Being in a major car accident can be devastating for both the victims and their loved ones. Aside from the pain and suffering caused by any injuries sustained, a family must pick up the financial pieces left behind by a serious car wreck. Oftentimes, insurance companies will not offer a fair settlement that provides a family with enough funds to recover. If you’re in this situation, you deserve to know that you have legal options.
Your first course of action is to seek medical aid and ensure everyone’s medical needs are being taken care of. After that, you’ll need to contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer if you’re located in the state of Georgia. At Bey & Associates, we can give you the help your family needs to recover from a car wreck that wasn’t your fault.
First, let’s go over some of the facts about car crash and how car crash claims work in the state of Georgia.
Examining the Causes of Car Accidents in Atlanta
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,430 individuals died in car accidents in the state of Georgia in 2015. That comes out to almost 4 deaths every single day. This number went up from the previous year by 266 deaths. In an era where vehicle safety technology is the best it’s ever been, this statistic is nothing to be proud of.
In an article published in late 2015 by Vox (using data from the National Highway Traffic Association), it was reported that Georgia has the deadliest interstate highway in all of the United States. Georgia residents, you can likely guess what interstate that is. It’s the I-285 that circles right around Atlanta. In 2013, 26 fatal car accidents occurred on the I-285 compared to the 1,085 total accidents that happened throughout the state. This amounts to approximately 3.5 accidents per 10 miles of interstate.
It may seem incredulous to believe, but the numbers don’t lie. Georgia had more interstate deaths than states like California and Texas even.
So, what causes these terrible car accidents? Here are some of the most common causes for car crashes in the state of Georgia:
- Driving too fast or slow – Driving too quickly or slowly can make it difficult to stop in time or for other vehicles to stop in time should fast reaction times become necessary. This is generally a case of negligence or recklessness.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Drugs and alcohol impairment continue to be a major cause of car accidents despite laws that give impaired drivers harsher penalties. In 2013, for example, 297 of Georgia’s accident fatalities were caused by drunk drivers. This is just over 25% of all accident fatalities.
- Failing to signal when making turns – When other vehicles aren’t aware of your intentions, it can make it difficult for drivers to know what to expect. This is also a case of negligent driving.
- Disregarding traffic conditions or weather – Similar to failing to properly signal, disregarding traffic conditions or poor weather can quickly lead to an accident. A driver who fails to notice a potentially hazardous situation may be charged with negligence in court.
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals – All drivers have a duty to obey posted signs and signals from other drivers. A failure to do so is defined as negligence. Driving on the wrong side of the road can also fit in this category.
One other notable cause of car accidents is distracted driving. When a driver is distracted—whether they are texting someone, eating lunch while behind the wheel, or checking their Facebook feed—they are liable to cause an accident in the fraction of a second and place everyone on the road at risk.
In Georgia courtrooms, when a driver fails to pay attention to the road, follow traffic and safety laws, or follow the flow of traffic, a judge or jury can state that they are negligent. As you can tell from the bullet points above, most serious car accidents in our state are caused by negligence or reckless actions.
Under these conditions, a victim of an accident which was caused by a negligent or reckless driver may be able to file a lawsuit against that driver. Doing so may grant the victim and their family peace of mind as well as provide the financial assistance they need to pay for any medical bills, loss of wage costs, and more. If you lost a loved one in a auto accident that was caused by negligence, you may be able to similarly file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased individual.
Financial Damages You May Be Entitled to After an Accident
If you’re eligible to file a lawsuit against a negligent or reckless driver, you may be able to receive the following financial compensation (often referred to as “damages”) that can be used to help you and your loved ones recover. Here’s a list of some of the most common types of car wreck injury damages many victims receive:
- Medical expenses: This can include fees for emergency room visits, hospital care, surgery, assistive devices, and appointments with approved medical professionals.
- Ongoing medical expenses: If the car accident victim can prove that they will need continued medical care because of the crash, they may be able to recover the cost of future medical expenses.
- Punitive damages: If the actions of the defendant were malicious or egregious, the jury might impose punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for the physical pain suffered as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. In awarding damages for pain and suffering, the jury will examine the nature of the injury, the extent of the pain, and the length of time the victim was left to suffer.
- Mental anguish: Victims can also be awarded for the emotional pain suffered as a result of their auto accident. Mental anguish damages compensate the victim for fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, grief, and other forms of emotional distress caused by the accident.
- Loss of consortium: If a car accident lawsuit is successful, the uninjured spouse may be able to recover damages for loss of marital benefits including companionship, sexual relations, affection, and comfort.
- Lost wages/earning potential: Victims injured in car accidents may be able to recover compensation for wages lost between the time of the injury and the conclusion of the lawsuit. If the wounded victim was unemployed at the time of the accident, they might be awarded lost wages if they can demonstrate earning potential during this period.
Recover with the Help of a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
At Bey & Associates, we can provide you with a 100% free case consultation where an expert Atlanta car accident lawyer will be able to tell you the merits of your case. If filing a case is in the best interest of your family, we can help you during every step of the claim-filing process and ensure you and your family can recover.
You must file a car accident claim before the statute of limitations expires. This period is generally two years after the accident occurs in the state of Georgia. If you wait longer than two years to file a lawsuit, you will be unable to do so. Timing is often imperative when filing a claim.
To learn more or speak to one of our representatives, contact our Atlanta law office today. We’re here for you today and every day.