A car accident can leave you suddenly unable to work and worried about supporting your family. Your days may be marked by pain and an endless string of medical appointments. And you may wonder how you are going to pay the growing pile of doctor bills and property damage.
If you have been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you don’t have to live with financial stress. Compensation is available to pay for your injuries, and our Gainesville car accident attorneys can help you collect it. We’ve been doing it for accident victims for decades.
The Insurance Company Already Offered Me Money. Why do I Need a Lawyer?
To put it simply, a lawyer is on your side, and the insurance company is not. The offer you received is almost certainly much less than you should be getting.
Insurance companies want to make a profit, and one of their strategies is to come in right away with the smallest amount of money they think they can get away with. They hope you’ll take the offer and give up your right to get potentially more money down the road.
A car accident lawyer can look at your insurance offer with a professional eye and tell you if you have a good claim. A lawyer knows how to give the insurance company the evidence it needs in order to offer you more money. A good lawyer can send you to doctors who understand your injuries and estimate what it will take for you to recover.
Armed with the facts, a lawyer can negotiate to get you a fair offer or can take your case to court if necessary.
What Else does a Gainesville Car Accident Attorney Do?
Our attorneys help car crash victims in a wide variety of ways. We handle your case from start to finish, including gathering and preserving evidence of your crash and subsequent injuries, connecting with expert witnesses for testimony, negotiating directly with the opposing attorneys, and taking the case to court if necessary.
Without an attorney present, you signal to the other side that you aren’t ready or willing to go to court for the compensation you deserve. This leaves you open to being taken advantage of, whereas Gainesville car accident lawyers can ensure that your rights are protected.
What Types of Accidents Are Most Common in Gainesville?
Although every accident has its own unique causes and injuries, there are some types of accidents that we see more frequently than others. These include:
- Rear-end collisions, which often cause whiplash
- Direct head-on collisions which can be some of the most dangerous
- Side-impact collisions, especially where one driver was turning
- Drunk driving accidents
- Accidents involving pedestrians
- Accidents involving road conditions like rain
Although car insurance protects accident victims, the insurance companies usually don’t see it that way. They are motivated to pay you as little as possible. Because of this, it is important to talk to a good car accident lawyer before you take any money or sign anything from the insurance company.
How Do I Know Who Is at Fault for the Accident?
It is important to know who is “at fault” because the driver who is at fault must pay for everyone’s injuries and car damage. This means that fault is a major issue in any car accident claim in Georgia.
Usually, one driver could have avoided the accident simply by being more careful. The law expects drivers to be reasonably careful when they’re behind the wheel. When they aren’t, they are “negligent,” and therefore at fault.
A negligent driver probably didn’t mean to cause a crash, but their insurance company still must pay. Examples of negligent driving behaviors might include breaking traffic laws, aggressive lane changing, not paying attention to the road and drinking and driving.
A car accident attorney in Gainesville can investigate the circumstances of your case to determine fault and liability.
Can Fault for a Gainesville Car Crash Be Shared Among Several Parties?
Yes, Georgia allows for you to sue for compensation even in cases where the responsibility for the accident can be attributed to several parties (including yourself!). After taking the details of the case into consideration, a court can find one or more of the following parties at-fault for the wreck:
- Any involved drivers
- Trucking companies who own any involved big rigs
- Gainesville or other local municipalities and governments
- Uber or Lyft
- Car or car part manufacturers
When You Share Some of the Blame for a Gainesville Car Crash
Fortunately, Georgia allows injured people to sue for compensation even if they are partially at-fault for the accident that caused their injuries. Georgia Code §51-12-33 lays out the following stipulations:
- You can get compensation resulting from any accident in which you are less than 50% at-fault.
- Any compensation you do receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
So, if you are 35% responsible for an accident in the eyes of the court, your total compensation would be reduced by 35% as well.
What Kind of Injuries Are Covered By Car Accident Claims?
The law doesn’t limit the kinds of injuries that can be covered in a car accident claim. The important thing is that the accident caused the injury. We regularly help people recover money for these common types of car accident injuries:
- Whiplash, or the sudden extending of the neck which causes pain and stiffness
- Fractures and broken bones
- Major injuries that require hospitalization or surgery
- The loss of a limb
- Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries
- Pulled, twisted or torn muscles and joints
Immediately after a car accident, your body releases hormones that can make it hard to tell whether you are injured. Many accident victims don’t develop symptoms until hours, days, or even weeks later. If left untreated, symptoms like pain, stiffness and dizziness can develop into stubborn long-term conditions.
We urge you to see a doctor right away after any accident. Seeing a doctor doesn’t just help you heal, it also makes it easier for your Gainesville car accident lawyer to make a strong claim to the insurance company.
How Much Money Will I Be Able to Win?
It depends on your injuries and the way the accident happened, but as a general rule, the driver who was at fault (or the driver’s insurance company) must pay the full cost of your accident. This means that you will usually be eligible for:
- Lost wages to make up for time missed from work because of the accident
- The cost of your prescription medications
- Medical expenses such as doctors, hospitals and tests
- The cost of physical therapy
- The cost of fixing your car, or replacing it if it was totaled
These costs are available no matter how minor or serious your injuries are. However, if your injuries are severe, you may be able to get much more money for serious losses like pain and disabilities.
Money can’t give you back the things you lost in a terrible accident. But it can relieve the stress of being out of work and worried about how to pay for everything, helping you stay focused on healing.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Gainesville Car Accident Attorney?
The good news about getting a lawyer for your car accident in Gainesville is that personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. That means there is no fee unless and until the attorney is able to get you a compensation package from the at-fault party. This can be either through a settlement agreement or through an award granted by the court.
Gainesville car accident lawyers are paid a portion of your eventual compensation package. The exact percentage varies between law firms, but the upside is that you’ll never have to pay out-of-pocket for attorney services. Instead, they get the agreed-upon portion of the compensation you are awarded and you keep the majority.
Talk to a Gainesville Car Accident Lawyer for FREE
Our Gainesville car accident attorneys only focus on one thing: helping accident victims get the money they need. We don’t charge you anything unless we get you money. Let us give you a FREE, no obligation consultation to help you decide whether you have a claim, and what to do next. Visit our contact page or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.