If another driver’s negligence causes you or someone you love to be injured in a car accident, the road forward can be physically, financially, and emotionally challenging.Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled can help you on your journey toward recovery. Working closely with an experienced Lawrenceville car accident lawyer is a good place to start.
How We Can Help
At Scholle Law in Lawrenceville, we recognize how difficult the aftermath of a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence can be. We dedicate our practice to helping clients like you obtain just compensation which covers the full range of damages sustained.
We offer an array of services that can help you with all of the following critical tasks:
- Gathering all relevant evidence and building a solid accident claim in defense of your rights and pursuit of your rightful compensation
- Demonstrating the extent of your damages to the insurance company
- Skillfully negotiating with the insurance company for a just settlement
- Ensuring that you are prepared to move forward with a lawsuit against the insurance company if it refuses to negotiate a fair settlement in good faith.
Call a Lawrenceville Car Accident Lawyer Today
The most important first step you can take after being injured in a car accident is seeking medical attention. From there, call a dedicated Lawrenceville car accident lawyer who will help to ensure that your best interests are upheld throughout the claims process.
Car accident claims are complicated, and because obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is likely critical to your recovery, bringing your strongest claim is paramount. Having a trusted Lawrenceville car accident lawyer in your corner gives you an advantage.
What to Do After a Car Crash
Every car crash and every car crash claim is unique to the situation and the circumstances involved. This being said, some basic first steps apply across all car accidents, depending on your physical ability to do so at the time. They include:
- Pull as far out of the line of traffic (or as far off the road) as you can
- Call 911
- If anyone at the scene is injured and you are able to render aid, do so
- Accept medical assistance at the scene, and if it isn’t offered, seek the medical care you need immediately after leaving the scene (this can help protect your claim, in addition to being critical to your health)
- Don’t comment on the accident (your statements – regardless of how innocent – can be twisted into something that the insurance company uses against you later in the process)
- If a police officer on the scene asks you questions, respond as succinctly and truthfully as possible
- If you are able, collect evidence at the scene, including photos, videos, and eyewitness statements (with attendant contact information)
- Consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations and instructions as carefully as possible
- Lay low on Facebook and other social media platforms (again, the insurance company is looking for information it can use to weaken your claim)
Maximum Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries
You’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence in a car accident. The best way to help ensure that you’ll be able to pursue your fullest recovery is with compensation that covers your damages (or losses) in their entirety. These damages can include:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical expenses that can range from emergency care through surgery, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and well beyond
- Lost earnings that can include your earning potential taking a hit
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict
A settlement is a negotiated payment, but a verdict is a court-ordered payment (if your case prevails after a trial).
Your experienced car crash attorney will skillfully negotiate with the car insurance company for a settlement that carefully addresses all of your damages. If the insurance company negotiates in good faith, it will offer a fair settlement that your attorney will advise you to sign off on.
A settlement means that you have settled your claim and will not be pursuing a lawsuit against the insurance company. If, on the other hand, the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney will likely advise you to file a lawsuit against the company. This lawsuit will end in a verdict.
When should I get a lawyer for my car accident?
If a car accident that was caused by someone else leaves you injured, the right time to call a lawyer is as soon as you can do so. Car accident claims are notoriously complicated and obtaining your rightful compensation sooner rather than later is key to your ability to regain your health and well-being.
Additionally, the evidence relevant to your claim is likely to begin disappearing quickly, and your own memories – along with the memories of any eyewitnesses involved – can fade. All told, the sooner you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer, the better your chances of obtaining the compensation you need to recover fully.
What types of damages can I recover from my car accident?
In your car accident claim, the losses you sustain are called damages. Examples of damages that are frequently pursued in car accident claims include the property damage to your vehicle, medical expenses you incur, your lost earnings, and your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Legal damages are divided into economic, non-economic, and sometimes, punitive damages. Economic damages are those damages or losses that you can attach a verifiable price tag to, which makes them less difficult to quantify.
Your Property Damage
Putting a price on the damage to your vehicle tends to be quite straightforward.
Your Medical Expenses
Your medical costs are quantifiable, which means they can be tallied and presented to the insurance company as proof of this category of damage.
With serious injuries, however, it is important to note that they can lead to the need for ongoing medical care and can evolve into serious secondary healthcare concerns. In other words, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the nature of your injuries and the presumed course of your recovery before correlating a value.
Your medical expenses may include:
- Emergency care at the scene of the accident and emergency transportation from the scene of the accident
- Surgical care and surgical aftercare
- Medical treatments, procedures, and tests
- The medical care of doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Pain management
- Prescription medications
- Adaptive physical devices and adaptations to your home and vehicle
Your Lost Earnings
While you are being treated for your injuries and focusing on recovering, you may miss a considerable amount of work. This typically means a decrease in earnings just when your medical bills are on the rise.
If you are seriously injured, it can affect your ability to perform your job and to continue developing your career, which can mean a decrease in earnings over the course of your lifetime. If your career’s trajectory has been altered, it can also have emotional repercussions (non-economic damages) due to how strongly many of us identify with our jobs.
Non-economic damages are those damages that don’t come with a price tag but that cause you to suffer losses nonetheless. Non-economic losses refer to the pain and suffering you endure as a result of the car crash.
In fact, your psychological pain can be even more difficult to surmount than your physical pain, which is generally less complicated to treat. Symptoms that are often indicative of pain and suffering include:
- Increased anxiety, including anxiety attacks
- Sleep disturbances that can include nightmares and/or night terrors
- Increased irritability
- Severe mood swings
- Crying jags and other signs of emotional lability
- A tendency to push others away
- Depressive episodes
- Racing thoughts
- Accident flashbacks
- Fear of getting back behind the wheel
One of the most challenging side effects of these symptoms is that they can drive off the support of family, friends, and loved ones just when you need that support the most. The factors that are most likely to affect whether or not you receive compensation for pain and suffering include:
- How long it takes you to fully recover
- Whether or not you sustained any long-term repercussions, such as permanent impairment, a disability, or disfigurement
- The impact your injuries have on your ability to participate in daily activities
- Whether or not you are able to return to your profession and the activities you enjoy
- The types of injuries you sustain and their severity as well as the level of pain
- How significantly your enjoyment of life is interrupted
- The fear, anxiety, stress, and/or depression brought on by the accident and your injuries
Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault driver for engaging in willful misconduct or conscious indifference to the consequences of their actions. The bar for punitive damages is quite high, and as such, they are not frequently applied to car accident claims.
However, if you can demonstrate that the actions of the driver who left you injured were beyond simple negligence and instead were willful and/or indifferent, you may have a case for punitive damages.
Examples of the kinds of accidents that are most closely associated with punitive damages include accidents caused by drunk drivers and hit and runs where the at-fault driver is ultimately identified.
How much can I expect to recover from my car accident?
Every car accident claim is utterly unique to the situation at hand, but the process for calculating the amount you can expect to recover is relatively consistent.
Once you have established the complete range of damages you’ve suffered, you will tally all of the economic damages.
From here, you will need to address your non-economic damages. Unlike many other states, Georgia does not put a cap on the amount of compensation claimants can receive for pain and suffering. The more severe your injuries and the longer it takes you to fully recover, the higher your compensation will be.
What is comparative fault in Georgia?
Georgia is what is known as a modified comparative negligence state, which means that you can seek compensation for your car accident damages as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for the crash.
For example, if you were speeding at the time that a distracted driver plowed into the side of your vehicle, the court may deem you 20 percent responsible for the injury-causing accident. The fact that you are 20 percent responsible, however, does not bar you from seeking compensation from the other driver, who is considered 80 percent at fault.
Whatever settlement or court award you ultimately receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault, which in this example is 20 percent.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can cause virtually any kind of serious injuries, but some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Broken bones, which are slow to heal, exceptionally painful, and can lead to serious physical disabilities when they fail to heal properly
- Spinal cord injuries, which are closely associated with severe decreases in range of motion and, if the spinal cord is severed, cause permanent paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which, because they affect the brain, are as difficult to predict the health outcome of as they are dangerous
- Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, can be slow to present with symptoms but can have long-term negative effects that include chronic pain
- Serious burns and cuts, which are closely associated with dangerous infections and other secondary health concerns
Common Types of Car Accidents
Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
Rear-end accidents are the most common kind of car accident, and they are often caused by excess speed and/or driver distraction.
T-bone accidents are also known as broadside accidents. They are generally caused when one driver barrels into the side of another driver’s vehicle while passing through an intersection. They get their name from the T-shape the two cars create.
Head-on accidents are easily some of the most treacherous and terrifying accidents on our roadways. Head-on accidents are often the result of serious impairment, immense speed, and/or dangerous aggression.
Sideswipe accidents happen when a car swipes the side of another, often pushing the vehicle that is swiped out of its lane and into further danger.
Car Accident Questions and Answers
The answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to car accidents may help prepare you to successfully navigate the path forward.
Why should I hire a car accident lawyer in Lawrenceville?
After a car accident, you’re left with injuries, medical bills, lost earnings, and more, which leaves you in no condition to take on a complicated car accident claim.
Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is challenging, but with an attorney on your side, you can attend to your health and recovery while your car accident lawyer skillfully negotiates with the insurance company for a favorable claim resolution.
What should I tell the insurance company after a car accident?
You are not required to provide the insurance company with a formal statement about the car accident that left you injured, and it is a good idea not to do so. Anything that you do say to the insurance rep in your case can be used to diminish the strength of your claim, sometimes in surprising ways.
The insurance company is adept at using the statements made by claimants to their own advantage. This is why allowing your dedicated Lawrenceville car accident lawyer to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf is always well advised.
What should I tell the police on the scene of a car accident?
If you have reason to believe that the other driver involved in your accident is drunk or otherwise impaired, you should bring the matter to the attention of a police officer on the scene.
Evidence that bolsters this claim will begin to diminish quickly, and pointing out the issue can help to ensure that the proper precautions are taken. Beyond this, you should answer any questions put to you by the police as honestly and succinctly as possible. Now is not a good time to be wordy.
I don’t feel injured. Should I still seek medical attention?
One of the most important first steps you can take after being injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence is seeking medical attention. This is true even if you don’t think you were injured.
Very serious injuries can hide in plain sight, and less serious injuries can become more serious over time without proper medical attention. A positive prognosis is often closely associated with early diagnosis, erring on the side of caution is always the best practice.
Additionally, seeking medical attention early on signals to the insurance company that your health was affected by the car accident and that you take the matter as seriously as you expect them to take it.
The other driver’s insurance company has contacted me. What should I say?
Because you are not required to make a statement to the insurance company (and because it is generally a good idea not to), the best practice is to refer the insurance company to your car accident lawyer, who is well-equipped to provide it with all the information it requires.
Even a statement on your part that is as innocent as I’m sorry – because you are naturally sorry that the car accident happened – can be used to signify your fault in the matter.
How long do I have to file a claim?
In the State of Georgia, there is a statute of limitations (or time limit) when it comes to filing a lawsuit after a car accident which was caused by another driver’s negligence. This statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury-causing accident.
Because of the physical, financial, and emotional upheaval associated with car accidents and the complications of these claims, time can fly by far more quickly than you probably realize.
Addressing your car accident claim as soon after the accident as possible is in your best interest.
Reach Out to an Accomplished Lawrenceville Car Accident Lawyer Today
Being injured by another driver’s negligence leaves you in the very difficult position of facing mounting medical bills and decreased earnings while enduring the pain and suffering involved. However, the experienced car accident lawyers at Scholle Law, proudly serving Lawrenceville, are prepared to help. Our practice focuses on guiding cases like yours toward beneficial resolutions that protect our clients’ rights.
Your claim is important, and our dedicated legal team is on your side and here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 866-972-5287 for more information today.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
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