One of the first questions accident victims ask their Atlanta car accident lawyer is how much money they’re going to get. There’s nothing wrong with asking this question. We understand that you wouldn’t hire an attorney if you could resolve the matter on your own. The important thing to understand is that, until you can prove fault, your case is worth nothing.
In order to get you the damages you feel you deserve, your Atlanta car accident lawyer has to do two things. First, they need to prove that the other driver was at fault. They do this by demonstrating that they were negligent. Proving negligence can be harder than you think. In order to do this, your lawyer needs to show the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were hurt
- Your injuries were caused by their breach of duty
Once your attorney has proven all four of these elements you can start talking about damages. The best way to do that is to call and meet with an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Before You Prove Damages, You Need to Prove Fault
As mentioned above, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will need to prove fault before they can demand a dime. As far as proving the other driver owed you a duty of care, tht won’t be difficult. All drivers owe other people on the road a certain duty of care. At a minimum, they must follow all the traffic laws. If they break the law, they have breached their duty.
As point out, you have to show that the defendant had a duty and that they breached it. There are a variety of ways you can do this. You can show videos of the defendant running through a red light and hitting your car. Or you can have an expert testify that the accident was caused by the rear driver.
Once you’ve proven that the defendant breached their duty, you’ll need to show that you were hurt. This is why Atlanta car accident lawyers always tell their clients to go to the hospital. This way, they’ll have medical records to show that you were injured.
As for proving that the defendant’s breach caused your injuries, that should be a given. Unless something happened between the time of the crash and the time you got to the hospital, this will be for the defendant to argue against.
If You Have Substantial Medical Bills, Your Attorney Will Demand Compensation
Most of your medical care will be covered by your primary health insurance. They’ll expect to be reimbursed when your case settles. If you have out of pocket expenses aside from what insurance paid, you can submit copies of your receipts. This way, your Atlanta car accident lawyer can prove your medical damages.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Will Demand Money to Fix or Replace Your Vehicle
In any car accident, there’s a good chance your vehicle will be damaged. The defendant or their insurance company needs to be held accountable for damage caused to your car. If your car was totaled, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will demand the replacement value. If it was just damaged, they’ll ask for the cost of the repairs.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Lost Wages and Lost Income
If you only missed a couple of days from work, your Atlanta car accident lawyer isn’t going to demand damages for lost wages. You want to wait until you’ve lost a couple of weeks to make this claim. It is hard to prove that you weren’t paid for this time. If you have vacation or PTO time that covered your missed days, the court won’t make the defendant reimburse you as well.
Pain and Suffering is the Hardest to Prove
If you suffered painful and serious injuries, the court and jury may presume you deserve pain and suffering. In other cases, you’ll need medical experts to testify as to your pain and suffering. You can also have friends and family testify on your behalf.
Call and Talk to a Skilled Atlanta Car Accident Soon
Before you start worrying about how to get damages, call and talk to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer. Let them answer any questions you have and give you an idea of what your case may be worth. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.