Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Man with his head in his hands sitting outside of a wrecked carThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its report summarizing crash statistics for 2016. While the report demonstrates a decrease in the number of fatalities, there were over 7 million car accidents that resulted in more than 3 million injuries.

Despite how common they are, car accidents can be a major disruption to your life, especially if you sustain serious injuries. Not only do you need to repair or replace your vehicle, but you may need prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy. You may have to miss work and deal with lost income. Meanwhile, bills are piling up and insurance companies are pestering you with questions. You can get overwhelmed very quickly and feel like you don’t know what to do next.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, this post will hopefully give you some direction to help you move forward and get back to normal.

The aftermath of a 3-car accidentCar accidents can be traumatic events that result in very serious injuries such as broken bones, organ damage, whiplash, and brain injuries. Unfortunately, many people tend to overlook the psychological trauma, which can be every bit as serious as a physical injury and often harder to treat.  

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may already be experiencing some of the issues we’ll discuss below. However, it’s important to keep in mind the psychological effects of a car accident may not be immediately obvious. In any event, don’t ignore the symptoms – talk to your doctor, seek counseling, or confide in a loved one. And keep in mind that you may be entitled to compensation for damage to your mental health, just like you may be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries.  

Depression

A snowy street with cars parked on either side.Georgians may not see a lot of snow, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to deal with hazardous winter driving conditions. If you get in a car accident this winter, many people will tell you that it was “just an accident,” suggesting that no one is at fault. This isn’t always the case, and if you’ve been injured, an experienced personal injury attorney can assess whether the other driver is at fault and help you get you the compensation you may be entitled to.  

In this post, we’re going to cover some common winter driving hazards and how driver error may establish fault in the event of an accident.  

Snow Storms

Red car with dented door and front fenderGetting into a car accident is a traumatic event, even if you sustain only minor injuries. Because we all drive cars every day and to almost everywhere we need to go, we tend to forget just how serious a car accident can be. Cars are heavy, high-mass objects and are capable of generating a tremendous amount of force. Thankfully, modern safety features do a tremendous job of keeping us safe, but injuries can and do still occur. In this post, we’ll break down some of the forces involved in the most common types of car accidents.  

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions with another vehicle are perhaps the scariest car accident to be involved in. The impact can look and feel like an explosion – the force of each vehicle is being exerted against the other, essentially doubling the energy produced by the collision. Imagine what it would be like to drive into a brick wall at 30 miles per hour – a head-on collision with another vehicle traveling at the same speed would be twice as bad. As a result, head-on collisions can result in very serious injuries – broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and even death.  

A firetruck parked at an intersectionYou have no doubt heard about the horrible tragedy in Upstate New York – on the afternoon of October 6th, 20 people were killed when a limousine failed to stop at a T intersection while traveling at a high rate of speed. The driver and all 17 of his passengers were killed, as well as two pedestrians at the scene of the accident. Among the passengers were four sisters and two brothers.  

Questions are swirling around the accident, which has received national attention. The owner of the limousine company remains overseas, but the operator of the company, his son, has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide.  

Concerns with the Vehicle

One of the purposes of this blog is to educate potential clients as to the ins-and-outs of personal injury claims and why good legal representation is so important.  As a result, we tend to focus on the general principles of personal injury law. Sometimes, though, a story can teach the same concepts in a much more powerful way. In this post, we’d like to share a story with you that demonstrates some of the general principles we’ve covered in prior posts.  

It Was A Typical Tuesday Morning

Carol works as an office manager for a small financial planning firm. She lives in a rural area, about 30 or 40 minutes from the office. She works Monday through Friday, and keeps regular business hours, but does like to get in early.  

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your first priority is your health. Before anything else, you need to get examined by a doctor and seek the necessary treatment. Unfortunately, everything that comes after that – namely, paying your medical bills – can get fairly complicated. In this post, we hope to shed some light on how insurance plays a role in compensating you for your injuries.

For purposes of this post, we’ll assume that your injuries are serious and will require long-term treatment, loss of income, and a significant amount of pain and suffering. Let’s also assume that you wind up having to pursue legal action in order to get fair compensation for your injuries.     

Health Insurance

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that approximately 40% of all car accidents occur at intersections. This may not be surprising, given the fact that intersections bring various streams of traffic together that are moving in different directions.  However, reports also indicate that in the state of Georgia the number of accidents occurring at intersections is increasing.  

The good news is that accidents at intersections generally involve slower moving traffic, and therefore fatalities are less common. Regardless, there is still some risk of death, and the risk of serious injury is very real. If you or a loved one has been injured in an intersection accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  

Causes of Intersection Accidents

It’s no secret that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have exploded in popularity in recent years. Ridesharing offers a number of attractive options over traditional taxi service such as shorter wait times, a tech-based system, and newer, cleaner cars. However, no one ever thinks about what happens if they are injured in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. Taxi companies are heavily regulated and have strict insurance requirements in order to protect customers in the event that something goes wrong. Ridesharing, given that it is relatively new, is still developing these standards.  

Insurance

In the event of an accident, the first question that arises is who’s insurance is going to pay the claim. Interestingly, ridesharing companies are actually subject to more onerous insurance requirements than taxi companies. A taxi driver is not required to carry more than the minimum amount of insurance required of private drivers: $25,000 for injury or death of a single victim and $50,000 for all victims in a single accident. The situation for rideshare services changed dramatically in 2015 when Georgia enacted House Bill 225. That law specifically mandated that rideshare services carry the following policy minimums:

In most cases, the parties involved in a car accident remain at the scene, exchange contact and insurance information, and wait for the police to arrive. In some cases, however, the at-fault driver flees the scene. These people are usually fleeing the scene because they don’t have insurance, but it may be because they are undocumented immigrants or they have a warrant out for their arrest. In some cases, the driver may be intoxicated, confused (if the driver is elderly), or simply panicked. Whatever the reason, hit-and-run accidents can be very complicated if you’re injured.  

What to Do First

If you’re reading this, you have hopefully already given whatever details you to have to the police regarding the driver and the vehicle. If you haven’t, you should contact the police as soon as possible, file a report, and cooperate fully with their investigation. You should also report the accident to your insurance company. More importantly, you should get checked out by your doctor.  

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