Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers
Here to Guide You After an Accident
You’ve been in an automobile accident. You’re understandably shaken up. You’ve either just been hit or have hit someone, your car may be damaged, and you could be injured. You’re most likely in shock and still shaking from the adrenaline rush. What should you do?
The time immediately after a car accident is usually spent getting out of the vehicle and talking with the other driver while waiting for the police to show up. While you may not realize it, the actions and statements you make during this time can actually win or lose any lawsuit you are involved in after the accident. That’s why you must take a moment to compose yourself and make certain that you don’t make any of the mistakes discussed below.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you. Wood Craig & Avery is prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Below, our Atlanta car accident attorneys have outlined some of the things you should not do after an accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
In Georgia, injury victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim before the statute of limitations runs up. This means, that in order to be eligible to pursue compensation your claim must be filed within this two-year window. There are some exceptions to this rule that take into account the age of the injury victim and some extenuating circumstances. An attorney from our firm will be able to let you know if you qualify for an extension to the statute of limitations.
Who is Liable for a Car Accident in Georgia?
Like most states, Georgia follows a “fault” system when it comes to car accident liability. This means that the driver responsible for the accident is also responsible for any resulting damages, although it almost always the at-fault driver’s insurance that will actually pay the bill. Most car accidents, however, have more than one driver at least partially at fault for an accident. In cases where more than one party is found to be at fault, the injured party can still pursue compensation as long as they are less than 50% at fault. This rule is called “modified comparative negligence.”
In these cases, the injured party is able to recover compensation for their injuries but whatever percentage of fault they are determined to be responsible for, will also be subtracted from their total compensation amount. For example, if a claimant is determined to bear 10% of the responsibility for an accident, their total compensation awarded to them will also be reduced by 10%. An attorney from our firm will be able to let you know how Georgia’s automotive laws can affect your case.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident before speaking to the other driver and the authorities is the worst thing you can do. Leaving the scene only adds to any penalties you may face, and in certain cases, it can add a felony charge to any other misconduct. Stay and deal with the accident, no matter how shaken you are.
Don’t Admit Fault
Unless you’re prepared to take on all of the blame, avoid making any statement that could be construed as admitting that the accident was your fault. Don’t even apologize. Saying you’re sorry could be seen as admitting that you were liable in the accident. Do not say anything that could be taken as an admission of fault to the other driver, the police, or your insurance company. Even if you feel like you may be partially at fault, realize that there is a good chance you don’t yet know all the facts regarding what caused the accident.
Don’t Forget to Document Everything
Documentation is important for your insurance claim and for any lawsuit you may end up bringing against the other driver. Since almost every cell phone has a camera on it now, make certain to take as many pictures of all vehicles involved, as well as the scene of the accident. Write down as many details as you can or, if you don’t have a pen and paper, record notes on your phone. You can even call someone’s voice mail and leave a detailed messages there. Most people forget small details within a few hours, but those details could be crucial to any case.
Don’t Get Angry
Being angry with the other driver is another major thing you do not want to do. Generally, an accident will make everyone involved very emotional, and becoming angry can lead to a physical altercation that will only make things worse.
Don’t Decline Medical Treatment
While you may not think you need medical treatment at the time, you always want to be checked out by a medical professional after a serious accident or any time you feel pain. If you do not, you may find out later that you were injured in the crash. However, by declining treatment at the time, it may leave the door open for the other driver or their insurance company to claim you had a pre-existing condition. Remember, you always want to have as much documentation as you can, even if that document simply says that you only had a few minor cuts and bruises.
Contact Wood Craig & Avery Today
Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys help people in situations similar to yours every day. Wood Craig & Avery can guide you through the injury claims process and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. It is our job to protect victims of injuries and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
Spine Injury $4.8 Million
Recovery for a spinal injury in disputed liability collision with a commercial van.
Spine Injury $3.75 Million
Recovery for spinal injury in a truck wreck case.
Back Injury $2.5 Million
Recovery in Dekalb County for a back injury with pars defect.
Serious Injury $1 Million
Recovery for a young woman severely injured in a wreck in which she was not wearing her seatbelt.
Back Injury $875,000
Recovery in Cobb County for a back injury in low impact collision.
Back Surgery $750,000
Recovery for back surgery with a national corporation.
Slip & Fall $500,000
Verdict for slip and fall victim.
Soft Tissue Injury $150,000
Verdict for soft tissue injury with John Doe hit and run driver.
A family severely injured in a deck collapse case.
Neck and back injury from on the job driver of a worldwide corporation.
Will Travel to You
Our attorneys are easily accessible and will make home or hospital visits if needed.
Over a Century of Combined Experience
Our attorneys have the insight and knowledge to fight for the full and fair compensation you are owed after an injury.
Nationally Recognized Trial Law Firm
Having handled over 400 jury trials, our attorneys have been honored by prestigious groups such as the National Top 100 Trial Attorneys, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and many more.
Work Directly with a Lawyer
At Wood Craig & Avery, our attorneys get to know every client personally and handle each case individually.
With an experienced background in insurance defense, our team understands the problems and opportunities from both sides of the courtroom.