Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident in Savannah? Call our Savannah accident attorneys at 912-341-6644.
When a car accident happens, more often than not there are injuries but on top of that the sheer inconvenience of managing daily life without a car or with injuries is difficult. At the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm our Savannah Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can assist you from the accident scene through the completion of your case. Our attorneys understand state and local laws to get you the most favorable and highest settlement or verdict possible.
Call us today at 912-341-6644.
The Merritt & Merritt Law Firm has been a fixture in the Savannah legal community since 1973. Our experienced Savannah personal injury attorneys handle a variety of injury cases involving negligent or wrongful conduct. Specifically, our attorneys have extensive expertise in handling a range of car accident cases, semi-truck cases, wrongful death accidents, motorcycle wrecks, bike and pedestrian accidents, and DUI accident cases.
We understand that the most valuable possession in life is your health. And when your health and well-being have been taken away due to someone else’s “fault”, our accident attorneys’ step in to ensure your rights are protected.
Our top-rated Savannah car accident attorneys are ready to assist you if you were injured in an car accident today or any time in the past.
Choosing the best personal injury attorney for your case is your most important decision you will make. It is the difference between winning a big settlement or receiving little to no compensation at all.
Winning Savannah Car Accident Cases Since 1973
Why Should I Hire a Savannah Car Accident Lawyer Today?
If you were involved in an auto accident at any time, call our experienced attorneys now.
It is important to have a lawyer begin an investigation as soon as possible after the accident. This is necessary to evaluate accident scene, interview witnesses, review photographs, and examine vehicles. As time passes, it is difficult to locate witnesses that can help your case and evidence, like surveillance video on nearby businesses, can be deleted.
Under your own insurance policy may be entitled to benefits you do not know about. There are strict time deadlines for filing uninsured motorist claims. If you miss a deadline, your case will be barred forever.
If you are unsure about hiring a lawyer, give us a call. Our attorneys will glad assist with answering any questions you may have. There is no cost to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
What Should I Do After a Savannah Auto Accident?
There are several things that you should do immediately after a auto accident, which include:
- Call 911 to report the accident
- Provide the police officer with your driver’s license, insurance car, and vehicle registration.
- Get the driver’s license number and license plate number of the other drivers involved in the accident
- Take photographs on of the accident scene and of the other driver contact information
- Get the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all witnesses to the accident.
- Immediately report the accident to your insurance carrier
- Contact our experienced attorneys at 912-341-6644
Do I Need to File A Police Accident Report?
Georgia law requires drivers to report any accident involving a motor vehicle that result in death or injury, or damages of property.
How Do I Get A Copy of My Police Accident Report?
You can get a copy of your police report from the law enforcement agency that investigated the accident.
For accidents investigated by the Georgia State Patrol, you can purchase your report online through Buy Crash. If you choose us as your law firm, we will get it for you.
When Should I Contact My Insurance Company?
You are contractually required to contact your insurance company immediately after the accident to report any damage to the vehicle or personal injury claim. Most insurance company’s give you 30 days to report the accident. It is wise for an adjuster to assess the damage to your vehicle and to assist you in arranging repairs.
However, many insurance policies require that you file a police report and notify the insurance carrier within 24 hours of the accident. If you do not, you may not be able to recover anything.
Our Savannah accident attorneys will walk you through the process from start to finish.
Wrongful Death Because of a Car Accident in Savannah, Georgia
People who have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. While a lawsuit cannot undo what happened, you may be able to recover compensation that helps your family rebuild after the accident.
Under Georgia law, surviving spouses, children, and beneficiaries have the right to pursue legal action for wrongful death. As part of their claim, the family of the decedent can pursue compensation for future lost income, loss of companionship, and loss of support, as well as other losses such as funeral and burial costs.
In order to prevail, the family will have to prove that the accident that caused the decedent’s death was the result of the at-fault party’s negligence. In addition, they will also need to prove their losses. This may require expert testimony to prove things like lost future income.
You have two years from the death of your loved one to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death lawsuits can be difficult to pursue, and you only have one opportunity to get the compensation your family needs to move forward in life. Working with a knowledgeable Savannah accident attorney is the best way to ensure that you will get fair compensation for your claim.
Most Common Types of Automobile Accidents
While a car accident can happen from any number of circumstances, there are some common types of accident in Georgia. These include, but are not limited to:
- Fail to yield
- Rear end collision
- Driving under the influence
- Driving on wrong side of road
- Roll over
- Hit and run
- Pedestrian Accident
- Running a red light
- Head on collision
Sometimes these incidents result in minor to major and even fatal injuries. Proving negligence and damages requires the help of our experienced car accident attorneys.
How Our Lawyers Help You After a Savannah Car Accident
The Georgia “at fault” laws can be confusing. You need to know your rights after a Georgia car accident. When you choose us for your car accident case, we will:
- Get the police report, interview witnesses statements
- Get all of your medical records from the hospital, physical therapist, and chiropractor.
- Deal directly with your auto insurance carrier’s adjuster for you.
- Submit all of your claims for medical records and bills, lost wages, and other medical pay benefits.
- Communicate with the other party’s adjuster along with your own insurance carrier’s adjuster
- Determine which insurance coverages apply
- Sue the negligent driver and vehicle owner if their insurance company refuses to settle
- Negotiate with the insurance adjusters on your behalf
- Get you the best car crash settlement possible for your pain and suffering.
Should I Talk to an Insurance Adjuster After My Car Accident?
Never talk with an insurance adjuster without legal counsel present.
Adjusters can be well trained in interrogating you and get information that could hurt your claim. They often record phone calls without your knowledge and then use those recordings against you later in a court of law.
Also, you may accidentally say something that will destroy your case. Some adjusters may even offer you a small settlement, just to get the claim to go away. Be careful they will never offer you full and fair compensation for your injuries. Remember they are in the business to save money.
Never sign any papers without having a attorney review them with you first. You may be signing away your rights forever therefore barring any future recovery. If you sign away your rights you cannot get them back at a later date.
Who Pays the Property Damage to My Vehicle?
Georgia’s “at fault” law determines who is responsible for paying the property damage to the vehicle involved in an accident. Meaning the person who caused the accident must compensate the other person for any damage done to their vehicle.
Savannah Major Roads
Because Savannah has Interstates 16 and 95 running through it; it’s also known for its serious auto accidents. About 35 car accidents occur in Chatham County every day according to the Georgia State Patrol’s website.
Some issues caused by an accident:
- Additional Medical Expenses
- Serious Injuries
- Loss Wages
- Inability to be Active
- Property Damage
- Repair Bills
- No transportation
- Increase your insurance premium
Above are just some of the problems an accident victim will experience which is why it’s important to contact one of our Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys now. It’s been our experience that a client who seeks legal help early receives the best results and has less stress than someone who does not.
Usually, after an accident the at fault party’s insurance company will attempt to settle with you for $250 to $300. Never accept their low insulting offers or give a recorded statement because your case may be worth thousands of dollars.
About Car Accidents Caused by Driver Error
Passenger vehicle accidents are often the result of driver error. While calling it an “error” makes it sound like a minor mistake, it is important to keep in mind that these driver errors are negligent driving and can result in a serious accident. Some examples of driver errors that can lead to accidents include the following:
- Failure to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Failure to pay full-time and attention to the road and traffic conditions
- Braking too late
- Taking turns too fast
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Misjudging the speed or distance of another vehicle
- Driving too fast for conditions
In a car accident case the at-fault driver often says something like “that car came out of nowhere” or “I didn’t see you,” suggesting that the accident wasn’t their fault. Establishing the facts can be difficult. An experienced Savannah car accident attorney will know what to do to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident.
Car Accidents vs. Truck Accidents in Savannah
Large trucks haul heavy loads for thousands of hours and upward of 80,000 miles, spending up to 300 days per year on the road. As a result, these trucks have intense maintenance requirements. Trucking companies have a duty to perform routine maintenance on their trucks and ensure that they are in good working order. Drivers have a responsibility to routinely inspect their trucks in order to spot potential problems before they get on the road. Unfortunately, drivers and trucking companies can be negligent in maintaining these trucks, resulting in serious mechanical failures that result in accidents impacting motorists on our roadways. Some of the most common reasons for truck vs. car accidents include:
- Tire blowouts
- Brake failures
- Power steering failures
- Trailer hitch system failures
- Malfunctioning or burnt-out lighting systems
- Suspension failures
Some mechanical failures may not be the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. The failure may be the result of defective parts, in which case you may have to pursue a claim against the manufacturer. In other situations, the driver or the trucking company may have used a third-party mechanic, who was negligent in making repairs. If you have been injured in a truck accident, a Savannah car accident attorney will be able to identify the cause and make sure that you hold the proper party accountable for your accident.
Car Accidents Can Be Caused by Weather
A common cause of car accidents can be the weather. Inclement weather poses hazards for all drivers – no one is immune to rough road conditions. Drivers need to take weather conditions into account when operating their vehicles in order to avoid accidents.
Heavy rain can pose numerous hazards for any driver. Heavy rain causes reduced visibility and slick road surfaces that require a greater stopping distance. Pooling water on the roadway can cause hydroplaning, resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle and veering into oncoming or adjacent lanes. Larger vehicles like trucks also produce a tremendous amount of spray, making it difficult for other drivers to see. Drivers should significantly reduce their speeds when driving in heavy rains in order to reduce their chances of an accident.
Especially true for larger vehicles, some cars have a high center of gravity and a large surface area. Heavy winds, especially crosswinds that blow perpendicular to the direction of travel, can therefore cause a driver to lose control. This can result in the vehicle drifting into an adjacent or oncoming lane and lead to an accident. In especially heavy winds, vehicles can roll over. Truck drivers in particular need to be careful in high wind, and should even consider pulling over to the side of the road if they are struggling to maintain control.
Fog obviously reduces visibility, meaning that drivers likely have less time to stop or otherwise react in order to avoid an accident. To make matters worse, fog tends to be present in the early mornings, in the evenings, and at night – times when visibility is already an issue. Car drivers need to reduce their speed and even be prepared to get off the road until the fog clears if conditions are unsafe.
Ice and freezing rain are always possible in Savannah during the winter. The risks posed by ice are obvious – slick roadways can cause an accident in an instant. Icy road surfaces can result in rear-end accidents and even rollovers. Motorists should consider reducing their speed if they suspect the roads are icy.
Savannah residents know how hot and humid the summers can be. Unfortunately, some vehicles are more prone to mechanical failures at these times – overheating, tire blowouts, and brake failures can all be brought about by extreme temperatures. Problems resulting from neglected maintenance are common. And when these mechanical failures occur at high speed, they can result in catastrophic accidents.
Road Defects and Vehicle Accidents
Some car accidents may be the result of defects in the road itself. Such defects can include the following:
- Potholes, crumbling shoulders, or other unsafe surface conditions
- Missing or inadequate signage
- Faded, missing, or confusing lane markings
- Malfunctioning or obscured traffic signals
- Obscured sight lines
- Design issues such as turns that are too sharp for the posted speed limit
- Inadequate lighting
- Overgrown vegetation
- Road debris
Many of these defects can be present in construction zones but may also be on roadways that are poorly maintained. To be candid, these claims can be difficult to pursue, as you may need to pursue a government entity. That said, the construction company that built the road or the engineering firm that designed it may also be responsible. A Savannah car accident attorney can review your case and determine who may be responsible for the accident.
Car Accidents Close to Home Are Common
Statistics indicate that over half of non-fatal car accidents happen within five miles of a driver’s home, and almost three-quarters happen within 15 miles of a driver’s home. Many of these accidents happen while backing out of driveways or because people start thinking about what they’re going to do when they get home instead of focusing on the road.
Parking lots are another area where many accidents occur for many of the same reasons. These accidents may appear minor, but with the advanced electrical systems found in today’s cars, they can become very expensive.
At Merritt & Merritt we treat all of cases seriously regardless of the extent of the injuries because each and every client deserves the best representation possible. Our Savannah Accident Attorneys have recovered millions in verdict and settlements. If you need further assistance, please contact us at 912-341-6644.
To tourists and those alike: Savannah, Ga is known as a historic relic that shines brightly in southeast Georgia for its beautiful squares, cobblestone riverfront, Tybee Beach, and the movie and book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. To locals we just call Savannah home.
The common law rule in Georgia bars a defendant from presenting evidence of another’s payments for a plaintiff’s medical expenses. For example, if you run someone over and a good Samaritan pays for the person’s medical expenses the defendant cannot present the good Samaritan’s payment as evidence in court to mitigate his liability.
The administrative law judge presiding over a hearing or trial in a workers’ compensation case is, in effect, both the judge and jury.
Emergency Contact Information:
Savannah-Chatham County Police Department
295 Police Memorial Dr.
Detectives: 912-652-6687 (Property crime and auto theft only)
Chatham County Sheriff’s Department
1050 Carl Griffin Dr
Savannah, Georgia 31405
Memorial University Medical Center-Hospital
4700 Waters Avenue
Savannah, Georgia 31404
St. Joseph’s Hospital
11705 Mercy Blvd.
Savannah, Georgia 31419
5353 Reynolds St.
Savannah, Georgia 31405