El abogado de accidentes automovilísticos de Atlanta, Nathan Fitzpatrick, es un destacado abogado de lesiones personales de Atlanta. Especializado en accidentes automovilísticos y choques automovilísticos, es un abogado de accidentes automovilísticos de confianza entre los abogados de accidentes automovilísticos de Atlanta.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

Experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer discussing a car accident case with a client, highlighting the importance of legal expertise in accident claims.

You may have wondered to yourself before, "What does a car accident lawyer do?" The short answer is that a car accident lawyer advocates for victims by collecting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and employing strategic tactics to ensure fair compensation. Nathan Fitzpatrick, an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer with a track record of securing significant settlements, will detail these processes. He'll show how personal injury lawyers strive for justice in car accident cases.

The Crucial Role of a Car Accident Lawyer in Your Legal Journey

Dozens of Atlanta residents are involved in motor vehicle accidents every day. However, not all of them speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before negotiating with an insurance company. And that can be a huge blunder.

People believe lawyers are expensive and insurance companies are on their side, but this kind of thinking can lead to car accident victims receiving far less compensation than they deserve. Insurance companies try to settle car accident claims for as little as possible, and most Atlanta car accident lawyers charge their clients nothing if they do not negotiate a settlement or secure a verdict.

The Challenge of Negotiating Fair Compensation

Obtaining fair compensation after a car accident requires a set of skills that most people do not have. This is why most drivers leave money on the table when negotiating with insurance companies. They either underestimate their damages and ask for too little or accept a less-than-adequate settlement offer just to end the process. When car accident victims become frustrated during settlement discussions, it is usually because the insurance adjusters they negotiate with have years or even decades of experience.

The Value of Legal Expertise in Securing High Settlements

Six or seven-figure settlements are not uncommon when car accident injuries are serious or life-changing, but the road to fair compensation can be long and difficult. Having an experienced legal professional to advocate on your behalf will probably lead to a swifter and more agreeable resolution, and you will likely walk away from the table with more money when all is said and done.

An experienced car accident lawyer could make sure that you ask for enough to cover all of your economic and non-economic damages, and they should be prepared for the tricks and tactics the insurance company could use to avoid writing you a large check.

Why Choosing the Right Lawyer Matters in Car Accident Cases

Car accidents can cast long shadows. Serious neck, back, and shoulder injuries may require years of physical therapy, which means car accident victims may have to take time off work to attend medical appointments long after their settlement checks have cleared. An insurance settlement is a full and final payment for a claim, so future expenses should be calculated before discussions begin.

Experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers do not enter into discussions with insurance companies until they have calculated how much their clients deserve, and they know that insurance adjusters often try to shift blame to justify low settlement offers. Georgia follows the modified comparative negligence doctrine, which means the compensation you receive after being injured in a car accident will be reduced if you are determined to be partly to blame.

If you are considered to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover anything. When negotiating with insurance companies, Atlanta car accident attorneys know that apportioning blame fairly can be just as important as asking for sufficient compensation.

Free consultation with an Atlanta car accident attorney for a car crash victim focusing on recovering compensation for medical expenses and lost wages

Understanding What a Car Accident Lawyer Does

When people think about car accident lawyers, they imagine civil trials, witnesses, and juries. Some auto accident claims are settled in court, but most of them are resolved at the negotiating table.

A car accident lawyer has a fiduciary relationship with their client, which means they are ethically and legally bound to always act in their best interest. To obtain the best possible outcome for a car accident victim, an experienced personal injury attorney could:

  • Visit the accident scene to collect evidence.
  • Complete and submit the insurance claim paperwork.
  • Consult with physicians to determine the cost of future medical treatment.
  • Determine adequate compensation for property damage and noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
  • Work with accident investigators to create an animated simulation of the crash.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company.
  • File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if settlement talks are unproductive.
  • Argue the court case.
  • Take steps to ensure that the defendant pays any damages awarded.

The Importance of Expertise in Car Accident Cases

The law is complex and ever-changing, so most attorneys focus their practices on specific areas like criminal defense, family law, or personal injury. If you are considering hiring a lawyer to represent you in a car accident case, you should look for somebody with extensive personal injury experience.

The largest four car insurance companies write 55% of the nation’s auto policies, and an attorney with a decade or more of experience under their belt will likely have negotiated successfully with all of them.
An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer will also know insurance companies' techniques for encouraging car accident victims to accept less compensation than they deserve.

Lawyers know that insurance companies like to blame road users who seek compensation, and they expect delaying tactics when their clients are eager to resolve things and move on. If you have a skilled professional negotiating on your behalf, you will probably find settlement discussions far less stressful.

How Your Attorney Will Gather the Right Evidence of Car Accident Fault

Calculating how much your car accident claim is worth is only the first step in determining how much compensation you will be entitled to. Once the figure has been established, fault will be apportioned to determine fair compensation.

If an insurance company can convince you that you were 30% to blame, they can reduce the size of the settlement check by 30%. That is why an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer will gather evidence of fault before negotiations begin.

To prepare for discussions about who was at fault, an experienced personal injury attorney may visit the accident scene, speak with police officers and witnesses, and consult with accident reconstruction specialists.

Initial Steps: What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

The things you do in the minutes and hours after a motor vehicle accident can greatly influence the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. Car accident scenes can be very stressful, but you should try to remain as composed as possible if you want the best possible outcome. If you find yourself in this situation, you should:

  • Avoid arguments: Getting into heated discussions with the other driver or witnesses will probably worsen things, and police officers may treat you more kindly if you remain calm.
  • Watch what you say: Think carefully before you answer any questions at an accident scene, and try not to accept fault. Georgia is an at-fault state, which means police officers are expected to apportion blame when they complete official accident reports.
  • Get checked out by an EMT: You should seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you appear to be uninjured. Common car accident injuries like whiplash and concussions do not always present symptoms right away, so you could be hurt and not know it. Refusing treatment could also make it more difficult for you to seek compensation for your medical bills.
  • Gather evidence: Collect names and contact details from any eyewitnesses, and use your cellphone to photograph the scene before any vehicles are moved. These photographs could be used to establish the road and weather conditions at the time of the accident, and your attorney may study them to find cameras that could have recorded the crash.

Investigating the Accident: How Lawyers Uncover the Truth

Uncovering the truth in a car accident investigation is often a painstaking process, and this is especially true when all of the parties involved blame each other. To make sense of conflicting claims and accounts, an experienced personal injury attorney may:

  • View footage of the accident: Modern cities are full of cameras. ATMs have cameras, most businesses have security systems, and many residences have recording devices built into their doorbells.
  • Recreate the accident: Accident reconstruction specialists are scientists and engineers who create computer animations that clearly show what happened in the moments before a collision. These animations can be very useful at the negotiating table and in court.
  • Have vehicles inspected: Many cars crash due to defective safety systems or poorly maintained. If an attorney suspects neglect or botched repairs may have caused an accident, they could arrange a vehicle inspection.
  • Obtain records: Attorneys can use subpoenas or obtain court orders to access medical and wireless service records. These records could reveal that a motorist involved in an accident was using a cell phone or had taken medications that cause drowsiness.
  • Access black box data: Modern vehicles have data recorders that keep track of driver inputs. An attorney could use this information to establish that a driver did not take evasive action before a collision.

Dealing with Insurance Companies: What You Need to Know

If you file an insurance claim after a car accident, you should know that the insurance adjuster assigned to the case will try to get you to settle for as little as possible. Insurance companies are corporations, which means their first responsibility is to their shareholders.

You should also bear in mind that insurance adjusters are skilled professionals who have been trained to shift blame and reduce compensation. If you do not have an equally skilled professional in your corner, you will likely walk away from the table with less than you deserve.

Advice from a seasoned Atlanta car accident attorney on pursuing compensation for serious injuries suffered in car accidents.

The Role of a Lawyer in Your Car Accident Claim

Having an experienced attorney on your side could make your life much less stressful if you file a car accident claim. Your attorney could work with you before negotiations begin to ensure you seek fair compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.

An attorney could argue fiercely on your behalf if the insurance company tries to place an unfair amount of the blame on you, and they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the final settlement offer is unacceptable.

Legal Strategies for Proving Fault in Car Accidents

Prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial, but civil lawsuits are decided based on the preponderance of the evidence. This standard of proof means that if you take somebody to court, you will only have to convince the jury that your arguments are more likely true than false.

The official accident report is often the most important piece of evidence in a car accident case. If a police officer determines that you are to blame, it could be extremely difficult to convince an insurance adjuster or a jury otherwise.

This difficulty in overcoming a negative police report is why you should think carefully before answering a police officer’s questions at an accident scene. If a police report’s conclusions are unfavorable for their client, an attorney could raise doubt by introducing evidence like witness statements, video footage, or an accident reconstruction.

How Your Attorney Fights The Insurance Company for Fair Compensation

Insurance adjusters know that car accident victims are often under financial stress and anxious to reach a settlement as quickly as possible. That is why they often use delaying tactics.

The adjusters may ask for information or documents you have already provided, or they could return to an issue you thought had been resolved. An experienced attorney may anticipate this strategy and take steps to prepare for it. An experienced car accident attorney may also negotiate down from a compensation demand instead of up from a settlement offer.

The Trial Process: When Your Case Goes to Court

You can file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation if you cannot reach an amicable agreement with an insurance company after a car accident. Georgia law gives personal injury plaintiffs two years to take legal action, which gives them enough time to gather evidence, consult with a legal expert, and build a strong case.

Your lawsuit will be filed against the at-fault driver, but the lawyer you face will probably be hired by the insurance company that will write the check if you prevail. Before your case proceeds to court, it will go through the discovery phase.

This phase is when the attorneys on both sides gather evidence, exchange information, and depose witnesses and experts. When discovery is complete, the judge assigned to your case may order mediation. You must attend the sessions but do not have to accept the mediator’s recommendations.

Common Challenges in Car Accident Cases

Challenges normally emerge during a car accident claim because mistakes were made early in the proceedings. Car accident victims may find out that they were hurt more seriously than they initially believed, and their injuries could affect their ability to earn a living more than they anticipated.

If your car accident injuries are serious and the compensation you seek is significant, negotiations with the insurance company will likely be adversarial and contentious.

Understanding the Complexities of Car Accident Injuries

Some of the most common and serious car accident injuries do not immediately present symptoms. Disorientation and confusion after an automobile collision are often put down to emotional trauma, but they can also be symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.

Neck and shoulder injuries may also have delayed symptoms, so you would be wise to get checked by an EMT or visit an emergency room after a crash, even if you feel fine. If you don’t and find out later that you were hurt, an insurance company could claim that your injury is not accident-related.

Overcoming Disputes with Insurance Companies

Car accident victims and insurance companies have very different objectives when settling negotiations. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible, while accident victims want as much compensation as possible.

These opposing interests can lead to disputes that must be resolved before an agreement can be reached. If you have an experienced attorney advocating on your behalf, they will do all they can to prevent misunderstandings and resolve disputes.

The Impact of Comparative Negligence on Your Case

Many factors cause most motor vehicle accidents, and more than one driver is often to blame. When car accident claims are negotiated, the compensation awarded is based on fault.

If the facts suggest that you were 30% responsible for causing an accident, the amount you receive to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering will be reduced by 30%. This is why any experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer puts so much effort into finding evidence of fault.

Car Accident Lawyer FAQs

You can negotiate with an insurance company and represent yourself in court. Still, you will probably recover more compensation if you have an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer by your side. Most personal injury attorneys, including Atlanta car accident lawyers, offer free consultations to prospective clients, so discovering your legal options should not cost you anything.

Engaging an Atlanta car accident lawyer can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome, as they bring specialized knowledge and experience for navigating the complexity of car accident claims.

Hiring a lawyer will not guarantee a better outcome but will strengthen your negotiating position. An attorney will try to ensure that money is not left on the table, and they will always act in your best interests.

You should ask the lawyer about their experience with cases similar to yours. If they have a track record of obtaining fair compensation for car accident victims, they are likely well-equipped to manage your case successfully. It’s important to determine if they’ve dealt with the insurance company involved in your case before.

Moreover, most attorneys accept personal injury cases, including your car accident lawsuit, on a contingency fee basis. This means they are compensated with a percentage (usually between 33% and 40%) of the settlement they secure for you. When you agree to their representation, ensure you fully understand the arrangement for covering costs and fees.

Choosing the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Choosing the right car accident attorney can provide peace of mind and lead to a more equitable settlement. If your attorney has honed their skills at the negotiating table and in court, they can advocate more effectively on your behalf. You should trust professionals with a track record of success and avoid lawyers who make unrealistic claims.

What to Look for in Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys

You should look for an attorney who you feel comfortable talking to. You and your lawyer will have to work together as a team, and good rapport makes that that much easier. If an attorney dismisses your concerns or avoids difficult questions, it may be a good idea to keep looking.

Why Experience Matters in Car Accident Cases

Experience matters in car accident cases because there is often a lot of money involved, and insurance companies can be predictable. A personal injury attorney with experience in car accident cases will know what to expect before settlement talks start, and they should also have a good idea of how much compensation you are entitled to.

Ready to Take the Next Step? Contact the Car Accident Lawyer at The Fitzpatrick Firm Today

If you are injured in a car accident caused by another road user’s negligent or reckless behavior, you deserve the best legal representation possible. The Fitzpatrick Firm has advocated for car accident victims in Atlanta for over a decade and has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, you can complete our form below or call us at  (678) 607-5550.