Motor vehicle crashes are the chief cause of injury deaths and second leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations in Georgia. Regardless of how careful you are on Georgia roadways, the negligence of another driver can cause injuries or losses following an accident.
Car accidents often range from minor accidents to more serious crashes. Irrespective of the seriousness of the crash, working with an experienced car accident lawyer helps get through your claim process smoothly while getting maximum time for recovery. If you or a loved one have been injured in a Fort Stewart car accident, call us at The Weinstein Firm today at 770-HELP-NOW to speak to a Fort Stewart car accident lawyer to find out the validity of your claim.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 1,377 fatal crashes in the Peach State. Out of these crashes, there were 1,491 deaths, with 995 being passenger vehicle occupants. In the same year, Liberty County saw 8 fatalities, most of which were from single passenger vehicle crashes.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
At The Weinstein Firm, our car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay legal fees when your case is ongoing. You only get to pay when we win your case and you’re awarded compensation, and a percentage of the compensation award is used to pay for the legal fees.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Making the wrong move after a car accident could be detrimental to your claim. If you have been involved in a car accident in Fort Stewart, it is important that you do the following:
· Contact police: Call 911 and report the accident to ensure that police arrive at the scene.
· Check on other involved parties: Don’t leave the accident scene. If you’re not hurt, check on the other parties to ensure that no one is stuck in their car.
· Exchange info: Ensure you take important information about the involved parties as well as contact information of any eye witnesses at the scene.
· Record the scene by taking clear photos and videos showing your injuries and damage to your car.
· Never admit fault as this may take away your right to seek compensation for your losses.
· Seek medical attention: Even if you feel okay, it is important that you see a doctor to verify that you haven’t suffered any internal injuries.
· Call a car accident lawyer. Reaching out to an experienced Fort Stewart car accident lawyer as early as possible puts you in a better position to receive compensation for your losses.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Car accident cases are usually different, and it follows that settlement amounts will differ from one case to another. There are many factors that determine the settlement amount you will receive in your claim, including the severity of your injuries. For cases that involve minor injuries such as whiplash, the average settlement could fall between $10,000 and $25,000. These amounts could go as low as $2,500 for very moderate cases.
Victims who suffer life-long injuries may require several surgeries and extensive physical therapy. Injuries like torn ligaments and broken bones could warrant a settlement of $50,000-$75,000, but the amount will greatly depend on the accident. Spinal injuries that don’t result in paralysis but do necessitate surgery or therapy could result in compensation in the range of $75,000 and $100,000.
Brain injuries are usually the most dangerous and detrimental following car accidents, and victims who suffer such injuries could receive $100,000-$250,000 in compensation. Other severe injuries that impair the victim’s cognitive function, including traumatic brain injuries and spine injuries that cause paralysis, could result in compensation amounts of a few hundred thousand to millions.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for my Auto Accident?
While some car accidents like fender benders may seem easy to solve, you may need a car accident lawyer if you have suffered any losses following the accident. It is advisable that you get a lawyer as early as possible to determine whether you have a case and file a claim in time.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
A Fort Stewart car accident lawyer will help you with the following:
After a car accident, your lawyer will help with investigations to establish the facts of the accident. They’ll also help get all the necessary documents required when filing a claim, including a police report, medical reports, and bills to prove that you suffered losses.
In some cases, the at-fault party’s insurance will make an offer in a bid to solve your case out of court. Having a car accident lawyer in such instances will help with your settlement negotiation, as they can help you get the highest possible award, thanks to their negotiation skills.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Where an insurance company makes an unsatisfactory settlement offer, it is advisable to take the case to court for a jury’s verdict. Your car accident lawyer will help you prepare for trial by getting all the necessary documents required and representing you through the trial.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
There are various factors that are considered when deciding the amount to be awarded in car accident cases. The most significant is the severity of injuries, but the amount of your medical bills and insurance available could also affect the settlement amount significantly.
Car accidents can result in various types of injuries, ranging from minor soft-tissue injuries to more severe brain injuries and spine injuries. For most minor and moderate injuries, victims can expect to receive compensation amounts in the range $2,500-$100,000. If you’ve suffered more severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, you can expect a few hundred thousand to millions in compensation.
It is also important to keep in mind some of the Georgia caps on car accident damages that may apply to your case. For instance, Georgia law caps punitive damages at $275,000, but some exceptions include car accident cases in which the defendant intended to cause harm and cases of DUI driving.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
The most common types of damages that will determine the value of your claim are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are those that are intended to compensate the plaintiff for actual monetary loss, and include medical cost, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are often referred to as pain and suffering as they are meant to compensate the accident victim for losses other than actual monetary loss. These damages include emotional and mental anguish, worsening of pre-existing conditions, and permanent disability.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the defendant for gross misconduct or deliberately endangering the lives of other drivers.
How is Fault Determined in Georgia?
Proving that the defendant was at-fault for the accident that caused your injuries and losses isn’t always straight forward. To show that the defendant is responsible for the accident, you should prove that they acted negligently and caused the accident as a result. To do this, you have to prove all the elements of negligence, including:
Duty of care
You must show that the defendant owed you a legal duty of care to ensure your safety while on the road.
Breach of duty
You must also show that the defendant failed to fulfil their duty of care by doing or not doing something a reasonable person would have done in a similar circumstance.
In proving negligence, you must also show that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of injury or losses, and nothing else.
Prove that the defendant’s breach of duty actually caused significant damages to you.
Georgia also uses the contributory negligence law in personal injury cases. Specifically, the state uses a modified comparative negligence rule, in which the plaintiff can recover damages if he or she is 49% or less responsible for the accident. If the court finds the plaintiff to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, they lose their right to pursue compensation.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim in Georgia?
If you have been involved in a car accident in Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim to seek compensation from the at-fault party. Failure to do so within these time limits, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
The insurance claim process is a step-by-step process, and your lawyer can help you through it. Particularly, your lawyer will help you with documentation once you connect with your insurance broker. When the claim investigation begins, your lawyer can help you with information to avoid common pitfalls that may be detrimental to your claim.
Your lawyer will also inform you of what is supposed to be covered in your compensation and will help you negotiate for the highest possible payout when the insurance company is reviewing your policy and evaluating damages.
What Can I Do If Insurance Denied My Claim?
It is common for the defendant or their insurer to deny your claim by citing various reasons. However, denial of your claim isn’t the end of your case. You can take your case to court and await a jury’s verdict. A car accident lawyer can help you prepare a solid case against the defendant and prove to the jury that you deserve compensation. If the arguments present in your case convince the jury, you will be awarded compensation for your losses.
Do I Have a Case?
The circumstances surrounding each car accident are different and unique to every case. Determining whether you have a case depends on a three-step analysis. The first thing is to evaluate whether there are significant damages to warrant filing a claim. Such damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have suffered such damages, then you have a case.
The second thing to consider is whether there is a source of recovery to compensate you for your losses. This involves determining whether the at-fault has an insurance policy that will cover the damages. Also, you also want to establish whether or not you have liability facts. That means proving that the defendant failed to exercise their duty of care and as a result, you suffered an injury.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, provided you have an uninsured motorist coverage. If you don’t live in a no-fault state, there is also an option of filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, this is usually seen as a losing proposition even if you win your case.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report in Georgia?
If you have been involved in a Fort Stewart car accident, it is important that you call the police at the scene. Law enforcement will inspect the scene and write a report, and you can request a copy of the same for the purpose of your claim. Even if the police don’t show up at the scene, you can report the facts of the accident at the nearest police department and an accident report will be written.
Common Car Accident Injuries
The most common car accident injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Back & neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Leg & knee injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Death (fatal injuries)
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
At The Weinstein Firm, we can help you with any of the following types of car accident cases:
· Driving under the influence accidents (Intoxicated driving)
· Distracted driving: We can help with cases where another driver caused the accident that resulted in your injuries due to visual, cognitive, or manual distraction.
· Head-on collisions: We can help establish the facts of the accident if you crashed with another car head-on.
· Hit & run accidents: If you have been injured in a car accident where the at-fault party fled the scene, we can help prove the driver was responsible for the accident and help you receive compensation.
· Rear-end accidents: Drivers who crash into another vehicle from behind are almost always at fault, and we can help you recover damages if you have been injured in a rear-end collision.
· Reckless driving: Drivers who disregard the safety of other road users should be held accountable in the event of an accident, and we represent individuals who have been injured by such reckless drivers.
· Rideshare accidents: Various parties can be held liable for a rideshare accident, and we can help you recover compensation from the liable party.
· Rollover accidents: By investigating how a rollover accident occurred, we can help you receive compensation if the accident was caused by another party’s negligence.
· Speeding accidents: Driving above the allowable speed could amount to negligence, and we can help hold the speeding driver responsible for your injuries if they cause an accident.
· Uninsured motorist: These are car accident cases where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance.
Car accidents are common on the Peach State’s roads and often lead to death, severe injuries or minor injuries depending on the impact of the crash. While you may drive carefully the negligence of another driver may cause you injuries and losses in the event of an accident. A car accident lawyer can help you prove that the other driver was at fault and that you deserve compensation for your losses. If you have been injured in a car accident in Fort Stewart, Georgia, reach out to us at The Weinstein Firm today at 770-HELP-NOW for a free case review.