Peachtree City Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a car accident in Peachtree City, GA, an auto accident attorney can help you to successfully pursue your claim. There are many things to know about car accident cases, and you’ll want someone with experience on your side.
Auto Accident Lawsuits
Many people think that hiring a Peachtree City, GA auto accident attorney means that they are filing a lawsuit. This is not the case. An attorney can help you through the stages that come before and after filing a lawsuit (if a lawsuit is even necessary). There are situations where it is most practical to file a lawsuit (multiple accident claims, denied fault, underinsured/uninsured drivers), but the majority of car accident cases can be settled out of court. If you do file a lawsuit, you will likely end up doing so some weeks or months after the accident. Yet, you want to contact an attorney as soon as you can after the incident to ensure the best chance of a fair recovery.
A dispute can be settled before filing a lawsuit, before the trial, and even during the trial. A car accident lawyer in Peachtree, GA can help you to determine if and when it is appropriate to file a lawsuit and handle the settlement negotiations that come before litigation. Your attorney will also be mindful of the statute of limitations, which is usually two years from the date of the accident (or date of death in wrongful death cases). If you don’t file a lawsuit within the two year deadline, you will lose your right to do so. For this reason, your attorney may file a lawsuit while negotiations are ongoing, to protect your legal rights, if the statute has almost run out.
Whenever someone is injured in a car accident and files a lawsuit, they enter into a personal injury case, where they must prove their claim. This means that you will have to be able to prove certain factors and specifics to determine who is at fault, why that person or company is at fault, the severity and long term effects of your injuries, and more. Following are the basic claims that you’ll have to prove:
- Duty of Care: The other driver owed a duty of care to others on the road, including yourself. This is his or her legal responsibility to drive safely and follow the rules of the road.
- Breach of Duty: The driver, owing a duty of care, breached that duty. He or she behaved inappropriately or recklessly and/or failed to follow the rules of the road.
- Injuries Resulted: The driver’s breach of duty caused your injuries. The injuries are documented and shown to have a causal link to the actions of the other driver. If no injury occurred, you cannot recover any compensation from the at-fault driver in a personal injury case.
Every case is different when it comes to proving fault and a causal link to injuries. Some are very clear and simple, like when a driver runs a red light and strikes another vehicle, causing immediately apparent injury, such as severely broken bones. Others are more complex, like when a person rear-ends a front driver, who may have been driving and braking recklessly, or who may have less obvious injuries.
If you’ve been in a car accident in Peachtree City, GA, you should get a full medical evaluation, even if you have no symptoms, or only minor symptoms, of an injury. You should then contact an attorney who has access to expert witnesses, like accident reconstructionists and medical experts who can help you to prove your claim and recovery fair compensation.
Large insurance companies are often successful defendants with plenty of resources and a good chance of winning the case or getting the recovery amount lowered. This means that there are some cases where they will attempt to push your claim to a jury trial.
Your best chance to win your case then is to be credible and honest with the jury. You want to avoid exaggerating or appearing to exaggerate anything about the accident or your injuries. You should also show that you are working to recover from the injuries and get back on your feet. It will be up to you to convince the jury that your injuries are being reported accurately and that they were caused by the at-fault driver. If you do not appear to be credible, or if you seem to be trying to maximize the value of your lawsuit with exaggerations, you are not going to have a favorable outcome.
Legal actions and lawsuits are referred to as litigation. You may be the prosecutor or the defendant, attempting to prove a case through evidence, pleadings, and debate, and litigating your case. When you hire a car accident attorney in Peachtree City, GA, to represent you, this is not an indication that you are filing a lawsuit or that you ultimately will. An attorney can help you settle the dispute without a lawsuit and can also assist if the case enters the stage where a lawsuit must be filed and possibly presented in court. You can typically expect a free consultation before hiring an attorney to take the necessary steps in resolving the dispute.
No matter what the case involves (business law, domestic issues, debt collections, contract disputes, personal injury, etc.), it is going to begin with negotiation. One benefit of having an attorney is that these negotiations can be handled without the obstacles presented by emotional involvement. The process takes some time, varying based on different factors, like the statute of limitations on your case. It’s important to remember that filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean that you’ll end up going to trial, and you can still settle out of court after filing.
You’ll start by filing a complaint document with the appropriate Clerk of the Court, making you the Plaintiff/Petitioner. The Defendant/Responder is the person you are filing a suit against. You then have to make sure that the Defendant is served with the lawsuit through a court appointed process server, the Sherriff’s office, or the County Marshall.
Next, the Defendant is going to have the opportunity to file a response to the allegations. A period of discovery will follow where both sides can build their cases based on the evidence. The case will be scheduled for trial at the end of the discovery stage. Negotiations for settlement can continue throughout this time, and options like mediation and arbitration can help. Most people prefer to settle out of court because trials are expensive and require a lot of patience. A Peachtree City, GA auto accident attorney can guide you successfully through all of these steps
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial vehicle accidents involve more catastrophic damage than accidents with ordinary vehicles. There is more property damage, higher rates of fatality, more extensive and horrific injuries when large commercial vehicles are involved in collisions.
However, this is not the only difference between commercial vehicle accidents and ordinary accidents. There are also differences in state and federal rules and regulations. Truck drivers have to keep records, log books, and hours of operation can make a difference in your case. You need an attorney who knows what to look for, how to interpret the evidence, and where to find it. You don’t want to lose your case or reduce your recovery because you aren’t aware of the different law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies that are involved in such cases.
Then, there is the concern of who exactly you are filing a lawsuit against. Is it the driver, or the company that the driver works for? What if the accident occurred in one state, but the company is in another? What if there are multiple defendants? An auto accident attorney in Peachtree City, GA with experience in commercial vehicle accidents will be able to answer these questions and pursue your claim accordingly, including knowing when and where to file the lawsuit.
Finally, there is the issue of the resources that a large trucking company may have. If the Defendant has unlimited resources, then you will find it challenging to counter their efforts. You want to work with an attorney who has excellent resources and access to accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and more to demonstrate that your claims are factual and that you deserve compensation. Don’t work with an inexperienced lawyer who may be easily intimidated by the resources of the defense. A good attorney is confident, experienced, and knowledgeable about commercial vehicle accident cases.
After an Accident
An auto accident is often devastating and confusing in the moments that follow. If you’ve been in an accident before, you may have some idea of what you should do or avoid doing. However, if you have not, there are some important pointers to keep in mind to keep from damaging your case.
The time following a car accident can be frightening, confusing, and painful. For those who have never been in an accident before, the experience is often overwhelming, and it’s easy to make mistakes. There are some things you need to do after an accident and some things that you should never do, but might not think twice about. For example, you should check on the other people involved if you are able to do so, but you should not apologize to anyone. Contact law enforcement and emergency assistance, but do not discuss the accident with any drivers or witnesses, and do not admit fault. Even if you think you may have been at fault, an investigation may determine otherwise.
You should also gather information from everyone involved, from the other drivers to those who administered first aid, to those who simply witnessed the accident. You will need their contact information later if you need witnesses to prove your case. You should also write down everything that happened during the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Don’t count on remembering it all later without writing it down. It could be months before the case is closed.
You need to seek medical attention right away, even if you believe you are uninjured or that your injuries are mild. It is common for injuries to become apparent in the days and weeks following the accident, and you want to get prompt medical attention.
You need to avoid speaking to the other drivers’ insurance companies. They may ask for a recorded or signed statement, and you should refuse. Tell them that you do not want to offer a statement before speaking with your attorney. You should then speak to an attorney. You can receive a free consultation for your case with an auto accident attorney in Peachtree City, GA, and he or she will be able to advise you on the next steps to take.
You should always keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations and that the longer you wait to contact an attorney, the harder it will be to win your case. If you keep this advice in mind and contact a Fayetteville accident lawyer as soon as you can, then you should be able to receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.