One of the most dangerous things you do every day is getting into your car. Once you are behind the wheel, you risk getting into a car accident that could result in property damage, injury, or death. These devastating effects can be felt by you, other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists. A car accident injury, for example, could require extensive and costly treatment and rehabilitation.
Despite this, driving is an important daily activity. It allows you to get from one point to the next conveniently and quickly. In this article, we review everything you should know about car accidents, their effects, and how to deal with one.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Atlanta through someone else’s negligence, contact Ponton Law to discuss your eligibility for compensation.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Atlanta
Auto accidents can happen in any number of ways. Generally, they are categorized depending on the number of vehicles involved and the nature, cause, or effect of the accidents. Commonly seen car accidents in Atlanta include:
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Multiple-vehicle collisions
- Single-vehicle collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Fender benders
- Hit and run collisions
All these collisions have the potential to be fatal. However, head-on collisions are considered the most dangerous, with fender benders being the most minor. Hit and runs are considered a crime and can result in fines or jail time.
Causes of Car Accidents
Some causes of car accidents, such as bad weather, are well beyond the driver’s control. However, a significant number of collisions happen due to the negligence of drivers. Car manufacturers, road constructors, and government agencies can also contribute to road accidents.
Overall, the most prevalent causes of car accidents in Atlanta include
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
- Drunk or intoxicated driving
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving such as drag racing
- Presence of obstructions on the road
- Failure to yield
- Bad weather conditions
- Faulty car parts
- Poor road systems
Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents
A car accident will often involve high speed and substantial impacts. This force can have devastating effects on the human body. Typically, the higher the speeds involved in a crash, the higher the chance of severe injuries. Other factors that affect the injuries suffered in a crash include the type of accident, level of exposure, seatbelt use, and vehicle type.
In severe cases, car accidents can cause death. Less extreme, but equally tragic, consequences include:
- Head or brain injuries
- Neck, back, and shoulder injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Chest injuries
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
If left untreated, car accident injuries can have life-altering and long-lasting effects. This is why it is vital to seek medical assistance immediately after a car accident. Early detection can increase your chances of recovery and prevent further damage.
Proving Liability in a Car Accident
If another party’s negligent actions caused your car accident, you could file a claim against them. However, the insurance company, or jury, if you go to trial, will not take you at your word. You will need to establish liability to get damages for your injuries.
Overall, proving your claim in Georgia requires you to establish four elements. These are:
- Duty of Care
You must show that the at-fault party owed you a legal responsibility to act or not act in a way that could cause you harm. In most cases, this is a given as all drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers and road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
This is the most critical aspect of any car accident case. Essentially, you need to prove that the other party acted or failed to act as a reasonable person would in the same position. You must also show that their action was a breach of their duty of care. Common acts of negligence include drunk driving, distracted driving, and failure to yield.
Next, you have to connect the driver’s negligent actions to the car accident. This is referred to as cause-in-fact and is essential in establishing fault. In some instances, establishing causation can prove a challenge. Consider a situation where a distracted driver hits a pole, which then lands on your car. An experienced attorney can better connect the driver’s actions to the accident.
Even if you can establish the first three, you will not be eligible for compensation unless the accident resulted in losses. You need to show that the accident directly caused your injuries or property damage. Once that is done, you can show how your injuries lead to you missing work and so forth.
Damages Available for Car Accident Cases in Atlanta
After a car accident, you could suffer injuries that could require treatment. Your injuries could also keep you from work, leading to lost wages or earning ability. A car accident settlement allows you to receive compensation for these and other car accident-related losses.
In Georgia, car accident damages are classified into social and general damages. Special damages account for any economic losses suffered due to the accident, such as:
- Medical costs – Past and future medical expenses covering ambulance costs, lab tests, treatment, medication, hospital stays, rehabilitation, medical devices, and at-home care.
- Lost wages – If your injuries cause you to miss work, you can be compensated for lost wages, benefits, bonuses, raises, or promotions,
- Property damage – These damages will cover any losses to your property, such as your vehicle or home. It could pay for repairs or replacements.
General damages, on the other hand, cover intangible losses that have no monetary value. These include emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
The aftermath of a car accident can be devastating, especially if you face it alone. You will likely have questions about your injuries, medical bills, destroyed property, determining fault, dealing with the insurance company, and seeking financial compensation for your losses. Fortunately, an experienced car accident attorney can answer all your questions and guide you through the claims process.
Attorney James T Ponton has been representing personal injury and wrongful death victims in Atlanta since 2008. As a former insurance defense attorney, he is well-versed in the language of insurance companies. He can work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Have you incurred an injury in an accident through no fault of your own? Contact your Atlanta, GA personal injury attorney to schedule your initial consultation.