Any Atlanta accident lawyer knows that if you get into a car accident, there’s a good chance someone was in the car with you at the time of the crash. Unless you’re on your way to or from work, you’re probably out for leisure. A lot of people tend to travel with at least one other person. Sadly, passengers tend to suffer worse injuries than the driver.
According to a recent study, front and rear passengers are more likely to suffer abdominal injuries. However, in fatal accidents, the driver is the victim in 60% of the cases.
An Atlanta accident lawyer often meets with clients who were passengers in a car crash. They tend to call the attorney’s office because the driver of the vehicle has retained their services. Naturally, they assume that the attorney can handle both victims. However, this isn’t always the case. It depends on the facts of your case. The only way to know for sure is to meet with a skilled Atlanta accident lawyer.
The First Question Is Whether Both Cases Are Related to the Same Incident
One of the first questions your Atlanta accident lawyer will ask is if both of you were involved in the same accident. While it would be easy to assume this is the case, the attorney will still need to confirm. The other important question your lawyer will ask is who was driving. Depending on who was at fault, the attorney may or may not be able to represent both of you.
For example, if you were the driver and the insurance company thinks you were at fault, then your attorney can’t possibly represent your passenger. They would likely have to pursue a claim against you if the claim isn’t paid. There’s no way your lawyer would be able to separate your case from the case of your passenger. What will happen is that your attorney will have to choose one party to represent and refer the other party to another Atlanta accident lawyer.
There Could Be a Potential Conflict of Interest
As mentioned above, there’s a chance that your Atlanta accident lawyer won’t be able to represent both you and your passenger. This is because this situation would qualify as a conflict of interest. It would be very difficult or impossible for your attorney to fairly represent both of you.
How would they argue that you weren’t responsible for the crash while at the same time demand that you pay the passenger damages? It simply would not work. Also, keep in mind that the attorney may not be able to represent either of you. A separate conflict of interest may exist. If that’s the case, your lawyer will let you know. They should also give you contact information for another reputable Atlanta accident lawyer.
Your Atlanta Accident Lawyer Can Always Refer One Spouse to Different Attorney
In a situation such as this, there’s a good chance that your Atlanta accident lawyer will refer one of you to another attorney. Most injury lawyers have a list of other accident attorneys they trust. They’ll refer you to someone like this. That way, everybody has a fair opportunity to present their case.
Typically, your attorney will make this decision during the free, initial consultation. They don’t want to waste anybody’s time. Depending on when the accident takes place, you could be running out of time. In Georgia, you only have two (2) years to file a car accident lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, your lawsuit will be dismissed, and you won’t be able to collect damages at all.
You May Be Able to Sign a Waiver
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to sign a waiver of the conflict of interest. The rules are clear on when this can happen. Just keep in mind, your Atlanta accident lawyer may want to err on the side of caution rather than risk a potential conflict. This is for your protection more than anything else. You deserve a fair chance at collecting compensation for your injuries.
Call and Meet with an Experienced Atlanta Accident Lawyer Today
Once you’ve been treated for your injuries, you need to think about what to do next. If you’re confident that the other driver was at fault, you may have a claim for damages. You should call an experienced Atlanta accident lawyer and schedule your free, initial consultation. If there’s a potential conflict of interest, you should find out during this first meeting.