Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Atlanta car accidents can leave accident victims with exorbitantly high medical bills, physical pain, and emotional trauma. The other driver is responsible for these damages if they caused the car accident. A majority of car accidents can be attributed to driver error. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver error resulted in 98% of traffic accidents. On average, 115 motor vehicle deaths happen every 13 minutes. When you get into a car accident, it is time to contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer. Car accident victims are likely to have many questions about their rights under Georgia personal injury law. Call our law firm now at 404-948-6153 if you have been injured in a car accident or if your loved one was killed in a car wreck. Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., can advise you of your rights, negotiate with the insurance company, and help you move on from this stressful situation. Reach out to reliable attorneys for a free consultation today.
What is the average settlement for a car accident in Georgia?
Every car accident is unique, which means that settlements differ based on the circumstances of the accident. Across the nation, the average settlement for a car accident in 2022 is $20,235. A survey of Martindale-Nolo readers reported differently, where it was estimated that the average settlement award was $23,900, though most readers received less than $10,000. The relevant question to ask is, what was the average settlement for cases similar to yours? Because every car accident claim is different, attorneys calculate how much the car accident victim should receive on a case by case basis.
This takes into account the severity of your injuries and the total amount of damages you suffered because of another’s negligence. In some cases, you may be partially at fault for the car accident. An attorney can accurately calculate how much you are owed in compensation. At our law firm, we have won millions of dollars for car accident victims in Atlanta. We will be happy to meet with you to discuss your case and tell you how much we have won for former clients whose circumstances are similar to yours.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for your personal injuries. There are different types of damages that you are entitled to after a car accident, including compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages refer to economic damages and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are meant as punishment for exceptionally reckless and negligent behavior, like Drunk Driving.
Car crashes lead to a lot of financial stress for victims. They need to cover medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, and other living costs. Economic damages compensate the victim for financial losses stemming from their auto accident. Car accident lawyers fight for you to get the maximum compensation for the following types of economic damages:
You will likely have ongoing healthcare costs, including your emergency room visit, after your car accident. Depending on how severe your injuries are, you may have to continue getting medical treatment. Car accident injuries often require physical therapy, medication, follow-up visits, imaging and x-ray scans, and other treatments. You may need wheelchair, crutches, or other medical devices to help you recover. Attorneys can calculate the ongoing cost of your healthcare treatment as part of your settlement.
While you are recovering from your wounds, you might have to take time off work. It can be difficult or impossible for you to perform work-related tasks when you have limited mobility because of your injuries. Even if you weren’t partially or temporarily paralyzed by your car accident injuries, they could still be painful and debilitating, reducing your ability to work. The time that you miss from work can greatly reduce your earning potential, putting you in a financial bind. With your attorney’s help, you can have your past and future lost wages included in your total compensation.
After a collision, your car will need repairs or a complete replacement. Your insurance policy may not have completely covered the cost of your damaged vehicle, causing you to pay out of pocket. Even so, the total amount you had to pay to repair or replace your vehicle can also be included in your settlement estimation.
Your car accident lawyer will use your receipts, medical bills, invoices, and other documents to calculate the economic damages you have accrued due to your car crash.
Non-economic damages can be recovered in a personal injury claim. Car accidents do not just cause physiological trauma; they can also be emotionally and mentally distressing. Talk to an accident lawyer at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., if you have suffered any of the following after an Atlanta car accident:
- Cognitive Changes
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental suffering
- Physical impairment
- Physical pain
Wrongful Death Damages
Traffic fatalities happen frequently, leaving many families devastated. When you are an eligible survivor of a wrongful death victim, you can obtain compensation for their loss. Wrongful death damages can be both economic and non-economic:
Economic Wrongful Death Damages
In addition to non-fatal car accident damages, you can also include funeral and burial costs in your settlement. This will cover the cost of the coffin, urn, funeral service, embalming, cremation, or burial. Other fees, such as the burial lot, flowers, and additional expenses, will be considered part of the damages. The earning capacity of the wrongful death victim will also be calculated and is based on how much the deceased could have made had they not passed away. Lost benefits, such as pension plans, can also be included in the settlement.
Non-Economic Wrongful Death Damages
Surviving family members and anyone named in the will are also able to claim non-economic wrongful death damages. This refers to damages such as loss of consortium, loss of valuable services, loss of mentorship, and more. Other factors that increase the settlement amount include the age and number of dependents left behind, the victim’s certifications or level of education, and other unique benefits that were lost because of the victim’s death.
What are punitive damages, and are there caps on those types of damages?
Some types of compensation are capped under Georgia law. Punitive damages are capped at $275,000, and 75% of the award must go back to the state treasury. Punitive damages are awarded when there is a strong presumption that the defendant was consciously indifferent to the consequences their action or inaction would lead to and that they deserve to be punished.
Proving negligence is one of the most important duties of an Atlanta car accident attorney. Distracted Driving, drunk driving, or Reckless Speeding can result in the type of car accident where the plaintiff receives punitive damages. Call our law firm to find out from an accident lawyer if you should sue for punitive damages.
Hurt in an auto accident caused by someone else? Get in touch with our Atlanta car accident lawyers today at (404) 800-6356 or by Completing A Convenient Online Form.
What happens after a car accident that is not your fault in Georgia?
Georgia is A Fault Car Insurance State, which means that the party responsible for causing the auto accident is responsible for paying the other party’s damages, such as their medical expenses. To recover damages, you will file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. A car accident lawyer can file the claim on your behalf and guide you throughout the process.
Georgia drivers are required to carry certain auto insurance coverage minimums, including:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $25,000 per accident
It’s a good idea to add Uninsured Motorist Coverage to your policy. Even though all Georgia drivers must have liability insurance, not everyone complies with this mandate. Others unknowingly let their coverage lapse or get canceled because they forget to pay their bills. If an uninsured motorist hits you and causes injuries, then they will not have an insurer to file a claim with. Personal Injury Attorneys advise that all drivers carry this type of insurance so that you are protected even if the person who hit you cannot pay for your damages.
What do you do after a car accident in Atlanta?
There are required steps to take after a car accident. Failure to follow these steps could cause the insurance company to deny your claim or reduce your settlement.
Contact The Police
Always call 911 after a car accident so that you and other injury victims get medical treatment and have law enforcement write up a police report. Check on the driver(s) in the other vehicle(s) and any passengers in their vehicle after you have assessed yourself and any other occupants in your vehicle for injuries.
You and the other driver need to exchange names, phone numbers, email addresses, and insurance company information. You may also be required to show proof of a valid driver’s license and registration. Also, gather contact information for any witnesses of the auto accident.
Don’t Say Too Much
Your Atlanta car accident lawyer will launch an investigation into your case, but there are things you could say that can damage your claim at the accident scene. Don’t apologize for the auto accident or accuse the other driver of causing it. The police officer will ask you to give a statement about the car accident. Don’t speculate on what happened. Rather, give your recollection of what you remember hearing and seeing just before the crash.
Gather As Much Evidence As You Can At The Accident Scene
Take photos and videos of the accident scene from all directions to prove your car accident claim. If you are in a condition to take pictures after the accident, then you should. Insurance companies and car accident attorneys use these photos to determine who was at fault.
Take close-up photos as well as panoramic photos, photos of the road (i.e., skid marks), traffic control devices (traffic lights, traffic signs), and who had the right of way. If the other driver said that they could not see you coming, then take pictures from their point of view. Make sure to also take pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident, including the damage and the license plates. It is easy for your attorney and the insurance company to determine which car belongs to which driver.
The damage on your vehicles can tell the insurance companies a lot about how the accident occurred, how fast the drivers are traveling, and in which direction. Your accident lawyer will review your photographs and video footage to determine who was at fault.
Get Checked Out By A Doctor
If you are concerned about high medical bills, call our law firm now. We use your medical records to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. The most common types of car accident injuries are:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Neck injuries
- Soft-Tissue Injury
- Internal Bleeding
- Broken ribs
- Cuts and lacerations
- Knee, shoulder, and joint injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis
- Wrongful Death
Contact An Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney
You may not think that your car accident injuries are severe or that you need a personal injury attorney. If you have suffered serious injuries and are worried about who will pay your medical bills and other expenses, an attorney can help you build a strong car accident case. Dealing with the insurance company can be challenging. Let one of our car accident lawyers deal with legal matters so that you can focus on healing. Insurance companies usually require that car wrecks are reported in 24-72 hours, depending on the policy. A personal injury attorney can talk to them on your behalf.
How long after an accident can you sue in Georgia?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases such as car accidents and wrongful death is 2 years from the date of the injury or death. If you do not file a claim with the court by the statute of limitations date, you forfeit any right to compensation or benefits, and your case is forever void.
We help car accident victims, DUI Victims, victims of trucking and commercial vehicle collisions, and rideshare accidents who have sought medical treatment within the first month after the incident date and are currently undergoing treatment or are in need of medical care.
Why does the statute of limitations exist?
It’s best to file your claim as soon as possible so that you have access to the facts. There are a few reasons why there is a time limit on when you can file your car accident claim. When too much time passes, the evidence could become stale or indiscernible. This is especially true of witness testimony. Memories fade or become inaccurate over time. To ensure that the facts and evidence necessary to prove your claim are fresh and discoverable, you should contact us immediately after your accident.
What if I wait a year and a half? Can I still pursue a claim?
It is preferable that you seek treatment within the first two weeks after your accident and no longer than a month after you have been injured. The issue with waiting till very close to the deadline is that not only do all the issues mentioned above apply, but then we won’t have the time to dedicate to your case before the statute of limitations runs out.
What to do if someone sues you for a car accident in Georgia?
You should speak to an experienced accident lawyer to help protect your rights if you are being sued after a car accident. An Atlanta car accident attorney from Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., can file your response and explain your narrative of what happened on the day of the crash. You will only have 30 days to respond to the complaints. Otherwise, the court will assume from your lack of response that you admit that the other party’s claim against you is valid, and the court will automatically rule in their favor. If you received notification that you are being sued, then call us now so we can begin to help you.
Car wrecks are rarely straightforward. Skilled injury lawyers can investigate your claim and even argue for a counterclaim for your damages. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer will investigate your car accident to determine if the other driver violated any traffic laws, failed to pay attention to the road (distracted driving), or was driving without a license. Your Atlanta car accident attorney from Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C., will fight hard to reduce your liability. We will also be able to negotiate a settlement that keeps your case from going to trial. If you have suffered any serious injuries or property damage, then we will fight so that you get a fair settlement.
Can you sue for emotional distress in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, emotional distress falls under the category of pain and suffering. Emotional distress refers to the Mental Anguish a person suffers due to a response to a traumatic experience, such as traffic accidents. It can be caused by either negligence (when a person’s negligent actions inflict emotional distress) or recklessness of another person (extreme or outrageous behavior). Georgia follows the Impact Rule, which states that the claimant cannot recover damages for emotional distress from auto accidents unless they also suffer a physical injury. To recover damages, your car accident lawyer will have to prove that:
- You sustained physical impact during the accident
- The physical impact caused physical injury
- The physical injury caused the plaintiff to suffer mental and emotional distress.
The Impact Rule bars those who have witnessed a loved one suffer a catastrophic injury in a car accident from recovering compensation for emotional distress. The amount of compensation a victim receives for emotional distress depends on the case’s circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most common questions people ask our Atlanta car accident lawyers.
What are the most common types of car accidents?
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its 2020 annual traffic crash data report announcing that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide.
Rear-End Accidents account for almost 29% of all traffic crashes resulting in a substantial number of Injuries in fatalities every year. A rear-end accident is when the front of one vehicle collides into the back of the vehicle in front of it. The injuries are much more serious when the at-fault driver was speeding or when the car in front was slowing down or at a full stop.
A quarter of traffic fatalities and half of all traffic injuries in the US are attributed to intersections, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Intersections are busy places where pedestrians, Bicyclists, and motor vehicle operators cross paths. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of Intersection Crashes. These types of accidents are usually caused by one Driver Speeding, failing to yield to the flow of traffic or right of way, making an illegal U-turn, or running a stop sign or red light. These types of accidents are also called T-boned accidents. They often occur when one driver is trying to make a left turn at an intersection and is struck by a driver traveling perpendicularly, causing the cars to make a T-shape.
Also called “blind spot accidents,” A Sideswipe Accident occurs when two vehicles driving in the same direction make contact, usually because one driver recklessly changed lanes and collided with the side of another vehicle. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), sideswipe accidents accounted for approximately 27 percent of fatal crashes in 2019.
The NHTSA reported a 17 percent increase in Speeding-Related Crashes in 2020 compared to 2019. When drivers exceed the posted speed limit, they cannot respond to other drivers stopping or slowing down and causing a crash.
When the front end of one vehicle crashes into the front end of another, it is called A Head-On Collision. They often occur on roads where one driver is traveling in the wrong direction. Head-on collisions are usually caused by drunk, distracted, or drowsy driving. Frontal collisions accounted for more than 10 percent of all fatal crashes in 2017.
Collisions With Larger Vehicles
Although most truck and bus drivers are cautious and abide by the law, when an accident does occur between a passenger vehicle and a larger vehicle, the injuries can be catastrophic due to the size and mass difference. What makes these cases complex is determining liability: is the truck driver liable for the accident? What about their employer? Is a local municipality or transportation agency liable if A Bus Driver Causes An Accident? These are the types of questions that we investigate when one of our clients has been injured in a crash involving a larger vehicle.
How much is my case worth?
To determine how much your case is worth and what types of damages you’re eligible to receive, call 404-948-6153 to schedule your risk-free, complimentary case evaluation at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. Several factors affect how much your case is worth such as:
- If you have suffered scarring or permanent disfigurement
- Insurance policy limits
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you followed your doctor’s treatment plan
- Whether you share liability for causing the accident
How are damages calculated in Georgia?
The multiplier method is the most common way to calculate a settlement amount. After all of your economic damages have been totaled by adding your receipts, bills, invoices, and other financial documents, they are multiplied by a factor between 1.5 and five, depending on the severity of your injuries. Your multiplier will be much higher if you suffered Catastrophic Injuries that lead to permanent disfigurement, amputation, organ failure, or paralysis. A lower multiplier is used in a minor accident where the injured victim did not need long-term care.
Where can I get a copy of the police report?
The police report is one of many pieces of evidence necessary to prove liability since they present an unbiased view of the accident. You can get your car accident report online or pick yours up from the Atlanta Police Department’s Central Records Unit during their open hours.
Why do I need a car accident lawyer?
Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or encouraging injury victims to settle insurance claims quickly and for far less than they are worth. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses always looking for ways to deny claims or undercut victims to save money. They will hire private investigators to stalk claimants online and use their social media posts and pictures as proof that their injuries are not as severe as they say. They will argue that any prior injuries or medical conditions will bar the claimant from receiving compensation. Or they might contact the claimant and try to trick them into saying something that could be misconstrued to sound like the claimant is admiring to fault for the accident.
These are just some of the arguments that the insurance company will make, so you need an attorney who will fight back. We make the insurance adjusters show evidence of their claims and use documentation from your case, such as the police report or your medical records, to prove your side of the story. We can also use expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists to explain how the accident resulted in your injuries and why you deserve full compensation.
How Do Car Accident Lawyers Help Me?
Car accident attorneys are valuable legal professionals that work hard to prove that you are owed compensation by the other party. They perform the following tasks to help you obtain maximum compensation:
They Perform An Investigation
Your attorney is experienced will investigate the scene. They find out how the car accident happened using any available evidence such as surveillance camera footage, the other driver’s cellphone records, and the pictures you took of the accident scene.
Your attorney can contact the other party’s insurance company on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement. They do this by using the evidence they gathered to prove that the other party is liable for your damages.
Your Trusted Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers
When you have been injured in a car wreck, call the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C.. If you were injured as a result of a car accident or if a loved one passed away as a result of third-party negligence, then call us right away at 404-948-6153. We believe in a client-centered approach and provide personalized solutions tailored to each of our clients’ unique needs. We serve all of Georgia, focusing on Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan counties. We have successfully won high settlements for injured victims of motor vehicle accidents like Motorcycle Accidents, bus accidents, Truck Accidents, and Pedestrian Accidents. We can help you, too.