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Everything You Need To Know About Atlanta Car Accidents
With a population of 488,800 people, Atlanta is considered one of the busiest cities in the United States. I-85 and I-75, both crucial highways, also run through the city, adding to the traffic on the roads and dangerous intersections. That is why it's no surprise that car accidents are relatively normal in Atlanta.
At The Fitzpatrick Law Firm, we are aware of the unexpectedness and complexity of car accidents. Whether on your way to work, or when a simple drive out for groceries, a car accident can occur.
In the unfortunate circumstances that a car accident does take place, it is not uncommon to be frazzled and confused about what to do next. However, being aware of how to handle a car accident can help greatly in your safety and managing affairs.
As one of Atlanta's most trusted car accident attorneys, we are sharing the ultimate guide for drivers in case of a car accident.
You were in a car accident, where do you start?
A car accident is an extremely unfortunate incident. However, if it does occur it is vital to remain calm and collect yourself. These are some important steps to take after a car crash:
Perform a Safety Check
Your priority should be to perform an immediate safety check. Take a deep breath and make sure you have not sustained any injuries. After that, ensure the safety of other passengers in the call.
If you discover that anyone in the car requires medical attention, call 911 immediately for an ambulance.
Get Out of Your Vehicle
Once you've determined the safety of yourself and everyone in the vehicle, turn the hazards lights of your car on. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road to get out of the way of traffic. Only then, get out of your vehicle.
Call the Police
After a car accident, you will most likely always need to call the police. The only time you will not require a police report is in the case of a minor accident with little damage and no bodily harm.
The police report is essential as it documents each side of the story and can be used later on to retrieve important information.
Determining Who Was At fault
This step is crucial in understanding the next steps of your case. With Georgia being an at-fault state, you will not be able to take any legal action without first determining who was at fault for the accident.
Some factors that contribute to determining fault are:
If there were any eyewitnesses to your accident, ask them to remain at the scene or jot down their contact information so you can follow up with them later. Oftentimes, an unbiased account from a third party can help solidify your claim.
Photos and Videos
If anyone has taken photos or videos of the accident, ask for copies as they could possibly help your case. Skid marks on the road, vehicle damage, and visible injuries are all important details to document.
The police report is important as it will contain information from both parties involved in the accident, as well as any citations that were given out. This will be a helpful tool in understanding who was at fault for the accident.
Be careful of admitting fault
Do not admit fault to the other driver, the police, or anyone else at the scene of the accident. You may inadvertently say something that can be used against you later on. If you must speak to the other driver, limit your conversation to exchanging insurance information.
If you were at fault for the car accident
Even if you believe you were at fault for the accident, keep your conversations about the accident to a minimum. With stress levels high, you should be sure to exchange only relevant information. There may be events that occurred during the car accident that may not be realized until after a thorough investigation. Keep conversations brief and to the point until you can speak with a car accident attorney.
How to handle car accident injuries
A car accident can be a very traumatizing event. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, there are a number of things to consider in an auto accident and injuries should be taken very seriously.
If you or a loved one have sustained minor injuries, it is still recommended to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor will be able to properly document your injuries and create a treatment plan for you.
With adrenaline running high at the scene of an accident, serious injuries sometimes don't become apparent until a few days or weeks later. It is important to get a full medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident, even if you feel fine.
There are a variety of injuries that can be sustained in car accidents. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Neck and back pain
- Soft tissue injuries
In more serious cases, you may be prescribed medication or require surgery. It is important to keep all medical documentation related to your accident and injuries in order to receive proper compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries or has suffered car accident fatalities, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal process and ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Some of the most common serious injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Neck Injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken Ribs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
These types of injuries can result in a long road to recovery, expensive medical bills, and missed time from work. A personal injury lawyer will fight to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery.
Contacting a car accident doctor
If you have been in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A car accident doctor will be able to properly document your injuries and create a treatment plan for you.
A car accident doctor can also help you with the insurance claims process by providing expert testimony regarding your injuries. If you have been in a car accident, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our recommended car accident doctors.
Contact your insurance company
After you have been in a traffic accident, you will need to contact your insurance company to file a car accident claim. Your insurance company will then begin the process of investigating the accident and determining who is at fault.
You will need to provide your insurance company with a detailed account of the accident and any evidence you have collected. It is important to be honest with your insurance company, as any false information you provide could invalidate your claim.
The insurance claims process can be complex and time-consuming, so it is important to have patience and be prepared for a long process. If you have been in a car accident, contact our office today to speak with a car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the insurance claims process.
What are the common types of car accidents in Atlanta?
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its 2020 annual traffic crash data, showing that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide. That number marks the highest number of fatalities since 2007.
Most road-related accidents come from human error, with drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving among the top three causes of traffic fatalities. In the United States, speeding reportedly accounted for over a quarter of traffic fatalities. Atlanta has been found to be one of the top cities that feel the need for speed.
There are a variety of car accidents that can occur in Atlanta. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Single-car accidents
- Multi-car accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
Why do you need a car accident lawyer?
A car accident attorney can help you with the complex legal process that follows a car accident. They can help you gather evidence, draft demand letters, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a lawsuit if necessary.
A car accident lawyer will also be able to answer any questions you have about the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
It is important for car accident victims to what to expect when meeting a car accident lawyer.
Assessing the case
When meeting an Atlanta car accident lawyer, the first thing to anticipate is an evaluation of your situation. The attorney will want a thorough description of how the accident occurred. You'll need to give details about any medical treatment you received. You'll also have to offer any available evidence, such as photographs, videos, and witness testimonies.
Providing legal advice
You should expect your Atlanta car accident lawyer to assess your case before providing legal advice.
The lawyer will give legal counsel on the other driver's liability in the accident and the form of compensation you should receive. The lawyer will explain how to proceed with a lawsuit or a claim against the liable driver's insurance company.
Discuss fees and payment structure
Atlanta car accident lawyers will discuss their rates and how to pay them. Many lawyers prefer using the contingency fee arrangement in which they only receive payment when there is a favorable result.
When should you talk to a car accident lawyer?
There are many questions surrounding when you should hire a lawyer.
You should always consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. This is to ensure that evidence is gathered and your rights are protected.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to answer any questions you have about the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
If you’re in a fender bender or a minor car accident, you probably don’t feel you need an attorney, and this may be the case. However, we would recommend you document everything related to your collision while you have an accurate memory of the events.
You should also check in with a doctor as soon as you can because while you may not feel pain or think you are injured, often, the adrenaline of the accident masks the pain of an injury.
What type of compensation should I expect?
It is important to know what type of compensation you should expect from an auto accident. The amount of compensation from a car accident case depends on the injury type and the resultant losses.
Some of the most common losses personal injury lawyers pursue are:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to help you understand what types of compensation you may be entitled to and will fight for your rights to get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
No one plans on being in a car accident, but if you find yourself injured and facing an uphill legal battle, you need a car accident lawyer on your side. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence, draft and file documents, and represent you in court.
How long do you have to sue after an auto accident?
In the state of Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you don't file your lawsuit within this time period, you will be barred from bringing a claim against the at-fault driver.
This may seem like a long time, but it is important to remember that investigating and building a strong case takes time. An experienced law firm will need time to review medical records, speak with witnesses, and gather evidence to support your claim.
How much do car accident attorneys cost?
There are a few different ways lawyers determine how much to charge for a car accident, but generally, attorneys use the contingency fee model. The contingency fee will be a fixed percentage, around 30% to 40% of the recovery.
You will want to choose a lawyer whose fees fit your budget. When you meet with a potential attorney, ask about their fee structure and how they calculate their fees.
Other things to consider after a car crash
While an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you with the legal aspects of car accidents, there are other things you should be doing to protect yourself after a car accident.
In addition to hiring an attorney, there are a few other things you should do after a car accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Get medical attention, even if you don't think you're injured.
- Keep track of medical bills and any expenses related to the accident.
- Gather evidence, including photos of the scene and damage to your vehicle.
- Keep a record of all communications with your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company without consulting with an attorney first.
Contact Atlanta car accident attorneys
Car crashes can be complex, and you shouldn't have to navigate the legal system alone. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at The Fitzpatrick Law Firm can help you understand your rights and options and will fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Call us today at (678) 607-5550 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.