Car accident lawyers do everything possible to help their clients recover compensation. They can build your claim by investigating the accident, identifying your recoverable damages, and representing you through negotiations. These professionals take on a lot of roles during the claims process.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you can partner with an Augusta car accident lawyer for assistance with your case. They can take care of all legal matters for you. In addition, they can offer their support on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront to retain their help.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
Car accident attorneys know the correct procedures to file a claim against the liable party’s insurance company. Also, they know how to maximize your damages and prove you sustained them. Hiring a car accident attorney after suffering injuries in an accident could add a lot of strength to your case.
In pursuit of financial recovery, your lawyer can:
Explain Your Rights
You should understand your legal rights and options after you get injured in a car accident. For instance, did you know that under Georgia law, you could have uninsured motorist protection coverage? Unless you rejected this coverage in writing, you have financial protection if an uninsured motorist caused your collision.
Your attorney can provide information about any relevant laws regarding your case, including how you can hold the liable party accountable. It’s important to consider the value of partnering with a lawyer because they understand state law inside and out. Insurance representatives, as confident as they may seem, are not legal professionals, and they are not in a position to advise you on your options.
Gather Evidence From the Accident Scene
If you hire an attorney immediately after the accident, they could head to the scene and collect evidence. Here, they can look for tire tread marks or video cameras that could have recorded the collision.
Your attorney can also review evidence collected from the scene by law enforcement, such as photos and the police report. By analyzing this information, your lawyer can glean important details about fault and liability.
Speak to Witnesses
When car accidents happen, witnesses often stop at the scene to check if anyone involved sustained injuries. They can also provide a report of what happened to law enforcement officers.
Your attorney can contact witnesses and ask questions about what they saw.
They may ask:
- Did you see the moment of impact? If so, describe it.
- Did either driver appear intoxicated or under the influence of drugs?
- How fast do you think each vehicle traveled before impact?
- How were the weather and roadway conditions at the time of the crash?
- Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
Eyewitnesses aren’t the only people your lawyer may interview and get testimony from. They may also consult with accident reconstruction specialists who can use evidence to piece together how your accident happened. They may also speak with healthcare providers to learn more about the injuries you’ve suffered in the crash.
Evaluate the Cause of the Accident
Learning the cause of your car accident is important. This helps your lawyer evaluate your losses, understand your injury’s severity, and identify who should pay for your losses.
They may find one or more of the following factors caused your collision:
- Distracted driving: Whether a motorist has their attention on their cell phone, the radio, or the navigation system, distractions cause accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that distracted driving accounts for nine fatalities every day.
- Drunk driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that approximately 32 people in the United States lose their lives every day because of drunk drivers. Driving while intoxicated isn’t just illegal, it’s dangerous and it destroys lives.
- Speeding: When a motorist exceeds the posted speed limit, they could cause catastrophic accidents. Speeding gives drivers less stopping distance and can increase their chances of losing control of the vehicle.
- Bad weather: You can’t sue Mother Nature if poor weather leads to your accident. Yet, the law notes that all motorists must drive appropriately during bouts of bad weather. That means that all drivers must turn on their headlights in the rain, obey the speed limit, and otherwise remain vigilant.
- Poor road conditions: When a government entity doesn’t properly take care of its roads, it puts lives at risk. Examples of poor road conditions include uneven lanes, potholes, shoulder drop-offs, or a lack of signage.
Human error is the leading cause of all traffic accidents. Although collisions caused by vehicular malfunction and poor roadway conditions happen, they’re not nearly as common as negligence behind the wheel.
Identify the Liable Party
Identifying the liable party is a critical part of recovering damages. By knowing the liable party, your lawyer will understand who is responsible for your losses.
Liability could rest with:
- Another driver: If another motorist caused the accident because of speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving, you could hold them liable for the accident. All motorists must carry insurance. So, you would file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
- The municipality in charge of the road: If your accident occurred because of poor road conditions, liability could fall on the government entity in charge of that area.
- A parts manufacturer. Faulty vehicular components cause many collisions each year. If one of these items caused or contributed to your crash (like faulty brakes), you could file a claim or lawsuit against the manufacturer.
You don’t have to worry about figuring out the liable party after your accident. When you hire a car accident attorney in Augusta, they can handle those matters.
What Are the Types of Damages You Can Receive?
To find out how much compensation to seek in your case, your attorney assesses your monetary and non-monetary damages.
- Medical bills: Whether you need extensive medical treatments, such as surgery or long-term hospitalizations, you could seek compensation for those costs. If your injuries require medical care in the future, your attorney could help you seek compensation for those expenses.
- Lost income: If your injuries are serious, you could miss work and lose a significant amount of income during that time. Examples of recoverable losses include lost tips, bonuses, benefits, commissions, and salary.
- The cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle. Did the accident leave your car temporarily or totally inoperable? If so, you could seek compensation for the cost of its repairs or replacement. You can also include the cost of temporary transportation arrangements (like using rideshare services) in your case’s value.
- Various out-of-pocket expenses. You may have spent some of your own money on some accident-related losses, including childcare costs and medical devices.
- Pain and suffering: The effects of your injury could go far beyond the monetary losses you sustained. You could experience physical pain and emotional suffering following your injury. A car accident attorney could help you calculate and seek compensation for this hardship.
- Emotional suffering: You deserve compensation if you now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, sleeping issues, or anxiety because of the accident.
You deserve compensation for every aspect of your life that your injuries affect. A car accident attorney can fight for a fair outcome.
How Does an Accident Attorney Prove Negligence?
To recover damages, your lawyer must show that another party’s negligence caused your accident.
Proving negligence requires your attorney to demonstrate:
- Duty of care: The other driver owed you a level of care that a reasonable person would provide in a similar situation. That involves abiding by traffic signals and stopping at stop signs.
- Breach of duty: The driver breached their duty if they drove in a manner that a reasonable person in the same situation would not consider as safe.
- Causation: The other party’s breach of duty and unsafe actions caused your accident.
- Damages: You suffered monetary or non-monetary losses because of the negligent party’s actions.
Proving negligence on your own could prove challenging, especially if you don’t understand what the principle entails. By hiring a car accident lawyer, they can prove that another party owes you compensation and uphold your rights.
How Do Attorneys Negotiate Fair Settlements?
Successful negotiations require skill, experience, and legal knowledge. Working with an insurance company without an attorney can force you to deal with many challenges. That’s because the insurance company prioritizes its bottom line over your injury claim. So, an adjuster may offer less than you’re owed or deny your claim altogether.
Yet, during all dealings with the insurance company, your lawyer can:
- Present evidence of your damage and accident’s cause
- Prove negligence
- Negotiate for a fair offer
- Protect you from bad faith insurance practices
- Adhere to all relevant deadlines
If the insurance company doesn’t agree to a fair settlement, your attorney may file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This comes with its own obligations that, similar to an insurance claim, you don’t want to manage on your own.
File a Lawsuit
As noted, you could take your case to a trial if the insurance company refuses to pay. After presenting your case, the judge and jury will decide if you get compensation and, if so, how much.
Filing a lawsuit requires your lawyer to:
- Present your case’s details
- Interview and cross-examine witnesses
- Apply civil laws to your case
- Adhere to your case’s statute of limitations
- Follow courtroom procedure
Before you attend court, your lawyer will explain how you can prepare. They’ll advise you on how to dress and respond to the other party’s questions. That way, you know what to expect when your court date rolls around.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Explain Your Next Steps
If this is your first time getting into a major car accident, you may feel unsure about moving forward. Yet, a lawyer can offer a roadmap when it comes to charting your next steps.
They’ll likely advise you to:
- Seek medical attention
- Refrain from giving a recorded statement
- Limit your social media use
- Attend your follow-up appointments
- Keep all documentation (like photos and receipts) related to your collision
Your attorney will give you tailor-made advice after evaluating your situation.
What Are Some Other Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?
You don’t have to accept the insurance company’s first offer. You don’t have to deal with the challenges of a claim denial, either. Instead, you can work with a car accident lawyer who can pursue the best possible outcome.
The benefits of hiring a car accident attorney include:
- They can advise you: You might not know what to do after a car accident. Getting advice from someone who has handled many similar cases can help. An attorney can tell you what you should and shouldn’t do after an accident. They can also explain whether you should accept the insurance company’s offer or you should negotiate for more.
- They offer support: When you suffer injuries in an accident, many of your loved ones might not understand what you’re going through. Yet, an attorney who has worked with many people in your situation understands. They can provide support throughout your case, ensuring you feel comfortable throughout the process.
- They offer protection. You could find yourself going head-to-head with high-powered lawyers and uncooperative claims adjusters after filing your claim. You’re in a vulnerable position after suffering serious injuries, and you shouldn’t have to deal with these parties on your own. A lawyer can protect you from any party’s attempts to delegitimize or derail your case.
What’s more, many car accident lawyers work on contingency. In this arrangement, you don’t pay your lawyer unless they recover compensation for your losses. By contacting a car accident attorney and participating in a free consultation, you can work toward getting the compensation you need to move forward.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Augusta, Georgia
Hiring a car accident attorney in Augusta can be extremely beneficial for victims of traffic accidents. Injury attorneys who have experience and knowledge of personal injury law can help maximize your claim.
Their services range from advising you on your rights under Georgia law, collecting evidence from the accident scene, speaking with witnesses, determining the cause of the accident, identifying the liable party, and more.
Furthermore, car crash lawyers can guide you through the process of claiming damages, proving negligence, negotiating for a fair settlement, and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit. Having an attorney to advocate for you can provide immense support and protection, especially when going up against insurance companies and their lawyers.