Car accidents happen every day in the U.S. When driving on Georgia roads, you never know what may happen. A driver may reply to a text message and end up hitting your car from the back. A drunk driver may speed and hit your car as you drive through an intersection. You may be driving home from work only to end up in a head-on collision with a pickup truck.
Most accidents that happen on our roads are avoidable. In most cases, the negligence of road users leads to road accidents.
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, consider hiring an experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you with your car accident claim, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
At Jamie Ballard Law, our legal team is prepared to help you with all the legal aspects of your case. We understand how liability works in the state of Georgia.
Contact us today to schedule your free case review. Get started now to find out if you have a case. We are ready to answer any questions that you may have.
Car Accident Statistics in Georgia
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 38,824 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2020. NHTSA reports that this is the largest number of fatalities since 2007.
This represents a 6.8% increase from the 36,355 fatalities reported in 2019. 2,469 more people were killed in traffic accidents in 2020. NHTSA also estimates that 2,282,015 people were injured on U.S. roads in 2020.
In Georgia, 1,492 and 1,664 fatalities were reported in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Cobb County reported 67 and 85 motor vehicle fatalities in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
How Much Does a Smyrna Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
At Jamie Ballard Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This is a risk-free arrangement where your lawyer only gets paid after winning a case. You don’t have to pay any upfront fees for our legal services. We only get a percentage of your compensation after winning your case.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
After an accident in Smyrna, the legal team at Jamie Ballard Law advise you to follow these steps.
You should call the police as soon as the crash happens. Call 911 to report what has happened. They’ll send a rapid response team to the scene of the accident.
Check on Other Involved Parties
After an accident, make sure you are okay. Find out if you have any severe injuries. If not, check on the other involved parties. Offer reasonable assistance to anyone who is hurt. Make sure you don’t worsen their injuries when doing so.
Most importantly, don’t leave the scene of your car accident. The police may consider this a hit-and-run accident.
After an accident, it’s important to exchange information with other parties. Note down the other driver’s name, phone number, license plate details, insurance information, and the make and model of their vehicle.
You should also get the details of any eyewitnesses at the accident scene. Record their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Witness statements can help an attorney build a strong car accident claim.
Record the Scene
Use your camera or smartphone to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. Photos of road signs, vehicle damage, visible injuries, and skid marks can help to establish liability.
Never Admit Fault
After an accident, never admit fault or apologize. Such an admission may jeopardize your personal injury claim.
Seek Medical Attention
It’s important to visit your doctor after an accident. You may have sustained severe injuries that weren’t immediately apparent. Your doctor can run tests to determine if you are severely hurt.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
You should contact an experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer immediately after a car accident. A reputable personal injury lawyer at Jamie Ballard Law will guide you throughout the claims process. We will offer you sound legal counsel and answer any questions that you may have.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Every car accident is different. Just because someone else received a large payout after a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler doesn’t necessarily mean that you will. Still, there is no fixed amount for car accident settlements.
When determining the settlement amount after an accident, insurance companies will consider factors such as liability. They’ll also look at the extent of your injuries and your ability to go back to work when arriving at a figure. Typically, catastrophic and permanent injuries warrant higher payouts.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average settlement for bodily injury claims was $20,235 and $4,711 for property damage claims in 2020.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, it’s advisable to contact an experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer immediately. An attorney can offer you sound legal advice after your car wreck, ensuring you don’t jeopardize your Smyrna car accident claim.
Contacting your lawyer immediately after the accident can also help with evidence collection. Your lawyer can visit the scene of the accident to find out what happened and interview witnesses to build a strong case.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
It’s not advisable to represent yourself after a car accident. You need to rest and recover. Hiring a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Smyrna can help you get the justice you deserve.
Remember, the other party involved in the crash may have already hired an attorney. They may be investigating the crash and trying to establish liability.
An experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer can protect your rights throughout the claims process. Here’s why you should hire a lawyer after your car accident:
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
At Jamie Ballard Law, our legal team will collect and analyze all relevant pieces of evidence related to your crash. We will look into police reports, medical records, dashcam footage, witness statements, photos and videos from the scene of the accident, and CCTV footage to determine who is liable for the crash.
Our legal team will also determine the value of your claim and file a demand letter with the insurer seeking maximum compensation.
During settlement talks, you need an aggressive lawyer who can fight for your rights, ensuring the insurer compensates you for your damages. Remember, insurance companies are always looking for reasons to deny or limit payouts. An experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer can protect your rights during settlement negotiations and push for a settlement that you deserve.
Jamie Ballard Law can handle settlement talks on your behalf while you rest and recover.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Even though most personal injury cases are settled out of court, there are instances when such negotiations are unfeasible. You require the legal counsel and representation of an experienced trial lawyer in Smyrna during such times.
Keep in mind that the insurance company will have lawyers who’ll try to compel the court to throw out your case.
At Jamie Ballard Law, we are ready to prove to the court that you deserve maximum compensation for your injuries. We will build a strong case and even call expert witnesses, like police officers and doctors, to the stand to prove the defendant’s negligence. We won’t rest until we prove that the accused is to blame for your damages.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
After a car accident in Smyrna, it’s okay to wonder how much you’ll receive for your damages.
When determining the value of a car accident claim, various factors come into play. Insurance adjusters, lawyers, and judges estimate the worth of your claim using these main factors:
- Severity of your injuries: Did you suffer catastrophic or permanent injuries, or were they minor flesh wounds?
- Medical expenses: Will you have to undergo extensive surgeries, therapy, and require home-based care after your accident?
- Insurance policy limits: Do you have comprehensive insurance coverage?
- Liability: What’s your percentage of fault?
- Property damage: How much will it cost to repair your vehicle? Do you require a new car?
A reputable car accident lawyer from Smyrna can help you determine the worth of your claim. Finding out how much your claim is worth is critical during the negotiation phase. This ensures you don’t get a mediocre settlement offer from the insurance company.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Victims of car accidents in Smyrna, GA, may be eligible to receive compensation for damages. An experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer can prove the defendant’s negligence and help you to get the justice you deserve.
Our reputable car accident law firm in Smyrna can help you recover the following damages.
These are objective and provable losses contained in receipts and bills. They have a definite monetary value, and they include:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future)
- Rehab expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Vehicle repairs
- Miscellaneous expenses
These are subjective losses that are harder to quantify. They don’t have fixed monetary values since they are intangible. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of enjoyment
These damages are awarded to punish the defendant. They mostly come into play if the accused party’s actions are grossly negligent or reckless. Punitive awards are meant to deter the defendant and others from repeating similar intentional or reckless behavior in the future.
Punitive damages aren’t considered compensatory damages. They don’t compensate the plaintiff for any loss. Cases such as drunk or drugged driving may warrant punitive damages in Georgia.
How Is Fault Determined?
Every U.S. state applies specific rules when determining fault in personal injury cases.
The state of Georgia is a fault state. This implies that blame is assigned for every motor vehicle accident. Georgia applies modified comparative negligence principles when determining fault.
Here, a certain percentage of fault is assigned to all parties involved in an auto crash. Keep in mind that one driver may bear all the blame in a car accident. Still, drivers may share the blame for an accident to a certain degree.
In Georgia, you may be eligible to receive compensation if your fault for any accident is less than 50%. If your fault is more than 50%, you aren’t entitled to any form of compensation in Smyrna, GA.
If your personal injury case ends up in court, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of the blame. For example, if the court determines that you were 15% responsible for the crash and the court awards a $100,000 settlement, the court will reduce this figure to $85,000.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Georgia?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash in Smyrna, it’s important to know that Georgia has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. That’s the time limit that the state allows plaintiffs to file for damages in personal injury cases.
You have two years from the date of your accident to file a car accident claim. For property damage claims, you must file your claim within four years from the date of the car accident.
If your claim involves a city or county vehicle, you must file your claim within six months after the accident. For state vehicles, you have one year from the date of your accident to file your claim.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
Jamie Ballard Law can help you through the claims process in Smyrna, Georgia, by contacting the insurance provider and notifying them about the crash. Insurers usually require victims of accidents to report them within a certain period after the crash.
An experienced car accident lawyer in Smyrna will investigate the accident thoroughly. The insurance company will also look into the crash to determine liability. Evidence from the scene can help you prove who is to blame for the accident, ensuring the insurance company compensates you for damages.
Insurance adjusters may offer you a lowball settlement that only covers essential losses. This compensation may not cover future losses, like therapy costs and lost earnings capacity. Your lawyer will handle negotiations on your behalf, ensuring you get the best compensation for your losses.
In the event the insurance company limits or denies your claim, Jamie Ballard Law will proceed to court to protect your legal rights and push for a fair settlement.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denied My Claim?
Insurance companies are in business, and it’s their job to limit or deny claims. This is how they make money. They have teams of investigators, lawyers, and adjusters who will look for reasons to deny your claim.
If your claim has been denied, you should contact a Smyrna car accident attorney immediately. At Jamie Ballard Law, our legal team will find out why the insurer denied your claim and determine whether they had a valid reason to do so. We are prepared to file an appeal to make sure the decision is rescinded. Our legal team is ready to move to court to prove the insurer acted in bad faith when denying your claim.
Do I Have a Case?
After an accident, you should talk to a Smyrna car accident lawyer about your legal options. To determine if you have a case, you must establish the defendant’s negligence. If their negligent or reckless actions, like speeding or distracted driving, caused your car accident, you may have a case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
After a car accident, you expect the other driver to have valid insurance coverage. But what if they don’t?
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can turn to your own insurance policy for compensation. Your uninsured or underinsured coverage can pay for losses after you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report in Smyrna, Georgia?
An accident report is a crucial document that attorneys use during the claims process. To obtain this report in Georgia, you can visit the Smyrna police department or the Georgia State Highway Patrol.
You can also get the report online at Buycrash.com.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Smyrna Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and you believe someone else is to blame, you should speak to an experienced Smyrna car accident lawyer. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you recover damages, including lost income, medical bills, and vehicle repair expenses.