle before going to trial, some parties will refuse to agree on the value of a claim. In these types of cases, the injured driver will need to go to trial and allow the court to determine the value of the claim.

An auto accident attorney can provide a rough estimate of what they think a claim is worth, however, the estimate doesn’t guarantee a specific outcome. A lawyer will use a variety of methods to determine the claim’s value, which often includes the estimates for non-economic and economic losses that directly relate to your injuries. In some cases, valuing certain aspects of your claim can require a lawyer to consult with experts and specialists.

Even when an attorney evaluates a claim carefully, to determine its worth, you should not assume that you’ll receive the same amount in a jury verdict or settlement. A personal injury lawyer with experience will advocate on your behalf, fighting for the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.

Injury Type and Severity

The more injuries a person suffers in an accident, and the more severe these injuries are, the higher the value of the accident victim’s claim. Minor injuries can heal quickly and will not require a long hospital stay.

Accident victims who suffer severe injuries such as a traumatic brain injury or paralysis, can miss a massive amount of time at work. An accident victim may also face permanent injuries that can prevent them from going back to work. These types of catastrophic injuries will increase the value of a claim.

Recovery

A claim’s value will decrease if the doctor treating the accident victim expects them to make a full recovery. If the victim suffered a permanent disability, with the chances of making a full recovery very low, a lawyer will ask for more compensation.

A person’s long-term prognosis will heavily depend on the nature and severity of their injuries. A lawyer will usually discuss the chances of the accident victim’s full recovery with their physician to place an accurate value on non-economic compensation.

Accident Attorney Near Me

If you have been in an auto accident you have the right to recover both non-economic and economic damages for your injuries and other losses. Seeking the advice of an experienced car wreck lawyer can help you determine what parties can be held responsible, what claims should be filed, and can protect your interests and rights as an accident victim.

Contact the Ferguson Law Firm

The effects of a car accident can be long-lasting and severe, creating a pile of medical bills, and weeks or months of time missed at work. Your injuries can also cause emotional suffering and physical pain that can make it difficult to return to how your life was before the accident. If you have reason to believe your auto accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact the lawyers at the Ferguson Law Group today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and determine if you can pursue compensation.