What You Need to Know About Damages in an Atlanta Car Accident Case
According to an August 2017 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, four people were taken to the hospital after an I-20 crash. Police reported the Atlanta car accident happened around 8:00 a.m. near Lee Road. All lanes were reopened about two hours later. Four people were transported to metro Atlanta hospitals after the accident.
The car accident occurred when a 30-year-old man operating a 2008 Infiniti G35 changed from the center lane to left lane of the highway. The Infiniti hit the back of a 2002 Ford Ranger heading in the same direction. The driver allegedly caused the Ford Ranger to flip onto its hood.
The 30-year-old man was taken to WellStar Cobb Hospital after the crash. The 20-year-old driver of the Ford was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. His two passengers were taken to Atlanta Medical Center.
At the time of the report, none of the conditions were known. It was also unknown whether the three injured in the car wreck would file personal injury lawsuits against the 30-year-old driver for allegedly causing the accident.
An Accident Victim Can Sue for Damages in an Atlanta Car Accident
Damages are accident-related expenses. Damages following an Atlanta car accident generally include:
- Medical expenses such as hospital bills, doctors’ bills and any procedures needed to correct injuries sustained in the crash.
- Pain and suffering are some of the damages that cannot be easily computed because it is subjective. It is not like hospital expenses that can be added up and put in a bill.
- Property damage including the vehicle in the crash.
- Lost wages for any of the time the accident victim could not work due to their personal injuries.
- Other expenses like funeral and burial bills if the accident victim died because of the accident. These damages are available in a wrongful death car accident claim. For these types of cases, the family of the Atlanta car accident victim files a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
The Amount of Damages an Atlanta Car Accident Victim Can Receive Depends on Many Factors
Many factors will determine how much money an Atlanta car accident victim can receive in damages. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The seriousness of the accident injury: The more serious the injury, the more money necessary to cover medical bills. This does not mean an accident victim will receive three or four times the amount needed for medical bills. It just means you have more medical bills to pay.
- The type of personal injury claim: People are awarded different amounts of damages based on whether they are filing a claim with minor injuries or wrongful death. A wrongful death claim typically involves a higher dollar amount because the victim died because of someone else’s negligence.
- The severity of the car accident: The more serious the damage to the car crash, the more likely a jury will understand the seriousness of the crash.
Seeking Damages in an Atlanta Car Accident Case
Damages are recovered either through a settlement or via a jury trial. A settlement is a negotiated agreement between the victim of the Atlanta car accident and the party who is at fault. The accident victim’s attorney asks the at-fault party’s insurance company to compensate the client for damages sustained.
The at-fault party may negotiate with the accident victim by making a counteroffer for a lower amount. The accident victim’s attorney will then counter that offer, as well. This may happen several times before settling.
Once a settlement agreement occurs, a release document must be signed. In the document, the accident victim gives up all rights to sue. This means the settlement amount is final and the case ends. The at-fault party does not have to admit fault in a settlement agreement.
If a settlement cannot be reached or there are no negotiations, both the parties must go to trial. A trial involves both sides trying to prove the other party was negligent. The at-fault party may claim the accident victim was at fault. They may also use other defenses available to them.
However, an accident victim only has one way to obtain damages at trial. They have to use personal injury elements along with evidence to prove their case. These are the elements they need to prove:
- The at-fault party had a legal duty to protect the accident victim. A legal duty is a required implied law making a driver responsible for obeying the traffic laws and not causing an accident.
- The at-fault party breached their legal duty by causing an accident. The accident victim’s attorney has the duty of showing the at-fault party violated their legal duty when they cause the accident.
- The accident victim’s attorney shows that the at-fault party actually caused the Atlanta car accident and their negligence led to their plaintiff’s injuries.
- After proving negligence, the accident victim must prove damages. This is the only time damages are discussed at trial. The accident victim’s attorney will list all the damages their client incurred like medical bills and pain and suffering.
These elements are the only way an accident victim can get money in a trial. However, during the trial, both parties can still decide to settle the case.
Council & Associates, LLC Will Determine the Damages Available to You in an Atlanta Car Accident Claim
No attorney can offer you a detailed, calculated amount you can get during your first consultation. They cannot offer you a guaranteed settlement or jury amount. If you visit an attorney who does this, run immediately.
During a free consultation with Council & Associates, LLC, we will listen to you explain the facts of the accident and then we can provide information about your legal options. Contact us for a free consultation today.
Lashonda Council Rogers is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Howard University School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Lashonda Council Rogers believes her personal approach is the best way to defend her clients. Learn more about her experience here.