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Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

Car Accidents

What should I do if I am in an accident with another automobile, motorcycle or truck?

We recommend that, if possible, you collect certain information at the scene. Obtain all you can from the at-fault driver, such as name address and home and cellular phone numbers.  Get the license plate number and the driver’s automobile or commercial truck insurance policy information and number. Get the contact information of all witnesses. Take cell phone pictures of the vehicles and the scene.

If you have been hurt at all, seek medical care at the ER or your primary doctor immediately or shortly following the accident, no more than a few days.  Taking each of these steps will help ensure that if you do need or choose to hire a car accident attorney, your case is off to the best possible start.  If you have any questions, call the Atlanta car and truck accident lawyers of The Millar Law Firm, our telephone consultations are free.  770-400-0000 (770-“4 Million”).

What should I do if my car was damaged or totaled, but I was not hurt?

When your car is damaged by an at-fault negligent driver, in a hit-and-run, or in another type of incident, even if you are not hurt you must report the accident (damage) to your insurance company, or you risk losing your insurance coverage.  The driver who caused the collision’s insurance policy should cover your damage, but if that driver is not insured, under your policy, if you have collision coverage, you may be entitled to repairs, diminished value or total loss.  Review your insurance policy to see if you have collision coverage.

For even more legal information, read our handy Georgia property damage guide.

Georgia Legal FAQ: The at-fault driver crashed into me while applying makeup, she crossed into my traffic lane. Is she responsible for my damages?

Yes.  Because the at-fault driver caused the accident while failing to pay attention was negligent, if not reckless driving. Putting on makeup is a form of distracted driving — as using a mobile phone, driving while texting, and drowsy or drunk driving.  Our car wreck attorneys work closely with investigators and experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical doctors and mechanical professionals to prove each form of distracted driving in your injury case.

Car Accident Legal Question: My wife and I were hit by a truck. I was not injured, but my wife suffered severe life-threatening injuries. Is she entitled to relief?

It does not matter if everyone in your car was hurt.  If the other driver caused the wreck, each passenger is still legally entitled to their own full claim. Sadly, sometimes a person in a serious wreck is killed, while others survive.  The survivors may have a wrongful death case, and may also have a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress if they were physically impacted in the crash.  A surviving spouse may also have a loss of consortium claim.

Georgia Comparative Negligence Question: A taxi ran a red light and hit my daughter, but she was also speeding and talking on her cell phone. Does she still have a case?

Georgia Comparative Negligence Question and Answer:  In our State, when an accident victim’s negligence partly contributed to accident and or to their own injuries, this may affect the amount of money that is awarded or can be recovered from a personal injury or wrongful death claim, case or lawsuit. Georgia is known as a modified comparative fault, or negligence, state.  Under this legal doctrine, when the victim of any type of accident is partly to blame for their injury, a court  or jury may determine how much (by percentage) that the person is at-fault, and may reduce amount of the award proportionally. If  the victim is 50% or more at fault, recovery may be completely barred.

Ga. Car Accident Legal Question: We were rear-ended at a stoplight. I haven’t been able to work for months and will need surgery. What can I recover from the other driver?

Ga. Car Accident Answer:  If another driver is proven to be at-fault, your damages are likely to include the following: mental and physical damages, economic (special) and punitive damages. Special damages  usually means your financial harms, such as medical bills, final expenses (funeral ), and pay – future and past. General damages are mental and physical in nature and may include pain and trauma, scars, distress, or even the loss of the comfort and companionship of your spouse. Punitive or exemplary damages are possible in certain cases such as reckless driving, racing, or intoxicated (drunk or drugged) driving incidents.   Such damages are, under Georgia’s public policy, meant as a punishment or to deter others, including the defendant, from doing the same thing again.

Georgia Uninsured Motorists: The vehicle that hit me did not have insurance. I have medical expenses and pain and suffering. What can I do?

Georgia Uninsured Motorist Coverage, legal advice: This is a complicated situation, but one that unfortunately is common in Georgia. First, you do have the option to file a lawsuit against the owner and driver of the uninsured car or truck for your medical bills, pay you have lost (past and future), for you mental and physical pain, and possibly for exemplary damages. However, because the at-fault driver had no insurance, the chance of collecting your damages may be small.  Therefore, it is advisable to also make a claim with your own automobile insurance policy for your UIM or uninsured motorist benefits.  A UM policy protects you and allows you to recover your damages when the at-fault driver has no liability or bodily-injury or collision insurance or has insurance limits that are not large enough to cover your losses, and you have the appropriate UIM coverage.  It is advisable to have your UM policy reviewed by a Georgia car accident attorney, because many insurance policies are difficult to understand or even misleading.  And, just because your insurance sales person was friendly when he or she sold you the policy, the company might not be so friendly as you try to collect UM benefits.

Georgia Law – Respondeat Superior: I was hit by a commercial van making a delivery. Can we sue the company the driver worked for?

Georgia allows you to bring a claim through the doctrine of respondeat superior, also known as vicarious liability.  These rules mean that a driver’s employer may be responsible for the injuries if the driver was operating the company (or even a personal) truck or car or other motor vehicle within their duties of employment – known as the scope of employment.  Potentially a company might also have responsibility or liability for what is called negligent hiring or negligent retention if it were proven that company hired an unqualified driver, or knew he or she had a tendency to drive recklessly or negligently. In some instance, a company might have also contributed to the wreck by unsafe practices like unrealistic delivery schedules (encouraging speeding and reckless driving) or failure to properly maintain a company vehicle.

I was hurt in a car accident. Now, my medical or health insurance wants to take part of my settlement. Can they do that?

If you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident and your medical treatment was paid for by your health insurance, or workers’ compensation insurance, these insurance carriers, or possibly even your hospital or doctor’s office, may place a lien on your recovery.  These medical providers may have a full or a limited claim to reimbursement from your award or settlement.  The only way to know how strong a health insurance plan reimbursement (subrogation) right is, often is to obtain and review the policy language.  This is one of the services The Millar Law Firm’s Georgia attorneys provide at no additional charge to our representation.  Other liens, such as hospital, physician and ERISA liens are often highly negotiable, and should never be paid in full without first having an attorney assess the strength of the lien and negotiate it to a lower amount.

Georgia Statute of Limitation Question: A drunk driver just pled guilty to DUI-DWI after 18 months. Is it too late to file a claim or lawsuit?

As in many personal injury cases, a victim hit by a drunk, drugged or otherwise intoxicated driver in Georgia usually has just 2 years (24 months) from the time of the injury to file his or her lawsuit. However, based on a new Georgia appellate case,  it has been ruled that the two-year statutory limit time period may not start to run while the charges — including a DUI (DWI) or even a traffic ticket — are still pending and have not become finalized. This means that you may actually have more than two years to file your lawsuit. But, you must be careful. But if  you do not correctly calculate the time remaining, you could lose your rights. Always contact a Georgia personal injury lawyer well before two years after any crash or accident where you have gotten hurt.

In a case involving an at-fault and DUI driver, you should include a punitive damages claim along with your claims for special and general damages. Here in Georgia, the purpose behind an award of punitive damages is 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.  And a guilty plea in this type of case is also very helpful, because it establishes a legal admission to driving under the influence. Punitive damages are usually limited (capped) at $250,000 in Georgia. However, because impaired or drunk driving is an intentional and dangerous act, there is an exception to the limit on punitive damages, and 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 The Millar Law Firm right away. Our Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers have obtained punitive damages in numerous cases involving DUI and drugged drivers.

Georgia Legal Question: Hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, and don’t have a lot of money? How much should it cost to hire an attorney?

At The Millar Law Firm, all cases are reviewed by an attorney at no charge to you.  If we are able to accept your case and worth together, there are no charges for our legal work unless we recover money for you through an award or settlement – fees of this type are “contingent” also known as “contingency fees.”  One reason our firm can make such arrangements is because we are confident that if we are able to accept your case (there are no guarantees, however) we are doing so on a belief that our firm will be able to make a financial recovery.  We are proud to say that we have established a strong record of successful results for our clients, including over $100 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 770-400-0000 or reach us online.

Contact Millar Law Firm After a GA Car Accident

Contact the Millar Law Firm 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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For more information, the team at the Millar Law Firm are here to help. With years of experience helping victims of car accidents get the compensation they deserve, the team of attorneys at the Millar Law Firm can help you too. Call today!

Car Accident Resources: After a Georgia Car Wreck

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