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Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

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Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

Atlanta Car Accident Attorney

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident in Atlanta? Call our Atlanta accident attorneys today at 404-975-1775. We will get you compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage.

As we all know, Atlanta is Georgia’s capital and it’s also infamously known as Georgia’s accident capital. On every news station day, noon, or night you hear of a bad accident that’s happened on I-20, I-75, I-85 or I-275. Often times, the accidents are so bad that our hearts go out to these people, who we don’t know, because we all know someone who has been in a serious accident.

At the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm our Atlanta injury and accident attorneys are here to help you with any size car accident or injury.  We understand that any injury can be life altering at worst and a horrible inconvenience at best. Either way, you did not ask to be injured by another’s negligence and the person at fault should be held responsible for their actions. In Georgia, all drivers are required to have minimum liability coverage of $25,000 on their vehicle for bodily injuries; however, many drivers, including trucking companies, have liability policies in excess of $1,000,000.  Georgia does not require you to have full coverage on your vehicle. It is important you contact an attorney as soon as you can because evidence disappears and memories fade.  An attorney can capture this evidence quickly if hired.

Results

$1,000,000 Semi truck accident
$725,0000 Car accident
$500,0000 Car accident
$250,000 Head on collision
$205,000 Slip and fall – knee injury
$135,000 Car accident with serious ankle injury
$135,000 Car Accident with back injections
$125,000 Client T-bone by police officer
$100,000 Car accident with fractured neck
$100,000 Car accident involving a pedestrian. Broken fibula and tibia.
$90,000 Car accident with a DUI driver
$85,000 Slip and fall
$50,000 Rear end collision
$25,000 Car accident with whiplash injury

Almost any law firm will do when you have a simple divorce.  But, when you need a law firm specializing in serious auto accident and wrongful death cases our team of attorneys’ are prepared.  Working on major cases is what we do.  The insurance companies have a team of attorneys to defend them; you need a team of experienced attorneys representing you.

We have represented accident victims injured by:

  • 18-Wheeler Trucks
  • Dump Trucks
  • Delivery Trucks
  • Ambulances
  • Police Cars
  • Trains
  • SUV’s
  • Motorcycles
  • DUI Drivers

No matter what caused your car accident, your injuries are your biggest concern. And because your injuries are your biggest concern, they are our biggest concern. As Atlanta injury and accident attorneys, some of the most common injuries our clients suffer in interstate accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and Lacerations
  • Head, Neck, and Spinal Injuries
  • Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage
  • Paralysis and Nerve Damage
  • Wrongful Death

The above is considered catastrophic injuries. These are injuries that can cause serious life-threatening issues or disabilities. For example, spinal cord injuries can cause extensive pain and suffering. Severe injuries to the spinal cord can result in partial or full-body paralysis. These injuries will typically need a lifetime of specialized care and rehabilitation. It is essential that a person with these injuries receives enough compensation to cover the care they will need.  In addition, burn injuries are extremely painful and can cause extensive disfigurement. Burn injury victims often need to undergo many surgeries and receive long-term care.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Atlanta or the surrounding area, call our Atlanta car accident attorneys at 404-975-1775 or 1-800-738-WE-WINWe have three convenient Georgia offices located in: Atlanta, Savannah, and Statesboro. If you cannot come to us, we can come to you. The Merritt & Merritt Law Firm is here to help.

It is highly recommended that you hire an attorney immediately after a car accident if any of the following apply to you:

  • 1 or more persons were injured or killed
  • Accident involving a 18-wheeler truck
  • Multiple vehicle accident
  • 1 or more parties were uninsured
  • Police report is inaccurate

Things you should do if you have been involved in an accident:

  • Call 911
  • Turn hazard lights on
  • Do not discuss accident with anyone near the scene
  • Take photos of accident scene
  • Collect all witness information including name, address, and phone number
  • Make a written description of each car involved including year, make, model, and color
  • File police report
  • Do not speak with insurance adjusters
  • Do not sign any paperwork

After accident jot down how the accident occurred providing as much detail as possible.

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Atlanta

Excessive Speeding, Driver Inattention, Failure to Yield Right of Way, Failure to Maintain Lane, Running a Stop Sign.

Many motor vehicle crashes can be attributed to driver negligence in one way or another. Whether their action is getting behind the wheel after drinking – or something as simple as not properly using a turn signal. In Georgia, the person who causes the accident must pay damages to the person they caused harm to. The most frequent causes of car accidents in Georgia are:

  • Distracted driving – Being distracted while driving has many categories: Eating, drinking, talking, applying makeup, changing radio or looking for something in the back seat.
  • Drunk driving – The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08 and penalties for a DUI are strict.
  • Reckless driving and making unsafe lane changes
  • Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Ignoring stop signs, traffic signal
  • Failure to properly maintain vehicle in a safe operational condition

Types of Injuries We Have Handled

These are some of the many types of injuries that often occur in Georgia motor vehicle crashes:

  • Brain trauma – These can take months or even years to recover from.
  • Internal bleeding
  • Torn and damaged tendons and ligaments
  • Fractures/Breaks
  • Spinal Cord Injury –This can be from bruising to a fracture causing paralysis.
  • Paralysis – Spinal cord injury is the second-leading cause of paralysis
  • Whiplash – Whiplash is a common occurrence in a car accident, ranging from your neck, shoulders, and back
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Facial Scarring
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychological damage
  • Fatalities – There were 1,550 fatal accidents in Georgia last year

You Deserve Justice!

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a car wreck that was caused by someone else, you can’t help feeling the unfairness of your having to suffer when you did nothing wrong. It offends your sense of justice! You are suffering—physically, mentally, and financially, for someone else’s carelessness. Although no amount of money is ever adequate compensation for limited mobility, poor health, or loss of a loved one, making a claim against the “at fault” party is important:

  1. It can provide you with an avenue to pay mounting medical bills.
  2. It can ease the financial burden on you and your family.
  3. It can provide a sense fairness and closure.
  4. It can restore your sense of justice.

Why Hire an Atlanta Accident Lawyer?

You may think that you can handle the insurance claim yourself but we would strongly advise against it.  Adjusters have experience in dealing with injury and accident claims. If you are not adequately represented, the insurance company may very well try to take advantage of you and make a low offer. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers will handle all paperwork and navigate you through the process.

We can help you recover missed time from work or with injuries that may leave you permanently disabled. Medical bills and loss wages can be easily calculated, but your inability to provide for your family, accomplish tasks or any strain on your relationship maybe difficult.

How do I File a Police Report in Georgia?

Georgia requires that a police report be filed in the event of injuries or a fatality involving an accident, or if there is more than $500 in property damage. You can file a report by simply calling the police to the accident scene. If a police officer does not show up to the scene for whatever reason, you can go to the police department and file the report. You want to file the police report as soon as possible; however, it can be filed within a reasonable time after the accident.

Insurance Claims in Georgia

Never contact an insurance company without the assist of an attorney

The minimum coverage allowed for car insurance in Georgia is $25,000 per injury, $50,000 per accident and $25,000 to account for property damage. After an accident, it’s crucial to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. You’ll need:

  • Your full name and policy number
  • Date and time of the accident
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of all other drivers
  • Details of how the accident happen
  • Having the police report is helpful

Collect witness statements if possible, and document the scene as much as you can. Take pictures of the vehicles, note any signage and what the other driver said to you.

Before all else, the first thing you need to do after an accident is seek medical attention at your local emergency room, even if you feel the accident is minor. If you wait an extended period before getting treatment, the other driver’s insurance company may try to say your injuries were not that bad and you, therefore, don’t need compensation. Never admit fault and stay relaxed.

Georgia Statute of Limitations

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years after the accident which caused the injury. However, if those injuries cause the person’s death, the two year statute starts from the time of the death.

Are There Any Up-Front Costs?

Merritt & Merritt Law Firm charges clients no up-front fee, instead we work on a contingency fee basis. That means if the firm fails to settle a case in your favor, you pay nothing. And when we doe settle a case, the firm is paid only from a part of the total recovery.  The client never pays anything out of pocket, our fee is taken from the recovery or settlement.

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is a fee that is conditioned upon a certain result. Simply put, if we recover money for you, we are paid from the monies we recover. If we do not recover monies for you from the insurance company, you owe us nothing. Our fee ranges from 33% depending on the case.

Common Questions About Car Accidents With Real Answers

What is my car accident case worth?

Of course, the value of a car accident claim will vary according to a variety of factors including the severity of your injuries. That said, the primary components of a car accident claim include the following:

  • Your medical bills, especially any uncovered expenses such as deductibles or copays
  • Your lost income
  • Your pain and suffering
  • The cost to repair or replace your vehicle
  • Any other losses or expenses directly caused by the accident

You may also be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses if you will require ongoing medical treatment. If you are facing long-term or permanent disability, you may be entitled to compensation for lost future income and lost earning capacity. An experienced Atlanta car accident attorney should be able to provide you with an estimate of what your claim may be worth at your initial consultation.

Do I have a claim if I have lost a loved one in a car accident?

Under Georgia law, a surviving spouse, child, or parent can pursue a wrongful death claim. The claimant can pursue compensation for the following:

  • Economic losses such as lost income, funeral and burial expenses, and medical bills
  • Non-economic losses such as loss of companionship, loss of guidance, loss of support, or mental and emotional anguish

The unexpected death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can have a devastating impact on your family. Protect your future by working with an Atlanta car accident attorney.

Am I entitled to seek punitive damages?

Punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish the at-fault party for the purpose of discouraging others from engaging in the same or similar behavior. In the context of a personal injury case, punitive damages are limited to situations involving gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Most car accidents are really accidents, with no willful misconduct, but we have seen situations where punitive damages may be warranted in car accidents. One common scenario is when a drunk driver causes an accident. Another situation could be a driver acting in a fit of road rage, where he or she intentionally collided with another vehicle.

While punitive damages are rare, an Atlanta car accident attorney will know whether your case may qualify.

What kind of evidence will I need to support my claim?

Some of the evidence that you will need to prove your case includes the following:

  • Accident reports
  • Video footage
  • Photographs
  • Witness statements
  • Medical reports and bills
  • Proof of lost income – pay stubs and tax returns

In some cases, you may need an expert opinion as to the cause of the accident, the extent of your injuries, or your future economic losses. Obtaining the necessary evidence can feel overwhelming, especially if you are in pain and trying to recover. An Atlanta car accident attorney will be able to gather the evidence you need so that you can focus on getting better.

Should I accept their settlement offer?

You may be surprised at how quickly the insurance company might offer to settle your claim. In fact, they may make the offer before you even know the extent of your injuries or how long it will take to recover. Without knowing these things, it is impossible to know whether or not their offer is fair.

That said, you need to be careful even if you think you know the extent of your injuries and what your case may be worth. Upon accepting their offer, you agree to waive any future or additional claims you may have, even if you later discover that your injuries were worse than originally thought or that you will require additional treatment.

If you have been offered a settlement, the best thing to do is to speak with an Atlanta car accident attorney. They can review the offer, assess its fairness, explain your rights, and help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision as to whether to accept it.

Can I afford to hire a lawyer?

Most accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay any legal fees unless you win and they recover compensation for you. Their fees are then paid as a percentage from the compensation you receive. When you meet with an Atlanta car accident attorney, you should discuss how their contingency fees work so that you know what to expect.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Alternatively, you may need to sue the other driver in court to recover damages.

I was in a truck accident. What do I need to prove?

You will need to prove three things in order to prevail in your case:

  1. That the driver or trucking company owed you a duty of care;
  2. That the driver or trucking company breached that duty by being negligent in some way; and
  3. That the driver or trucking company’s breach caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.

In most cases, the first element is not at issue – the driver and the trucking company have an obligation to other drivers to guard against accidents. Most cases revolve around proving negligence or that there was a causal connection between the negligence and the accident that caused your injuries.

The Importance of Staying Off Social Media After an Auto Accident

Almost everyone in today’s world is on some type of social media. Posting everything from the food we eat to our most personal experiences is common in today’s society. What many car accident victims fail to realize, however, is that posts about their accident can hurt their chances of financial recovery.

Insurance companies often look for mitigating factors so they can pay less for, or deny altogether, a claim for damages. Sometimes their search leads them to the social media accounts of people that have made a claim for damages. While the injured party posted something that seems innocuous enough to them, the insurance company may try to use that post as a reason to deny or under-pay the claim. Because of this, our Atlanta injury and car accident attorneys advise that car accident victims sign off of social media altogether, or at the very least, refrain from posting anything about the accident until their claim has been resolved.

Remember, too, that insurance companies will look for evidence that injured persons are engaging in activities that directly dispute the injuries they claim they have. So even a post that has nothing to do with the accident itself can be used against them.

Car accident attorney fees

Car accident attorneys usually charge a contingency fee. In a contingent fee arrangement, the attorney agrees to accept a fixed percentage of the recovery. If you win the case, the attorney’s fee comes out of the money awarded to you. If there is no recover, no fee. Typically the fee ranges from 30 to 40 percent, and 33.33 percent is the standard rate. If you have a 33.33% contingency fee arrangement and you recover $100,000 in your car accident case, your attorney will receive $33,333 and you would receive $66,667.

Lawyers typically have two fee structures: 1.) Contingency fee which the attorney gets paid from what you recover. 2.) A flat rate fee is normally charged in criminal or family law cases. The fee is set upon an agreed contractual amount between the attorney and client. An example, a client retains an attorney for a traffic ticket. The attorney charges $500 to handle the ticket-this is a flat rate fee.

Determining the At Fault Party

Almost every accident that happens on Atlanta’s roads is someone’s fault. The law states even if the two cars never make contact, a driver who forces another off the road may still be responsible. When evaluating fault after an auto accident, courts will allocate fault depending on the circumstances.

Unfortunately, this can be bad news for injury plaintiffs. If a jury believes that a victim contributed in any way to the accident that caused their injuries, the jury can reduce the plaintiff’s award. Insurance adjusters are aware of the law and will record your statement without your knowledge; therefore, before you speak with an insurance adjuster, call the Merritt & Merritt at 1-800-738-WE-WIN.

Potential Indications of Defendant Negligence

Every driver, when driving upon the roadways, has a responsibility to drive safely and to exercise reasonable care. As a result, plaintiffs have two main ways to prove a defendant was negligent.

The best way to demonstrate negligence is to present evidence that a defendant violated a law while driving. If a police report indicates that the defendant was cited, that is a plus. Some of traffic violations are speeding, driving to fast for condition, failure to yield, failure to stop at stop sign, and failure to maintain lanes.

There are more ways to prove negligence but it’s a little more difficult. In cases where the defendant does not receive a ticket, a more in depth investigation should occur. This may involve visiting the scene of the incident, speaking with witnesses, and getting a statement from the police officer. Our skilled Atlanta car accident lawyers can identify the best way to pursue a case for full compensation.

Call us today at 1-800-738-WE-WIN or complete the free case evaluation form.

Emergency Contact Information:

Atlanta Police Department
226 Peachtree St SW
Atlanta, Ga. 30303
404-614-6544

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston Hospital
1405 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30322
404-785-5437

Emory University Hospital Midtown
550 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA  30308
404-686-4411

Grady Health Hospital
80 Jesse Hill, Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-616-1000

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital
1968 Peachtree Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
404-605-5000

Southern Regional Medical Center
11 Upper Riverdale Road
Riverdale, GA 30374
770-991-8000

Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center
303 Parkway Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30312
404-265-4000

If you have further questions or need to discuss a potential claim, contact us at 404-975-1775 or via our free case review form.

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