Each year, millions of people are injured in car accidents. A serious car accident can take a heavy toll on physical and emotional health as well as finances with medical bills and lost wages. The experienced Augusta car accident lawyers at Nicholson Revell LLP have helped hundreds of car accident victims in Augusta, GA, and the Central Savannah River Area. We truly care about the overall well-being of our clients and aggressively represent them to ensure they receive all that they are entitled to from their Augusta personal injury claims.
The costs of a car accident often go beyond hospital and medical care bills. Serious car accident injuries, such as head or spinal cord injuries, can often require time off of work, extended hospital stays, surgeries, weeks to years of physical therapy, and reduced overall quality of life causing emotional and financial burdens for years to come. The insurance companies will often hire attorneys determined to avoid fully compensating you for your injuries. They may use tactics such as devaluing your losses or denying a valid claim to save money. Don’t let this happen to you.
Call now to set up a free consultation to talk to our Augusta car accident attorneys today. Hiring a lawyer to handle your car accident claim can prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you. Our attorneys will give your case the attention it deserves, gather the necessary evidence for your case, and provide you with the proper resources.
Although they are often referred to as car accidents, traffic collisions are not accidental. They are preventable incidents that often trace back to negligence. A driver is negligent when his or her carelessness causes injury or harm. Every year, negligent drivers cause thousands of car accidents in Georgia. Many types of driver negligence contribute to motor vehicle collisions:
Sometimes, a motor vehicle collision stems not from the preventable negligence of a driver but from the party in charge of roadway maintenance. These crashes can come from:
Identifying the cause of your crash will allow you to bring a claim against the proper defendant, whether that is the driver, the government, or a manufacturing company.
If you are unsure of what caused your car accident in Augusta, an attorney from Nicholson Revell LLP can help. We can return to the scene of your car accident to investigate, as well as hire crash reconstruction specialists to understand what happened.
Determining the cause of your car accident is necessary if you wish to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in Georgia. This is because Georgia is a fault-based state. In a fault-based state, the person or party at fault for causing a motor vehicle accident is who must pay for injuries and losses through insurance. If a negligent driver crashed into you, that driver is responsible for paying your financial damages through his or her insurance coverage.
Another Georgia car accident law to know is the car accident statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing an injury claim. With only a few exceptions, if you miss the statute of limitations, you are barred from recovery. In Georgia, you have no more than two years from the date of your car accident to bring a claim against the negligent party. However, if you are filing a claim for property damage only, you have four years.
The need to file a car accident claim is often based on the serious injuries you suffered in the collision. Many car accidents inflict life-changing injuries that require expensive medical treatments and care. Common examples of these injuries include:
If you or a loved one has any type of injury from an auto accident in Augusta, you may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver. All drivers in Georgia must carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. You can use this coverage to seek reimbursement for the money spent on your medical care after a car accident.
At Nicholson Revell LLP, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience. Our car accident attorneys have handled many different types of claims. We have the knowledge and skill to represent you in any type of auto accident lawsuit:
No matter what type of auto accident caused your recent injuries or a loved one’s death, call us for more information about how we can help. Our lawyers have recovered more than $140 million for previous clients – many of whom came to us with motor vehicle collision cases.
Under Georgia’s fault-based car accident laws, you typically have two options to recover compensation after a collision. You can file an insurance claim against the at-fault party’s policy, or you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in Georgia civil court. If the driver does not carry insurance, you could also pursue compensation under your own insurance policy, as long as you carry the appropriate coverage.
The process for recovering compensation is similar between these processes, but with a few key distinctions. During both types of claims, you will need to establish that the other driver’s negligent actions caused your accident and your resulting injuries and damages.
In most cases, victims file an insurance claim first and escalate their case to a lawsuit if the process is unsuccessful. However, you may want to pursue a lawsuit from the beginning in some circumstances. Speak to an attorney at Nicholson Revell, LLP to determine your optimal path to maximum compensation.
Georgia requires all drivers to hold the following minimum amounts of liability insurance. Drivers can choose to purchase higher amounts of compensation if they wish.
If you are injured by a negligent driver, you can file a claim against his or her insurance policy for your damages up to his or her policy limits. When you file your claim, the company will assign an adjuster to your case who will conduct an investigation of the accident. The adjuster may interview you and the other driver, speak to witnesses, and analyze evidence from the scene. You may also enter into negotiations with the adjuster.
At the conclusion of the claim, the adjuster will determine how the accident occurred and whether or not the policyholder is at fault. If the adjuster approves your claim, he or she will provide you with a settlement offer, which you can choose to accept, reject, or negotiate. If the claim is denied, you can choose to appeal or escalate to a lawsuit.
During a car accident lawsuit, you and your attorney will present evidence to a court to establish the at-fault driver’s negligence. To secure compensation in your lawsuit, you must successfully prove the following four elements of negligence.
Your attorney will work closely with you to gather the evidence you need to prove each of these elements and craft a compelling case for the courtroom. If the judge or jury accept your claim, the court will determine how much compensation you could receive in a settlement. If your claim is denied, you can choose to appeal it.
While some car accident lawsuits do make it to the courtroom, most claims resolve out of court during pretrial processes. You and the at-fault party can reach a settlement during negotiation or mediation during any stage of your lawsuit. Your attorney may negotiate and come to a settlement with the at-fault driver before even filing your lawsuit in civil court.
Although compensation isn’t everything, it can provide important peace of mind during a difficult time. When you’re already dealing with life-altering injuries, you should not also have to worry about where you will get the money to pay your bills. If someone else’s negligence caused your auto accident, that person may be responsible for paying for your losses. A successful claim could result in compensation for:
It is critical to provide a complete and comprehensive list of your economic and noneconomic losses on a car accident claim. Otherwise, you may accept less than the full value of your claim. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot reopen your case. This is why it’s important to work with a lawyer from the beginning when seeking financial compensation for an auto accident.
Although you may be able to establish the other party’s negligence, your settlement could be at risk if the at-fault driver claims that you are responsible for the accident. If the at-fault driver convinces the insurance company that your actions contributed to the collision, the adjuster may use this information as justification to reduce or deny your award.
If the court accepts this claim, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rules will apply. Under these laws, the court will reduce your settlement by the amount of liability you allegedly share. If you are more than 50% at fault, you will be barred from recovering any compensation at all.
For example, say you are injured by a speeding driver while making a lane change. However, evidence shows that you did not use your turn signal before changing lanes and the court assigns you 40% of the liability. If you request $100,000 in compensation, you will only receive $60,000. If the court had assigned you 55% of the fault, you would not recover any compensation.
In these situations, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can protect your best interests and defend you against accusations of liability. Your attorney from Nicholson Revell, LLP will advocate aggressively for your side of the story and craft a compelling case for your right to maximum compensation.
Immediately after a car accident, check yourself for injuries and make sure you have pulled over in a safe place. Then, step out of your vehicle and ask if anyone else is injured. If you notice injuries, anyone unconscious or bleeding, or expensive property damage, call the police immediately to report the car accident.
While waiting for the police, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Don’t admit fault for the car accident. Take photographs of the scene of the crash before you leave. Then, go to a hospital in Augusta for medical care. Before you begin the process of filing an insurance claim, contact an attorney for legal advice, so you can protect your rights.
After your accident, a representative from the at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact you and ask for a statement. While you may be tempted to speak to the adjuster and resolve your case, you should never speak to the insurance company before discussing your case with an Augusta car accident lawyer.
Insurance companies have a responsibility to protect their bottom lines, and paying maximum compensation to each and every claimant is unsustainable. As a result, adjusters are often trained to look for discrepancies and other issues in a claimant’s story to reduce the eventual settlement and protect the company’s interests.
If you provide a statement early in your case and discover new information later on, the company may use discrepancies in your statement as evidence against you. You may not receive a sufficient settlement to pay for your losses, and the company may not approve your claim at all. To protect your best interests, contact an attorney at Nicholson Revell, LLP before speaking to the insurance company.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Augusta, Georgia, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys. Nicholson Revell LLP can help you gather evidence and build a strong claim to damages. Learn more when you contact us to request a free legal consultation.