Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
If you have not been seriously injured, you should collect as much information as you can at the scene. You should collect the driver’s name, address and phone number, as well as his license plate number, name of his insurance company and policy number. You can also get the names and contact information for any witnesses. If you have a camera or cell phone, take photos of the cars and other shots of the accident scene, including car damage, skid marks, debris and bodily injuries. Later on, you should obtain the police report.
Even if you haven’t been seriously injured, you should still go to the emergency room and receive follow-up medical treatment within a few days after the accident. Although you have no cuts, scrapes, bruises or broken bones, you may have internal organ, head brain or soft tissue injuries that aren’t immediately apparent that will need to be examined and treated.
If your car was damaged in a collision, a hit-and-run, or in some other way. You may have to deal with your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You may be entitled to have your car fixed or payment for a total loss. This can be a frustrating and complex situation. Fortunately, we prepared a guide on how deal with property damage claims on your own. Click here to read our guide.
We were in a car accident that was caused entirely by the other driver putting on her makeup, looking at herself in the mirror and drifting into our lane. Are we entitled to compensation?
There were 34,017 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2008, according to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Georgia alone, there were 1,493 fatal traffic crashes. In most of these cases, the accident was caused by negligent or reckless driving. Some of the common causes include distracted driving (eating, drinking, talking on a cell phone, texting, talking), drowsy driving, drunk or drugged driving, speeding, violation of traffic signs and vehicle malfunction. At Millar & Mixon, LLC, our skilled, experienced and aggressive car accident attorneys can evaluate whether the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries, and we can determine the extent of those injuries. We know what evidence to gather from the accident scene, police reports, medical records and eyewitnesses. We also work with a network of experts, including accident reconstruction experts, mechanical engineers and medical professionals. Our car accident lawyers are firm negotiators and talented trial lawyers. If your case does not settle for a fair and full value at mediation, we will be prepared to advocate strongly on your behalf in a courtroom. We don’t back down from insurance companies who make low and unreasonable offers and try to dispatch your case as quickly as possible.
My wife and I were sideswiped by a truck at an intersection. I wasn’t too badly hurt, but my wife suffered severe, life-threatening injuries. Is she entitled to relief?
If you can prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident, every passenger who was injured in your vehicle (spouse, children, parents, friends or co-workers) would be entitled to a full and fair recovery.Sadly, in many cases, a loved one may die in the automobile accident. The survivors may seek recovery by filing a wrongful death claim that may include compensation for your family member’s pain and suffering and medical expenses as well as compensation for funeral expenses. The survivors may also assert a direct claim for loss of a loved one’s services and their care, comfort and companionship (loss of consortium).
A taxi ran a red light and hit my daughter going through an intersection. My daughter was driving above the speed limit and was talking on her cell phone at the time. Is there any chance she might be prevented from recovering for her injuries (comparative negligence)?
If a motor vehicle accident victim’s own negligence contributed to their injuries, it may impact the amount of money recovered in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Georgia law is governed by a modified comparative fault statute. Under this law, if an automobile accident victim was responsible to some degree for their injury, a court will determine the percentage of the person’s fault and reduce their recovery proportionally. If it’s somehow determined that a person’s fault exceeds that of the other driver, or the person could have avoided the consequences caused by the other driver’s negligence, recovery may be barred.
We were rear-ended at a stoplight. The accident totaled our car and resulted in severe injuries to me and my passengers. I haven’t been able to work for months and will need surgery and physical rehab. What can I recover from the other driver?
If the other driver’s liability is established in your case, you may be eligible to recover three types of damages: special, general and punitive damages. Special damages cover mainly economic losses, such as past and future medical expenses, funeral costs, lost past and future wages. General damages are non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement or the loss of society and companionship. Punitive damages are also frequently awarded in drunk or drugged driving cases. They are intended to punish a defendant for especially reckless conduct and to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct.
The vehicle that struck my car head on did not have insurance that will cover the extent of my medical expenses or the pain and suffering I’ve endured. What can I do?
This is a complicated situation, but one that unfortunately is common in Georgia. First, you may bring a lawsuit against both the owner of the car and the driver if that person is not owner, seeking damages for any medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and punitive damages. You can also file a claim with your own insurance company for the full extent of your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or UM/UIM coverage. This policy entitles you to recover for injuries when the at-fault party either has no liability insurance (UM) or has insurance that does not cover the full extent of your damages (UIM). Even though your insurance company may have been friendly with you when it accepted your premiums, it may not be so friendly when you seek to collect your claim. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced liability insurance lawyer.
Our automobile was in a wreck with a delivery van. The delivery driver doesn’t have the insurance or personal funds to cover our losses. Can we sue his employer?
Under a doctrine that applies to this situation, an employer can be held responsible for any injuries caused by the negligence of an employee during the course and scope of his employment. This is called “vicarious liability.” The delivery company could also be held liable for negligent hiring and retention if it can be shown that the company knew the driver had a record of getting into accidents or had a string of traffic violations when it hired him or that he had been in accidents while working for the company. In some cases, the company might have encouraged negligent or reckless driving by giving the driver tight, unreasonable deadlines for making deliveries.
I was in an accident caused by the other driver and needed emergency medical treatment. Now, my health insurer claims it can seek reimbursement from whatever verdict or settlement I obtain. Can they do that?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident and received medical treatment, it is likely that you have received medical treatment that was paid for by a health insurer while your case against the negligent driver was pending. If you were working at the time of the auto accident, chances are that your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier provided medical and wage benefits. These insurance companies, or even a hospital or physician, may place a lien on your recovery and have a limited right of reimbursement.
My husband was hit by a drunk driver 18 months ago. Last week, the driver pled guilty to driving while intoxicated, or DWI. Is it too late for us to file a lawsuit?
In most personal injury cases, a victim has just two years from the date of an injury to file a lawsuit. However, under a recent Georgia precedent, the two-year limitation period may not begin to run until the criminal charges — including a DUI or even a traffic ticket — have been finalized. This means that you may actually have more than two years to file your lawsuit. But, you must be careful. If you don’t calculate the time period correctly, you could lose your rights. You should always contact a personal injury attorney well within two years of any accident in which you have been injured.
In a DUI case, you may be able to file a lawsuit and assert punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages. In the state of Georgia, punitive damages are awarded to punish and deter “willful misconduct, wantonness and entire want of care.” Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol clearly fits into this category. Few acts, in fact, can be more reckless. The guilty plea in this case would be especially helpful. Generally, punitive damages in Georgia are capped at $250,000. However, because impaired driving is so especially egregious, it falls under one of the exceptions to this rule. There is no cap on punitive damages for these cases.
Because there is a two-year statute of limitations in Georgia, meaning you have to take legal action within two years from the date of the accident, you should contact a skilled, experienced and aggressive car accident attorney at Millar & Mixon, LLC right away. Our firm has had great success in recovering punitive damages in cases involving DUI drivers and drugged drivers.
We want to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit us after falling asleep at the wheel, but we don’t have a lot of money. How much will it cost us to hire an attorney?
At Millar & Mixon, LLC, we do not charge for your initial case evaluation or for our legal services unless we are able to secure a recovery for you through either a jury verdict or a negotiated settlement. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement. With our unique combination of skill, experience and dedication, we are proud to say that we have established a strong record of successful results for our clients, including $60 million in favorable verdicts and settlements since our firm was established.
We help automobile accident victims and their families throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area and the state of Georgia, including Jonesboro, East Point, North Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Forest Park, College Park, Decatur, Roswell, Marietta, Peachtree City, Fayetteville and Riverdale. For a free case evaluation with our car accident lawyers, call us today at 877-475-7014 or reach us online.
Contact Millar and Mixon After a GA Car Accident
Contact Millar & Mixon today to learn how our skilled auto accident attorneys can help you get your life back on track. We offer free initial consultations, and we do not charge attorney fees unless and until we secure compensation for you.
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