How to Choose the Right Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
Automobile accidents happen every day in Georgia and usually involve a collision between a motor vehicle and another motor vehicle but may also involve a pedestrian, road debris, stationary item such a sign, tree or pole, animal or any other item. With the amount of traffic on the roads auto accidents are inevitable. While most people think of a car accident when they think of an auto accident, the definition covers any motor vehicle accident, including motorcycles.
What to Do After an Accident
Obtain information about the other driver, including their auto insurance data such as the type of insurance coverage, the name of the insurance company, the policy number, the named insured and the contact number for the insurance company. If the other driver does not have motor vehicle insurance and is an uninsured driver, your collision insurance may cover the cost of the property damage but this is by no means guaranteed. Get as much information as you can (but remember to be polite).
You will also need the driver’s license number, the license plate number and the name of the vehicle’s owner. Ask any witnesses to make a statement and obtain their contact information as well. One of our Alpharetta Personal Injury Lawyers will answer any immediate questions that you may have.
Take photographs of the accident scene with your cell phone, including both vehicles and the road. Exchange numbers for cell phones involved in accident and call the police, even if the other driver does not want the police called. Obtaining an official police report is a very important when it comes to documenting injuries, evidence of the accident, determination of who is at fault and official police photographs. Without an official police report, you will find it much more difficult to establish the at-fault party or necessary damages. Our Marietta, Georgia Accident Attorneys rely heavily on the evidence contained in the report to prove damages.
Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have agreed to release you. Remember to be polite to everyone and most importantly, do not claim fault for the accident even if you believe you are at fault.
If you need to seek medical treatment following the car crash, ask the doctor about the nature of your injuries, including any severe injuries or long-term injuries, x-rays, potential scars and the need for any surgery. Ask for copies of your medical records and documentation. Remember that you may need to provide authorization to release medical records later on.
Types of Automobile Accidents
Once you have gotten home or to the hospital, notifying your insurance company is very important. Call your insurance company and speak to an insurance adjustor regarding the motor vehicle accident to begin an official claim. Ask the claim adjustor for the claim number, the name of the claims adjustor, the name of the claims supervisor and ask about the typical timeframe for claim processing.
You should also find out the cost of your deductible as well as whether you have comprehensive auto coverage or collision coverage. In addition, inquire how to handle the necessary car repair for the damages to your vehicle sustained in the crash. Many insurance companies have a list of nearby body shops with which they work and often cover the cost of a rental car while repairs are taking place or if you have a totaled car.
Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible to help establish the negligent party and/or the at-fault party. In addition, the police report may include important items for evaluating your claim with an accident attorney such as Howe & Associates. This police report may include general damages, how and why traffic laws were violated, liability and other necessary information that the insurance company and your auto accident lawyer will require to establish your claim.
Take note of any phone conversations that you have regarding the accident, including the date, time and the person’s name.
Once you have copies of the insurance information, medical records and the police report, please contact one of our Atlanta area offices at 678-566-6800. We have offices throughout Georgia, including Alpharetta, Marietta, Cumming, Roswell, Norcross, Decatur and Atlanta itself. We will help you set up a no-obligation consultation to review your claim and determine your potential compensation with our skilled law firm.
Rear End Collision
The term rear end collision refers to a traffic accident where one car or other vehicle smashes into the vehicle in front of it. This may be because the car in front stopped suddenly; the rear car was following too closely or was not paying attention.
Generally, the rear car is considered at fault for the rear end collision car accident. However, if the front car was in reverse or purposely stopped short, forcing the rear car to hit it, the other driver may be at fault.
Unfortunately, injuries are common following a rear-end collision, usually whiplash or other back or neck injuries such as cartilage tear or disc injuries. Whiplash occurs when the neck extends abruptly in one direction due to sudden impact and may cause pain, stiff and sore muscles and the sensation of pins and needles in the arms and neck. Headaches are also common. While symptoms may appear immediately after the crash, a few days may pass before symptoms become noticeable. If you or someone you love has sustained whiplash, spine injuries or any other head, neck or back injuries because of a rear end collision, contact the injury lawyer team at Howe & Associates.
In addition, take note of any chiropractors or doctors you visit and request a copy of your medical report and any x-rays. Documenting injuries is a very important element when it comes to establishing fault in an automobile accident. Remember to contact your motor vehicle insurance company and establish a claim as well.
Failure to Yield
In most states, failure to yield to the right-of-way for both other drivers and pedestrians is a violation of traffic laws. For example, at intersections with traffic lights and signals, drivers turning on a red light must yield to pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers.
Another example of failure-to-yield is not allowing the right of way for emergency vehicles. This endangers everyone and can delay or obstruct the emergency vehicle.
If you are for or are the victim of a failure to yield, you need legal representation by the experienced attorneys at Howe & Associates, especially if you feel that you are not the negligent driver. Call to set up a meeting at one of our offices in Marietta, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Decatur, Cumming, Roswell or Norcross, GA. In addition to our local offices, our experienced attorneys will travel to any location within the State of Georgia to meet you at your home or hospital.
Head On Collision
A head-on collision occurs when the front end of two vehicles, such as two cars or motorcycles, hit each other head-on. Head-on collisions are particularly dangerous and potentially fatal.
If you have been the victim of a head on collision car accident, you need an accident attorney in Atlanta or the surrounding region.
A side impact accident occurs when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, also often called a ‘t-bone collision”. This is another potentially deadly or serious accident as there is little protection between the side of the car and the passengers inside. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side impact crashes account for almost 25 percent of auto accident fatalities in the United States.
Side impact crashes are often a result of failure on the part of one driver to yield to the right of way, running a red light or stop fully at a stop sign. Regardless of how the side impact automobile accident occurs, injuries and damage can potentially be serious.
Chain reaction car accidents are defined as three or more vehicles involved in an accident, usually in a chain of rear-end collisions that occur due to the first rear end collision. Once the first two cars have been involved in a rear end accident, it is likely that the car following the second car will not be able to stop fast enough, thereby hitting that car and causing the same exact thing to happen to the car behind him or her. Sometimes the sheer impact of several cars being hit at the end of the chain will force the cars forward, causing additional damage.
Because there are often multiple, complicated factors causing a chain reaction car crash, obtaining an official police report is even more important. Always contact the police when a chain reaction car accident occurs and request a copy of the police report after you have filed your auto insurance claim.
Hit and Run
In a hit and run accident, one person contributes, causes or is at fault for a vehicular accident and does not stop to assist victims and identify themselves to authorities. Since most states legally require accident participants to exchange insurance and contact information, a hit and run is a crime in most places in the United States.
There are often emotional consequences to a hit and run accident, since victims often feel that the negligent party is getting away without having to take responsibility. It is especially important to contact the police after a hit and run, get detailed photographs of the scene of the accident, explain as much about the hit and run as possible to the police, get eyewitness testimony and contact information, file an insurance claim, and document injuries. If the police find the person responsible, having information identifying the negligent driver will help further your claim.
Georgia drivers with an expired driver’s license involved in a car accident will find that driving on an expired license is illegal. For those involved in a car accident with someone with an expired license, this is one of the many reasons why it is important to ask to see the other driver’s license and take note of the driver’s license number after an accident.
Note the expired license to police for the official police report immediately after the accident and mention it to the insurance company as well. If you are the one with an expired driver’s license, it is likely that you will need legal assistance as well.
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If you think you might have a personal injury claim, our Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys can help you. Call Us Now!