Car crashes often cause significant injuries that require long-term medical treatment. Victims may be unable to work, which can lower their income and create a financial crisis for them and their family. The Albany car accident lawyers at Roden law understand the physical, financial and emotional challenges of recovering from a car accident. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation to car accident victims so they can learn about their legal options. Our reputable attorneys will help you find out if you may be able to pursue compensation to cover the damages you have suffered. We know how important compensation can be as you are trying to recover from an accident and move on with your life. Founding partner Eric Roden is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.
Our Albany auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means we will not charge for representing you unless you receive compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. We take cases involving accidents in the City of Albany and throughout Dougherty County.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
Most car accident cases are resolved through car insurance claims. Insurance companies often have deadlines for filing claims and if you miss the deadline, you may lose the opportunity to obtain insurance compensation. This is why you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible after the accident.
Another reason to file an insurance claim right away is in case your claim is unsuccessful. The insurance company could make a lowball offer or deny your claim altogether. If this happens, your only option for obtaining compensation will be to file a personal injury lawsuit. The insurance claims process can take several months, which will make it more difficult to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Once the deadline passes, you lose the right to file a lawsuit. Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, including car accident lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident.
Much of that two years will be spent pursuing insurance compensation. This means your lawyer will not have the full two years to prepare a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit is a complicated, time-consuming process so it is best to contact an experienced Albany car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be prepared to file a lawsuit if your insurance claim is successful. He or she can ensure the lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact a lawyer from Roden Law today for a free consultation.
Types of Accidents
Our Albany car accident lawyers handle cases involving a variety of crashes caused by another driver’s negligence. Some of the common types of car accidents that result in personal injury claims include:
- Rear-end accidents – These are often caused by distracted driving. For example, another driver could be distracted and crash into the back of a car that was stopped at a stop sign or a red light. These crashes can result in serious injuries for victims, such as whiplash, which can cause weeks or months of pain in the neck, back and shoulders.
- Multi-vehicle pileups – These accidents involve multiple vehicles and often occur on highways or interstates when vehicles are traveling at high speed. This increases the risk of serious or even fatal injury for occupants of any vehicles involved in the pileup. Another reason there is a high risk of severe injury is that cars can be hit multiple times, causing occupants to suffer multiple injuries.
- Rollover accidents – This involves a vehicle that flipped over onto its side or roof. Victims are at risk for severe injuries because these accidents often occur at high speed. The driver can be jostled around in the car and possibly hit his or her head or body parts on objects in the car, such as the window, steering wheel or dashboard.
- Head-on collisions – If a driver is traveling the wrong way, he or she can cause a head-on collision with a vehicle that is heading the right way in the same lane. These accidents are often fatal because the impact is particularly violent, and may result in head injuries, like concussions or open-head injuries where objects penetrate the skull.
- Side-impact collisions – These collisions happen when a vehicle crashes into the side of another, and commonly occur in intersections. One car has the right of way and passes in front of another, but the other car tries to go through the intersection and crashes into the side of the car that has the right of way.
- Sideswipe collisions – These accidents occur when one vehicle veers into another lane and hits a car. This could cause the other car to lose control, veer off the road or crash into another vehicle.
Our Albany car accident attorneys know that these crashes can cause devastating injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and severe bruising and lacerations.
Schedule your free, no obligation legal consultation today to discuss your accident with our trusted attorneys. We can carefully review what happened to determine the full value of your claim.
Contact an Albany car accident lawyer today. Call 1-844-RESULTS.
Ensuring Your Health and Safety After a Car Accident Injury
When a car accident occurs, the most important thing for victims is to take steps to ensure their health and safety. These steps include:
Moving to a Safe Location
If your car is still running and safe to drive, move off the road and out of the flow of traffic. This is particularly important if you are on an interstate or highway where vehicles are traveling at high speed.
You need to move your car away so it is less likely to get hit by another car whose driver is not paying attention. You should also turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that your vehicle is stopped.
If it is not possible to move your car, you should get out and move to a safer location if you are able to leave your vehicle. If it is too dangerous, it may be safer to remain in your vehicle until first responders arrive.
Checking Yourself and Your Passengers for Injuries
Look yourself over to determine where you were injured and where you feel pain or discomfort. Keep a mental note of these injuries so you can report them to medical professionals when they begin treating you. If you are severely injured, it may be best to remain where you are and avoid moving. You should also look over your passengers and ask them if they are hurt.
Getting Medical Treatment Right Away
You should always seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you suffered minor injuries. Sometimes serious injuries appear to be minor at first, but symptoms gradually worsen in the days and weeks after the crash.
A qualified medical professional can diagnose your injuries and start treatment. This is not only crucial for your health, but also helps to connect your injuries to the accident. This is because doctors will list your injuries and the cause of those injuries in your medical records.
Make sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. This can help speed up your recovery and show the seriousness of your injuries. Waiting to seek treatment tends to make insurance companies suspicious, and they may argue you are not really injured, or your injuries were caused by something other than the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an Albany car accident lawyer right now for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Taking Steps to Build a Case
While ensuring your health and safety is priority number one, it is also important to begin taking steps to build a case against the at-fault driver, including:
After a car accident, you should immediately alert the police to what has happened. In most cases, an officer will be dispatched to the scene to fill out an accident report. If an officer does not come to the scene, you should go to the nearest police station to complete a report yourself. You can also contact the Albany Police Department to ask about filing an accident report.
If an officer comes to the scene, he or she will question you and the other driver about what happened and collect some basic information about the crash and the scene. He or she will also note his or her opinions on what happened, including who is at-fault. This report is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence in a car accident claim and often serves as an official record of the crash.
Collecting Information from the Scene
Before the officer arrives, you should attempt to collect information about the scene. This may include taking pictures of both vehicles and anything else you find notable at the scene. For example, if there are skid marks or broken glass, take a picture of it.
You should also take pictures of any visible injuries you suffered during the accident, such as cuts or bruises. You should continue taking pictures of your injuries throughout your treatment. This will serve as strong evidence of the severity of your injuries and how they have affected you.
Make sure to write down your thoughts on the crash as well. Write down what you remember and why you think the accident occurred. You should also collect basic information about the crash, such as:
- Type, color, make and model of both vehicles
- Location of the crash
- Name and contact information of the other driver(s)
- Other driver(s) insurance information
- Contact information of any witnesses
- Notes on what witnesses saw
Relay this information to the police officer when he or she arrives. He or she can then add this information to the police report. You should also ask him or her how to obtain a copy.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Make sure to file an insurance claim as soon as possible after the accident. The claims process can take a while and the sooner you start, the sooner you could recover compensation.
However, you have to be very careful when talking to the insurance company. Adjusters are well-trained to fight for the best interests of the insurance company. That means they will try to use anything you say against you to hurt your claim.
When you talk to the adjuster, provide the basic facts about the crash. You can mention that you have gone to the hospital or are planning to seek medical treatment. However, do not provide specific details about your injuries. Adjusters can obtain your medical records to get the information they need.
You should not answer any questions if you are unsure about your answers. Tell the insurance adjuster that you refuse to answer at this time. Also, avoid giving any recorded statements or signing anything at this stage of the process.
Talking to An Attorney
There are many benefits to working an Albany car accident attorney as you pursue compensation, including:
- Investigating the accident – Your attorney will use the information you have provided and take other steps to determine what happened. This could include obtaining video footage of the accident and consulting experts to determine the full extent of your injuries and how the accident happened.
- Negotiating for fair compensation – Your Albany car accident lawyer can manage all negotiations with the insurance company. The lawyers at Roden Law are experienced in this process and know how to advocate for your best interests. We will carefully review relevant information to determine the full cost of your damages.
- Filing a lawsuit if necessary – Insurance companies sometimes deny claims or refuse to offer fair compensation. When this happens, your only recourse is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Our Albany car accident attorneys are fully prepared to pursue fair compensation at trial. We know how to build a strong case and advocate for fair compensation.
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Car Insurance Laws in Georgia
Georgia is one of many states governed by a tort-liability system. This means you can pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. You must seek compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company first. You may also be able to seek compensation from your car insurance policy.
When you file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company, there are a couple coverages your Albany car accident lawyer can attempt to draw compensation from:
- Bodily injury – This coverage pays for medical bills and lost wages of the victim in the accident. Georgia law mandates that every driver carry a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for each person injured in an accident, and a total of $50,000 for each accident.
- Property damage – This coverage takes care of damage to your vehicle or personal property. Georgia law mandates drivers have at least $25,000 in coverage for each accident.
There are cases where our Albany car accident lawyers will pursue compensation from your insurance policy. For example, if your damages exceed the limits of the at-fault driver's coverage we may turn to your insurance company to make up the difference.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, the only way to obtain insurance compensation will be to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Some of the coverages we may be able to draw compensation from include:
- Uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage – This pays for medical bills, lost wages and property damage if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or lacks enough to cover your damage.
- Collision – This pays for damage to your vehicle from an accident. Even though this coverage is not required by law, many drivers have it because their lenders required it to finance the car.
- Medical and funeral bills – This takes care of medical costs from your injuries. Your loved ones can also obtain compensation for reasonable funeral expenses if you are killed in the crash.
An Albany personal injury lawyer can handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not be charged for a consultation and there will be no bill for our services unless you receive compensation. We will carefully review all available car insurance coverage to pursue full compensation for your claim.
What if I am Partially At-Fault for the Crash?
There are many car crashes in which both drivers are partially at fault. This may occur when you violate a traffic law, such as speeding, when you were hit by a reckless driver.
If this happens, your claim will be governed by Georgia's modified comparative negligence law. Under this law, you cannot recover compensation if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the crash.
If you are less than 50 percent responsible, you can still recover compensation, but it will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. This means your compensation award will be reduced by 40 percent if you are found to be 40 percent at fault. In this situation, an award of $100,000 would be reduced to $60,000 if you were 40 percent at fault for the crash.
This law is used by insurance companies and juries if the case goes to court. This is why it is crucial to have an Albany car accident attorney working with you on your case.
The lawyers at Roden Law have detailed knowledge of this law and how to determine your percentage of fault for a crash. We will work to help ensure you are not assigned more fault than you deserve.
Contact an Albany car accident attorney today by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Albany Car Accident Lawyers are Ready to Assist You
A car crash can cause devastating injuries that may take months or years to fully recover from. The attorneys at Roden Law understand the difficulties that follows car accidents because we have helped many victims recover the fair compensation they deserve.
We will review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine your legal options. We are prepared to guide you through every step of the process and will only charge you if we recover compensation for your claim.
Contact us today to discover your legal options and learn more about how we can help you.