After a car accident, you need time to recover from your injuries. But you may have a lot of other things on your mind. You may be frustrated and discouraged, wondering how long your recovery will take and who will pay the medical bills. You may worry that you won’t be able to go back to work. You’re not alone—and you have rights. A Stone Mountain car accident lawyer can help you.
Our attorneys have one goal: to help injured people. We have been doing it successfully for decades, and we have seen the difference it makes in the lives of those who were injured. Let us help you with you case and answer your questions. We will give you a FREE consultation—and you’ll never have to pay us anything if we don’t win you money. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
How does a car accident claim work?
When you report a car accident to the insurance company, they assign it to an adjuster. The adjuster’s first job is to look at the facts about the way the accident happened and decide who is at fault. An insurance company wants to make sure its insured driver caused the accident before it will pay for anyone’s injuries.
Next, the insurance company will review information about your injuries and decide what it thinks it should pay you. Under Georgia law, the insurance company should pay the full cost of your accident, including things like your medical bills, car repairs, and money to make up for time you had to miss from work. If you were badly hurt, you may also be eligible for other types of damages such as “pain and suffering” which may be far greater than your out of pocket costs.
Once the insurance company arrives at a dollar amount, it may make you an offer to settle your claim. It’s best to think of this offer as a negotiation, not a “take it or leave it” deal. In our years of experience, we’ve found that insurance companies almost always make a “lowball” offer at first, hoping that you’ll accept it and not ask for anything more. When you agree to an insurance company offer, you will also have to sign paperwork saying that your claim is over and you cannot get more money.
As car accident attorneys near Atlanta Georgia, we have dealt with many insurance companies, and we know what will convince them to increase their first offer to a more reasonable amount. We do our homework and build a case that shows them just how much you are legally entitled to. Our strategy usually pays off – with our help, many people receive an offer that is thousands of dollars higher than the insurance company wanted to pay at first.
What if a loved one died in the accident? Can I make a claim?
A person who lost their life in an accident may leave behind medical bills, along with funeral expenses. They may also have suffered pain after the accident. If you are an immediate family member, you have losses of your own: you no longer have someone’s love, companionship, or their financial contributions to the household. Because of this, certain family members are allowed to make a “wrongful death” claim. A wrongful death claim can be brought by:
- A spouse
- The deceased person’s children, if there is no spouse
- The deceased person’s parents, if there is no spouse or children
- The estate, if the deceased is not survived by a spouse, parents or children.
The amount of money you might receive in a wrongful death claim will depend on how old your loved one was, their future earning prospects, the way the accident happened, and other factors.
What if the other driver was texting or using a phone?
Texting and driving is just one of many “distracted driving” behaviors. Others include talking on the phone while driving, looking at knobs and displays on the dashboard, “rubbernecking” to see an accident scene, and looking at your passengers instead of the road ahead. If an accident happens because a driver was distracted, that driver is legally “at fault” and their insurance company must pay the cost.
Distracted driving can be hard to prove if no one actually saw the other driver’s distracted behavior. But in the case of texting and cell phone use, cell phone records can sometimes show just what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. If you suspect distracted driving caused your accident, a lawyer can help gather the evidence you need to make a strong claim.
What if the other driver was drunk?
You can still recover all your costs plus other damages from a drunk driver. However, there are two ways that drunk driving cases are different than other accident cases.
First, if the other driver was under the influence, you may be eligible for additional “punitive” damages. The law only allows punitive damages in certain types of cases where the driver who was at fault was doing something especially reckless. Drunk driving falls into this category. Punitive damages punish the driver for poor choices and help discourage people from driving under the influence. The amount of punitive damages can vary, but they must be large enough to feel like a punishment.
The second reason that DUI cases are different is that they can be more complicated than some other types of accidents. Proving that a driver was under the influence can be difficult, especially if the driver was not arrested or did not submit to a chemical test. You may have trouble proving fault or getting punitive damages without a lawyer’s help.
Talk to a Stone Mountain Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have years of experience and we won’t ask you to pay us unless we get money for you. Let us meet with you for free and explain how we can help. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.