In 2020 alone, more than 330,000 car accidents were reported in Georgia. A car accident can severely impact your life. Fortunately, if another party was at fault, you can seek and obtain financial compensation for the damages and losses you suffer. This will go a long way in helping you get as close as possible to your position before the accident. For a successful outcome, you need to have a rough idea of how much you are entitled to. Part of this involves understanding how a car accident settlement is calculated in Georgia.
Here’s what to know.
Types of Car Accidents
Different types of traffic accidents can lead to a personal injury claim. Knowing them will enable you to understand the risks on the road and help you protect yourself. They include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Blind-spot accidents
- Road construction accidents
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Road accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Some accidents are caused by driver error, while others occur due to factors unrelated to human error. Below are the top causes of traffic accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Driving while impaired
- Reckless driving
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
- Vehicle defects
What Happens After a Car Accident?
Your statements and actions immediately after a collision can affect the value of your settlement. As such, it is important to keep a level head so you can handle the situation correctly. Here are the steps to take.
Seek Medical Treatment
Seek medical help as soon as possible, even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort. The doctor will conduct a physical examination, administer appropriate treatment and document your injuries. Medical documentation of your injuries will help you prove your case when pursuing compensation.
Report the Accident to the Police
Drivers involved in a Georgia car accident can call the police if the crash results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500. In addition to reporting the accident, be sure to file a police report and obtain a copy of the document. To get a copy of the car accident report, simply request the local law enforcement that drafted it to provide you with a copy.
Document the Crash
The more evidence you collect after a crash, the stronger your case will be. This is why taking and preserving photos of the crash site, the vehicles involved, and the injuries you have suffered are important. Also, collect witness statements and exchange important details with the other driver.
Keep an Accurate Record of your Expenses and Injuries
Keeping an accurate record of your expenses, including your medical bills, will help you obtain fair and just compensation. In addition, you should document your injuries as you recover from your pain and suffering.
Consult with a Lawyer
The period of time following an accident can be characterized by fear, shock, and anxiety. This can make it difficult to think straight. Before accepting any settlement offer, make sure you consult a car accident lawyer.
How a Car Accident Settlement is Calculated
To estimate the value of your car accident settlement, you need to know the damages that are included in the settlement amount. Generally, your settlement will include two main categories of damages: special and general damages. In some cases, it may also include punitive damages. The final amount is arrived at by adding together special and general damages and punitive damages when they are recoverable.
There is no specific formula for calculating the settlement value in a car accident case. Similarly, car accident cases vary widely. However, there are certain factors that will affect how much you receive. They are:
The Type and Severity of Your Injuries
The nature and extent of your injuries will affect how long you stay in the hospital, the time needed for recovery, and your ability to work. This will, in turn, influence your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Georgia is an at-fault state. This means that you can sue the at-fault driver. However, the amount you receive after you have been in an auto accident will depend on your percentage of fault.
Potential for Future Damages
Car accident victims that sustain a permanent disability or impairment may require ongoing treatment and long-term personal care. These future damages may be included when calculating your settlement.
The emotional impact of a car accident can be far-reaching. When calculating the settlement amount due to you, your emotional trauma will be considered. This includes symptoms like intrusive thoughts, negative mood changes, and overall emotional suffering.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement
Car accident cases can be complex. Without a competent lawyer on your side, you may end up making mistakes that could harm your case. A good lawyer will help to:
- Ensure you file your claim within the specified period of time
- Conduct an independent investigation. This will enable you to gather more evidence and build a strong case.
- Calculate your general damages so you can estimate the settlement value
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf based on the available evidence
- Provide competent legal representation and protect your rights throughout the process.
Have you been in a car accident that was not your fault? Hiring a lawyer will enable you to get the most out of your car accident settlement. For the best results, be sure to work with a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer.