Even the simplest car accident can have far-ranging consequences. In Dunwoody, many car accidents leave the victims with pain, long-term injuries, and difficulty working—and large hospital bills. Insurance companies are often slow to pay out claims or offer amounts that are far too small. If you were injured and it wasn’t your fault, remember: you have rights. You need to talk to a Dunwoody car accident lawyer.
Our legal team is here to help you. For decades, we have helped accident victims in and around Dunwoody get the results they need—and make the insurers pay. We never charge anything if we don’t win you money. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
How do I know who’s at fault in my accident?
Georgia is a fault state, so determining which driver is at fault is a major part of any accident claim. Under the law, the at-fault driver or their insurance company is liable for all of the costs of the accident. However, determining fault is not always easy, and not everyone may agree on what happened.
At the accident scene, police will make an assessment of what caused the accident and who’s at fault, and this will often be the basis of the insurers’ assessment as well. But insurers may send out their adjusters to gather additional information and form their own opinion of who’s at fault. Unfortunately, the insurance company does not always have an incentive to come the right answer. Their main objective is to pay the smallest amount possible, and they know they may not have to pay at all if they can blame the victim. This is why car accident lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia This means it’s very risky to deal with the insurance company without legal representation.
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:
- Never blame yourself. Let a professional decide who’s at fault.
- Don’t apologize to anyone, even to be nice. These words can be used against you.
- Always call the police after an accident.
- Talk to potential witnesses and ask for their contact information.
- Stay calm and tell the police what happened. Let the officers know if you suspect the other driver was distracted or intoxicated, or broke any laws.
How much money can I recover in a car accident claim in Dunwoody?
Under Georgia state law, there is no hard limit to how much money you can recover. You’re supposed to recover the full cost of the accident. The law calls this money “damages” and there are two types of damages you can receive money for:
- Special damages, or the hard costs of the accident. This includes any actual expense like medical costs or car repairs. It also includes lost work time related to the accident.
- General damages, or the intangible costs of the accident. This refers to serious personal losses like physical pain, emotional suffering, or even the loss of a loved one.
Based on these damages, insurance companies use a formula to decide the dollar amount of the claim. They take the exact amount of the special damages and multiply it by a number between 1 and 5, depending on how severe the general damages are. The result is your settlement.
We don’t believe this money can ever undo what happened—especially in severe accidents or cases where someone lost their life. However, our car accident lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia have seen how the money can help pay the victims’ costs and keep families financially stable after an accident.
In many cases, the total paid by a car accident claim can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions.
The insurance company already offered me money. Should I take it?
You should be careful. In some cases, the money may be worth taking. However, when an insurer offers money, it’s the smallest amount they believe they can get away with—and it may be far less than your claim is worth. Often, insurers will rush to offer an amount than seems large even though they know you may be entitled to much more.
There are several factors insurance companies often don’t include in their offer:
- Long-term costs. The offer may be enough to pay for all your treatment so far. But what if there are complications? What if additional treatment is needed?
- Lost work time. You may have missed a day or two for doctor appointments, or you may have been out for months recuperating. This time needs to be included in your settlement.
- Pain and suffering. The courts award money for pain and suffering related to your accident. However, insurance companies rarely figure it into their offer—or they undervalue it—unless they are pressured.
When the insurance company calls, do not agree to be recorded. You are not required to do so. And don’t sign any paperwork until you have talked to a lawyer.
Is there a deadline to file my claim?
Yes. In Georgia, the longest you have to file a car accident claim is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are many circumstances where this timeline is shorter—sometimes even just a matter of weeks. And if you miss the filing deadline, you probably won’t be able to collect any money at all. This is why it’s so important to talk to a lawyer right away.
Talk to a Dunwoody Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Car accident claims are complicated. Don’t face yours without an experienced professional on your side. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and passion to fight for you—and we know how to win. Let us give you a FREE consultation to help you get started. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.