Safe driving is a central key to ensuring that drivers are able to get from one place to another without serious risk of harm or death. This safety relies on the responsibility and duty of all drivers on the road to work. Unfortunately, even the most defensive and professional of driver is at risk of an accident, and all too often these accidents are caused by someone who has failed to uphold their duty as a responsible citizen by driving according to the rules, regulations, and guidelines set forth by Georgia municipalities and the federal government.
According to the 2018 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the Fatal Accident Report System, traffic deaths in Georgia have decreased for two years in a row now, which is extremely encouraging news. However, this does not mean that people who head out onto the Georgia roads each day are safe or immune from being involved in an accident, or even killed in a crash.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Gwinnett or the surrounding areas that someone else caused, whether due to recklessness or negligence, then you may be entitled to seek additional compensation beyond what their insurance company will initially offer you. While many people believe that they will not be able to get any additional money for damages without filing a lawsuit and going to trial, roughly 95% of all personal injury cases are settled before trial, which will be our goal for your case as well.
Read more below to get a better general idea of how your car accident case will be handled by a Gwinnett County car accident attorney, and contact The Pendergrass Law Firm as soon as possible to request a free initial consultation. Our experience working with clients who have been hurt in wide ranges of car accidents will be a significant benefit to your own case.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Georgia
The following examples are common car accident causes that are handled through personal injury cases and settlements. Whether or not you see an example that is similar to your own, we will be happy to speak with you during your consultation and get a better understanding of how we can help. The key to your case will be determining the degree of fault that both you and the other driver (or drivers) have for the crash in order to assign blame and seek compensation.
Texting or Other Distractions While Driving
According to a 2019 CDC report, every day, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. While not every one of these instances involves someone texting while driving, cell phones are an extremely common distraction. Other ways that someone could cause an accident while distracted include adjusting their GPS, changing radio stations, eating while driving, and more. In fact, distracted driving can either by physical (by taking eyes off of the road) or mental (by allowing your thoughts to wander while driving).
Speeding is another serious factor when it comes to accidents. In 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people, a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities. Speed limits are designed to give a driver a clear indication of the speed that the government has determined to be the maximum speed that they can safely maintain control of their vehicle. Inexperience or bravado are just two different reasons that someone believes that they can ignore these limits.
Drunk driving is a major problem in the United States. According to the NHTSA, “almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 50 minutes. These deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year.”
Calculating Damages After a Car Accident
When you first contact the other driver’s insurance company after an accident, you will have a claims adjuster assigned to your case. This claims adjuster will spend the next days or weeks investigating your accident and all of the relevant details of the case before returning with an initial settlement offer. You will likely be quite surprised by the amount that they offer you, which is understandable because an insurance company’s main goal is to limit how much money victims get from claims. If they paid what victims were truly owed, the insurance company would go out of business.
That said, this offer is simply the starting point for a series of negotiations that are intended to reach an agreement on an amount that truly represents the impacts that this accident has had on your life. The most effective way to handle these negotiations is through a personal injury attorney, who can use their experience with these situations as leverage to get you what you deserve. In order to determine the actual damages you deserve, your attorney will consider both the economic and the non-economic impacts on your life.
These damages are the foundation of a personal injury case and account for all of the financial impacts that your accident has had. For example, a major part of your economic damages will be your medical bills, including major things like hospital bills and ambulances, but down to details like prescription costs and copayments as well. In addition, these damages will seek compensation for any income-related impacts that you suffer, such as the missed time at work and any decreased earning ability that you may incur as a result of your injuries.
Non-economic damages are much more complicated to calculate than economic damages, simply because they do not have set dollar values appended to them. Non-economic damages seek to place a value on things like the actual pain and suffering that you have endured, as well as things like sadness, fear, trauma, and depression that you must endure as a result of this terrifying situation. While these factors are harder to quantify, they are no less important; however, it is important that you work with a professional to calculate these damages so that you have strong bargaining power during negotiations.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accidents in Gwinnett County
Who is at fault for my accident?
In order to determine fault, we will need to examine the police report, gather eyewitness accounts, and take your own personal account into consideration. Once we have established the details of the crash, we will be able to determine who is at fault, and what percentage that everyone involved must be held responsible for. Georgia uses a system called modified comparative negligence, meaning that as long as a driver is less than 50% responsible for the crash, they are able to seek compensation.
How much is my car accident case worth?
In order to determine the value of your case, we will first need to calculate all of your economic damages. From there, we will use any number of methods to quantify your non-economic damages, at which point we will have a better understanding of the overall value of your case.
Should I settle with the insurance company?
Most personal injury cases are settled before trial, but this does not mean that they are settled with the first offer that the insurance company makes. This first offer is much less than you are entitled to, and we will aggressively negotiate to reach a better agreement.
Contact Us Now
Contact The Pendergrass Law Firm as soon as possible for a free initial consultation. We will be able to discuss your accident in greater detail, and start to develop a strategy designed for your case and getting you the money you deserve.