Getting into a car accident is a painful and scary experience that can lead to long-term consequences that car accident victims and their families are left dealing with for years to come. Georgia requires all drivers to have liability insurance, which is specifically intended to protect others on the road from the impacts of an accident. Unfortunately, this does not stop many people from taking to the roads without this important protection. According to the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 12.4% of drivers in Georgia are uninsured, placing our state squarely in the middle of the ranks at #23.
However, an accident with an insured driver is still no guarantee that a victim will be able to get the money they deserve from their insurance claim because the unfortunate truth is that an insurance company exists to make money. The best way to do that is by paying as little as possible on each personal injury claim, regardless of the amount of money owed in a car accident case. This is why car accident attorneys are important allies in these cases and will fight to hold the at-fault driver and their insurer accountable for their negligent, reckless, or malicious behaviors that led to the collision.
You Deserve The Support of Decatur Car Accident Lawyers
Contact the team at T. Madden & Associates, P.C. right away to learn about how our law firm can help you fight for a car accident settlement you are rightfully owed. You can also learn about our previous successes in other car accident cases. This is a great way to put your mind at ease and realize that there are dedicated car accident attorneys who are willing to do what it takes to get you the money you deserve.
Insurance companies have plenty of experience handling accident claims. Get the support you deserve.
Personal injury claims are complicated, and you deserve to focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track without the anxieties and stressors of this complicated process. Read more below to learn more about the legal implications of car accidents in Georgia, and contact us right away for a free consultation about your situation.
The Truth About Insurance Companies
Insurance companies will always look to minimize the amount of money they pay out in claims, regardless of whether those claims are valid. This means that victims of injuries caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness may get shortchanged if they don’t have a lawyer representing them. No matter how pleasant they may seem, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case is working on behalf of the insurance company and is incentivized to carry out the goal of maximizing profits for their employer.
From the moment you initiate a car accident claim, the adjuster springs into action, using a long-practiced toolkit that insurance companies have developed to help them leverage evidence against you. They will go as far as manipulating or intentionally misconstruing your statements or denying the severity of your injuries to settle quickly and cheaply.
After an auto accident, a victim has a lot on their mind: managing missed time at work, dealing with pain, adjusting to life with their injuries, and focusing on recovery. A car accident attorney will be the first to tell you that the years spent learning the ins and outs of personal injury law were rigorous and intense, and trying to learn even the basics during this time of your life is nearly impossible. The insurers take advantage of this by working to intimidate and overwhelm claimants into accepting far less than they deserve.
Fortunately, the team at T. Madden & Associates, P.C. is here to help. We will handle any interaction with an insurance company on your behalf. We will work diligently to build a case that fights for the compensation you deserve. Read more below about some of the specifics of a car accident case and how we work to protect our clients from insurance companies and their profit goals.
What To Do After a Car Accident
No two car accidents are alike, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all answer on the process to follow after a crash. However, the following is meant to give you a general sense of how to protect your best interests and legal options while ensuring that you get the care and attention you need.
Remember: if any of the following steps will put you in danger or further compromise your health — skip them. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to fill in the blanks, and your health is your #1 priority.
Take a Moment and Check Yourself
If we could know a crash was coming, we would avoid it. They happen fast, and your body is then flooded with adrenaline and pain as you try to make sense of what just happened. People often respond to the adrenaline and cortisol that are now coursing through their body by springing into action.
Take a moment and check in with yourself. Take a deep breath and scan your body for any injuries or things that feel “off.” Check with your passengers, encourage them to do the same, and assess the situation in and out of the vehicle.
Many people feel like they are overreacting if they call 911 after an accident, but making this decision can protect you in several ways. One, there will be a Decatur, GA police officer at the accident scene to compile a police report and issue any necessary citations (which can be very helpful throughout your insurance claim). Two, EMTs dispatched to the scene will be able to give you a medical check, provide emergency care, and recommend what you should do next.
It is often good to call 911 before even leaving your vehicle after car accidents to avoid the possibility that the at-fault driver tries to convince you otherwise. There is nothing more frustrating than deciding to handle the aftermath of a collision without calling the police only to find that the at-fault driver has changed their story once it’s brought to the insurance company.
Get Medical Attention
Let the EMTs give you a check at the scene of the car accident because you may not be able to recognize certain injuries. Whiplash and traumatic brain injuries may go unnoticed until a day or two later or may be easy to downplay as your body is coursing with adrenaline.
Additionally, if you refuse medical care at the scene of the car accident, insurance companies are quick to use this as evidence that you did not suffer a personal injury, or that the personal injuries you are claiming are not directly connected with the crash.
If the EMTs recommend that you go to the ER, it is typically in your best interest to do so. Even if you can leave the scene on your own, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. These visits will ensure that you get the care you deserve and generate important documentation proving that your injuries occurred during the Georgia car accident.
Contact a Decatur Car Accident Lawyer
Many people believe that there is no need to work with a personal injury lawyer unless they plan on filing personal injury lawsuits, but this could not be further from the truth. The reality is that most car accident claims — in fact, most personal injury claims — are resolved in a settlement, and many of these cases are never even filed in court.
Insurers and personal injury attorneys prefer to settle in many instances because it allows them to retain control that they would otherwise relinquish to a judge or jury, and can be handled on their own timeline without relying on the Georgia courts’ schedule.
When insurance companies see that claimants are represented by car accident lawyers from the start, they know that they are in for a fight. Your attorney can keep you from falling into one of the many traps that an insurer will set for a claimant, such as misconstruing statements or taking advantage of their ignorance of the law.
While your car accident lawyers handle the administrative and legal aspects of your case, you can stay focused on rest, recovery, and getting your life back on track after your car crash.
Frequently Asked Questions For a Decatur Car Accident Lawyer
The following are just a few of the many different questions that a Decatur car accident attorney will get during their initial consultations with potential clients and throughout the work they do together.
The answers provided below are only meant to give you a general sense of what you can expect, but remember that your case is unique. Therefore the answers to your questions will also be unique and best left to be answered by a car accident lawyer who has the facts about your situation.
Do I need an attorney after a car accident in Decatur, GA?
While there is no law in Georgia that someone needs to work with a personal injury attorney to file a car accident claim, the reality is that the outcome is often better for people who choose to partner with a law firm for their case. Personal injury lawyers have extensive working knowledge about how to handle a personal injury case, and will handle these complex steps while you are able to focus on moving past your severe injuries.
How long do I have to file a claim after a car wreck?
Georgia Code §9-3-33 allows victims of car crashes, a motorcycle accident, or other personal injury cases two years from the accident date to file a claim. However, it’s important to distinguish between the expiration of the statute of limitations and when it is appropriate to begin taking action.
Dekalb County personal injury lawyers use this time to build a case and work directly with the insurance company to seek fair compensation through a settlement for motor vehicle accidents. If they cannot resolve the case within the allotted time, they will then choose to file a lawsuit. There are exceptions to this rule, where attorneys will move to file a lawsuit immediately, but regardless, the more time you can give your car accident lawyer to make sense of your auto accident case and determine how best to move forward, the better.
What should I do if I was in an accident in Decatur, GA but do not live there?
Whether you live in another area of Georgia or out of state, we encourage you to contact our law firm for a free consultation. During this free consultation, we can help you understand what you can expect from filing an insurance claim stemming from a crash in DeKalb County. We can help you determine the most appropriate legal arrangement to recover compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, and more.
How much is my DeKalb County car accident claim worth?
There is no easy answer to this question, especially without reviewing your accident report, medical records, lost wages, property damage bills, cost of car repairs, the severity of your pain and suffering, and other impacts associated with the crash. Many people ask about the average settlement for car wrecks, but this average tells very little about your unique situation.
Contact our DeKalb County law firm today to connect with experienced accident lawyers in Decatur who are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.