Car Accident Lawyers in Atlanta
Put 45+ Years of Experience in Your Corner
At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, we are dedicated to drivers and passengers who have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence and recklessness of another driver. We succeed in difficult cases because we spend the time, energy, and resources to win for each victim of a car accident in Atlanta that we represent.
Reasons To Choose Us
- Available 24/7
- Free Case Consultations
- You Don’t Pay Us Unless We Win
- 10.0 Superb Rating From Avvo
- 2014 & 2015 Super Lawyers® Rising StarsSM
- Millions Of Dollars Recovered For Past Clients
- We’ll Come To You – Home & Hospital Visits Available
At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C., clients often come to us with many questions and concerns about medical care, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. Our firm fights for auto accident victims so they can recover full monetary compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, damages, and car repair.
We represent victims of all types of car accidents in Atlanta, including:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Side impact accidents
Why Do Car Accidents Happen?
Each year in the United States, millions of car accidents take place for numerous different reasons. Unfortunately, as more distractions become available to drivers, it seems that this number will only increase and result in more injuries and deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver error is the leading cause of these accidents.
Many accidents are unavoidable and occur through no fault of the drivers involved. The majority, however, can be blamed on at least one person and insurance companies will do whatever they can to hold a driver responsible for the car accident. As drivers interact with one another on the road, it’s clear that there is a high propensity for error. One glance down at your lap or failing to hit the brakes in time and an accident can happen in a flash.
Types and Causes of Car Accidents
In order to win a personal injury claim for a car accident, the cause of the accident must be determined to be the negligence of the other driver. While it is generally fairly easy to establish liability, it can sometimes be obscure. This means it is essential to have a team of legal professionals on your side who can conduct investigations and analysis into the circumstances of your accident to build a strong case on your behalf.
For example, consider the following:
- Rear-end collision: These collisions involve one car crashing into another where you are either at the back of the other car or in front. This typically happens when a driver is driving too close to the car ahead of them. Whether or not the passengers in the front car are wearing seat belts, they can still suffer serious neck injuries from the impact. The driver that rear-ends another car is almost always at fault, with the exception of certain limited circumstances.
- Side-Impact Collision: When a car strikes another car in the side, it can result in serious damage. This type of accident, also known as a T-bone car accident, can severely injury any passengers and the driver. These accidents are typically the result of an inattentive or distracted driver running a red light, but other situations can cause such an accident as well.
- Head-on Collisions: This occurs when cars hit one another head on. These accidents often result in the most catastrophic injures due to the excessive force generated between the two cars upon impact. Determining which party was negligent in these collisions are generally straightforward, but can also be attributed to road defects, design, or poor maintenance.
- Failure to Yield: Failing to yield the right of way is a leading cause of car accidents and is responsible for roughly 15% of all wrecks. Failure to yield takes place when a driver refuses to follow the right of way rule, colliding with another car as a result.
Common Injuries for Car Accident Victims
Any car accident has the potential for severe injury, therefore you should always seek medical attention right away after a crash to protect your health and preserve your rights. Remember to hold on to receipts of the medical attention you receive to show your attorney. Although injuries can vary widely depending on the nature of the accident, common types stand out.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Skull Fractures
- Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Broken Ribs
- Collapsed Lungs
Emotional distress can also follow car accidents. This can be as serious as experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and other psychological disorders as well. These injuries can translate to expensive medical bills related to doctor visits, prescription medication, surgeries, rehabilitation, property damage, and other losses. An attorney can help you pursue fair compensation for these losses from the responsible parties and ensure your interests are guarded every step of the way.
How Long Will My Case Take?
What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases?
The state of Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations on car accident claims. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. If you fail to do so you will lose your right to compensation no matter how severe your accident was. If you would like to file a claim to recover for damage done to your vehicle the statute of limitations is four years.
Who Is Liable After A Car Accident in Atlanta?
The state of Georgia is a “fault” state when it comes to car accident laws, this means that after a car accident the party responsible for the accident pays any resulting damages. Typically, the at-fault parties’ insurance company is the one who actually pays out any damages.
A fault state usually means that an injury victim has more flexibility in pursuing compensation than what is available in no-fault states. In no-fault states, every driver is required to carry a special type of insurance coverage called, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. In the case of an accident, an injury victim files a claim with their own insurance and is able to recover compensation under their PIP benefits. Because of this system, filing a personal injury claim against a negligent driver is a more complex process.
In Georgia, you have the option of filing a claim against the negligent driver who caused an accident even if you are partially responsible for the accident. Georgia follows a rule called modified comparative negligence, which states that as long as an injury victim is less than 50% at fault for the accident that led to their injuries, they are still eligible to pursue compensation. In these cases, however, your total compensation amount awarded to you will be reduced by your percentage of fault you are determined to be responsible for.
How to Establish Negligence in Your Case
Every driver must uphold a duty of reasonable care, or they may be found in violation and can be held liable for any negligent actions. While a person is operating a motor vehicle, they must:
- Drive at a reasonable speed
- Keep a proper lookout on the road
- Maintain control of the automobile
- Use the car’s equipment properly
If a driver fails to do any/all of these things and causes an accident, they can and should be held liable for their negligence. Depending on your case, an experienced from Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. can also subpoena certain documents needed for court.
Types of Damages Available to Car Accident Victims
If you have suffered significant damages and injuries following a car accident, we understand that you may be frustrated and will be looking for answers. You do have the right to file for the compensation that is due to you, especially if another person caused your accident, which can cover many different types of losses. We will examine what we might typically include in a personal injury claim.
Primarily, you will want compensation to cover your medical bills and expenses. This will be particularly true if the accident has caused injuries that force you to take off time from work, make it difficult to travel to work, or prevent you from carrying out your day-to-day duties. The lack of necessary income to pay for the unexpected costs will also cause the situation to be more stressful.
An attorney can help you pursue recovery for the following damages:
- Medical Bills
- Therapy, Counseling, and Rehabilitation
- Transportation Costs to and From Appointments
- Medication and Medical Care Devices
- Damage to the Vehicle
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Anguish
- In-home Medical Care
- Costs for Emergency Medical Attention
What to Do After a Car Accident in Atlanta, GA
After an accident, there are certain actions you must take – and others you must avoid. At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C., we know how an injury claim can be compromised if you make the wrong move. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at our firm can help you pursue the compensation you deserve, and we urge you to follow these steps so that your case can progress without difficulties.
Steps You Should Take After an Accident
1: Call Law Enforcement to the Scene
Get law enforcement on the scene so that you are protected from other vehicles moving in the area, as well as to make a police report regarding the accident. Take the name and badge number of the officers so that the report of the accident can be obtained easily at a later date.
2: Get Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers
It could be important to have the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, in addition to the other driver. In many cases, the responsible party could claim that they were not the cause of the accident, but the witnesses that were present could help to support your claim.
3: Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Whether you have just had a slip & fall, a car accident, or you were injured in any other way, the most urgent issue is to get medical treatment. If you are able to move, have someone drive you to the emergency room or your doctor. This should take place as early as possible after the injury.
4: Call an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Get legal representation as early as possible after the accident. At our firm, we ensure that every detail of your case is managed professionally, with your interests as our focus. Our Atlanta injury attorneys take care of all the legal issues in pursuing compensation, so you don’t have to be concerned or deal with confusing legal issues.
Things to Avoid After an Accident
1: Don’t Admit Fault or Discuss the Accident
It is important that you don’t engage in a discussion about the accident with anyone present. When law enforcement is involved, be polite and recount the incident as accurately as possible, but you may want to avoid accepting blame – it actually may have been another party’s actions that led to the accident.
2: Don’t Talk to an Insurance Adjuster
Insurance companies, even your own, are not interested in paying out the maximum amount of compensation available. They ask questions geared toward finding ways to reduce your claim. Allow our firm to take on this task so you don’t make errors that could reduce your settlement.
3: Don’t Release Your Medical Records
If an insurance company is asking for your medical records, allow our firm to manage this process. It can make a big difference in how much you get in a settlement if this aspect of your case is managed correctly. We know how to best protect the rights of the injured – it is what we do.
Even a minor fender bender can be an upsetting experience; a more serious accident is dangerous, with the potential for very serious injuries, whether that includes broken bones, soft tissue injuries such as bruising, strains or whiplash. The most tragic accidents can lead to permanent injuries, disabilities, disfigurement or loss of life. After any accident, the actions you take could affect your ability to get compensation. For this reason, you should not hesitate to involve our firm as soon as possible.
Should I Speak to my Insurance Adjuster First?
After a serious car accident, you might assume that your insurance adjuster wants to help you obtain the money you deserve for your injuries. In reality, your insurance company wants to avoid paying for your injury. They will often offer you the lowest amount of money possible to ensure that their bottom line is not affected by the accident.
The following instructions should always be kept in mind when dealing with the insurance company after an accident:
- Never make statements that admit fault without first speaking to a lawyer
- Never sign paper work without first speaking to an experienced attorney
- Avoid speaking with an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company
- If you must speak with an insurance company, only talk about the facts of the accident so that the insurance company can draw a rational conclusion from your statements
While you should report the accident to your insurance immediately, you should never make any statements regarding the accident to the other person’s insurance company without a lawyer present. Insurance companies are trained to find ways to pay you less than what you deserve, and if you say anything wrong, you may not receive the amount of money to which you are entitled.
Atlanta Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Not necessarily. Whether or not you will have to go to court will depend on the response that we get from the other driver's insurance company. For example, if the other driver's insurance provider agrees to pay the amount that we have determined to be the worth of your case, then no courtroom action will be needed. In most cases, car accident claims can be settled outside of court. However, a trial proceeding could be necessary if the other driver's insurance company refuses to pay you the settlement amount that we feel you rightfully deserve.
- The accident has resulted in a death
- The accident has caused an injury
- The accident caused more than $500 of property damage
Of course, there are certain accidents in which it may be in your best interest to alert the authorities of an accident, even if major damage has not occurred. If it is apparent that the other driver is being uncooperative, or if he or she does not have car insurance, a law enforcement officer can help gather this information and write a report to document the facts.
Law enforcement may also be helpful when the other driver is cooperative, but a potential good faith dispute exists between the two of you, so that he or she can provide official, neutral insight that may be helpful down the road.
Yes. The working relationship that has been established between you and your insurance provider calls for mutual cooperation. Part of this cooperation involves following the requirements expected of you, one of which is to promptly notify your policyholder in the event of an auto accident. Failure to provide such information to your insurance company in a timely manner could significantly jeopardize your case, and could even result in complete loss of coverage for the accident.
The short answer would be that no recorded statement should be provided to another insurance provider; that is, not without the legal guidance of an Atlanta car accident lawyer from our office. Your obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company does not require that you also submit to a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company. As master negotiators with professional experience, insurance company claims adjusters are well-trained in the art of asking questions that are specifically designed to trigger a response that could then be used to hurt your case.
One of the primary intentions behind an insurance adjustor's actions is to save his or her own company money. To ensure that you are not taken advantage of in any way during this process, do not wait to align yourself and your case with a professional car accident lawyer from our office. If any communication between you and the other driver's insurance company is required, then we would be more than happy to step in and act on your behalf.
Fight for Compensation with the Help of Our Firm
If you wish to seek compensation, you must first review the facts of your case with a lawyer who can help you discern whether or not you have grounds for a personal injury claim. With our help, you can rest assured knowing that your case will be handled with the level of attention it deserves.