Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
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How can bad weather factor into my car accident claim?
Following an auto accident caused by another driver, it’s important to notify your insurer of the accident and begin the claims process with the other insurance company. If bad weather is present during an accident, insurers will likely factor it into a car accident claim. But it’s not going to be the only consideration when determining fault.
Impact of Bad Weather When Determining Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
It’s difficult to blame an accident solely on the weather conditions. In fact, it could turn out that it’s not an issue at all. Let’s say it was lightly raining as you were driving home from work on the Floy Farr Parkway in Peachtree City when you were in a collision.
The other driver might indicate the slippery roads caused the crash. However, suspicions of impairment lead a police officer to administer a breath test, which shows the driver was actually intoxicated. In this case, weather might not be the primary factor.
Even when it is relevant to a car accident claim, there will be other factors taken into consideration, like if the driver was speeding an weaving through traffic in adverse weather conditions. Drivers are expected to adjust their speed when necessary.
If it was a rear-end accident, the driver who struck the other from behind could indicate the icy roads caused him/her to lose control when braking safely. But if witnesses or other evidence indicate the driver was tailgating the other, then it might not make much of a difference. If the driver had been texting at the time, this would also be negligence and a major factor in a claim.
Of course, there are circumstances in which a driver is using extreme caution behind the wheel and still gets in an accident. It could be that visibility was significantly reduced because of fog. But the driver was well below the speed limit and was otherwise driving in a safe manner. An insurance company may deny liability, citing the driver didn’t demonstrate negligence.
If an accident involving bad weather in the Peachtree City area results in serious injuries or the insurance company is wrongly denying its policyholder’s fault, it’s important to seek legal advice. Talk to Jason Schultz about the specifics of your case and how it will impact your ability to recover compensation – call 404-474-0804.
When does car damage matter in the value of my car accident claim?
Overall car damage may harm your case depending on how the insurance company views it in regards to the severity of your accident. One of the common tactics insurance adjusters may use to devalue or deny a car accident claim is to create a connection between the severity of your vehicle damage and the severity of your injuries. Atlanta car accident attorneys can fight this unfair practice to help victims fight for what's fair.
Car Damage and Injury Severity
Two main situations where property damage matters to your claim are when there is little visible damage to your vehicle, or there are substantial damages to the point of serious repair or total loss.
If your vehicle sustained little or no property damage, the insurance adjuster may try to claim that your injuries couldn't possibly be too severe. The adjuster may try to say that since the vehicle sustained direct impact with the other vehicle or object, and there was little or no damage to the vehicle, your body must have been unharmed as well.
The absence of physical damage, whether to your vehicle or your body, is not grounds for dismissing a claim. Soft tissue damage and internal injuries are quite common in car accidents, no matter how minor the damage may be to the vehicle.
Car Damage & the Cause of the Accident
In cases where your vehicle sustains serious damage, you may want to wait on getting it repaired or considered a total loss. Keeping the vehicle as evidence could help demonstrate the cause of the accident. In serious cases, an accident reconstructionist may examine the vehicle and other aspects at the scene to recreate what caused the accident.
Further, if a vehicle defect is suspected of causing the accident, preserving it for examination is important. Talk to your Atlanta car accident attorney about preserving the automobile as evidence for your case.
Make Sure Your Car Accident Claim is Handled Properly
An Atlanta car accident attorney can help injured Georgia residents seek justice and fair compensation following serious auto accidents. Victims or their families may set up a consultation with a lawyer for help with a car accident claim, and to discuss how car damage may be factored into claim value or used to prove liability.
If I noticed my accident injuries several months or years after my accident in Atlanta, can I still file a personal injury claim?
If accident injuries don’t manifest until months or even years later, a claim could still be filed if it falls within the statute of limitations. However, there may be exceptions based on what is called the discovery rule, which should be discussed with an Atlanta personal injury attorney regarding a particular case.
Statute of Limitations in Atlanta, Georgia for a Personal Injury Claim
The timeframe in which an injured person can file a personal injury claim in Georgia is two years. So, if an accident occurred on April 15, 2011, the individual would have until April 15, 2013 to pursue compensation for any resulting injuries.
If the accident victim discovers an injury several months after the accident, this should allow enough time to pursue the case. When the injuries are not discovered or linked to the accident right off the bat, this could present some challenges in pursuing compensation.
In these types of unique cases, the discovery rule may kick in. When allowed, the discovery rule is based on when the injury was actually discovered or should have reasonably been discovered.
For instance, if someone was involved in a serious car accident, choosing not to seek medical attention to rule out injuries – even if the victim does not feel injured at the time – could destroy any chance of filing a claim later on. It may be considered unreasonable not to see a doctor after a serious accident.
The prospect of using the discovery rule would need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This is where seeking legal advice from an Atlanta personal injury attorney might be to an injured person’s advantage. After all, a lawyer understands in-depth the legal process and if the victim’s case is being handled fairly.
Don’t Wait to See a Doctor or File a Personal Injury Claim for Accident Injuries
Waiting to seek medical care after an accident may damage the potential to file a personal injury claim later. Why? Because the insurance company will be skeptical as to why the victim didn’t seek medical attention sooner. This is why, victims of car accidents, should still seek emergency care if he or she doesn’t feel that it’s necessary. Not only can the medical visit help preserve an injury claim if one is pursued, but it can also benefit if internal bleeding is present, which can save the victim’s life.
Accident victims can consult an Atlanta personal injury attorney soon after their accident to review legal options for filing an injury claim. If injuries are not noticed until years after the accident, they can still consult an attorney to go over eligibility to file a claim based on the discovery rule. An attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz can help determine the viability of a claim, even if months have past after the accident and injuries are just now being discovered.
Do I have to report a Peachtree City car accident to my insurance company?
Reporting your car accident to the insurance company is a must. Per the terms and conditions of many policies, failure to report the accident could result in the policy being cancelled altogether. What's more, in many cases, you are required to report the accident to the police per Georgia law.
Reporting Car Accidents to Insurance Companies & the Police
If you are in an accident, call your insurance company to report it. You may contact the other driver's car accident insurance company to inform it that you plan to file a claim if the other driver was at fault. In these situations, be wary talking with insurance adjusters, especially those representing the other driver's insurance company. Stick to the facts of which you're sure, and don't be afraid to decline to give a recorded statement until after you speak with an attorney and collect the facts of the case.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, the police must be informed when a car accident involves injuries or fatalities, and/or at least $500 in damage (it may be difficult to estimate the value of the damage on the spot, so in many cases it is wise to call the police if you're unsure of the extent of damages). The police will file a report, which can be sent to the insurance companies involved. If a police officer finds one of the parties at fault due to a traffic violation, a citation will be given and this information will be included in the police report.
Dangers of Verbal Agreements
Verbal agreements among drivers involved in minor collisions in Peachtree City may seem attractive at the time, but this can lead to further problems in many cases, especially if the at-fault driver refuses to pay or is unable to do so. Therefore, it is generally better to be upfront with car accident insurance companies and report the accident to the insurance company afterwards.
How can I make sure my damaged vehicle is kept safe as evidence after a serious Georgia car accident?
Preserving crime scene evidence is critical if you or someone you love was seriously or fatally injured in a car crash in Georgia. You generally don’t have to worry about your damaged vehicle being kept safe because it will likely be towed. Just be sure to find out where it is being taken and follow up with the tow company.
Preserving the Crime Scene Evidence
When it comes to preserving evidence in a serious Georgia car accident, cases such as this may greatly benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help establish fault and assist with the collection of evidence that will be necessary.
Keep in mind that sometimes preserving physical evidence isn’t always possible. One of the other ways to assemble crime scene evidence is through photographs.
If you weren’t able to take pictures immediately after the accident, try to get to the location where your car was taken. The sooner you do this, the better. If you are unable to do so because you are in the hospital or bedridden at home, ask a friend or family member to take pictures of the scene or your vehicle.
Car accident cases can become very complicated when serious injuries are involved. You will need to prove fault and then provide ample evidence to support your claim, so contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney in Peachtree City
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,244 traffic fatalities in the state of Georgia in 2010. With so much at stake in a serious car accident, speak with an attorney at the Law Offices of Jason Schultz. To learn what you can do to protect crime scene evidence for your Georgia car accident case, call us today at 404-474-0804.
What do I do if the insurance company claims I'm at fault for my injuries?
You should contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney immediately if the insurance company has made claims that you are at fault for the injuries you sustained. Pursuing an insurance claim sometimes can be a frustrating experience, especially when you are blamed for injuries that were caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions.
Proving fault is the basis of any claim, so having adequate evidence is important. You can improve the chance of being successful with your insurance claim when you have the help of an Atlanta personal injury attorney.
The nature of your accident and the injuries you sustained will determine the types of evidence necessary for your case. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, but the insurance company is trying to put the blame on you, having certain types of evidence handy can make a difference.
Evidence can help establish the other driver’s fault, including:
- a copy of the police report;
- statements from witnesses; and
Or, if you were injured while undergoing surgery, medical records could be used as evidence. Let’s say a surgeon left a surgical sponge inside of you; x-rays could be entered as evidence.
No matter what type of case you pursue, you will need to have ample evidence showing that someone else is negligent. An attorney can help gather this kind of information.
Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
Don’t let the insurance company try to intimidate you. Learn what legal options may be available by speaking to an Atlanta personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jason Schultz. You can learn more about protecting your rights by ordering our free injury guide. Call us at 404-474-0804 to schedule your no-cost consultation.
Does my Georgia car insurance cover my passengers if they are injured in my vehicle?
If you’re in an auto accident, a Clayton County car accident attorney can go over your car insurance policy and evaluate your liability. Your insurance will cover the other passengers in your vehicle, to an extent.
What does my liability insurance cover?
You may be familiar with liability insurance, which is part of the car insurance required by Georgia state law. Passengers in your vehicle are one of the parties covered by liability insurance.
If you cause a car accident in Georgia, your auto liability insurance will help pay for the injuries of those involved in the accident, including passengers in your vehicle.
Three things covered by liability insurance are:
- coverage for bodily injury of one person in any vehicle involved in the accident (Georgia minimum: $25,000);
- coverage for bodily injury of more than one person in any vehicle involved in the accident (Georgia minimum: $50,000); and
- coverage for property damage caused by the crash (Georgia minimum: $25,000).
In reference to passengers in your vehicle, “bodily injury” liability refers to your passengers’ medical bills and lost wages. Your insurer will pay for those things as long as the cost does not exceed the maximum stated on your plan.
For instance, if two passengers were injured in your vehicle, your car insurance plan will cover up to $50,000 in medical bills and lost wages. However, if their bills amount to $65,000, you might be personally responsible for paying the remaining $15,000. For this reason, if you have the option to purchase more than the minimum liability insurance, it may be a good idea to do so.
At The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, our attorneys are experts in the field of car accidents and auto injury. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. Call us at 404-474-0804.
Who is at fault for the car accident if my car stalled in the middle of the road and another car hit me from behind in Clayton County, Georgia?
If your car stalled in the middle of the road and another car hit you from behind, the driver who hit you is found typically at fault. This is because of the “assured clear distance ahead” rule, which states that you must keep a certain amount of distance between your vehicle and anything in front of you so that you can be able to brake suddenly without hitting anything. If this can be proven in your accident, it’s best to get in touch with a Clayton County injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
You must also be traveling at a speed where if you need to stop suddenly, you can do so safely without causing a car accident; however, depending on the state you live in, different rules may apply. You may be found partially at fault because your stalled vehicle created a road hazard. Although the rule of thumb is that you must keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, the other driver can try to prove that they acted reasonably under the circumstances and had no choice but to rear end you.
If the stall happened suddenly in traffic, was caused by inexperienced driving and no warning signals were used, the other driver may have a solid case to prove that you were the one at fault for the car accident.
If your car stalled in the middle of the road and caused a car accident, you need a Clayton County injury attorney on your side.An injury attorney can review the details surrounding your accident claim and review police reports to determine who is at fault. Rated one of the top trial lawyers in Georgia, Jason R. Schultz has the experience to win your case. Contact him today at 404-474-0804.
What evidence can I collect at the scene of my Atlanta car accident that will help my lawyer build a solid claim?
Any type of documentation or physical evidence gathered at a car accident scene could be helpful in building a solid and successful personal injury claim. When you have suffered serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is recommended that you seek out an Atlanta car accident lawyer for guidance through the claims process.
Some of the types of evidence that could be collected at an accident scene and used in a personal injury claim include the following:
- pictures (intersection layout, weather conditions, damaged vehicles, injuries, skid marks, etc.);
- copy of the police report;
- photos from a red-light camera;
- intersection records;
- audio of any 9-1-1 calls;
- statements from eye-witnesses; and
- towing records.
Anything that is related to the accident and your injuries could potentially be used as evidence. It is important to not dismiss anything without first talking to a lawyer.
In addition, it would be helpful if, as soon as possible after the accident, you wrote down the details of what happened. Relying on memory can be detrimental to your case.
Of course, you should also seek medical attention immediately. Records from your medical care can also be entered as evidence.
Contacting an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer When You Have Been Injured
Having adequate evidence is important if you want to prove liability and the extent of your injuries. By contacting an injury accident attorney, you can learn more about how to protect your claim and your legal rights.
Don’t let the insurance company try to talk you into a settlement before you know the full extent of your damages. Contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation– 404-474-0804.
How is fault determined after a car accident in Georgia?
To determine who was at fault in a car accident in Georgia, you’ll need to understand “proportional comparative fault.” Under Georgia law, proportional comparative fault – also known in Georgia as the modified comparative negligence 50% bar rule – is used to calculate how much each party is compensated for injuries caused by the car accident.
Car accident lawyers in Georgia and insurance adjusters will typically evaluate the facts in the case to determine fault. If one party broke a law, such as speeding or failing to stop at an intersection, and the other driver was obeying driving laws, the first driver will more than likely be assigned a higher degree of fault in the accident.
In other car accidents, both drivers may have broken the law, which makes determining fault more complicated. A Villa Rica car accident lawyer should evaluate this type of case for help in determining fault. These types of cases often end up in court. The court will determine, based on the details of the accident – and specifically, using any evidence or witness testimony available – the percentage of fault assigned to each driver.
Your car accident attorney can help you to determine whether both drivers were equally at fault, or if one party is more at fault than the other, which could mean that the other driver may be eligible for a settlement to pay for vehicle repairs or medical bills associated with injuries sustained in the car accident.
Contacting A Peachtree City Car Accident Lawyer For More Information On Accident Fault
As the victim of a car accident in Georgia, you have rights that the insurance companies cannot ignore. While they have a team of lawyers working on their side, shouldn’t you have experienced legal representation fighting for your best interests? Before accepting any settlement offer, contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation (404) 474-0804.