Articles Posted in Car Accident Injuries

According to the CDC, 29 Americans die every day in alcohol-related car accidents. From 2003-2012, almost 4,000 Georgians were killed. And while death is certainly the worst-case scenario, these statistics don’t account for the horrific injuries that can change the victim’s life forever.  

If you or your family has suffered as a result of an alcohol-related accident, you need to understand who you may have a claim against. The intoxicated driver is obviously at fault, but what happens if he is killed or doesn’t have the financial means to make you whole? There were others who could have taken action to prevent this accident but did not. Should they be held accountable for your suffering?  

The Georgia Dram Shop Act

If you’ve never been in a car accident, you may be surprised at how quickly the insurance companies spring into action. It’s important to understand, however, that the insurance companies involved have different roles to play and different motivations. Your insurance company is working on your behalf because you pay your premiums and they are under contract.  The other driver’s insurance company, on the other hand, represents the interests of the other driver. Even if the other driver has admitted that the accident was his fault, the insurance company then wants to make sure that it pays no more than it absolutely has to in paying your claim.

As a result, the other insurance company is going to want to settle the claim as quickly as possible. That may sound very appealing, but understand that a settlement is going to require you to waive any other claims, whether you are aware of them or not. For example, if you later discover that you have nerve damage as a result of the accident, you won’t be able to bring a claim against them if you’ve already entered a settlement agreement. For these reasons and others we’ll get into below, it’s very important to understand how to talk to the other driver’s insurance company.

First Things First……..

In our previous post, we discussed a scenario where you and your family were in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. As is often the case, the other driver winds up being charged with DUI. People sometimes get confused as to what that means for them if they are injured, and so we discussed some of the principal differences between the criminal case and a claim for your personal injuries. Here is a brief summary of the points we discussed:

  • The criminal case against the driver is brought by the government, based on the fact that he broke the law. He will face possible jail time and fines, as well as other penalties.  
  • A personal injury lawsuit is based on the victim’s claim for damages arising from the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.  

Here is an unfortunately all-too-common scenario: you’re driving home late one night from a family get-together. Suddenly, while coming around a turn, a car appears in your lane coming right at you. You try to swerve, but it’s too late, and the other vehicle hits you head on. Your vehicle is totaled. Your family is a bit shaken-up but seems to otherwise be ok. It’s immediately obvious that the other driver is severely intoxicated. When police arrive on the scene, he’s mostly incoherent. The police report indicates that there was a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle, he admitted to having several drinks, and could not perform any of the field sobriety tests. As a result, you’re not surprised to learn that the other driver is being prosecuted for DUI.  

A few days pass and you discover that even though you have insurance, you’re going to have to pay out of pocket in order to replace your car. In addition, you have a lot of stiffness in your upper body. Your husband has intermittent pain in his neck, and one of your children is complaining about severe, recurring headaches. What do you do?

Isn’t all of this being handled in the criminal case? Over the next couple of posts, we’ll be discussing how the criminal case and a claim for personal injury are related.  

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common car accidents on our roadways. They can happen when you are stopped at an intersection or in stop-and-go traffic. And even though they are quite common, that doesn’t mean that they are nothing to worry about. Despite the safety features found in modern vehicles, the injuries caused by rear-end collisions can be very serious. In this post, we want to sensitize our readers to some of the important issues that arise with these accidents.  

Your Injuries May Not Present Themselves Right Away

People who have been in car accidents often report that they felt fine immediately afterward. However, the next day, or even several days later, they often start to experience various symptoms such as the following:

Despite the fact that drunk driving rates have been steadily declining over the years, drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. Car accidents are always traumatic events, but this is especially so with drunk driving accidents – it’s hard to believe that someone would be so reckless as to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s one thing to endanger your own health and safety, but unfortunately, drunk driving usually results in the death or injury of an innocent person. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consider talking with a lawyer in order to understand your rights and protect your future.  

Who Do You Sue?  

The most obvious answer to this question is that you sue the intoxicated driver who caused the accident. Almost all car accidents involve negligence, but in a drunk driving case, you’re alleging that the driver was negligent by driving while intoxicated. Therefore, you are asking the court to hold that person liable for your injuries and other losses.  

The moments surrounding a car accident are often described as a blur. It can be incredibly difficult to sort out what happened, let alone know what to do. Thankfully, emergency responders and oftentimes, kind strangers, are there to help and keep us safe.  

Many people don’t realize that the days and weeks following the accident can be a critical time, even if they thought they were “fine.” Because every case is different, it can sometimes be difficult to say what you should do. After a car accident, actions can sometimes be as detrimental as doing nothing. Here are five things you should not do after your accident.  

1.) Do not give lengthy statements to the other driver’s insurance company. Limit your comments to confirm the date and location of the accident, your personal information (name, address, phone number), and insurance and vehicle information. Do not say things like “I’m fine” or that you aren’t injured. Anything you say to the insurance company employees could later be used against you.

You’ve been in a car accident but declined to get in the ambulance. You felt fine, maybe a bit stiff or sore, but you had no broken bones and you weren’t bleeding. Now, several days later, you’re still hurting and even have some new pains. Maybe you’re wondering if these new pains are related to the accident or maybe you slept wrong. But what if this pain is the result of your car accident, and could be signaling something more serious?

Thanks to modern vehicle safety features, people don’t suffer gruesome injuries as often as they used to, but the forces involved in a car accident can be tremendous. Because your body is moving at the same speed as the vehicle and then slamming to an abrupt stop, you can still suffer significant injuries that require medical treatment. Therefore, the first and most important thing you should do after an accident is to get checked out by your doctor, even if you don’t think you need medical attention. Your doctor can diagnose your symptoms and help ensure a full recovery.  

Soft Tissue Injuries

Car accidents are a trying experience. In addition to possible serious injuries, there is also the financial fallout – repair bills, unpaid medical expenses, and lost income, just to name a few. On top of all that, you may be experiencing significant pain and suffering. Some injuries can linger for quite a while, requiring extensive physical therapy and other treatment. Other injuries may not manifest themselves for quite a while. There is, unfortunately, a lot more to a car accident than the few seconds during which it occurred.  

If you’re considering legal action to recover from your injuries and financial harm, the first thing you will need to figure out is if the other driver was at fault. Most car accidents are the result of negligence, which is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” What is considered negligence in a car accident case?  

Here are some common types of negligence in car accident cases:

Automobile accidents can cause broken bones, burns, and other injuries, potentially costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. You need compensation to help you recover, and for this reason, it can be beneficial to sue the person responsible for the accident. But do you know how to prove to a judge or jury that the other side is to blame? To bring an effective case, you’ll probably need expert witness testimony.

Accident Reconstructionists

An accident reconstructionist helps bring the accident to life for the judge and jury. They listen to all testimony and review the evidence, such as the final resting places of the vehicles, before reconstructing what happened. For example, a reconstructionist can offer expert testimony on the following:

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