If you were injured in an auto accident, you might find yourself wondering how in the world you are going to afford the associated medical bills as well as the cost of repairing your vehicle. If your injury was significant, you might have been forced to take substantial time off from work, making it that much harder to afford the high costs that go hand in hand with the all too common auto accident. Thankfully, if you suffered injuries or damages following a car accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages.
What if My Atlanta Auto Accident Was Not My Fault?
Under the laws in Atlanta, Georgia, the at-fault driver in an auto accident is responsible for any and all subsequent expenses and damages that may result. While you may find yourself relieved in knowing that you will not have to foot the bill following a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you are likely at a loss as to how you should go about receiving the compensation that you truly deserve from a practical standpoint.
If you have damages and injuries related to a car accident, you should start by contacting an experienced car accident lawyer. As is the case in most areas of the legal system, the laws relating to auto accidents is not a straightforward issue. What follows will be a general overview of some of the key considerations that most Georgia residents typically face after sustaining injury following an auto accident.
If you have been in an auto accident near Atlanta, Georgia and believe that you are entitled to compensation, contact knowledgeable auto accident attorney John B. Jackson. The skilled car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson can help you receive full and fair compensation for your auto accident injuries.
What Are My Options After an Atlanta Car Accident?
If you have sustained injuries and damages in a car accident, there are a few potential sources of compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages. These sources are as follows:
- The auto insurance company of the at-fault driver
In cases of undisputed liability, it is typically your best bet to seek recovery from the insurance company of the negligent driver. If liability is pretty apparent from the circumstances, it is more likely than not that you won’t have much trouble acquiring compensation from this at-fault driver’s insurance. For instance, if the at-fault driver was on a cell phone and swerved into oncoming traffic, striking your vehicle, which was lawfully at a stop, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely pay the
damages without a fight. However, insurance companies are always prepared to offer you less without the representation of a car accident lawyer. By retaining an experienced lawyer, you immediately create a better situation for your accident claim.
- Your own auto insurance company
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to collect full compensation for your auto accident related injuries and damages from your very own insurance company. If the at-fault driver is unable to compensate you for the damages that you are otherwise entitled to, your own insurance company may be required to compensate you accordingly depending upon the terms of your insurance policy. After compensating you, your insurance company would then pursue the at-fault driver on their own accord to recoup the money that they paid you to compensate you for your injuries. The upside of this potential source of compensation is that it allows you to avoid what can often be the very long and arduous process of litigation. If you have questions related to the coverage under your policy, contact your insurance company, but also inform your lawyer.
- Pursue a civil action
While not the easiest and most enjoyable option, to say the least, you may find that filing a civil claim is the best way for you to acquire full and fair compensation for the personal injuries that you sustained from an auto accident. Whether or not litigation becomes necessary, it is essential that you reach out to a personal injury attorney to help you decide which option is right for you. You don’t have to do this alone. Contact Atlanta GA auto accident lawyers at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson.
What if Fault is Not a Clear Assessment?
Determining who is “at fault” for an auto accident can be a murky issue. For instance, take the following hypothetical:
Assume we have two drivers: Bob and Sally. Bob and Sally were approaching an intersection when Bob ran a red light and after that “T-boned” Sally who was properly traveling through the intersection on a green light. It’s safe to say that most would agree that absent extraordinary circumstances, Bob improperly ran a red light and should be held responsible for compensating Sally for her injuries. However, assume that Sally was text messaging at the time. Further, assume that she could have realistically avoided the collision had she been paying attention instead of texting. Understandably, this should at least “lessen” her recovery. After all, Bob was negligent, but Sally contributed to her injuries to at least some extent as well.
While reasonable minds may differ, it goes without question that a scenario such as this raises some critical questions about how much the party who was “most” at fault should have to pay, when the negligence of both drivers ultimately resulted in the subject injuries and damages.
The state of Georgia has adopted a modified comparative negligence system. What this means is that the injured driver’s recovery will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Namely, in the above hypothetical, if Sally was ultimately found to be 20% at fault for her injuries, the cost of her related medical expenses and property damage will be reduced accordingly. For example, if Sally’s damages totaled $100,000.00, she would only be able to recover $80,000.00 from Bob. She would be left responsible for the remaining $20,000.00 in damages.
You Should Hire an Experienced Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney
The at-fault party and his or her insurance company will always try to argue that the other driver was comparatively negligent if the facts and the circumstances of the accident provide any evidence that may tend to support such a claim. As such, this is all the more reason that contacting a legal representative is of the utmost importance when you have suffered injury following an auto accident.