Although most attorneys who work with car accident victims are personal injury attorneys, they often have experience in dealing with property damage issues. As soon as you get in an accident, you should immediately talk to an experienced attorney who can help walk you through your property damage claim. It is always best to have an attorneys advice when dealing with an insurance company to ensure that your claim is protected. While there are many potential pitfalls in dealing with an insurance company, we have a lot of general knowledge about property damage claims that can apply in many cases.
Most plaintiff attorneys in a personal injury case have strong feelings about chiropractors and those feelings are usually not positive. While a lot of people swear that their chiropractor makes them feel better, most insurance companies do not see chiropractic treatment as legitimate treatment and more importantly, final treatment. Most often, our clients do not get a prognosis and treatment plan with an end goal in sight from a chiropractor. While we won’t ever direct our client’s medical treatment, we do have an ethical duty to advise them that their settlement could be significantly affected by chiropractic treatment.
Why Chiropractic Care Doesn’t Always Provide The Highest Financial Settlement In A Car Accident
In order to understand why chiropractic care doesn’t always provide the highest financial settlement in a car accident personal injury case, let’s look at a client story.
You’ve been involved in an car accident that wasn’t your fault. You see ads everywhere on billboards, television, the internet, and you hear them on the radio all promising that if you call that a car accident lawyer they will get you the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of dollars! Meanwhile you are injured and wondering if calling a lawyer really will really result in the kind of settlement those ads claim.
We often get asked “how much can I expect from a car accident settlement?” The truth is, we don’t know when you first walk in our door because it depends on the facts of the case. What we do know is that we will work with you to obtain the best possible settlement.
Step 1: Look At The Police Report From The Car Accident
To fairly answer the question of what your case is worth, we have to evaluate the facts of your case. For car accidents, this starts with the accident report. There, the police officer documents facts by identifying all parties involved in the accident and the cause of the accident and they will usually assign fault to one of the drivers. Also included will be the insurance information provided at the scene for the vehicles involved and any injuries reported to the responding officer. Continue reading
Georgia requires vehicles carry insurance with a minimum of $25,000 in Property Damage Liability, and $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in Bodily Injury Liability. These coverages help pay for damages you cause when you are at-fault in an auto accident. If your vehicle is financed, the lender usually requires that you also carry Comprehensive and Collision, which will help repair damage to your car. The combination of these coverages offers protection, and is considered by some to be ‘full coverage’ – but it won’t provide all the protection you might need for an accident!
When you buy or lease a vehicle, it starts to depreciate, or lose value, the minute it leaves the car lot. Depreciation frequently causes the amount owed on a vehicle to be higher than the actual value of the vehicle during the first few years of ownership. If you are involved in an accident where your vehicle is badly damaged or totaled, Gap insurance covers the difference between the vehicle’s current value (what the insurance carrier will pay) and the amount you actually owe on the vehicle. If you lease a vehicle, Gap is usually a required coverage.
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the last thing you might be concerned with is the emotional and psychological effects that it can have. Many times, the physical pain, soreness, swelling and bruising are hard to ignore and immediate medical attention is required in order to heal your body. It is common to think of the physical injuries that can occur with car accidents, but injuries are not always physical. What is often overlooked following serious motor vehicle accidents is an increased risk for psychological problems such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can develop after any type of traumatizing event and car accidents, especially violent ones, can certainly be traumatizing enough to cause PTSD.
When someone survives a traumatic event, it is difficult to predict the long-term emotional side effects. Not every person will suffer from emotional distress serious enough to require professional medical treatment. However, some car accident survivors do go on to experience severe emotional trauma which can result in many life-affecting symptoms that could be related to a brain injury. These symptoms include stress, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. After being involved in a serious car accident, survivors have reported experiencing feelings of shock, panic, anger, nervousness, worry, fear, loneliness, embarrassment or uneasiness. Some car accident victims have reported suffering from mood swings, chronic fatigue or exhaustion, and loss of appetite. Often times, they find themselves reliving the accident through nightmares and flashbacks. These symptoms can be debilitating and can cause the sufferer to become avoidant, to withdraw themselves socially and to isolate themselves from their family, friends and work. Often times the trauma of the accident can render them unable to drive, or even be a passenger in a vehicle out of fear of another accident.
These feelings may arise immediately after the accident, or in the days, weeks or even months following. It is common to not fully realize that you have been emotionally effected by a traumatic event until some time has passed, especially if you are preoccupied with following the course of treatment prescribed by the healthcare professionals focused on healing your body physically. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and that any of these symptoms have begun to interfere with your normal, everyday life, it may be time to seek help. Thankfully, there are many effective treatments for stress-related trauma. It is important that you reach out to your doctor or mental health professional to discuss your symptoms and the possible treatment plans that can help you return to your daily life.
As we all know, ridesharing has become prolific with Uber and Lyft proving millions of trips on a daily basis. If you are in a car wreck involving a ridesharing vehicle, there are several important things you should know, especially if you suffer injuries. The discussion that follows will hopefully help you navigate the many issues you may face.
Know Who Files More Lawsuits
What most people do not realize is that in almost every car wreck case, the litigation is directed at the insurance company as opposed to the at-fault driver. If a lawsuit is filed, it is filed in the name of the at-fault driver, but it is their insurance company that provides their legal defense and payment for damages to the non-fault driver(s) and passenger(s).
What is UM or UIM Insurance?
When you get a new auto insurance policy your insurance agent may ask: “Do you want UM or UIM Insurance? What is UM or UIM insurance? UM insurance is Uninsured motorist insurance, and UIM is Under Insured Motorist Insurance. In Georgia, they are treated synonymously, so if you have UM, you also have UIM.
Why Uninsured (or Under-Insured) Motorist Insurance important?
Many people will be involved in a car accident at some point during their lives. Some people involved in car accidents manage to walk away unscathed, but others sustain injuries and damage to their vehicles. When an accident results in harm, the victim may incur significant costs in addition to pain and suffering. A common question that arises after car accidents is whether the accident is grounds for a lawsuit, or if an attorney will take your case. Whether you have a viable case depends on several factors. As such, if you are a Georgia resident who suffered property damage or injuries due to a car accident, it is prudent to contact an experienced Georgia car accident attorney to discuss whether you may be able to pursue compensation for your harm.
Factors Weighed in Determining Whether You Have a Viable Case
The factors assessed in whether you have a viable claim against another party following a car accident, and therefore whether an attorney can assist you in recovering compensation, involve whether you suffered harm that was caused by another person or entity, as well as how long it has been since your accident occurred.
Car accidents can be a shocking experience, both physically and mentally. Many people involved in car accidents are left stunned after the initial impact and uncertain of what to do next. If you are involved in a car accident, there are certain people you should call to preserve any evidence that may be needed to prove liability and damages in the future. If you live in Georgia and were recently involved in a car accident, you should consult a seasoned Georgia car accident attorney to examine the circumstances surrounding your accident and whether you may be able to recover damages for any harm you sustained.
The First Call You Should Make
The first phone call you should make following a car accident is to 911. Even if it does not seem like an accident caused any injuries or significant damage, it is important to document evidence of how the accident occurred and the extent of any harm caused by the accident. Further, calling the police following an accident is not only prudent, it is also required under Georgia law for any car accident that results in an injury, death, or property damage that exceeds $500.00.
Typically, any first responder that responds to the 911 call will speak with the parties involved in the accident. Emergency medical services will assess the initial injuries caused by the accident and assist the injured parties in obtaining any treatment they need. The police will evaluate the damage to the cars involved in the accident and obtain eyewitness accounts of how the accident occurred. Any statement taken by the police and the observations of the police should be included in the police report. If the police determine that one of the drivers violated a provision of the Georgia motor vehicle laws, the driver will probably be issued a citation.
Car accidents happen every day and many car accidents result in significant property damage and bodily injury. Often when a person is injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence he or she may wish to pursue compensation from the negligent party. There are countless attorneys who represent plaintiffs in personal injury cases, and choosing an attorney in a car accident case can seem like an overwhelming task. If you were injured in a Georgia car accident, you only have one chance to seek damages, and it is important to choose an attorney that will fight vigorously on your behalf.
Determining the Best Car Accident Attorney to Represent you in your Case
There are multiple questions you can ask potential car accident attorneys to determine whether they are the best fit for you. One of the first questions you should ask is whether the attorney feels that you have a strong case. Car accidents are often caused by several factors, and in some instances, they may be partially caused by the injured party. Even if a plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident, he or she may still be able to recover damages, as long as the fault attributable to the plaintiff is less than fifty percent, and the accident was not caused by the plaintiff’s failure to avoid the defendant’s negligence. The right attorney will be able to identify any obstacles to your recovery and develop effective arguments in your favor.