Many people automatically assume that they have a case when they or their loved ones get injured in a crash. However, that is not always the case. Many aspects determine if you have an auto accident case, and evaluating them will help you make the proper decision. Therefore, you need to speak to qualified auto accident lawyers in Atlanta as soon as possible to get an idea of the merits of your case.
Elements of an Auto Accident Case
In discussing the elements of an auto accident case, it’s important to point out two sides. The first has to do with the legal aspects that ensure that you have a chance of getting a settlement in court. The second aspect is your ability to collect any compensation awarded. We discuss these factors in more detail below.
Who Is Responsible for an Auto Accident Case?
The first step in determining the merits of your case is finding if there is a liability. The fact that you have been injured or have damaged property does not automatically mean you have a case. To bring a lawsuit before a court, it must be clear that someone was responsible for the accident.
Responsibility for an accident could be direct such as in the case of a driver running a red light and hitting you. It could also be indirect, such as a bar serving alcohol to someone tipsy but who had to drive. You must present compelling evidence to back up your claim in each case.
Without doing this, your claim will be thrown out. In determining who is responsible, you should also understand the negligence laws where you intend to file the lawsuit.
Some states follow a comparative negligence law, while others use contributory negligence law. The modified comparative negligence rule applies in Georgia.
Do I Have Evidence?
Your lived experience or gut feeling is not valuable in a court of law. Sometimes, you’re aware that someone was responsible for an accident but lack the evidence to prove it. In such cases, the lawsuit could be thrown out.
The need to have evidence to back up your claims is why you should immediately speak to auto accident lawyers in Atlanta. An experienced attorney will let you know what evidence is needed to prosecute an auto accident case successfully.
What Is the Cost of Pursuing a Case?
Even when you have enough evidence to prove that someone is responsible for an accident, that may not be enough. Most people file an auto accident lawsuit to recover some damages. Admittedly, some people don’t care so much about the damages, but more about ensuring no other person goes through the same problems again.
However, it is crucial to understand the actual cost of filing a lawsuit and compare it to the damages you could receive. A good auto accident lawyer will give you an accurate estimate of your expected damages.
On the other hand, filing a lawsuit is only beneficial if the defendant can pay. For example, filing a suit against someone who does not have insurance or declares bankruptcy will get you nothing.
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
A Statute of Limitations is a principle that specifies when a plaintiff can bring a lawsuit. For example, the Statute of Limitations on auto accident cases in Georgia is two years. The time starts counting from the day of discovery of the harm or when you should have discovered it.
We often have clients who tick all the boxes required to file an auto accident lawsuit but have missed the Statute of Limitations. This law ensures that you do not spend time pursuing a statute-barred case.
Auto Accident Lawyers in Atlanta Explain Steps to Take After a Crash
Building a solid auto accident case begins immediately after the accident. Unfortunately, what you do or do not do could be why even your lawyer cannot help you. Our auto accident lawyers have outlined some things to do to ensure that you have a solid case.
Call 911 immediately after an auto accident. Over 46,000 people in the United States die yearly in car accidents. Many more sustain severe injuries, so the chances are high that you could be injured in an auto accident. Calling 911 will help you get the help you need.
When you call 911, the police are often alerted, and they will usually write a report of the accident. This report could be valuable when filing an auto accident case.
Check Yourself for Injuries
Check yourself for injuries after an auto accident. Preferably, see a doctor to get a complete assessment. Not all accidents leave obvious injuries, with many people sustaining internal wounds. Also, not feeling pain does not mean that you were not injured, as the adrenaline rush could numb your pain.
In such cases, you may not feel the pain until after a few days. However, even where the accident involves a minor impact, you could sustain serious injuries, so always check with a doctor.
Gather Evidence and Document the Accident
By now, you understand that the success of your auto accident case depends on how well you can prove your claims. The easiest way to verify these claims is by providing evidence of what happened.
Take pictures and videos of the accident scene from different angles. Ensure that you take photos that show the point of impact, as it is easier to see who was at fault that way. Many people do not capture the position of the cars relative to the area where the accident occurred, making it harder to understand who is at fault.
If the other driver involved in the accident is still at the scene, get their accurate contact information. Do not get involved in a discussion about who is responsible. Such talks usually get heated. You can also talk to eyewitnesses. First, however, confirm that they got a good look at the accident.
Talk to an Auto Accident Lawyer
Although you rightly feel aggrieved, do not do anything without speaking to an auto accident lawyer. An experienced attorney will examine the facts of your claim to determine the chances of success. Also, a lawyer will gather evidence, find eyewitnesses, get expert testimonies, and prepare you for meetings with the insurance company or trial.
Hire the Best Auto Accident Lawyers in Atlanta
Most people understand that hiring an auto accident lawyer improves their chances of success in an auto accident case. However, many assume that hiring one is costly. While this is often true, not being able to pay a lawyer is not enough reason not to pursue an auto accident claim.
Auto accident lawyers use a contingency fee approach when charging clients. Consequently, clients only pay when they win the case. We do the same at The Weinstein Firm.
When you hire one of our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia, you do not pay until we get you a favorable result. Contact us to learn more about how we help personal injury victims get fair compensation.