How Our Law Firm Can Help You

Protect Your Financial Future

Our Lawyers have over 50 years of combined personal injury experience. Most members of our support staff have over twenty years’ legal experience, each. Very few Atlanta law firms have our depth of knowledge.

After a car accident, our highly-experienced legal team can help ensure that your medical and financial needs will be covered. This includes medical care and bills, past and future lost earnings, and any future needs.

No Risk: We require no money up-front and we are not paid a legal fee unless you win money.

Whether you were the driver, a passenger, an innocent bystander or pedestrian, you have certain legal rights. When a dangerous, distracted, or negligent driver hurts you or a loved one, getting and paying for prompt medical care is critical. Your claim will need to be investigated and established with the insurance company or business so you can be compensated appropriately.

You will want to obtain a police report and ensure evidence is preserved. It’s also important to know what to say to the insurance company. You can build the strongest case by getting medical attention immediately and documenting past and future expenses.

Dealing With The Insurance Company or Adjuster

Once the initial shock of the car accident passes, you should notify your auto insurance company.

Most often, your insurance company will be helpful. It is recommended and probably required that you explain what happened to your claims representative.

You may also begin receiving calls from an adjuster on behalf of the at-fault driver. This is an important time in your case. What you say can have a serious impact on the outcome of your claim.

Insurance adjusters can and will use your recorded statement against you. If you tell the adjuster you are “fine,” they may use the statement to claim you are exaggerating your injuries. The adjuster may also ask you to estimate how fast you were going or when you first saw the defendant’s vehicle. The adjuster is usually hoping you will make a mistake or say something that can hurt your case.

In most cases involving a motorcycle or automobile crash, we recommend you decline to give a recorded or written statement. Instead, let the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster know they will hear from your car accident lawyer.

Get The Medical Care You Need to Prove Your Case

You may be reluctant to get the care and treatment necessary to prove the extent of your injuries after an accident. However, not getting medical attention may invite the at-fault insurance company to argue that you have “little or no injuries.”

If you do not have health insurance, there are resources and advice that a skilled law firm can offer. We can help minimize the risk of insurance adjusters accusing you of not being hurt or defeating your claim with arguments about exaggerated or pre-existing conditions.

Don’t Settle Your Injury Case Before Speaking to a Local Attorney

Do Not Sign A Release or Settlement Agreement Too Quickly

Attorney Anthony Jones, listening

Automobile collisions never come at a convenient time. Insurance adjusters know this and may contact you claiming to offer “help.” But it’s likely before you know the full amount of your physical recovery, medical bills, lost work and pay, or damages. They are hoping to get you to settle early and for a low payout.

We don’t recommend signing a settlement release until the full extent of current and future damages are known. A settlement release agreement is a binding contract that can end your ability to collect additional compensation. Once you sign the release, you may not be able to recover more money in the future. Even if you discover that your injuries or losses are greater than expected, you will not be able to receive further compensation once the settlement agreement is signed.

The First Settlement Offer is Rarely The Best Offer

An insurance company’s goal is to settle your injury claim as quickly and for the least amount of money as possible. If you are approached with a settlement offer immediately or while still under treatment, beware. Settling your claim before the full extent of harm is known, or accepting the first offer, means you are likely leaving money on the table.

The value of a car accident injury case is almost always based upon the seriousness and lasting effect of the physical harm. In some cases, the value may be limited by the amount of insurance available or increased by an attorney’s reputation and skill.

Simply Hiring a Top-Rated Injury Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Many people worry about the cost of paying a well-known attorney to handle their case. You certainly can handle your car accident case on your own without hiring an attorney. However, insurance industry studies show victims who hire a lawyer usually receive more money, even after paying a lawyer.

How can this be? Because an adjuster assumes without an injury attorney, you will not be able to beat the insurance company in court. Nor that you know how to present evidence of medical bills and all financial losses suffered. Therefore, the company may delay settlement or automatically discount the settlement offer – usually by a lot.

Fast Action Brings Better Results

The top factors that increase compensation are receiving prompt medical care, hiring an attorney, a fast investigation, and giving immediate notice of claim.

The Millar Law Firm offers sensible, practical legal advice about the steps you should take. We can even help you deal with problems like getting medical treatment when you do not have health insurance.

Delays, especially in medical care, are often used against you by the insurance adjuster. An adjuster will try to use this as an excuse to say you’re “not hurt,” even if you obviously are. Immediate treatment and proper documentation are key to maximizing your motor vehicle accident claim.

Our Investigative Process

Investigation of a car accident case almost always starts with determining and proving who was at fault. If you do not already have an accident report, our firm will usually begin your case by getting the police report and 911 calls and recordingsWe interview witnesses and police officers. We also review your past and present medical bills, records, and history and help you prove the full extent of your injuries.

Investigation of the accident scene is just one of the things we do to determine and prove the facts of a case and whether there was negligence. Here are some things that can help prove your motor vehicle accident case:

  • Photographs of the scene and the cars, trucks, or motorcycles involved in the crash
  • Interviews of other drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses
  • Video from traffic cameras, nearby businesses, and police cars
  • Top accident reconstruction experts who can build and prove your case
  • Medical records of care from your doctors to prove all your injuries
  • Proof of past medical bills and lost wages as well as future estimates

Georgia law requires proof that the other driver was at fault, and that all injuries and lost pay were a direct result of the accident. A good car accident lawyer can carefully build and present your case, so all your damages are considered.

Proving your Injuries Using Medical Evidence

Infographic: Examples of medical expenses that are important to document if you incur them after a motor vehicle accident

In any accident case, who was at fault and the full extent of injuries incurred must be proven. You will be required to verify any ambulance, emergency room, hospital, ICU, surgical care, and even x-ray, MRI or CAT scan costs. Not only will you have to prove you received the medical care and tests, but also that they were necessary and related to your accident.

Admissible courtroom evidence of medical care can come from medical workers, such as doctors, nurses, EMTs or paramedics, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other professional health care providers. Often this requires deposition or courtroom testimony. It is doubtful that a Judge will allow much testimony from the accident victim to explain the nature and extent of the medical procedures performed and why they were necessary and related to the collision.

In some cases, you may need to prove that your conditions were not pre-existing. If they were, it’s essential to show how that issue was aggravated or made worse by the wreck.

It’s a common insurance defense tactic to argue that anyone who had a past diagnosis was not truly hurt in the car accident. This often occurs with conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, or other painful syndromes. Fortunately, with careful preparation and the right evidence, these defenses can be overcome.

Expert testimony from physicians, like orthopedists, primary care doctors, or surgeons can demonstrate that your injury was caused by the incident, not a previous injury.

Settlement Negotiation: Getting the Most Out of Your Case

Once you’ve reached full or maximum recovery from your injuries, the next step is usually to negotiate settlement with the insurance company. The insurance company’s goal is to try to pay out as little as possible. They attempt this by making excuses like, “You were not badly hurt.” Or, if you are seriously injured, they might try to blame pre-existing conditions.

In Atlanta, the best way to achieve a fair settlement is to present a demand package. This should include documentation of everything possible that shows you can beat the insurance company in a courtroom battle, if necessary.

Our firm prepares demand packages that include:

  • Police and accident reconstruction reports
  • Photos of your injuries and the damage to your car, truck, or motorcycle
  • Your medical bills
  • Lost pay and earnings
  • Special narrative reports from your doctors explaining your condition
  • Expert reports describing your future medical and economic losses

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In most injury cases, the insurance company will only make a full and fair settlement after being convinced that you have the evidence necessary to win in court.

Fortunately, many cases will settle once this proof is shown through a well-documented demand. However, if your case does not settle, you should have the proof needed to take them to court and win!

The Millar Law Firm provides this level of proof and presentation. It’s how we consistently achieve great results both inside and outside the courthouse.

Other Ways The Millar Law Firm Can Help

Uninsured and Underinsured

Unfortunately, many drivers on the roads in the Atlanta area do not have auto insurance. If you are hit and injured by one of these drivers, you can be out of luck unless you (or, in some cases, your employer) have uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

But, don’t expect an insurance company to be forthcoming about this coverage. Many times, the claims handler is hoping you will not discover that UIM coverage exists.

We check for UIM in every case we handle. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out this additional coverage is available to you.

Fighting the “Canceled” Insurance Policy or Excluded Driver

We have seen many cases in Atlanta where an insurance company tried to deny payment of a claim because the at-fault driver’s policy allegedly canceled just before the wreck or the driver was allegedly excluded.

Sometimes, these excuses for refusing payment are bogus. If the policy was not properly canceled or if a car was loaned to a “permissive driver,” you would, in fact, be covered by the policy.

Doctors Who Won’t See You Because Your Injury Is from a Car Accident

Many people are surprised to learn that their primary care doctor and some medical clinics refuse treatment if an injury was due to a car accident. We run into this several times per year in and near Atlanta.

Some medical providers may refuse to accept your insurance for the same reason. Should this happen to you, call us. We have several successful ways of dealing with this problem.

Insurance Subrogation Claims

Most likely, your medical care was paid for by a health insurance company or workers’ compensation carrier. If so, they may try to claim a portion of your settlement, as a right to subrogation or reimbursement. However, not all medical health care plans must be reimbursed.

Knowing which plans have an enforceable lien on your settlement is key to keeping as much of your money as possible. For example, a plan that is subject to Georgia’s “made whole doctrine” may not be entitled to any of your claim. Likewise, workers’ compensation liens may also not be enforceable against your settlement either.

But, don’t count on the insurance companies to tell you whether their lien is strong. You need an experienced attorney to fight off unfair subrogation claims.

Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle

Since 1993, the firm has expertly represented your neighbors in Atlanta and across the State of Georgia. Cases we handle include:

Interstate Highway Crashes

Due to high speeds and large vehicles, accidents on Atlanta interstate highways often cause more serious injuries and even death.

Many drivers use these highways as they travel between Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina. These long distances can mean more drivers who are fatigued, falling asleep at the wheel, and distracted by phones or electronics. All of these scenarios increase the likelihood of accidents occurring on our Atlanta roads.

Fortunately, heavy traffic usually means eyewitnesses. Even if witnesses do not stop, they will often call dispatch to report what they saw. Those records can be used to identify and interview witnesses. Within a few days of a highway accident, contact local dispatch to request 911 telephone logs and audio recordings.

City Street and Roadway Crashes

City street and roadway crashes make up the majority of car accidents in the Atlanta area. Many of these accidents happen because of texting or eating while driving. Although some intersections have traffic cameras, surprisingly few cameras are actually in use or recording. Still, it is best to request traffic camera footage from the local authorities on the chance that it does exist. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, officer body camera recordings, and 911 records as soon as possible after the crash.

Intersection, stop sign, and traffic light collisions

Intersection, stop sign, and traffic light collisions can be problematic. Many at-fault drivers attempt to blame the victim or claim that they had a green light. However, detailed investigation can often prove that a driver disobeyed a stop sign or traffic signal. Evidence can include traffic light programming sequence data from the local or Atlanta Department of Transportation or electronic data from the at-fault driver’s vehicle. Additionally, if police officers issued tickets and the cited driver makes payment, this is a guilty plea that can be used to prove your case.

Wrecks involving totaled vehicles

A “totaled” car means a vehicle was completely destroyed or that it’s more expensive to repair than replace. If your vehicle was totaled, make sure you take pictures. The insurance company is likely to pay you for the loss and take the vehicle away to be sold for parts, scrap, or crushed.

Rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions are known to cause back and neck injuries, but can also cause concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries, as well as broken or sprained wrists, ankles, feet, and toes. Many people initially feel “fine” immediately after the accident in a moderate rear-end hit. They may even refuse medical care.

If this happened to you, and you are not feeling better hours to days after the wreck, seek medical attention. Not getting medical care right away, even for a serious injury, generally leads to the at-fault insurance adjuster arguing you were “not hurt.” This defense can be overcome, but expect a fight from the adjuster.

Hit-and-run cases

Hit-and-run cases happen every day around Atlanta. Often a driver flees the scene and later claims that he or she was not driving or the vehicle had been “stolen” before the wreck. By requesting police and 911 records, it’s possible to prove a vehicle was not reported stolen or that the alleged theft took place after the time of the crash. Drivers who flee the scene of an accident can be responsible for paying punitive awards. If the driver is not found, your uninsured motorist coverage can pay your damages.

Head-on crashes

Head-on crashes usually result from extreme distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, or loss of control. It is not uncommon for a driver who causes a head-on collision to blame an act of god, poor road conditions, or other unusual circumstances.

These defenses can be disproved by reconstructing the accident, downloading black box data, and checking weather conditions. If an at-fault driver tries to blame their negligence on an emergency, reviewing their medical records can help determine if this is true or just an excuse.

Fatal or Paralyzing crashes

Wrongful death and paralysis cases should usually only be handled by experienced law firms. Resources (i.e., money) and a network of medical and economic experts are often needed to win these cases for top-dollar.

If an at-fault driver was killed, a case might be brought against the negligent driver’s estate and defended by their insurance company.

Negligent death claims and paraplegic or quadriplegic cases require proving fault as well as the future value of the life lost or the future medical and life-care costs. Special expert witnesses, such as life-care planners, vocational experts, and economists, are usually necessary.

Our office routinely spends tens of thousands of dollars on such experts, when the circumstances require.

Side-impact and side-swipe incidents

Side-impact and side-swipe incidents can range from very minor to extreme situations. For instance, in some side-swipes, one vehicle can get hooked onto another. This results in the car and its occupants being dragged some distance and can result in severe injuries.

These crashes can result from untrained or inexperienced drivers or simply driver error. However, some of these accidents arise from angry drivers who can be punished for causing such wrecks with punitive damages.

Wrecks due to failure to yield or maintain lane

Wrecks due to failure to yield or maintain lane often arise from one driver pulling out in front of an oncoming car. Sometimes they can also be caused by someone turning illegally.

Eyewitness testimony or physical evidence found by police at the scene is often the difference between winning and losing these claims.

Injuries caused by DUI/drunk drivers

Injuries caused by drunk drivers/DUI can result in catastrophic damages to the victim, while the drunk driver walks away unscathed or with injuries. In these cases, evidence gathered by the police can be used against the intoxicated driver. Drunk driving verdicts and settlements tend to command larger settlements than other accidents. This is because drunk driving is considered a reckless and punitive act.

Distracted driving

According to Georgia’s hands-free laws, distracted driving includes not only cell phones, but also GPS, video players, and other electronic devices. It can also include drinking and eating while driving. Negligent acts like yelling at children in the backseat, selecting music on the radio, goofing around in the car, a dog on the driver’s lap, and other dangerous driving behaviors are also considered distracted driving.

Speeding and reckless drivers

Speeding and reckless drivers may blame road construction, potholes, or animals for making them suddenly lose control. Some of these drivers may try to blame you for pulling out in front of them. However, the truth is that they caused the crash because they were driving in excess of the speed limit. Accident reconstruction or eyewitness testimony may help you win a case where the at-fault driver was speeding.

T-bone collisions

T-bone collisions usually cause severe injuries because a car door is the only protection between the victim and an oncoming car. One or both vehicles are usually destroyed. The crash-worthiness of the cars and if the airbag properly deployed should be examined in these incidents.

Multiple-car incidents

Multiple-car accidents include car pile-ups and chain-reaction rear-end collisions. These accidents can occur due to heavy, stop-and-go traffic or when traffic suddenly slows on a busy road. In these instances, determining who was at-fault can be difficult. But by analyzing each impact, the car positions, and damage, it is possible to determine who was at fault.

Single-vehicle accidents

Single-vehicle accidents may arise from automobile product defects, such as tire blow-outs, tire-tread separation, or other sudden mechanical failures. In such cases, the vehicle and roadway may be analyzed by an expert to determine the cause of the crash.

Road rage

Road rage and aggressive driving are becoming more common in the Atlanta area and the State of Georgia. Our law firm’s attorneys have handled a number of road-rage vehicle attacks with great success. These accidents can include exemplary or punitive damages in addition to the traditional compensatory and economic damages of most injury cases.

Phantom vehicle crashes

Phantom vehicle crashes, with or without contact, can be covered by Georgia uninsured motorist policies. You will need proof that you were hit or a witness to testify that you were run off the road by the phantom driver.

Contributory and comparative negligence

If you are partly to blame for causing an accident, you may still be able to recover compensation. Under Georgia’s laws of contributory and comparative negligence, a driver may recover monetary damages if the accident was less than half of his or her fault.

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Automobile Products Liability

Most automobile product liability injury cases begin with a horrific crash. Our law firm has worked on automobile crash cases that resulted from defective vehicles and parts. Some issues arise from manufacturing defects and others from design or repair issues. We’ve handled or worked with other lawyers on cases dealing with all the major manufacturers, including Honda-Acura, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan, Chrysler-Jeep, and others.

When a victim is more injured than would be expected or is killed in a single-car accident, it’s prudent to investigate the vehicle. Potential defects or crash-worthiness issues can include seat-belt defects, airbag issues and malfunctions (failures to deploy or unwanted deployment), tire-tread separations and blow-outs, seat-back failures, and brake failures, among other things.

Our firm has also encountered several instances where repair shops failed to safely replace or repair components, like steering racks or transmissions. Or where a used car was sold with dangerously worn or bald tires, causing a severe crash or injury. Knowingly selling a used car that has defective equipment or brakes may also result in a legal claim.

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Car Accident Injuries We Handle

Types of Car Accident Injuries The Millar Law Firm Handles and How We Prove Them:

Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries. At The Millar Law Firm, we can and do handle any injury proven to have been caused (known as “proximate cause”) by a crash. Insurance companies are known to put up a fight to avoid paying maximum compensation, but we’re here to help.

Neck and Whiplash-Type

One of the most common injuries we handle are whiplash or neck injury claims. This type of injury is often caused by rear-end crashes but can happen in any traumatic collision.

Insurance adjusters often try to claim these injuries are a minor inconvenience. They might also insinuate the injury was pre-existing, is being exaggerated, or doesn’t exist at all. Do not be fooled. Neck injuries need to be taken seriously and can often include damage to discs or ligaments.

See a doctor right away if you are having severe neck pain after a collision. Back and neck injuries can cause discomfort, numbness, stiffness, soreness, and disability, ranging from a few weeks to a lifetime.

Back Injuries

Another common injury caused by car accidents is damage to the upper, mid, or low back. Insurance adjusters often fight these cases by claiming the back pain or injury was already present before the wreck. If you are having back pain after a car accident, don’t wait to see a doctor. Get treatment right away to document that this is a new injury. It is not uncommon for back injuries to be severe and high-value cases due to the acute and chronic pain these injuries cause.

Amputation Cases

Severe automobile crashes, motorcycle collisions, or pedestrian or bicyclist strikes can result in crushed limbs. Unfortunately, serious cases can often result in amputation. Oftentimes, the at-fault person or company tries to avoid blame. We have seen every ridiculous excuse in the book, including that a pedestrian failed to dive out of the way of a careless driver or that a motorcyclist who was stopped at a traffic light was speeding.

Amputation cases are often large, high-value, catastrophic claims. These cases usually require overcoming the defendant’s reluctance to accept responsibility and pay damages.

Testimony of surgeons who removed the arm or leg is necessary to prove why the limb could not be saved. Other experts may have to testify regarding the type and cost of a prosthetic and ongoing maintenance and replacement costs. Most artificial arms and legs require replacement every three to six years, depending on the quality and how it is used.

Leg and Knee Injuries

Leg and knee injuries must often be proven by expert medical testimony. Insurance companies love to claim that traumatic injuries, such as meniscus tears, bursitis, tendon, and ligament ruptures to the ACL, PCL, LCL or MCL were caused by an old injury and are not related to a collision. The testimony of your treating orthopedic and primary care doctors can be used to show that the injury did not exist before the wreck and that it is related to the accident.

Injuries to the Hand and Foot

Hand and foot injuries can be among the most difficult injuries because we constantly use and rely on these body parts. Even a sprained or strained foot or ankle can be painful and result in nerve damage. If you feel numbness or tingling, nerve injury may be proven by medical experts. Serious harm to hands and feet can also lead to arthritis in the joints of the fingers, ankles, or toes, leading to a lifetime of pain.

Internal and Abdominal Injuries

Internal injuries can often cause long-term damage to your body, meaning a more serious and larger civil case. Cases involving damage to your pancreas, liver, spleen, bladder, intestines, or internal bleeding are often high-value and more complex claims, leading to larger settlements or awards.

Shoulder Injuries

Injuries to large joints, such as the shoulder, may not be obvious immediately at the scene of the collision. It may take hours or days for a rotator cuff tear or cartilage injury to become known, when fluid builds up or the tissues in the area swell and become painful. Don’t let an insurance adjuster tell you that because you did not rush to the doctor to complain about your shoulder that you were not injured. It is likely that your doctor will explain otherwise. Our office routinely handles shoulder injuries, including dislocations, impingement, and frozen shoulder, separations, and rotator cuff surgeries.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Although insurance adjusters may say these are not “serious,” soft tissue injuries can be very painful. They may also be an indication of a more serious injury. Symptoms such as bruising, contusions, swelling, and lumps should be examined by a doctor. Seat belt bruises are common in more severe collisions. Those visible signs of injury could be a sign of a fracture, crush injury, or herniated disk.

Take pictures of any blackened or bruised areas. Failing to take photographs of your bruises and injuries means permanent loss of important evidence. It can be extremely difficult to “explain” a bruise or contusion to an insurance adjuster or jury without good photos.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Explaining spinal cord injuries involving paralysis to a judge and jury are essential trial lawyer skills. Our office has handled many cases for paraplegic and quadriplegic clients. Our approach is to work with doctors and life-care planners to determine the impacts the injury will have on the victim’s life. Future medical expenses and income losses that are a result of the injury will also be considered. Unfortunately, a paralysis victim may require a lifetime of future medical care, sometimes costing millions of dollars. While many people heroically return to work in some capacity, others do not. For those who do return to work, it may be in a reduced capacity, which could mean less money will be earned.

Our office coordinates with treating physicians, life-care planning professionals, and economic and vocational experts to estimate the future needs of spinal cord clients. Atlanta has some of the country’s finest physicians. We have worked with doctors at the Shepard Center and Emory University to assess the condition and needs of clients.

Wrongful Death

When a person is fatally injured in a car crash and passes away, the loss to the survivors is enormous. Family members may be entitled to recover damages for the full value of the life of the deceased. We have recovered millions of dollars for the surviving family members of wrongful death victims. For more information, please review our Atlanta wrongful death service pages.

Head and Brain (TBI) Injuries

Head and brain injuries can occur in both high- and low-speed car accidents. Any headaches, dizziness, or memory or personality changes that occur after a crash should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be proven by clinical observation or diagnostic studies. Evidence can include MRIs and testimony of specialists, clinicians, and neurologists.

There is no such thing as a “minor” or “mild” brain injury. Even a concussion or short coma can lead to serious long-term cognitive impairment. If you experience loss of sight, hearing, or smell, or feel confusion or difficulty completing everyday tasks, it could be a sign of neurological damage. You should see a doctor right away.

Facial Injuries

Facial bruising or a black eye can be a symptom of a broken jaw, fractured orbital bone, or other facial damage. Airbags and steering wheel impacts are known to cause such injuries, even when wearing a seat belt. However, you can expect that the insurance adjuster might claim that your injury came from not wearing a seat belt. You can prove that you were through the electronic data recorded by your car.

Fractures and Broken Bones

Car crash cases that result in bone fractures, breaks, or shatters can be high-value claims. If you require surgery for implants, pins, plates, or rods or need joint reconstruction, this may lead to a permanent injury that is likely to cause future pain and limitations. Even being in a cast or splint is a major inconvenience on your lifestyle, and you deserve full compensation.

Other fractures may be less dramatic or more difficult to detect, such as stress fractures or compression fractures. Be sure to describe any unusual or painful symptoms to your doctor. Ongoing, unexplained pain in a limb, joint, or spine can signify a stress or burst fracture that may need medical attention.

Chest Injuries

A broken or cracked sternum or rib can be both extremely painful and frustrating. Often, a blow to the chest can result in a collapsed lung, bruised or torn cartilage, or painful fracture for which there is little direct medical care.

To make matters worse, the medical bills may be small compared to other injuries that are less painful. An insurance adjuster may downplay the bills and claim they aren’t “that high.” Do not accept these excuses from at-fault drivers and their insurance carriers.

Testimony from medical professionals should be used to prove just how painful and debilitating a chest injury can be. Chest injuries can even make it extremely painful to breathe, cough, sneeze, or laugh.

Other injuries

Our firm can handle any car accident injuries, including broken bones, road rash, burns, lacerations, shoulder injuries, and more. We work carefully with your medical providers to document your recovery and expenses.

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Damages and Compensation Available in a Atlanta Car Accident

Your Damages: How Maximum Compensation Can Be Recovered

According to Georgia law, you’re legally entitled to recover damages after a car accident. This includes current, past, and future medical bills and other legal damages, like pain and suffering. You may be entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for your medical bills, even if health insurance paid for your care (subject to certain subrogation requirements).

Often, a case can be resolved and damages can be recovered through settlement. If, however, settlement is not possible, all of your damages are available through legal action.

To receive maximum compensation, all medical and economic evidence should be presented to an insurance adjuster in a settlement demand. If the case cannot be resolved through negotiation, you may choose to file a lawsuit.

How much compensation you are entitled to will depend on your past and future medical bills and suffering from your injury. Cases involving permanent injury or an impairment rating from a doctor will generally have a higher projected value than those where complete recovery is expected. If you believe you are permanently injured, an AMA disability rating may be needed to receive the highest level of compensation.

“General damages” are non-economic payments for your physical pain and suffering and lost quality of life caused by the trauma of an accident.

“Special damages” means reimbursement for past and future medical expenses and lost employment earnings.

“Punitive damages” are a separate category of damages intended to punish or deter an at-fault driver who is especially reckless or derelict. These damages may be applied to cases of drunk or drugged drivers, road rage incidents, or hit-and-runs.

“Future losses” include the costs of medical bills or forced retirement due to a catastrophic injury.

Proving Your Non-Economic, General Accident Damages In An Auto Wreck Case

Payment for non-economic losses is usually negotiated with the auto insurance adjuster or lawyer, or decided by a jury at trial. Under Georgia law, victims of serious crashes are entitled to reimbursement for pain and suffering. This can involve either temporary pain or permanent impairment and disability. These damages are intended as payment for short-term or long-term loss of enjoyment of life.

Medical records and testimony from doctors, nurses, chiropractors, or therapists are often used to prove the extent and lasting effect of the injuries. Exhibits can also be shared to show the injuries or medical treatment received.

Family members, friends, or sports coaches can be called-on to share personal accounts of how the crash has changed your life. In Georgia, loss of companionship of a spouse is known as a “loss of consortium.” Spouses and other family members may be able to claim these damages by providing testimony.

Recovering Your “Special” or Economic Damages After a Vehicle Accident

Economic losses, bills, or special damages can be calculated by totaling up the expenses incurred as a result of the incident. This includes the amount of money you lost from being unable to work after a wreck. In more complicated cases, future financial losses can be calculated by an expert witness, such as a doctor or an economist.

In cases involving damage to a car, pick-up, SUV, bike, or other autos, special damages usually include the property damage or loss for vehicle repairs or fair-market replacement value. You can obtain the necessary records from body shops, appraisers, and sometimes directly from yours or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.Special damages after an accident may also cover lost work income and earnings, loss of future earnings, and compensation for your current and future medical expenses for surgery, injections, or therapy you may eventually need.

How to Recover Punitive Damages in a Georgia road-wreck case

Punitive damages are not automatic in Atlanta car accident claims, and usually require evidence showing some level of gross negligence. These damages can be awarded or recovered in a negotiated settlement when the defendant driver has acted outrageously. This can include intoxicated or reckless driving.

Punitive damages can also be given for road rage incidents, hit-and-runs or intentionally-caused accidents. You will have the responsibility of proving that the driver acted in a malicious, violent, oppressive, wanton, or willfully indifferent manner.

When a driver makes grossly negligent decisions, like driving drunk or using a car as a weapon, punitive damages may be presumed. Police reports, officer and patrol car videos, and eyewitness testimony are excellent sources of evidence to prove a punitive case. Criminal and driving history can also demonstrate if the at-fault driver is a repeat offender with prior convictions. These reports can support an award of punitive damages to punish or deter the driver from similar future behavior.

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Understanding the Fundamentals of Car Accident Court Cases

Going to Court Over a Car Accident. Will a Lawsuit Be Necessary?

Well-prepared and well-documented cases where prompt and necessary medical care was received can usually be settled without a lawsuit, civil action or other legal proceedings. Cases involving complicated medical conditions or disputed facts may have to be filed in court. This is also true when the insurance adjuster is being especially stubborn and makes a low-ball settlement offer.

In these cases, our attorneys will discuss your legal options and prepare you for what’s next. Even after a suit is filed, very few cases actually make it to trial. With the right preparation and aggressive litigation, your suit is likely to settle once the insurance company makes a large enough offer.

Should your case be called for trial, you can rest assured The Millar Law Firm will be ready. We have tried over 100 cases to verdict, and you are invited to review our case results here. Some of our best cases have been referred to us by judges who have seen our work in their courtrooms!

What Happens When A Case Goes to Trial?

Before going to trial, the car accident attorneys will meet with the Judge. This meeting will decide which issues will be tried and what evidence will be admissible, or allowed.

A jury is usually selected through the process known as Voir Dire. Then, the car accident trial itself takes place. The jury will then determine an award of damages following closing arguments. A car wreck trial can be as short as one day or last more than a week.

Jurors often wonder or worry about who will pay their verdict. Car crash trials are almost always defended by insurance defense lawyers, and the judgments and verdicts are paid by insurance. This is true even if you do not hear the word “insurance” spoken at trial. Georgia’s Rules of Evidence do not usually allow the parties to talk about insurance, even though insurance is paying the judgment in a majority of cases.

Our office never accepts or takes frivolous automobile injury claims to trial. This would be an insult to the intelligence of most jurors and a waste of everyone’s time. We strongly believe that there are already too many lawsuits and that only the best and most-worthy cases should be pursued.

I was injured in the car accident but didn’t go for treatment right away – will the Insurance Company or Jury think I am not hurt?

Some people experience immediate pain at the scene of an accident and seek treatment right away, especially in severe car accidents. However, others may feel “fine” for a few hours or delay seeking medical care because of a fear of doctors or hospitals, an inability to pay for medical care, or no health insurance.

Unfortunately, some insurance company lawyers may try to argue you were not badly hurt if you did not immediately seek medical care. This is a common defense strategy.

Unless you delay seeking medical care for more than a few days, a short delay can be overcome. Most jurors understand that victims may feel “fine” at the scene, only to feel worse hours or days later.

During a case, it’s a good idea to stay off social media or be careful about what you post after an accident. You must resist the urge to tell others you’re “fine” on Facebook. Your reassurance could be used against you later in your injury case.

How Long Does a Typical Car Accident Case in Atlanta Take?

You should avoid settling your car accident injury claim until your medical care is complete or until your future condition and needs are known. Thus, many car accident cases will settle two or three months after your medical care ends.

If the facts of your case are in dispute or the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, a lawsuit may be necessary. Civil suits in the Atlanta area usually take one to two years after filing before they are called for trial. Once settlement is reached, cases are typically paid within weeks or months after a release is signed. However, some settlement structures may require payment over time.

What is Mediation, and How Does it Work in Atlanta?

In Atlanta, mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a settlement conference where both sides attempt to negotiate a settlement of a legal case. In an injury case, this means the injured victim and their attorney on one side and the defense lawyer and insurance company representatives on the other.

A neutral party, or mediator, listens to the positions of both sides and helps them negotiate. This is usually done through back-and-forth discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Negotiations of settlement offers and counter-offers will also take place. Mediation can be voluntary by agreement of the parties or court-ordered.

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The Monetary Value of a Car Accident – Financial Recovery

Determining How Much Your Car Accident Case Is Worth

Assessing the value of your claim requires full knowledge and investigation of the facts, the law, and your medical condition. This starts with totaling medical bills, property damage, lost pay, and taking stock of the seriousness and permanency of your injuries.

Georgia law allows an accident victim to be compensated for economic losses, including past and future expenses caused by the wreck and current and future pain. Cases with a short recovery time may not have a value as high as instances of permanent injury.

An experienced lawyer can often estimate the value of an injury case during a free consultation. But remember, this is not exact. It is not always possible to provide an accurate figure until more is known. The extent of your recovery, the amount of available insurance, and the driving history of the at-fault driver will all impact your case’s value.

At a free consultation, our attorneys can share if we think it’s necessary for you to hire a lawyer. We can also give you an idea of your case’s value. The Millar Law Firm takes pride in only accepting cases we know will provide a good experience and outcome for injured clients.

Georgia Punitive Damages Caps

Georgia has a $250,000 cap for awards of punitive damages in personal injury cases. This cap, however, does not apply to drunk driving cases. There are no caps for general and special damages (meaning pain and suffering and proven economic losses).

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Proving Your Injuries and Recovering Money After a Car Accident

Money doesn’t mean happiness will be restored after a car or truck crash. But it certainly helps you get back on your feet. We help with that and keep you informed and involved every step of the way toward your recovery. Some of our clients have received very significant compensation for their cases. This money has gone a long way toward relieving some of their burden and worry.

What Can a Person Recover After a Car Accident?

If another driver is proven to be at-fault for your accident injury, you are usually entitled to recover damages. You may be entitled to special, general, and in some instances, punitive damages. Special damages mean your financial harms, such as medical bills, final expenses (funeral), and past and future lost pay.

General damages are mental and physical in nature. They 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 impaired driving incidents. Under Georgia’s public policy, these damages are meant as a punishment or to deter the defendant from doing something similar again.

How Do I Repair or Replace My Car After an Accident in Atlanta?

If your car is totaled in a car accident, you are entitled to recover its fair market value. This is known as the replacement cost. Unfortunately, this does not mean you’ll get what you paid for it or what you owe.

You must look at the value of cars in or near your area, versus what it’s worth in other locations. Further, the value will be affected by the mileage, overall condition, and options on the car.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company may be required to pay for your repairs or total loss. Otherwise, you may go through your own insurance company and pay a deductible. If you did not cause the accident, your insurance company would usually attempt to recover your deductible from the at-fault insurance carrier and refund it to you. In Georgia, this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

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Building a Strong Car Accident Case

Who has the Burden of Proof in a Georgia Car Accident Injury Case?

The injured victim, or Plaintiff, has the burden of proving everything in a case. This includes proving that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident and that your medical care and expenses were a result of the crash.

What Evidence Can Be Used to Prove a Georgia Accident Claim?

Physical evidence that can be used to prove a car accident case may include the following: photographs, drone recordings, witness testimony and interviews, the police report, video recordings from the vehicles or surrounding businesses, measurements of the scene and skid marks, cell phone recordings and photos, vehicle inspection records, electronic data downloads from the ECM, manufacturers data, 911 operator recordings, EMS and first responder statements and reports, police body cameras and patrol car recordings, and cell phone records.

How Can Evidence be Preserved After A Car Accident?

Physical evidence, damage to the vehicles, and the accident scene should be photographed as soon as possible. You should also take pictures of your injuries when they are fresh and as they recover.

For evidence that is beyond your control, such as surveillance video, auto maintenance records, or electronic data, a preservation of evidence letter can usually be sent. If a defendant receives a request to preserve evidence and later destroys it, that person or company could be sanctioned or punished for “spoliation of evidence.”

If you are worried about preservation or spoliation of evidence by the at-fault driver, company or anyone else, consulting with an experienced attorney is usually a great idea.

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What Does Liability and Automobile Liability Insurance Mean?

The legal term “liability” simply means fault – as in, who was at-fault and caused the car accident. Liability insurance for a car or other auto covers the vehicle’s driver or owner when a claim is made. Auto accident claims are defended and paid by liability insurance.

Georgia Automobile Insurance and UIM Limits

In Georgia, every driver is required to have insurance coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for “at-fault” bodily injury and property damage. Unless you sign a waiver, insurance companies must provide uninsured or underinsured (UIM) coverage to at least the liability insurance limit.

Will my Insurance Rates or Premium Increase After An Accident or if I Use my UIM Coverage?

In Georgia, insurance companies cannot legally increase your insurance premium or rate if an accident was not your fault. This holds true even if you used your underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits.

The Person That Hit Me Did Not Have Insurance, and I Have Medical Expenses. What Can I Do?

This is unfortunately common in Atlanta. By law, you have the right to pursue recovery directly from that at-fault driver. This means demanding payment or filing suit against the owner or driver of the uninsured vehicle. Damages can include medical bills, lost pay (past and future), mental and physical pain, and possibly exemplary damages.

However, if the at-fault driver had no insurance, the chance of collecting your damages may be small. If you have UIM coverage, you may make a claim with your automobile insurance policy for your benefits. An uninsured or underinsured motorist policy allows you to recover your damages when the at-fault driver has no liability insurance or has insurance limits that are not large enough to cover your losses. It is advisable to have your car insurance policy reviewed by your car accident attorney to determine if you have UM coverage and in what amount.

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Georgia Car Accident Lawsuit Laws and Regulations

Georgia is an “At Fault” State for Motor Vehicle Claims

The State of Georgia is what is known as an at-fault state, meaning that the driver who caused the accident and injuries is responsible for all damages caused. This includes injuries, lost pay, and the damage to your car.

Georgia Personal Injury Statute of Limitations is Generally Two Years

For most car accident injury claims, Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations. This means you must file a lawsuit before the two-year anniversary of your injury to recover money.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Do some research or call a lawyer if you are close or beyond the two-year limitation period and no lawsuit has been filed.

Can I Request or Subpoena Another Driver’s Cell Phone or Records?

Usually, a driver is required to produce cell phone records only after a lawsuit or legal proceeding has been filed. If you need the other driver’s cell phone records right away, filing suit immediately after the wreck may be your best option.

You may also consider sending a preservation request to the at-fault driver or the insurance company. This will require that the phone and records be preserved in the event of future litigation. A party’s failure to preserve evidence when a possible claim or lawsuit is known can sometimes result in civil penalties.

How are Subpoenas Used in Civil Car Accident Cases?

In a Georgia car accident claim, subpoenas are available after a lawsuit has been filed. There are two general types of subpoenas: Witness subpoenas and evidence subpoenas. Witness subpoenas may be used to require a person to appear for a deposition or as a trial witness. Evidence subpoenas are used to obtain documents or physical items as evidence in a case. Often, subpoenas are used to compel the police officers’ testimony or obtain documents from third parties or companies who are not named as Plaintiffs or Defendants. In a car accident litigation, this can mean GPS data, repair and maintenance records, prior claims information, and a variety of other evidence relevant to the automobile accident.

I was hit in Atlanta by a driver from another state, how does that work?

Georgia has a non-resident motorist act that allows you to bring a claim against an at-fault driver from another state. Many cases can be resolved through settlement.

A lawsuit can be filed against a non-resident (or out-of-state driver) in the county where the car accident happened or in the county where you live, your choice. O.C.G.A. 9-10-93.

What Happens if a Doctor Says I will Never Fully Recover From My Accident?

If you have been left with permanent injuries that will require ongoing medical treatment, reduce or prevent you from working, or your injuries will diminish your enjoyment of life. This must be taken into account when seeking a fair and reasonable recovery in your case.

The best personal injury lawyers will review medical and work records and consult with medical experts, vocational experts, economists and others to determine the full amount of past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life you are entitled to be compensated for after a serious injury accident.

Cases involving serious permanent injury are very likely to have a much higher value than an injury in which the accident victim has a full and complete recovery. To learn more, please see our legal-guide that discusses the role of Experts in Your Car Accident Case.

Will an auto mechanic be called as a witness in my case?

Sometimes we do use mechanics and auto-body repairmen as witnesses. But, most often the testimony of the victim, witnesses, photographs, repair estimates and bills, and accident reconstruction experts are used to prove that a car was damaged in a crash. The fact that the mechanic or body-man did not testify does not mean that your car did not sustain damage.

Will my car insurance premiums increase if I didn’t cause the car accident?

Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 33-9-40, states that a motor vehicle insurance company may not increase your rates or cancel your policy if you are not at-fault for an accident or collision.

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Hiring an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

How soon should I get a lawyer after an auto accident?

Under Georgia law, you will generally have two years to file a lawsuit. This time period is called the statute of limitations. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be either shorter or longer than two years depending on who has been involved in the crash. O.C.G.A. 9-3-31.

Even though you have up to two years to file a lawsuit, we do consulting with an Atlanta car accident attorney as soon as possible after the wreck. It is best to consult with a lawyer within days or weeks of your motor vehicle accident.

Whether you hire an attorney or not, a thorough investigation of your case, review of applicable insurance policies and discussion with medical experts to determine the full extent of your losses, is necessary – and this takes time. Many Atlanta law firms will not accept a case if they are contacted shortly before the statute of limitation is set to expire, due to the inability to fully investigate your case before time runs out. It is imperative that you don’t delay in consulting and hiring a car accident lawyer.

How do I know which car accident lawyer is the best one to help with my car accident case?

There are hundreds of car accident lawyers advertising in Atlanta (and around Georgia) for your injury case. To narrow your search and find the best accident attorney for you, consider the following:

Good law firms specialize. You want lawyers who are experts in car, truck and motorcycle accident law.

Local Atlanta car accident attorneys who know and understand your area and the local metro-Atlanta court system can give you an advantage.

Be wary of “discount fee” injury lawyers. Some lawyers advertise cheap or discounted rates (25% contingency fees, or even less). This often means they are high volume firms or are inexperienced lawyers with few staff or resources. Unfortunately, you may get exactly what you pay for.

When deciding which law firm to hire, be sure to ask how many trials the firm has had recently. Most strong car accident firms go to trial several times each year.

Car accident law is not a “general” area of law; it is very specialized. It requires knowing and understanding insurance law, how to effectively interact and negotiate with adjusters, how to discover all of the available insurance coverage information, and how to collect all of the damages you are entitled to.

Car accident Law also involves knowing how to try this type of case and actually bring it to court. Does the lawyer you are speak to have the experience and resources (staff and money) to conduct a full-blown personal injury trial?

Before hiring a car accident lawyer in Atlanta, be sure to check out their online reviews (we have dozens of 5 star reviews), AVVO rating (ours is a Perfect 10), and Better Business Bureau rating (The Millar Law Firm is rated “A+”).

In The Lawyers Office, Who Will Be Working on My Car Accident Case?

Most car accident cases are handled by one or more attorneys and a paralegal or legal assistant. In our office, all cases have an assigned car accident lawyer who is assisted by staff in getting medical records. All of our lawyers litigate “first chair” – meaning that they have tried car accident cases to verdict. Many of our cases have two or three attorneys, including the Senior Partner, working together as a trial team.

Additionally, we often work with expert accident reconstruction experts and private investigators, legal nurse and medical expense consultants, and functional capacity experts to investigate and build the value of your case. All work done by expert witnesses is coordinated with and supervised by your attorney.

What Should A Person Bring to a Meeting or Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer?

Our Lawyers are often asked by clients what to bring to the free initial consultation with an attorney with a car accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer?

This will depend on your case. For example, if you have access to each of the following, you should bring:

  • A copy of the police report or the police report number. Don’t worry if the incident report is not yet available, a good law firm will get it for you.
  • Photos from the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles involved, and of your injuries.
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company and policy number, and their full name, address and phone information.
  • Names and contact information of witnesses.
  • A list of hospitals, clinics and doctors you have seen. The law firm will obtain your medical records and bills for you.
  • Contact information for your job and supervisor, so that the law firm can obtain records showing time you may have missed from work.
  • A journal you have kept, describing how your injuries have impacted you.
  • Your auto insurance card or policy.

Of course, if you do not have some or all of these items, don’t let it stop you from seeking legal help. An attorney can help you track these items down.

Our Experience as Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers 08.04.2021 01

How Much Will It Cost to Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Auto Accident Case?

Most reputable personal injury law offices provide a free initial case consultation and operate on a “contingent fee” or contingency agreement. This means you are not charged legal fees unless the firm actually recovers money for you or your family through settlement, a jury verdict, or Judgment.

Personal Injury legal fees in Georgia generally range from one-third for most settlements to forty-percent when a lawsuit must be filed. In rare instances, fees can vary. Our lawyers will evaluate your case by telephone or in-person at no charge and discuss the fee arrangement with no obligation or pressure to retain us.

About The Area

Atlanta has always been well known, but in recent years we have hosted the Olympics, Super Bowls and become the home of major Hollywood movie production. We are known for hot and humid Southern summers and generally mild, but sometimes “exciting” winters – including Atlanta Snowpocalypse in 2014.

Metro-Atlanta is also known for heavy traffic and traffic jams. Who hasn’t driven through Atlanta and become stuck at Spaghetti Junction in North Atlanta or at the Grady Curve on the downtown connector?

In the spring, summer, and fall months, heavy downpours, lightning, and sudden storms are a major cause of Atlanta area car accidents. Many unskilled or selfish drivers fail to slow down on wet roads in heavy rain and fog, causing major accidents on our crowded local interstate highways.In the winter, unexpected snow and sleet cause icy conditions, which often result in Atlanta’s inexperienced winter drivers to crash into each other. In Atlanta and across Georgia, the at-fault drivers in these collisions are cited for driving “too fast for conditions.” A huge number of these wrecks happen on Interstates 75, 85, 20, and 285 in and around Atlanta.

The Millar Law Firm has been handling car accident cases for almost three decades. We specialize solely in personal injury law, which is a very specialized area of law. It requires knowing and understanding insurance legalities, how to interact and negotiate with adjusters effectively, how to discover all of the available insurance coverage information, and how to collect the damages you deserve.

We know the Atlanta area’s local laws, local legal system, and local roadways and highways – and just as importantly, we know how to combat the tactics of insurance companies and adjusters.

The Millar Law Firm has been independently rated among the best lawyers in Atlanta. Please take a look at the reviews posted to this website and Google My Business for the law firm’s Atlanta and South Atlanta office locations. There are well over 100 five-star reviews. Some of our best cases have even been referred to us by judges who have seen our work in their courtrooms.

Our firm and attorneys have also been awarded top “AV” and SuperLawyer ratings. These ratings are done by anonymous surveys of other lawyers to ensure the results are genuine.