Choosing An Attorney
Georgia sees thousands of auto accidents each year, caused by the distracting technology, irresponsible driving, and complex navigation systems in the modern world. A single mistake can create thousands of dollars worth of damage and irreparable harm to your health and lifestyle. It is common for people to come out a car crash feeling dazed, confused, but otherwise alright. You may think that you don’t even need an auto accident attorney to get the financial compensation that you deserve. However, to make this decision in a moment of confusion can lead to regrets later on. A great auto accident lawyer can handle the stressful process of filing a claim, address all communication with claims adjusters, and ensure that you get the compensation you’re entitled to for covering medical expenses, potential future expenses, lost wages, and the loss or repair of your vehicle.
A car crash can result in a trying period of recovery as you endure painful surgeries, exhausting rehabilitation, lost income and livelihood, and the massive medical expenses that come along with recovering from minor to serious injuries. You may find that you are unable to continue with your current employment. Some people are able to find lower paying work, while others are left with no ability to work at all. In over 1200 car accidents each year, loved ones are lost to the tragedy of fatal car crashes, and nothing can be done to console the survivors.
While facing these tragedies, hardships, and painful circumstances, you should not have to endure the stress of communication with at-fault insurance company claims adjusters. Their goal is to settle your case for the lowest amount possible, which is not a battle that you should have to fight alone. With qualified legal representation, you will have one less thing to worry about after a car crash.
Marietta Auto Accident Statistics
Georgia sees about 1200 auto accidents each year that result in fatalities, with a total loss of life equivalent to 60,000 years. Car crashes occur more frequently in rural areas than in urban areas, and it costs over $1,000 per person, on average, to recover from a car accident.
The statistics on Georgia car crashes may surprise you. Over 100,000 injuries are caused by collisions every single day, with passenger cars seeing three times as much devastation than SUVs and trucks. The most common causes for these auto accidents include the following:
- Failure to Yield
- Following Too Closely
- Loss of Driver Control
Each of these scenarios results in hundreds of accidents and thousands of injuries in a single 24 hour period. The results can be devastating enough to completely turn your life upside down.
Auto Accidents And Common Injuries
It is not surprising that auto accidents can result in serious injuries and disabilities. Simply surviving an automobile crash is akin to a miracle with the high speeds and immense pressure put on the body. Surviving and continuing to thrive in your life is another matter altogether. The potential injuries that you can sustain from an auto accident can be disabling in the short term or for the rest of your life. Consider some of the following common car crash injuries.
Injury to the Head and Brain
When one moving vehicle collides with another, the impact creates a significant amount of pressure and strain on the human body. While a seatbelt may hold your body in place, nothing can stop your brain from colliding with your skull as it is jostled around during the crash. This may cause something as minimal (but important to treat) as a mild concussion, or it can bring about the opposite extreme with a serious traumatic brain injury.
The trouble with most head injuries is that people don’t always realize that they have them in the moments following an accident. As you take inventory of your bones, neck and spine, it may not even occur to you to watch for symptoms of a concussion.
If you hit your head during the accident, then you may be more aware of this need, but if your head injury was caused by the brain hitting the inside of the skull, in a situation where the head never made impact with any other object, then it may never even crass your mind.
You may attribute your symptoms to the shock of the accident, or your symptoms may not even appear until later on. If you settle your claim without legal advice, you might be paying for your own treatment down the road, with no way to collect on the medical expenses or lost wages.
Injury to the Back and Neck
Whiplash is the most common neck injury to occur in auto accidents. This is where your head snaps forward, then back, causing the neck to become injured from the force. However, it is also possible to sustain spine damage and broken or crushed vertebrae in your back and neck. You can find yourself struggling to recover from injuries to the nervous system and muscles with symptoms that, like head injuries, may not be apparent until days after the accident.
If you are unaware of the significance of what may initially feel like a mild pain in your neck or back, then you may make the same mistake of settling your claim early on without regard for the potential medical expenses and lost wages that you will struggle with in the future. Even the mildest of discomfort can progress to the point of disabling pain and severely limited range of motion if left untreated.
Injury to the Face
Another very common occurrence in auto accidents is the various injuries that can happen to the face. If you wear eye glasses, then these can be broken and cause lacerations. Even if you don’t, your face can be cut, bruised, scraped, or otherwise injured (including broken teeth, jaws, noses, and other facial bones) by anything in, on, or around the vehicle at the time of the crash. Common sources of facial injury include the glass of the windshield, windows, and mirrors.
Injury to the Chest
An injury to the chest might be as simple as a single fractured rib, or it may be as severe as multiple broken ribs, lung damage, or other internal injuries. Some people sustain chest injuries from the pressure of the seatbelt as it prevents the body from being thrown from the vehicle. Others are actually thrown from the vehicle and can sustain serious internal injuries in this way. Sometimes, people will hit the dashboard or the steering wheel and wind up with chest injuries from the impact.
The Claims Process With An Auto Accident Attorney
As you are treated and recovering from an auto accident injury, you will have to face the claims process with the at-fault insurance company. This can be difficult and stressful at an already high-stress time in your life. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Following are the steps that you will have to take to ensure that your claim is settled with reasonable compensation for your losses, pain, and suffering. A qualified accident attorney will walk with you every step of the way.
File Report For Accident
The first thing you need to do when an auto accident has occurred is to file a report. This is legally required in the state of Georgia, and is important that you don’t fail to take this step. You do this by contacting the police. They will arrive and give you the opportunity to file your report about what has happened, why it happened, and what sort of details are important to include.
Avoid communicating too much during this process. You don’t want to accidentally say something that might be taken out of context to indicate that you were at fault at a later date. For example, you may see that someone else has been injured and feel inclined to apologize. This is a bad idea. Apologizing or making any comments about how you might have handled the situation differently can be used against you later when the other driver and his or her attorney’s seek to establish that they were not at fault.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be able to exchange information with the other driver or have someone do this for you. You’ll want to obtain their name, contact information, and insurance information and provide them with the same. Make notes about the accident and how and why it occurred. If there are witnesses, speak to them and request their contact information so that they can testify on your behalf if required.
Get A Thorough Medical Evaluation
Even if you do not notice any injuries, or if you think your injuries are minor and won’t require treatment, you still need to get a thorough medical evaluation after an auto accident. You can go to your local emergency room or regular doctor in Marietta to check your body for possible injuries.
In the moment, many serious injuries can seem minor or nonexistent. It is common to feel dazed, confused, or shocked after an auto accident, and these feelings can mask the symptoms of your injuries. You may do a quick review of your body to ensure that it’s all still intact, without broken bones, without bleeding, and without significant pain; but you might miss the symptoms of head or neck injury.
You may even have an internal injury that doesn’t produce enough immediate symptoms for alarm. It is important to get your medical evaluation as quickly as possible to avoid the consequences of what can happen when such injuries are left untreated. It is also essential to have your medical records and expected treatment and recovery known as early as possible for your case.
If you miss this step, then you may find yourself defending your injuries at a later date as the attorney of the other drive will try to prove that your injuries occurred at another time through other circumstances, or even worse, that you are faking the injuries altogether.
Process of Determining Fault
The details of your initial report will be a vital part of determining who was at fault for the accident. Take notes on the cause of the accident, any reckless driving or negligence that you perceived, and the precise timeline of the accident and positioning of the cars before and after collision. When you claim that another person is at fault for the accident, you are the plaintiff and the other person is the defendant, who may be fighting to prove that your version of events is inaccurate. Be sure that you are able to prove that the defendant was at fault for not operating the vehicle in a safe manner.
The more evidence that you have to establish who was at fault for the accident, the easier your case will be. This is where your auto accident attorney can help by collecting the evidence together and assembling the documents needed to approach the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Have your medical records ready along with the contact information of anyone who treated you for injuries. Consider the hospitals, private doctors, radiologists, rehabilitation centers, and chiropractors who have helped you to recover from your injury. Your attorney will need this information.
Further evidence may include consultations with an accident reconstructionist and statements from any witnesses who were around when the accident occurred. These items of evidence will be the backbone of your case as the auto accident attorney files the demand letter with the insurance company.
File Demand Letter
Finally, your auto accident lawyer in Marietta is going to file the demand letter, with all gathered evidence included to explain the cause of the accident and the details and medical expenses incurred. Even future care will be anticipated and included within the demand letter.
Your attorney is going to use all of these details and evidence to find an appropriate figure to demand from the insurance company to compensate you for your losses. Here is where the negotiation process will begin, and having an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side will make all the difference in how that process will go. Be patient, because it can take months to resolve your case; but to resolve it too soon will mean accepting a lower amount of money than you deserve in your settlement.
Stress Free Settlement With Your Car Accident Attorney In Marietta
The settlement process that follows your auto accident in Marietta does not have to add more stress to your already full plate. Working with car accident lawyer in the area is going to make all the difference. Trying to communicate your situation to the at-fault driver’s insurance company is a struggle that nobody should have to endure while trying to recover from injuries and losses. You need to focus on your own family and your own healing, and let your auto accident attorney handle the rest.
The most common mistake that people make after an auto accident is to settle early. Some people even accept the first offer that the insurance company makes, and this is typically several thousand less than what they deserve in compensation. Imagine that you are in an accident that results in a few broken bones and perhaps a bit of damage in your back. You address the most pressing of these concerns, the broken bones, and don’t realize how badly your back has been injured until the pain increases over the following months. Before you know it, you are unable to work again, you are seeking new treatments for your back problems, you have limited range of motions, and you can’t get any compensation because you already settled your case!
You can avoid making this mistake by working with an experienced auto accident lawyer, like the Law Offices of Roger Ghai. Roger Ghai has the experience and knowledge to fight for you, and get the compensation you deserve, so call 770-792-1000 to get a free consultation today, or stop by our Kennesaw office.