Steps You Need To Take Right After Your Roswell Accident Injury Claim
Everyone by now knows that after an accident you need to call the police and take photographs of the damage to all vehicles. What many do not know is there are several other steps you can take before you even call an attorney that can help protect your rights down the road. Here are a few of those:
INJURY PHOTOS AND/OR VIDEOS
Again, everyone knows to take photos of the damage to vehicles. However, you must not forget to document in the same way any visible injuries to your body. Bumps, bruises, swelling, etc. These photographs help prove, along with the photographs of the damage to your vehicle, just how much of an impact the wreck was and therefore how injured you are.
NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
In talking with prospective clients after an accident, we have found that many do not know that they need to notify their own insurance company quickly after a wreck or face the potential down the road of not having coverage if and when needed. Yes, the other driver is at fault and his or her insurance will be responsible for your vehicle damage and injuries. However, there are plenty of situations where you may need to turn to your insurance company to cover one or both claims after a wreck.
If you do not notify your insurance company promptly, you are in breach of one of the provisions of your auto insurance policy. What if the at-fault driver has no insurance? What if your injuries are such that your case is worth more than the amount of coverage available thru the at-fault party’s insurance? In both scenarios, you would need to use your auto insurance. And if you breached the provisions of your insurance policy, your auto insurer will deny coverage for failing to promptly notify it of the wreck.
Georgia courts have held that as little as waiting 45 days to notify your insurance company of a wreck voids coverage. Do not wait. Contact your insurance company and notify them of the wreck even if you do not believe you will ever need to use your coverage.
GET THE POLICE REPORT
Get the police report from the responding agency as soon as possible. We are seeing wait times for police reports to be ready of up to 5-7 days in the major metro areas. The Roswell Police Department however is good and usually has reports ready within 3 days.
Once you get the report, check to see if any witnesses are listed on the report. If there are witnesses listed, it would not hurt to give them a call while their memories are fresh to hear what they remember seeing. Get their emails and verify their addresses as well so your attorney can contact them in the future if they are needed.
Things to Remember When Handling Your Property Damage Claim
There are a few important things to keep in mind at the beginning of pursuing your property damage claim:
- You Can Always Go Thru Your Insurance Company: While it is always advisable to start the pursuit of your property damage claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you are not stuck having to pursue your claim thru their company. If the at-fault insurance company is not treating you fairly or moving too slowly, you can always switch and pursue your property damage claim thru your insurance company. However, you must remember doing so means you will have to pay your deductible and wait to get it back once your insurance company pursues the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- You May Have Two Property Damage Claims: If your vehicle is repairable, you need to remember that you have two property damage claims. The first is for the proper repair of the damage done to your vehicle. The second being the diminished value claim. This claim is for the lost value your vehicle will now have because it has been in a wreck.
- You Will Not Receive Full Value for Your Property Damage Claim: If your vehicle is a total loss, you only have the right to the fair market value of the vehicle the second before the wreck occurred. This means the value of the vehicle with the mileage on it and the condition it was in right before the wreck. This sometimes means you get much less than what the vehicle is worth to you.
Why Spaulding Injury Law’s Roswell Accident Lawyers?
If you have already come to the conclusion you need to hire an accident attorney in Roswell, Ga to handle your injury case, why hire Spaulding Injury Law? The short answer is found in the motto we live by here at the firm—Real Lawyers Helping Real People.
The benefit we provide to the Roswell community looking for a car accident lawyer is in the fact that we are Real Lawyers. This means we are not a personal injury “mill” looking to sign up each and every person that talks to us and then never hearing from your attorney again. It means we will not make empty promises to get you to hire us to then hand your case off to an assistant to handle. It means we are actual trial lawyers who are ready, willing, and able to successfully litigate your case and try it to a jury if it is in your best interest.
We encourage you to look through the rest of our website to learn more about our attorneys, the results we have been able to obtain for past clients and the reviews our clients have left for us on Google and elsewhere. Our firm has over half a century of trial experience, and we have received numerous industry awards and recognition for the results we have obtained for our clients.
While we do not take on every case, we do hope if you are ready to hire an attorney for your car accident case that you will reach out to us to speak to one of our Roswell accident attorneys to see if we can take on your case for you. We are conveniently located near downtown Roswell:
Spaulding Injury Law: Alpharetta Personal Injury Lawyers
44 Milton Ave #132
Alpharetta, GA 30009
How Can a Roswell Car Accident Lawyer Really Help?
You likely already know a lawyer handling your case can always obtain more in compensation for your damages than you can on your own. You also likely already know that insurance companies strive to resolve disputes as fast and inexpensively as possible. But what can a lawyer really do to help? Naturally, we can only tell you what Spaulding Injury Law brings to the table. The Roswell accident lawyers at Spaulding Injury Law will work hard to build and support your claim by doing the following:
- Finding All Available Insurance Coverage: You can only get full compensation if there is enough insurance coverage out there to pay the full value of your claim. After all, except in very rare cases, this is all about insurance. Our accident lawyers will go to workday one to uncover all available insurance policies your claim is covered under. You would be surprised how many different policies may be at play in an auto accident.
- Properly Accounting for All Losses: In conjunction with finding all available insurance that applies is the task of ensuring that all of your losses are properly proven and accounted for. Our auto accident attorneys will ensure that each and every bit of loss you have suffered are supported by proper evidence. This includes securing all of your medical records and itemized bills directly from each of your providers and securing any doctor opinions needed regarding things like future treatment and limitations and of course causation.
- Investigating the Accident: Even if the other driver received a citation, we handle every case as if liability will be disputed by the insurance company because you never know. This also ensures even in clear liability cases, all evidence that may help in other areas is secured. We will send requests to all authorities involved to such things as 911 records, body cam video and any other evidence of the wreck obtainable.
- Identifying All of the Responsible Parties: It is not an issue in every case but how do you know all responsible parties have been identified in your claim. With such legal concepts out there as the Family Purpose Doctrine much less the multiple responsible party scenarios presented in commercial vehicle car accident cases, you never can be too sure you have properly identified all responsible parties. Our Roswell lawyers will dig into the ownership of all vehicles and when presented by the facts, look at the potential for multiple vehicles to be at fault for an accident in multiple vehicle situations.
- Handling All Aspects of Your Claim with the Insurance Company: One of the most immediate benefits to hiring an auto accident lawyer is taking the burden off your shoulders of handling the day-to-day aspects of your claim. When we are hired, on day one we send what is called a letter of representation to each insurance company involved and the at-fault driver to tell them to only speak with us going forward on your claim. This is not only done to keep you from being bothered by communications but also to ensure you are not trapped giving a recorded statement to the insurance company when we do not want that to happen.
- Negotiating/Filing a Lawsuit/Trying Your Case: We have lumped these together because they are the most obvious ways an accident law firm can help a car accident injury victim. We are here to do all negotiating of your injury claim by guiding you thru the process of what your case valuation potential is and therefore the advisable settlement range you should be looking for. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair resolution to your claim, we are here to file suit and litigate your case toward trial. If the case does not resolve favorably before trial, we are ultimately trial lawyers and therefore are ready, willing, and able to try your case anywhere in the State of Georgia.
Before giving a recorded statement, signing any paperwork, or accepting any payment from an insurance company, consult with an experienced Roswell car accident lawyer. Based on the facts, they can assist you in determining if your car accident case qualifies for a personal injury claim. You can contact our law firm before inadvertently waiving your entitlement to extra reimbursement from the insurance company.
Losses and Damages Comprising a Roswell Car Accident Claim
Following a car accident, there are several types of damages that can be pursued. The amount of compensation you receive for each type will be determined by several variables. Below are the various categories of damages to be on the lookout for after your car accident:
Economic damages compensate the sufferer for financial losses suffered because of the vehicle accident. They include the following categories:
- Lost Wages/Profits: Past, present, and future lost income from being unable to work due to your injuries. These can be simply wages or more complex profits from the running of your own business. Often in more serious injury cases, it can include future, lifetime losses.
- Medical Costs: Past, present, and future costs for treatment. This is the full amount of your medical costs without reduction for health insurance payments.
- Out of Pocket Costs: This is a catchall category for anything you paid for out of pocket beyond copays or other medical treatment costs. These include such things as mileage and parking fees to go to treatment; costs for over-the-counter braces or a cane to help walk; to such things as paying someone to mow your lawn each week you could not do it on your own.
This is your pain and suffering damages section. It is the monetary value of something that does not have a set value. It includes such things as:
- The anguish and suffering you endured in the past, are living with now, and will have to live with for the rest of your life all because of the injuries sustained in the wreck.
- Diminished quality of life; past, present, and future.
- Mental and emotional anguish.
Punitive damages are not compensatory in nature in any way. They are intended to penalize the at-fault motorist for the vehicle accident. We can obtain punitive damages if it is proven that the at-fault party’s carelessness and gross misconduct caused the accident.
To have a punitive damages claim because of a car accident in Georgia, you really need a criminal violation. The most frequent of these we see is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other common punitive damage cases are hit-and-run accidents. Even driving at extremely excessive speeds can warrant punitive damages.
Dealing with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists in Roswell, Georgia
In the ideal world, every driver would have adequate auto insurance to cover any potential damages or injuries in the event of a collision. Unfortunately, in Roswell, Georgia, like everywhere else, that is far from reality. Dealing with uninsured or underinsured motorists can add an extra layer of complexity to the process of getting just compensation after a car accident.
Below, we will discuss the intricacies of these situations, focusing on the role that a reputable firm like Spaulding Injury Law can play in helping you navigate this challenging situation.
The Problem with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists
The state of Georgia requires all drivers to carry a minimum level of liability insurance. This rule ensures that if a driver is at fault in an accident, they have the means to cover the damage caused to another person’s property and any bodily injuries. However, not all drivers comply with these regulations, while others only carry the minimum coverage, which can be insufficient to cover severe accidents.
Statistically, around 12% of drivers in Georgia are uninsured, which is slightly lower than the national average of approximately 13%. Nonetheless, these statistics still mean that one in eight drivers on the road potentially lacks insurance. The problem is especially troublesome in Roswell due to its high population density and traffic volume.
Even motorists who do have insurance can still be effectively “uninsured” if their coverage isn’t sufficient to pay for all the damage in a serious accident. These people are referred to as underinsured motorists.
Dealing with Uninsured Motorist Claims
In the unfortunate event that you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, your options for compensation can become limited. The traditional method of filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company won’t work since there isn’t an insurer to claim against.
At this point, you may need to turn to your insurance policy, specifically the uninsured motorist coverage, if you have it. This coverage is optional in Georgia, but we highly recommend that you include it in your policy, considering the percentage of uninsured motorists.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer will step in and cover your damages up to the policy limit. However, this does not mean your insurance company will readily provide the compensation you deserve. They may dispute the severity of your injuries, the necessity of certain medical treatments, or even who was at fault for the accident.
Hiring a firm like Spaulding Injury Law can be hugely beneficial in such situations. With our experience dealing with insurance companies, we can assist in negotiations, ensuring that you receive a fair settlement. We can also help gather the necessary evidence to substantiate your claims, such as medical reports and expert testimonies, and represent you if the case goes to court.
Handling Underinsured Motorist Claims
In the case of an underinsured motorist claim, you may first file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Once their policy limit is exhausted, you can then file a claim with your insurer under your underinsured motorist coverage.
Handling an underinsured motorist claim can be a complex process, mainly because you’re dealing with two separate insurance companies. Each will attempt to minimize their financial obligation, potentially leaving you with less than you need to cover your damages.
Spaulding Injury Law is well-equipped to handle the challenges of underinsured motorist claims. We can make sure that all insurance policies are identified and maximized, your losses are accurately accounted for, and your rights are vigorously protected throughout the claim process.
Defending Yourself Against Distracted Driving Accidents in Roswell, Georgia
In Roswell, Georgia, as is the case across the United States, distracted driving is a big concern. Despite the public awareness campaigns and legal penalties aimed at curbing this behavior, distracted driving accidents continue to plague our roadways. With the growing reliance on technology, the problem is escalating, presenting a real danger to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. In this section, we will delve into the gravity of distracted driving, preventative measures to take, and how a dedicated law firm such as Spaulding Injury Law can help you if you fall victim to such an accident.
The Perils of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a blanket term for any activity that diverts attention from driving. Distracted driving can include anything from texting, talking on the phone, eating, changing the radio station, or using a map or GPS navigation system. Despite the widespread knowledge of its risks, many drivers still participate in these behaviors, putting themselves and others in grave danger.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 across the United States. In Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported that in 2018, distracted driving accounted for about 9% of all traffic fatalities. With Roswell’s bustling streets and high traffic volume, the city is unfortunately not immune to this trend.
Protecting Yourself Against Distracted Driving
There are several measures that you can take to protect yourself from distracted driving accidents. The most obvious one is not to participate in distracting activities while driving. Georgia law explicitly prohibits all drivers from holding or supporting a wireless device while operating a vehicle. It also bans writing, sending, or reading any text messages, including emails and internet data.
As a defensive driver, you should also be watchful for signs of distracted driving from other motorists. These signs may include erratic driving, sudden braking, not signaling when turning, or drifting from their lanes. If you spot a distracted driver, keep a safe distance, and if the situation warrants, report them to the authorities.
Distracted driving is a menace on our roads that can change lives in an instant. While we can take steps to mitigate our risk, it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely. In such circumstances, having a competent law firm like Spaulding Injury Law by your side can make all the difference in making sure that justice is served and you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
When to Contact a Roswell Car Accident Lawyer
When should you contact us about your accident? The answer is now. We truly enjoy helping people even if it means we spend an hour together talking through your situation and decide we cannot take on your case. At the very least, we can give you sound options to pursue your claim properly going forward. The best part is all consultations are free so you really have nothing to lose in talking to one of our nationally-recognized car accident lawyers in Roswell, Ga.
Please call us or fill out our contact form on our site.