back pain from car accident

6 million car accidents occur in our country every year. As a result of these accidents, three million people are injured annually. If you’re experiencing back pain from a car accident, you’re not alone. You don’t have to remain alone, either. Instead, you can work with a Georgia lawyer to receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the upper back pain you’ve developed from a car accident ruin your life. Instead, keep reading to learn what to do if you’re suffering from back pain from a car accident in Georgia. With these tips, you can make your case for a personal injury claim. 1. Go to a Doctor Back pain isn’t always acute. In fact, post-accident endorphins, or adrenaline, often mask the pain. As a result, your back injuries might not present themselves under a while after the accident.  Don’t wait until you experience back pain from the car accident. Instead, see a doctor right away. A doctor can diagnose your back injury and determine its severity. During your appointment, they might use: X-rays CT scans MRIs Myelograms Bones scans These tests will help them diagnose your injury. Some back injuries are short-term, and therefore only need temporary treatment. Possible treatment includes: Injections for inflammation Pain medication Physical therapy Chiropractic care Serious back injuries, on the other hand, might require a surgical procedure to alleviate your pain. Pressure on your spinal cord or the surrounding nerves could cause you to develop chronic pain. During the surgery, your surgeon might need to remove parts of the vertebrae or remove a ruptured disk. Then, they’ll need to fuse the vertebrae together. The sooner you are evaluated, the sooner you can receive the treatment you need. Possible Injuries Your back pain can last between a few months or a lifetime. It depends on the severity and type of injury.  Are you experiencing upper left back pain from a car accident? Maybe you’re noticing a sharp pain in your upper back. Regardless, here are a few common injuries that often result after a rear-end collision: Muscle strain Whiplash Herniated discs Shifted and fractured spinal vertebrae Back, neck, and shoulder pain are all common after a car accident. Other symptoms can include muscle strain and headaches. Visiting a doctor can help treat your back pain after a car accident before it gets worse. 2. Speak with a Car Accident Attorney After your car accident, make sure to speak with a qualified car accident attorney about what happened. However, it’s important you speak to a doctor beforehand. That way, you’ll have pertinent information the attorney can use to assess your case. Proper treatment for your upper back pain can get expensive. You might also need chiropractic care or physical therapy. Either way, these expenses will all add up.  An auto accident lawyer can evaluate your case and medical records. With their help, you can seek the compensation you deserve. That way, you can receive treatment without stressing out over your medical bills.  3. Consider a Chiropractor Depending on your doctor’s assessment, you might want to visit a chiropractor.  First, a chiropractor will assess your back pain. They’ll review your medical history as well as the accident.  After the assessment, your chiropractor will use spinal manipulation to realign your spine. An adjustment can: Decrease your need for surgery Limit your prescription drug use Determine the root cause of your back pain Treat your headaches Reduce overall pain Spinal manipulation allows a chiropractor to align your body’s musculoskeletal structure. When the spine and body are aligned, your body can better heal from your accident. Otherwise, you’ll leave that pressure on your spine to build. This can lead to long-term aches and pains. Visiting a chiropractor can help ease the back pain you feel each day. It can also benefit your case. By visiting a chiropractor, you’re demonstrating that you experienced harm as a result of the accident. 4. Don’t Sign Anything Don’t sign anything with your insurance company right away. Instead, make sure a medical professional has the time to completely evaluate your injuries. This might include giving your treatment time to work as well. Signing a release with your insurance company could prohibit you from receiving full compensation for your injuries. 5. Keep Records As you receive treatment from different doctors, chiropractors, and other professionals, make sure to keep track of your back pain. Receipts and other documentation will help you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company. These documents will help your lawyer throughout your case.  Otherwise, you won’t have evidence of what you endured as a result of the accident.  6. Consider Pursuing the At-Fault Driver There were 4.6 million medically consulted injuries that resulted from car accidents in 2017. Meanwhile, total vehicle injury costs were estimated at $433.8 billion. If you live in a no-fault insurance state, ask your attorney about filing your injury claim with your own insurance company.  Your personal-injury-protection (PIP) coverage will reimburse you for costs related to your treatment, including: Medical treatment Lost wages Out-of-pocket expenses Chiropractic care However, your PIP coverage won’t pay for any pain and suffering you endured.  However, you may have suffered severe back pain from a car accident. If so, you’re possibly eligible to pursue the at-fault driver for these damages.  If you’re not limited to no-fault laws, you need to first file a claim for the damages with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.  Personal damages include: Medical bills Out-of-pocket expenses Lost wages Pain and suffering Property damage, on the other hand, can include the cost to repair your car. It can also cover the cost of a rental or the value of a car if it’s totaled. Property damage claims can also cover phones, glasses, or other items damaged in the crash. See to Your Spine: What to Do If You’re Suffering Back Pain from a Car Accident An experienced personal injury attorney can help if you’re suffering from back pain from a car accident. They’ll ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. That way, you can...

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what to expect physically after a car accident

Many of us manage to go about our daily commute without having to experience a car crash. A small bump here and there, hopefully, while you’re not in the car, is all that most people deal with.  That said, it’s impossible to predict or prevent the behavior of other drivers on the road. We are at risk of experiencing a car accident, and we should be prepared for that event should it ever happen.  The most important thing to keep in mind is your physical health and wellbeing after the crash. We’re going to talk about what to expect physically after a car accident, giving you some insight into what to look for and how to respond. What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident Car accidents fall all across the board in terms of damage to our bodies. Your body’s response to the crash depends on how you’re sitting, where you’re seated, how fast you’re going, how fast the other driver is going, the quality of your vehicles, and the angle at which you crash. Those factors combine to create a near-limitless number of possible effects upon your body. That said, there are a number of common injuries that do occur, making it a little easier for you to look for signs of injury.  We’ll cover a few of those common injuries first. Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain Many of the injuries that come from car accidents have to do with the quality of our spine. Our bodies are pretty adaptable to physical injury, but our spines are susceptible to be shifted, damaged, and cause lasting pain.  Another crucial point is that the spine serves as a central component of the rest of your bodily health. So, an injury to an area on the spine could lead to difficulty in your appendages.  If you were hit forcefully, be on the lookout for signs of whiplash. Typically, whiplash leads to distinct pain in the neck or shoulders. The term “whiplash” isn’t used in legal or medical cases, but it’s used colloquially as a term to describe any of the injuries that occur from the fast jolting motion that the tissue of our upper bodies undergoes in an accident.  Many times, signs of whiplash don’t show up immediately. If you were jolted in a back-and-forth motion during the accident, be aware of how your neck and back feel in the days following.  Headaches Headaches are difficult to diagnose, especially in car accident cases.  You may experience an immediate headache during and after the crash, strictly because of the distinct and immediate stress that the situation causes. The stress of calling insurance companies, dealing with other drivers, assessing damage, wondering if you’re alright, and thinking about how to overcome the situation can all have a very real mental effect.  On the other hand, you could have a headache from the physical crash. Even if your head didn’t hit anything in the process of the crash, the headache could still be a result of the accident.  If you did hit your head during the crash, you should seek medical attention as soon as you’re able. You could have incurred a brain injury or a concussion, and those are two things that should be treated immediately.  Headaches can also be the sign of whiplash symptoms, spinal difficulty, blood clots, or some other damage to your upper body. Internal Pain By “internal,” we mean pain that is perceived to exist among your internal organs.  You could feel this pain right away, and it’s likely that you’ll feel that you need to get to a doctor urgently. Internal damage that comes up immediately is extremely painful and needs to be treated and examined by a doctor.  At the same time, not all internal damage is perceivable right away. You may notice aches, pains, or unusual sensations in the days following the accident. If you notice any of these signs, you should take them seriously.  Internal damage often has the potential to be fatal, but can be treated in many cases.  Tingling, Pain, Lack of Sensation If you notice a difference in your sensation, this is probably a result of an adjustment made to your spine during the crash.  Nerves run from your appendages to your spine and up to your brain. Interference in this process occurs when you have a slipped disc or adjusted spinal column and that connection pressed down upon or cut off.  Sometimes that means you’ll feel little to nothing, numbness, tingling, or extreme pain. These symptoms can come forward over time, too, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few days or weeks for anything to arise.  Unfortunately, numbness and tingling often mean that you’ll need to see a doctor as well as a chiropractor regularly. It’s important that you do this, though, because spinal issues can get worse over time, and dealing with them promptly is crucial. Emotional Trauma Finally, you may expect to suffer some emotional trauma. Depending on who you are and the nature of the accident, this trauma will vary. That said, any amount of emotional pain and suffering deserves compensation if you aren’t at fault for the accident.  You may notice that you have flashbacks of the accident, your mood is off in the days and weeks following the crash, or you may have deepened emotional suffering as a result of the medical injuries you suffer during the crash.  Finally, your brain and head injuries could cause distinct, if only brief, changes to your mood and personality. These are serious mental injuries and should be noted in your case as well as addressed by your doctor. These are all natural responses to such an intense experience. Seeing a counselor and addressing these difficulties is extremely important if you hope to carry on and exist as you did before the crash.  Need to Learn More? Whether it’s knowing what to expect physically after a car accident or how to proceed with legal action, car accidents require a lot of...

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how long should you be sore after a car accident

The days and weeks following an accident can be very confusing. It’s difficult to know how well you’re handling the crash physically, emotionally, and legally. This is because stress, pain, and soreness often last for a while after the injury occurs. But how long should you be sore after a car accident? And what does it mean if you feel as though you’ve been sore for far too long? We’re going to explore those ideas in this article, giving you some insight into how long you should reasonably expect to be sore after a car accident. We’ll also give you some pointers on how to handle the situation legally, ensuring that you get the compensation you’re entitled to.  How Long Should You be Sore after a Car Accident? The first thing that we want to point out, legalities aside, is that any lasting pain that you experience should be closely examined. Most people like to tough things out and let them work themselves out, but injuries caused by car accidents can be severe even if they seem small.  This is true even if your car accident was relatively tiny compared to others that you’ve seen, or even other accidents that you’ve been in.  Remember that the force of any vehicle is powerful at low speeds, and you’re being affected by a giant, rolling, metal object smashing directly into your car. Those damages can be severe, lasting, and life-altering if you don’t look into them.  That said, there is a reasonable amount of time you should be sore.  If You’re Waiting to Take Action There are certainly some situations in which you could avoid seeking medical help right away. If the crash was relatively light, you came out feeling great and unaffected by the physical force of the accident, and you’re confident that you truly do feel fine, you might not want to go see a doctor.  This decision might be amplified by the fact that you don’t have a lot of money to spend at the hospital, especially if your check-up ends up finding out that there’s nothing wrong with you, just like you suspected.  All of these things aside, you still might feel a little bit sore the next day. You might also feel sore the day after that. The pain might go away for a while, maybe even weeks, but it could come back eventually.  This is because the damage of a car accident often gets focused on our spine, which is known to turn symptoms on and off. That said, spinal injuries are severe and could lead to life-altering damages.  So, if you take it easy and avoid the doctor after a light car accident, be sure that the symptoms go away after one or two days. If the symptoms persist, you are putting yourself in danger the longer you wait.  If You’ve Seen a Doctor Odds are that if you were in pain immediately after the crash, you saw a doctor.  This is a smart move for everyone who has the ability. There’s a wide variety of injuries that could come from a car accident, and a checkup from a doctor who knows what they’re looking for could spare you a lot of pain and suffering.  They’ll be able to identify what is wrong with your body in the wake of the crash and give you specific insight into how long you should expect to be sore.  When Symptoms Come Back The tricky thing about injuries is that they’re not always immediately able to be seen. You might be a little sore right after the accident, only to find that your symptoms are gone the next morning.  You go about your day for the next week or so, and are suddenly hit by severe, biting pain in your arm. It could also be your leg, your back, your head, your hands, or anything else.  There’s a real potential for your symptoms to go unnoticed for a couple of weeks without you being sore. Additionally, your mental and emotional suffering needs to be taken into account.  If you had a traumatic experience during the crash, how can you quantify the length of time and severity of pain? Will those symptoms come back or are they going to go away when the experience is over? These are all factors that you should consider when moving forward with insurance and legal proceedings.  How to Get What You’re Owed Because there are so many factors involved in a car accident, it’s difficult for the average person to know how to defend themselves. Things like prior conditions, speeds, seatbelts, physical injury, emotional trauma, and much, much more are all factors to consider.  Working with a lawyer is the best way to receive the compensation you deserve for the experience of going through a car crash. This is especially true if you’ve had to put your life on hold in order to recover.  Physical and mental recovery can get in the way of the money you would have earned at work, even affecting your employment status if your employer isn’t understanding.  You might be in a position to receive compensation for your noneconomic damages as well as your economic damages, and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t.  Don’t sell yourself short of getting what you’re owed, even if you experienced pain for only a few short days after the accident. When that pain comes back, you want to be sure that you’re able to effectively move forward to receive the compensation for any potentially life-altering ailments you acquired from the crash. Remember, spinal injuries can be lasting, painful, and difficult things to work through. Your journey to recovery will be made far less stressful if you’re able to have financial compensation for the process.  Are You Experiencing Pain? If you’re still wondering how long you should be sore after a car accident, the answer is that you shouldn’t have to wonder. You should know whether or not the injuries you have are serious...

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late appearing car accident injuries

Car accident injuries are by no means all the same, and they don’t always show up immediately after the crash.  This is an important fact to remember if you’ve been in an accident, both for your health and the way you deal with the situation legally. We’re going to explore the idea of late appearing car accident injuries in this article, giving you some insight into how to proceed and get the compensation you deserve.  Let’s get started: How to Handle Late Appearing Car Accident Injuries We’ll discuss the types of injuries you could be experiencing, how to look for them, and the ways in which you should proceed medically. first, though, we have to talk about liability and how to handle it when your injuries appear after the accident.  Release of Liability If you have any doubt at all concerning the idea that you sustained any injuries from the accident, it’s crucial that you don’t sign a release of liability until everything is settled.  When you release the other party from liability, your lawsuit is ended and any claims that you’d make in the future are taken off of the table. In other words, you’re saying that you’re satisfied with the process and are ready to move forward.  This can come back to bite you if you have late-appearing injuries. That means that even though you aren’t to blame for whatever injuries you’ve sustained, the financial responsibility falls upon you because the other party isn’t held liable anymore.  Further, injuries that appear late are often the most insidious. They often deal with damage to the spine and nervous system, requiring physical therapy, chiropractic care, and sometimes surgery.  If You’re Ready to Sign a Release You may feel as though you’re ready to sign a release of liability and move forward with your life.  Maybe enough time has passed that you feel confident about your injuries and don’t feel that they’ll resurface, or surface at all. Even if you feel this way, it is a smart decision to have a medical evaluation.  A medical evaluation after a car accident gives a doctor the chance to look at the condition of your brain, neck, shoulders, back, and spine. That way, you can have a very clear idea of what the damages are if there are any, and you’ll be able to move forward confidently if there’s no sign of damages.  Having an evaluation also helps greatly in settlements and compensation for your pain and suffering.  Common Physical Injuries While any number of injuries could befall someone who’s experienced a car accident, there are a few that come up time after time.  We’ll list a few of the most common below so that you can know what to look out for. Head and Mental Pain It’s not uncommon for car accidents to cause trauma or pain to the head.  If you have a headache immediately after the accident or the days following, be sure to take that seriously. You could have experienced enough force to cause a concussion or even brain damage.  These issues can lead to other, more serious life-altering ailments. Any headache related to the accident should be examined by a doctor. Further, you might be experiencing headaches as a result of the stress of the situation.  Dealing with the financial and legal matters that come after a car accident can be very stressful for anyone. Additionally, you may have had a traumatizing experience in the crash, which is also something that requires medical attention.  PTSD is a common side-effect of car accidents, and it can lead to severe headaches, not to mention emotional pain.  Soft Tissue Pain Whiplash is another common side-effect of car accidents. Whiplash is a term that refers generally to the pain caused by the distinct jerking that happens in the moments of a crash.  This can wreak havoc upon the soft tissue in our neck and shoulders, leading to lasting and serious pain. Additionally, these symptoms don’t always show up immediately.  You may notice that the pain emerges in the days following your accident. These symptoms could be a result of damaged muscle tissue, or the could be symptomatic of a deeper, spinal issue.  Spinal Issues The spine is an area that is particularly vulnerable in car accidents. Issues like slipped or herniated discs are common in car accidents.  Damage to the spine can lead to all sorts of bodily pain, back problems, nervous issues, and more. These issues don’t always come up immediately either, as they can start small but gradually branch out into much larger issues.  Further, the side-effects of slipped discs can cause severe pain and damage to your appendages. Pain, Tingling, Numbness Because the spinal column is so intimately connected to a person’s nerves, slipped discs can often cause a lot of problems in the way of sensation.  Numbness and tingling are often signs that one of your discs is out of place and pressing on your nerves. Another common sign of this is extreme pain.  If the disc is in your lower column, you may experience the pinching of your sciatic nerve. This is the nerve that runs from your hip all the way down to your leg. When this nerve is pinched, it’s typically a sign of sciatica, which is essentially a lower spinal column falling out of place and obstructing the function of the sciatic nerve.  Emotional Trauma In the days following the crash, you may also notice that your emotions are heightened or unusual.  A car accident is particularly stressful and potentially traumatic. If you notice distinct changes in personality, flashbacks, or new fears, it could be a sign that professional counseling is needed.  These symptoms could also come, in part, as a result of a concussion or brain damage. Emotional pain is another symptom that doesn’t necessarily emerge right away. Have You Experienced a Crash? Dealing with late appearing car accident injuries can be difficult when you’re on you’re own. Sometimes you need a little guidance, and we’re...

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types of evidence

According to the National Safety Council, 4.5 million people were seriously injured in a car accident in 2018. And 1,504 Georgians died in vehicle crashes in 2018. Unfortunately, these statistics are likely to have continued into 2019. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident and need to know what types of evidence is needed to obtain compensation for your losses, here’s what you need to know. Need Evidence to Prove Negligence In order to win a lawsuit and recover for your injuries and losses after a car accident, you need to prove each of these things: Prove the other party (or parties) was negligent Prove their negligence caused your injuries Prove that you actually sustained injuries or damages To do that, you will need to gather and keep all the evidence you can to prove each of those points. Keep in mind that all accidents are different, so there may be items unique to your case that you should also keep. Your lawyer can help point those out to you. You also need to file any lawsuit to recover for negligence in a timely manner. So contact your attorney sooner rather than later to make sure you comply with any time restrictions. Here are some common types of evidence needed to prove negligence and document your losses so you can receive full compensation for them. Police Report When you’re involved in an auto accident, getting the police out to the scene is important. Their report will provide a general description of how the car accident happened based on all statements given to them at the scene and all evidence they gather there.   Photos Take photographs at the scene of the accident to show all damage to every vehicle and any property (fences, trees, signs, etc.). You’ll also need photographs that show all of your injuries. Take photos during the healing process to show how long it took to heal. Video Take videos of the scene too. Include video footage that shows the direction each vehicle was traveling from and any significant road signage. Later, if needed, your attorney can also try to obtain CCTV footage from the intersection or local business cameras, if applicable. Witness Statements At the scene, ask for names and contact information from anyone who said they saw the accident happen. Or overhead the other party confessing fault or other incriminating information. The contact information will allow you to obtain their written statements while the facts of your case are fresh in their mind and later, if necessary, to get their deposition testimony.  Proof Other Party Was Arrested or Ticketed If the other party gets arrested for driving under the influence or receives a ticket (for speeding, running a red light, etc.), make a note to follow up to obtain a copy from the police to keep for your case file. Evidence Other Party Was Distracted or Tired If a witness indicates that the other party was texting, your attorney can help you obtain a copy of their phone records for proof they were distracted. If the other party or one of their passengers mentions that the driver was tired, your attorney can ask them for details when obtaining their statement or during their deposition. Black Box Data from Vehicles Obtaining the black box data from the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident can help determine facts about how the other party was driving. For instance, if they were speeding and whether the other driver failed to apply their brakes timely.  Expert Witnesses Using expert witness testimony can be very helpful to your case. Especially if your injuries are serious. They can also help explain how an accident happened and why the other party was at fault.  Prior Incident Reports from Government Sources Some roadways can prove themselves to be dangerous over time. By pulling the reports showing how often other accidents occurred in the location where your accident happened, the reports may show the roadway itself was at fault for the accident. If so, you can be able to look to the government entity who planned or constructed the roadway for compensation as well.   Medical Reports and Statements Proving you were injured by the other party is a significant part of your case. The primary way this is proven is through obtaining copies of your medical records, invoices, and medical reports from your doctor(s). These documents need to show how your injuries were sustained, the extent of the seriousness of your injuries and how well you healed from them.  Some injuries take years to recover from or leave you with permanent disabilities or on-going limitations. Your medical reports can also be used to help prove these future losses. As well as help prove the pain and suffering you endured due to the crash. Proof of Lost Wages If you lose time from work, keep or get proof from your employer. You should be compensated for any time missed because you stayed home due to your injuries. And also for any time you get docked pay for going to your doctor or physical therapy. Body Damage Estimates Depending on the insurance companies involved, you may end up sending your car to one of their preferred body shops for repair. If so, you may not need to get estimates from another body shop. But if not, be sure to get at least three different estimates for damage done to your vehicle in order to prove your property damage losses.  Proof of Other Incidental Losses If you suffer other losses in connection with your car accident, be sure to keep any receipts or other proof, even if you’re not sure you can collect for it or not. Such as, keep invoices for rental cars. And make a list of any clothing you were wearing and other personal property items that were damaged in your car, if any, along with an approximation of their value. Record These Types of Evidence to Win Every auto accident is different, so...

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what makes a good lawyer

Do you find yourself in need of a reliable personal injury attorney but you’re unsure of how to go about finding the right one to handle your case? There are some traits you should look for in an attorney before deciding on one to hire.  What makes a good lawyer anyway? Read the following 7 traits to look for to help you narrow down your search and find the right attorney in no time: 1. What Makes a Good Lawyer? Someone Who Communicates Clearly Wondering what makes a good lawyer? Well one of the top traits to seek in an attorney to handle your auto accident case is someone who communicates clearly. They should make it easy for you to understand how they will help you with your case and what’s required of you. They should provide clear information about all their fees and their process upfront.  If you have any questions along the way, their answers should be direct and to the point and not leave you walking away with more questions than you have answers.  If an attorney is unable to give you clear insight into their practice and process in the initial consultation, chances are you’ll have communication issues all along the way if you hire them.  2. They’re Engaging  A good, reliable lawyer is one who’s interested in your case so you don’t feel like just a number. Lawyers who aren’t engaging will only put in the minimum amount of effort and work on your case. This can lead to you getting a smaller settlement than you might have been able to obtain from someone more receptive.  But how can you tell if your lawyer is engaging? If they ask you lots of detailed questions about your case and your legal goals, there’s a good chance they’ll be engaging throughout.  3. A Willingness to Provide References Before you hire an attorney, you should ask each one for a list of references to speak to first. References are used to give you an idea of the reputation of the lawyer in question. A good lawyer will happily provide you with references to speak with. Even if you don’t end up contacting any of the references, at least you can have confidence in knowing the attorney was willing to share them with you.  An attorney who either won’t provide you with any references or doesn’t have any to give you is one that you should avoid.  If you’re given references, take the time to give a couple of them a call and ask them questions about their experience with the attorney you’re considering. Ask them if they felt like they were treated respectfully, if they felt like the attorney was knowledgable about the case, and if their case was settled in a satisfactory manner.  Keep in mind that each person will have had a unique experience, but by speaking with at least a few references, you should get a good idea about an attorney’s ability and professionalism. 4. One Who is Organized When you go to visit prospective attorneys, take a look at their office space. The more organized the office, the more organized they are likely to be.  Observe their staff members and other members of the team to see how they manage their workspace and interact with other clients. If you notice a lot of disorganization or struggle to manage all the clients in an orderly manner, you can take this as a reflection on their ability to handle your case in an efficient manner.  5. Reliability When you trust your car accident case to an attorney, you are trusting them to handle it with care. The way they handle your case can either make or break the settlement agreement that you receive. This is why it’s so important that you find an attorney that is trustworthy and reliable. What makes a good lawyer? A good personal injury attorney should be able to handle all your evidence properly and be trusted to return your calls within a reasonable time frame. You can expect a good attorney to file all necessary court documents and paperwork ahead of pressing deadlines and answer your questions along the way.  6. Personality An often over-looked trait that plays a big part in your overall experience is your attorney’s personality and if it’s a good fit for your own. Though you don’t need to be best friends, it’s important that you’re able to feel comfortable with your attorney and share all the important details surrounding your accident. You want to feel like your attorney treats you as a person and not just a job. Some attorneys are aggressive and serious and others have a warm, open personality. You might appreciate one over the other.  7. Someone Well Experienced Everyone starts somewhere, but as you go about choosing the best car accident attorney to handle your case, it never hurts to seek out someone with years of experience under their belt. If an attorney has been working on similar cases for many years, they’ve gained a lot of useful knowledge surrounding personal injury law. Their experience also means they’ve likely handled plenty of cases that are similar to your own which can give you an edge in seeking a settlement you’re happy with.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about an attorney’s experience before you hire them on to take your case.  Look No Further Now that you know what makes a good lawyer, we invite you to learn more about our team and schedule a free consultation. Our team has the experience and professionalism to handle your personal injury case and help you get the settlement you deserve.  Give us a call today to set up a meeting; we look forward to hearing from you! 

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minor car crash

Not every accident is a five-car freeway pile-up. Bumping someone from behind at 10-15 miles per hour is also an accident. And Georgia law says you can’t leave the scene of an accident, even if it’s a minor car crash. If you’re the driver who caused an accident, you need to fulfill your legal duties after the crash, or you could be charged with a hit and run. Do you know what to do when you get into a car accident? Keep reading to learn what the law says. 1. Stop and Pull Over (When Safe) If you get in any type of accident, you need to pull to the shoulder or the side of the road when it’s possible and safe. Pulling over allows you to both get out of the car safely and talk to fulfill your obligations. Why should you pull over even if it’s minor and it doesn’t look like there’s much damage? You don’t know if there’s damage until you ask. For example, tapping their bumper may have left a scratch or even a scuff. But what if the other driver had a baby in the backseat, and something fell and hit the baby upon impact? That’s much more serious than a scrape, and you won’t know what happened if you don’t stop and ask. 2. Exchange Information Here is where the Georgia Code kicks in. If you get in an accident, Georgia Code 40-6-270 says you need to do the following to complete your legal duty: Exchange personal information (contact details, insurance details, registration information) Show them your driver’s license (if they ask) Help them if they’re injured, or if someone else in the vehicle is Call 911 if necessary You need to do this if you’re involved in the accident and regardless of how it happened. You don’t even need to cause it for the law to apply. If someone hits you in traffic and sends you forward into the car in front of you, you still need to stop and provide your details. The ins and outs of the accident can get worked out by the police. If you don’t provide all these details, Georgia classifies it as a hit and run case. If you were both on the road and there’s property damage or injuries, a hit and run in Georgia is a felony. You could face up to five years in prison upon conviction and face fines, probation, and lose your license. If you left the scene of an accident when there was no one in the car, it’s possible to argue the hit and run down to a misdemeanor. However, this isn’t guaranteed. Other Details to Get at the Scene If you can, get the names of any witnesses who also stop or who might’ve been on the sidewalk at the time of the accident. These witnesses can be important for insurance claims, even in minor accidents. Additionally, if your phone is accessible, take photos of the scene, including any damage, the general area, and the traffic in the area at the time.  What Not to Do When Talking to the Other Drivers Fulfilling your legal obligation is required to avoid a hit and run charge, but there are things you shouldn’t do when you talk to the other drivers and police or emergency services. First, don’t make small talk, and don’t take the blame for the accident, no matter whose fault it is. Second, if you’re injured, don’t minimize it. Accept medical treatment, and don’t say, “I’m fine.” You might be injured and not feel it yet. 3. Call the Police (If Necessary) In Georgia, the Department of Driver Services says you need to call 911 when one of the following occurs: Personal injury Death of a passenger, driver, or pedestrian Property damage over $500 If it’s a minor car accident, you might not feel the need to call the police, particularly if no one was hurt, and there’s damage to a wing mirror or a scrape on the bumper. However, calling the police from the scene is always the smart choice. Why? Because the other driver could claim you left the scene without providing your details, which means you could get charged with a hit and run. In this case, it’s their word against yours, and the other driver has the upper hand because they called the police first. It’s also important from an insurance perspective. The police report gives your insurance company hard evidence of what happened. You might think there’s a scratch on your bumper, but it could fall off 200 feet down the road. A police report will catch this and arm you with information. The same is true of injuries. Often, the panic of the aftermath of an accident means people don’t feel their injuries. If you or the other driver is injured, then the insurance company might write your account off because if it was that serious, they’ll say, surely, you would’ve called the police. This brings us to the final point: your insurance company may not pay out a claim without a police report. And if you’re in a position where the other driver lies to their own insurance company, you could end up in even more trouble. You’ll be out of pocket, and your rates could go up. Always, Always Stop After a Minor Car Crash A minor car crash might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Georgia law says you must stop and provide your contact and registration details after any accident, even in the most minor of fender benders. If you don’t, you could be reported for a hit and run, which is usually a felony under state law. Were you involved in a car accident and now you’re unsure what to do next? Get in touch for a free case evaluation.

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at-fault accident

Have you recently suffered from an injury due to an auto-related accident? Do you have the feeling that you were the cause of the accident? If so, then it is important for you to understand how at-fault accidents work. These accidents can occur due to a variety of intentional and non-intentional actions on your end. Those who feel responsible for a car accident will need to collect as much information about the incident as possible. This data must be sent to the right professionals to determine who is liable for the expenses. With our knowledge of laws involving car accidents, you can find peace in your involvement of the accident and move on to safer and smarter driving experiences. Here is everything you need to know about at-fault accidents, how to find who’s at fault, and what to do if it’s you. Fault vs. No-Fault States The first factor you have to consider when determining the responsibility of at-fault car accidents is where the crash took place. Whether or not the accident took place in a “fault” or “no-fault” state can help you get an answer. In fault states, the insurer of the person who caused the car accident must take care of the expenses resulting from the incident after the investigation. This includes medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and any pain and suffering that the victims have been experiencing since the accident. Non-fault states require car owners to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover these expenses. This means that all parties involved must handle their own costs, no matter who caused the accident. Step 1. Check for Injuries Before everyone starts pointing blame for a crash, you need to make sure that no one is seriously hurt. Check on yourself and anyone that might be in your car for injuries. Afterward, call 911 to seek medical attention immediately, no matter how serious the injuries are. This can help you determine later on if you suffered internal injuries if you don’t suffer cuts, bruises, or broken bones. If you didn’t suffer injuries that hinder your ability to move, check on the other people involved in the accident. Keep yourself, other passengers and drivers, and the cars off the road to prevent further injuries from oncoming cars. Step 2. Collect Evidence The next step in determining an at-fault collision is collecting evidence that shows who caused the crash. Take photographs and record videos of the vehicle damage for everyone involved. Showing the damage to the authorities will help them figure out who’s at fault. It may help to include footage of any property damage in the area of the crash, or if multiple vehicles were involved. We also recommend collecting photos and videos of injuries that you or anyone else may have suffered. The evidence will ensure that no one can get away with changing the story. Step 3. Talk to Witnesses One form of evidence that can help determine the at-fault driver of your accident is the word of other people. While you’re waiting for the authorities to arrive, get reports from people in the area who saw the accident. You can video your interview with witnesses to show the police who question the validity of your statements. This can help counter false statements that other people involved in the accident might make later on. If there were no witnesses to the accident, then insurance companies and lawyers will most likely determine fault based on your driving history. They can look at records of previous accidents or penalties and may side with the person with the cleaner record. Step 4. Exchange Information Whether or not you know you caused the accident, you need to share information with everyone involved. Make sure to write down and provide names, phone numbers, insurance carriers, and insurance policy numbers. We also recommend writing down when and where the accident took place to make it easier for the authorities to determine responsibility. Don’t forget to include the types of vehicles involved. Step 5. Report to Your Insurance Company When it comes to a car accident, whose fault it is can be determined by insurance companies of the parties involved. Report your accident to your agent to figure out any penalties that you might have to pay. Make sure to have all of the evidence you collected when you meet with your insurance agent. Whether or not the evidence shows your innocence can affect your carrier’s ability to find costs on your end for everyone’s recovery. Determining Fault The individuals who will be tasked with determining who is responsible for an at-fault accident include the insurance companies and adjusters of those involved. These individuals will study the evidence and communicate with each other to establish who pays for what damages. The degree of fault will depend on the situation. For example, you may have tried to take an exit on a highway while the other driver merged in the same lane. This can lead to both of you being held responsible and paying for the damage. State laws may also affect if or how much you have to pay. Some states will require drivers to pay 100 percent of the damage even if they are determined to be just 51 percent responsible for the crash. Other states, however, go by a particular percentage based on how negligence and other poor driving decisions. For example, if both drivers made mistakes but one had a stronger influence, there could be a specific split of responsibility, such as 70 percent for one driver and 30 percent for the other. Some cases may end with a 50-50 split of responsibility if there is a lack of evidence. If neither party has footage or eye-witness testimonies from the accident, the insurance companies might have both parties pay for damages. Our Take on At-Fault Accidents If you are responsible for an at-fault accident, then you need to have as much evidence as possible of the situation. This includes the actions of both drivers and the damage or injuries that both...

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car accident settlement

Insurance companies are really, really good at making money. One of the ways they hold onto that wealth is by looking for ways to deny claims against your policy. After you file a car accident claim, your insurance company wants to make sure it only pays for what it absolutely must. No matter how well you document your accident and how fair you are in your ask, your insurance company will fight you. The question is: when should you accept a car accident settlement, and when should you fight it? Take a deep breath and keep reading to learn more. What Is a Car Accident Settlement? When you get in a car accident, you have the legal right to ask for compensation through the civil court system. In most cases, your first point of call isn’t the judge. It’s an insurance provider because all drivers are legally required to keep up-to-date insurance coverage. Uninsured drivers are a different story and usually require filing a personal injury case. When you sue after a car accident, the defendant is typically an insurance provider – not the other driver.  The insurer will almost always offer you a car accident settlement both initially and at various points before trial. Why? Because going to court is expensive and wastes the insurance company’s resources. And if you have a solid case, then they will likely end up paying anyway. Settlements cut the time in half and allow the insurer to remain in control of the solution – lest the judge decides to award you more than you ask for. But when should you accept the check? And when should you reject it? These Accidents Are Best Settled There are some accidents that aren’t worth fighting for over the long-term. If you got in a minor accident and the damage is worth claiming but isn’t severe, your insurer will offer to pay the mechanic’s bill and nothing else. You probably won’t get any more out of them for a scratched car or dented bumper, and it might not be worth trying. It’s also a good idea to settle if you have made a claim in the past two years, and you caused the accident in an at-fault state. (Georgia is an at-fault state.) If you decide to make a claim, then you are better off accepting what the insurer gives you. Most people also find that it’s fine to settle if you weren’t injured in the accident. By the time you start the claims process, you have a good idea of the extent of any injuries. If there were anything you could claim for, then you’d likely know in the first 72-96 hours. Finally, many people choose to settle quickly to get the check quickly. Some feel they can’t afford to bring a case, and others don’t realize they can.  But not everyone who accepts a settlement gets what they are genuinely entitled to. Here are some cases that show when you should be fighting for a claim. When Should You Avoid Settling a Claim? In most cases, settling isn’t a good idea when the accident was both severe and when you weren’t at fault. The one time where it’s never smart to accept an early car accident settlement is when you get injured. If you go to the hospital with injuries and you are still receiving treatment, you don’t know what the future looks like yet. You also don’t know how much those injuries are going to cost you over time. Any time you get injured in a car accident, you benefit from calling a lawyer before you even file your claim with your insurance company. Even if you don’t want to file a personal injury suit, they can help you negotiate the car accident claim process to make sure that you get the coverage your policy allows right away. You should also avoid settling if your accident was the result of a third factor, like if the road is very poorly maintained or if there was a bus involved. In any instance where there are contributing factors to the accident, you benefit from having an attorney at least look at your claim before filing it. When Should You Go to Trial? The vast majority of car accident claims end in an out-of-court settlement. Going to trial is risky because it racks up your legal fees and could even end in a loss. However, it is necessary in rare cases. Why might you decide to go to trial after a car accident? If you were injured and the insurance company won’t budget and won’t say why, it might be worth going to trial. In these cases, you need to present enough evidence to warrant the settlement you’re asking for. However, the discovery process also provides access to the insurance company’s evidence, so you might find out what’s happening at the insurance company. You might also choose to go to trial if the insurer has the material facts wrong. For example, if the insurance company won’t pay because it says you caused the accident and you didn’t, then you may need to bring the conflict to a judge. Will You Settle? Ask Your Attorney for Advice Insurance companies make their money by offering low initial settlements whenever people make claims. It’s nothing personal. It’s just business. If you’re unsure about whether to accept a car accident settlement, the best thing to do is consult an attorney. They can review your case and let you know if you have a claim that’s worth much more than what the insurance company offered. In this case, you can continue negotiating with the insurance company to get a fairer settlement or even take the case to trial if you need to. Were you injured in a car accident and now facing an unfair settlement? Get in touch today for a free case evaluation and to learn whether you should settle your accident claim. 

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