Red car with dented door and front fenderIf you’ve been involved in a car accident, witness statements can be vital to successfully recovering compensation for your injuries. A detailed, credible statement can help you settle your case or prevail at trial. They can also help confirm facts and prove details, as well as establish who was at fault in the accident. In order to make the most of your witnesses, it’s important to get them to provide a thorough and detailed statement. In this post, we’ll go over some suggestions to help you assemble a strong set of witness statements.

Get Their Contact Information

It’s really important that you get all of your witnesses’ personal contact information. You may need to contact them for follow-up questions or clarifications as your case proceeds. More importantly, you may need the witnesses to testify in the event that you have to file a lawsuit. As a result, be sure to carefully write down the following:

Time-lapse photo of street at night showing streaks of headlights and taillightsFalling asleep behind the wheel is obviously dangerous – nodding off for just a moment can result in a catastrophic car accident. Unfortunately, simply driving while drowsy presents a bigger danger than you may think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 795 people were killed in car accidents that involved drowsy driver in 2017 alone. In a recent study, AAA reported that approximately one third of drivers admit to driving while almost unable to keep their eyes open within the last 30 days. It is estimated that drowsy driving contributes to around 90,000 crashes per year, although precise numbers are extremely difficult to pin down.  

Why Drowsy Driving is a Problem

Even if you don’t fall asleep, driving while drowsy can affect your ability to drive safely. Studies have show that drowsiness can affect your driving in the following ways:

The Georgia Supreme Court buidlingMost non-lawyers are very hesitant to go to court, hoping that their case will quickly settle. We previously wrote about when you should consider settling in your personal injury case. But what happens if settlement isn’t an option? Why do you have to go to court, when other claims simply get paid? In this post, we’ll discuss some of the situations where going to court may be your only option.

The Parties Cannot Agree on Liability

The first step in any personal injury case is determining who was at fault for the accident. In some cases, liability is obvious – someone who ran a red light and caused an accident because they were texting on their smartphone was obviously negligent. In other cases, it can be a lot harder to determine who was at fault. This may be because the facts are in dispute, people don’t know what really happened, or both parties believe the other to be at fault. It may ultimately require a judge or a jury to decide who was at fault in the accident.

lawyer standing next to a gavel with the scale of justice behind himPersonal injury cases fall under the umbrella category of what is referred to as “tort law.” A tort is “an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.”

Most personal injury cases are based on a negligence theory, claiming that the at-fault person failed to take reasonable care, thus leading to the accident. The at-fault person didn’t mean to cause the accident, it just sort of happened. The question then becomes whether the accident would have happened if they had been more careful.

But what happens when that person did something on purpose that caused the accident?

lawyer standing next to a gavel with the scale of justice behind himPeople who have been injured in an accident have a lot to worry about. Your primary concern should be your health, and recovery can involve a significant period of time for treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. In addition, you may now be missing days from work or unable to work at all. You’re worried about paying your mortgage or rent and other expenses, and the bills are starting to pile up. On top of it all, you’re in pain and suffering, unable to live your life the way you did before your accident. With all of this, trying to decide how to handle your personal injury claim can be overwhelming.  

Understand the Insurance Company’s Game

First and foremost, you should realize that the insurance company is not on your side, even if it’s your insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that are primarily concerned with making money. They protect the bottom line by paying out on claims only as much as they absolutely have to. As a result, they typically “low ball” accident victims by offering a small cash payment in exchange for a full release of any further liability. You may be surprised at how quickly the make the offer – often it is within days of your accident. They will seem very friendly and willing to work with you, but you’ll soon discover that they aren’t willing to negotiate a higher amount.

A police carThe Atlanta Police Department has just suspended one of its officers as a result of being indicted in connection with a car accident that occurred back in February of 2018. The officer, Dejoira Phillips, was responding to a 911 call when she collided with another driver, Lisa Williams of Atlanta. Ms. Williams lost her left arm when it was severed in the accident.

The car accident is not only a startling reminder of the severe injuries that can occur, but it also raises a number of questions that should be asked in any car accident case.

Who is at Fault?

A semi-truck driving in the mountainsYou have likely heard about the horrific accident that happened shortly after the New Year on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida. Investigators still haven’t issued their final report, but it appears that a car and a semi-truck collided in the northbound lanes of I-75. The two vehicles then broke through a guardrail, crossed the median, and collided with another semi-truck and a church van loaded with children and headed for Disney World. As a result of diesel fuel spilled during the accident, the wreckage was consumed by a fire that burned so intensely it actually damaged the roadway. Tragically, 7 people were killed – 5 children and both truck drivers, with at least 8 others injured.

This accident is a sobering reminder of just how serious truck accidents can be. Reportedly occurring on a flat, straight stretch of I-75 in clear weather with good visibility, it raises the question of what you can do to avoid being involved in a similarly deadly accident.

Avoid Distractions

An illustration of the brainWe wrote a post not too long ago about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), many of which are caused by car accidents. One of the most common symptoms of a TBI is memory loss, which is often difficult to diagnose and can be even harder to treat. If you’ve been in a car accident and are wondering if you may be suffering from memory loss, we hope that this post gets you pointed in the right direction.  

The Symptoms of Memory Loss

Memory loss can often be difficult to detect as the symptoms are mostly subjective. Even after an accident, many victims don’t want to admit to themselves that they are having memory problems, let alone anyone else. The accident may have also caused the victim to suffer from anxiety or depression as a result of the accident, which can also mask the symptoms of memory loss. Here are some common symptoms of memory loss following an accident:

An illustration of a head showing the brainBrain injuries occur far more often than many people realize. According to the Georgia Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission, 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of those, 52,000 will result in death, and 275,000 will be hospitalized. In their most recent study, Georgians suffered 15,608 traumatic brain injuries as of March 2017, more than half of which were caused by car accidents. If you’ve been in an accident and hit your head, you may have suffered a brain injury that could lead to lasting complications.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Defined

The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” The CDC notes that traumatic brain injuries encompass a range of injuries from mild to severe. The most common mild TBI is a concussion, but we know that even mild concussions can have long-term consequences.  

A judge's gavelIt may come as no surprise that car accidents result in the overwhelming majority of personal injury lawsuits filed in the United States. According to a new study just released by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have found that unintentional injury is the primary cause of death for children and teens. Among those injuries, the number one cause of death is car accidents, accounting for 20% of the more than 20,000 deaths suffered by children in 2016. The good news is that death rates from car accidents have seen dramatic declines in recent years due to improvements in vehicle safety.  

We know that losing a child in a car accident is an unfathomable tragedy. If you’re in this situation and wondering what to do next, we’re writing this post to help you understand your options.  

The Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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