If you’ve had a car accident in Fayetteville, you may be full of questions. You may want to know why your neck and back are hurting, and how long it will take you to recover. You may be anxious to get an insurance settlement so you can pay your bills. And you may be worried about what’s going to happen in the future. Our lawyers can help you cope with the uncertainties of a car accident, and we know how to get the insurance company to pay you for your losses.
Ever since its founding our law group has had just one focus. We help accident victims get money from the people responsible for their injuries. We’d like to talk to you about your car accident and the ways we can help you. We will consult with you for free, and after that we will only charge you if we are able to get money for you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
Will insurance pay for my accident?
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you can get the full cost of your accident paid by the driver who caused the wreck. Georgia drivers are supposed to carry car insurance, and that means that in most cases, your injures and the damage to your car will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company. There are, however, a few cases where insurance may not pay for your accident. These include the following:
- The other driver didn’t have insurance. If the driver who is at fault is uninsured, the driver is personally responsible for the cost of the accident. But most uninsured drivers don’t have the money to pay for a serious crash. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy, that coverage may pay for your accident instead.
- The other driver didn’t have enough insurance. Many drivers get only the minimum amount of insurance required by law, and this may not be enough to cover the full cost of a serious accident. One option is to try to recover money from the driver directly, and another is to make a claim on the optional underinsured motorist coverage of your insurance policy.
- You were partly at fault. If you are partly to blame for the accident, Georgia follows a rule known as “comparative negligence.” Each driver is assigned a percentage of fault. If you are less than 50 percent at fault, you can recover money from the other driver’s insurance company, but your recovery will be lessened by the percentage of your fault. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, your insurance company is the one that must pay. And if you are each 50 percent at fault, neither of you can recover money from the other one’s insurance company.
What kinds of damages will the insurance company pay for?
The insurance company should pay you for ALL of your losses, including ones that are not easy to put a dollar value on. In general, there are two types of damages in car accident claims:
- Special damages include all of your out of pocket costs, including costs that you expect to have in the future. Examples of special damages include medical bills, physical therapy, car repairs and the paychecks you lost if you couldn’t work for a period of time after the accident.
- General damages include “pain and suffering.” This is a catchall term for the ways the accident has negatively affected your life or caused you pain or mental distress. For example, the accident may have forced you to change occupations, become less involved in your children’s lives, or give up your favorite pastimes. You may have nightmares, flashbacks or crippling pain. In a serious accident, your pain and suffering damages can be far greater than your special damages.
If your accident was caused by someone who was driving under the influence, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages punish a driver for especially reckless and dangerous behavior, in hopes of discouraging others from putting innocent lives at risk. Punitive damages can significantly increase the value of your car accident claim.
Do I need to file a lawsuit?
Most people recover money for their car accident injuries without filing a lawsuit. Once the accident is reported to insurance, the insurance company puts an adjuster on the case. The adjuster will look at police reports, witness statements, vehicle damage and other documentation and decide who was at fault. At this point the insurance company may offer you money.
If you consult with a car accident lawyer near Atlanta, Georgia, you will quickly learn that the insurance company’s offer is too low. Insurance companies are always trying to boost their own profits, even at the expense of paying innocent accident victims what they deserve. If you decide to work with a lawyer, the lawyer will open a separate investigation and gather evidence showing that you are not at fault, and what your injuries will cost. A good lawyer will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company and will usually arrive at a fair settlement.
Lawsuits are typically filed because negotiations have broken down. This might happen because the insurance company underestimates the value of the claim, or unfairly tries to pin the blame on you. Your lawyer will explain this to you before filing a lawsuit, and ultimately it is always up to you to choose whether you want to take your claim to court. If you do go to court, your case will be decided by a judge or jury.
Talk to a Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have earned their reputation through their dedication to helping accident victims. We will consult with you for free to explain your rights and the ways our services can help you. We won’t charge you a fee unless we recover money for you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.