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GEORGIA PERSONAL INJURY AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

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Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

Metro-Atlanta is home to some of the country’s busiest highways. In Georgia in 2016, 1,554 people died from car crashes, which was a significant increase from 2015. Auto wrecks are a serious problem all around the United States. Recklessness of drivers on I-285, I-85, I-75, I-20 and GA 400 can cause catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a car accident in Atlanta, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Atlanta car accident lawyers at ChancoSchiffer P.C.  to help you discover the merits of your case.

Common Causes of Auto Wrecks

Speeding. Auto wrecks can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is speeding. Between the years of 2006 and 2015, speeding led to nearly 30% of the nation’s car accidents. Almost half of the speeding accidents happened on highways with speed limits above 55 miles per hour.

Drunk Driving. Drunk driving is another leading cause of auto wrecks. It lowers peoples’ inhibitions, making them more likely to make reckless decisions. Impaired drivers also have far slower reaction times, which decreases his or her ability to quickly adjust in dangerous situations. Every day in the United States, 28 people die in drunk driving accidents.

Tired Drivers. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not the only type of impaired driving. Many people do not realize how dangerous drowsy driving is. Tired drivers also have slow reflexes and run a higher risk of making reckless decisions. Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of auto wrecks.

Texting and Driving. As technology becomes more prevalent in society, distracted driving increases in frequency. Whether it is texting, doing makeup, changing the music, or programming the GPS, any type of distraction behind the wheel could be deadly. Between the years of 2010 and 2014, the number of auto wrecks caused by cell phone use increased by almost 38%, and the number is still high today. Even just glancing down at your phone can take your eyes off the wheel for long enough to cause a serious accident.

Weather. Hazardous weather also leads to auto wrecks. Rain, snow, ice, fog, and many other conditions can seriously debilitate driving abilities. In a ten-year period, poor weather caused 445,303 car crash injuries.

What to do if Injured in an Atlanta Car Accident?

Getting involved in an accident can be a very frightening and chaotic experience. In the midst of everything going on, it’s easy to forget to gather some information that will be helpful to you later down the road if you wish to pursue an injury claim. Below are three things you should remember to do if ever injured in an Atlanta Car Accident:

  1. Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel you may not need to, it’s important to ensure you didn’t sustain any injuries that may not be so easily visible, i.e. concussions, internal bleeding, etc. Your safety, and that of your passenger’s and others, is the most important.
  2. Document Your Accident. Take pictures, keep all records, talk to witnesses, gather all records, write a diary, organize all records, call your insurance company, re-organize your records, take as many pictures as reasonable and put them with your records, and finally, make sure you have all your records.
  3. Seek Legal Advice from an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney. Lastly, call your Georgia injury lawyer BEFORE speaking to the opposing party’s insurance company. Anything you say or do, even well intentioned or accidental, will be used by the Insurance Adjuster to decrease their potential liability. This includes any mention or indication of an apology, even if the accident was clearly not your fault. Please understand that Insurance Adjusters are highly trained professionals and they are graded on how well they limit recoveries for injured parties. You would not attempt surgery on yourself, or build your car by yourself, or program your computer by yourself. You need an expert. If you’re currently in need of legal information regarding your recent car accident, call (404) 842-0909 today to speak with a car accident attorney.

Potential Georgia Auto Wreck Damages

If the court determines the other driver was responsible for your injury, it can award you damages. The first thing you can receive compensation for in Georgia are any past and future medical expenses. The defendant may have to cover hospital bills, cost for any doctor visits, physical therapy, or any other medical fees you have because of the wreck.

The court can also order the defendant to compensate you for lost wages, which includes any money you lost from days off work that you needed to recover, and a difference in earning potential before and after the injury.

Pain and suffering damages cover the difference in overall quality of life. A car accident attorney will often prove pain and suffering by getting a statement from someone who can testify about your life before and after the accident.

Most auto wrecks lead to vehicle damage. If you win your auto wreck claim, the defendant may need to compensate you for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.

Modified Comparative Fault

Georgia follows the modified comparative fault rule. The courts have the right to adjust your compensation if it determines you are partially responsible. For example, if the court determines you are 15% at fault for the wreck, it will reduce your compensation by 15%.

Georgia’s Hit-and-Run Laws

In 2016, 1,554 people died in traffic accidents in Georgia. Many more people suffered injuries in accidents. Hit-and-run accidents, though not as common as other types of car accidents, are a serious problem, and victims believe they have no recourse after suffering an injury in a hit and run. However, if you suffered an injury in a car accident and the at-fault driver fled the scene, you may be able to file a claim against his or her insurance company.

In Georgia, the laws about hit & run accidents are clear. If you caused or are involved in a collision, you must stop and remain at the scene of the accident. The circumstances that would warrant you to stop include:

  • The accident caused damage to someone’s vehicle
  • The accident caused an injury
  • The accident caused a fatality

Once you stop at the scene, you must exchange information with the other people involved. You must provide your name, address, and vehicle registration information. You must also, if possible, get your vehicle off the road to avoid obstructing traffic and assist any injured people as much as you can.

Atlanta Hit-And-Run Penalties

If you can determine who caused the hit & run, he or she can suffer serious penalties. The same laws apply that courts use for regular car accident personal injury claims. The responsible party may have to compensate you for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. The defendant may also need to pay punitive damages if the court believes that he or she demonstrated gross negligence and should suffer a more severe punishment.

Georgia courts consider causing injury or damage and fleeing the scene a much more serious offense than a regular car accident. Even though the basic penalties are the same, the court will most likely increase the compensation significantly. The court may automatically triple the amount in damages, to further punish the defendant.

What to Do After a Hit-And-Run Accident

Hit-and-run accidents are more difficult because the responsible party is not on the scene to give you the necessary information and identify him or herself. To receive full compensation from the responsible party, you need to be able to find the at-fault driver. If you can, take down some information as he or she is driving away. The more information you can provide the police, the more likely it is that they will find the driver. Some of the information could include:

  • License plate number
  • Make and model of the car
  • Color and approximate year
  • Direction the driver headed in

You should also record the time and location of the accident and get the contact information of any witnesses. Take pictures of the scene, damage to your car, and anything else that could be relevant when you are filing a claim.

After the accident, contact your insurance company. Even if you have not identified the at-fault driver, your insurer can begin the claims process. Depending on your company and policy, your insurer may help with towing your car and finding a rental car. If you have the necessary insurance, you may be able to receive a certain amount of compensation even if you do not find the at-fault driver.

Accident Claim: Statute of Limitations

The auto wreck statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. If you or a lawyer does not file your claim within two years after the accident, you may no longer be able to receive compensation for your injuries.

Atlantic Auto Wreck Attorney

If a negligent driver injured you in an auto wreck in Atlanta, ChancoSchiffer P.C. can help. We have experienced attorneys who cover all our cases. Our extensive knowledge of Georgia’s auto wreck laws gives us the ability to inform and guide you through the entire process. Contact ChancoSchiffer P.C. for personal representation in your Atlanta auto wreck claim.