Atlanta Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Despite all the safety technology, laws and engineering that go into modern-day motor vehicles, there are still an average of 330,000 accidents on Georgia roads each year. Those crashes lead to roughly 16,500 serious injuries and 1,200 deaths. Statistics may suggest that vehicle crashes are an unfortunate part of life in Atlanta, but what the numbers do not illustrate is just how devastating they can be for the people involved.
Whether in Atlanta, Macon, Columbus or Savannah, motor-vehicle crashes take an incredible toll on the victims, and not just physically. If you suffer a serious injury, you not only experience a great deal of pain and suffering, you are also likely to face medical bills, lost income and property damage.
Let The Stoddard Firm help
If you or a loved one has been harmed in an accident, you need an experienced car wreck attorney to devote extensive time and large-scale financial resources. The Stoddard Firm has no interest in collecting your medical bill and sending a less-than-full-value demand to the insurance company. Instead, our small case load and large piggy bank ensure that we will uncover the truth and fight for full value in each car wreck case. If you have questions or would like to set up an evaluation, contact The Stoddard Firm online, or call us at 404.593.2695. The evaluation is free, and you pay no out-of-pocket expenses until your claim is finished.
Types of Accidents
We bring an unparalleled tenacity to finding witnesses that other firms do not, and an unmatched devotion to spending the time, effort, and money necessary to properly tell your story. The Stoddard Firm handles all types of car wreck cases, including:
- Two-vehicle car wrecks – This could be one of many types of wrecks that range from rear-end collisions to side-impact, or “T-bone” collisions, when one car runs head-on into the side of another.
- Multi-vehicle car wrecks – These types of wrecks may happen in congested areas anywhere, but they often occur in traffic where there is low visibility, when one vehicle stops but the ones following do not see it or don’t have time to stop.
- Drunk driving car wrecks – You can check your vehicle daily for safety and follow all the rules of the road, but what you cannot prepare for is the dangerous presence of a drunk driver.
- Car wrecks injuring pedestrians – With more people walking for health and for pleasure, there are an increasing number of accidents involving pedestrians.
- Motorcycle wrecks – While motorcycles may be fun, they also have inherent dangers. Without a shell around them, riders are out in the open, so even injuries from slight crashes may be more severe.
- Car wrecks injuring a bicyclist – While bicycles generally have the right to be on the road as much as any other vehicle, not every driver sees it that way, and it often leads to tragic results.
This list represents just a few of the types of wrecks we are prepared to handle; but even if your crash does not fit into one of these categories, we encourage you to reach out to our firm to learn more. We understand that every case is different, and we offer free consultations so you can be better prepared to move forward with your case.
Human Error, not Vehicles, is to Blame for most Crashes
While it is easy to blame untested technology or manufacturer defects for accidents, the sad reality is that for every 20 vehicle crashes in the United States, approximately 19 are due to human error. This is an important fact for someone who is injured in an accident to understand. If your injury was caused by someone else’s mistakes, then you should not have to pay the costs of your injury or your damages out of your own pocket. The person responsible for the accident is often found responsible for paying the bills for the accident they caused.
Atlanta Personal Injury Claims
Personal Injury Claims are a tool used by those injured in a vehicle crash to recover the damages they have encountered because of another driver’s negligence. These claims are invaluable for those that experience devastating financial consequences in a vehicle crash. They ensure a level of fairness and accountability that is vital for someone injured in a car wreck.
A crash can be caused by many different forms of error. A distracted, fatigued, impaired or reckless driver is often to blame for a crash. If you have been injured in a vehicle crash, it is not your responsibility to find out why the other driver might have caused the crash. A vehicle accident attorney will investigate your case to find out who was at fault, how much you are owed and what you should do to ensure compensation.
The Stoddard Firm understands how important these cases are for our clients. Many people come to us after suffering debilitating injuries that are costly and painful. We fight for our clients to make sure their case is pursued with our full resources and that they get the payment they are owed.
Most Common Causes of Accidents
While there are many causes of vehicle accidents, the underlying issues in many of them are similar. A report combining statistics from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists a few:
- Distracted Driving – This entails driving without one’s full attention on the road. The driver may be distracted by eating, looking at a map, carrying on a conversation, or any of a number of other activities.
- Cell Phones – It’s estimated more than 25 percent of accidents in 2017 were caused by cell-phone use.
- Drunk Driving – NHTSA and CDC statistics suggest that 28 people die each day – an average of one person every 53 minutes – due to drunk driving crashes. Alcohol affects not only the body’s reaction time, but also cognitive abilities – our ability to think logically and rationally.
- Speeding – The old adage that “speed kills” is true when it comes to motor-vehicle accidents. With higher speeds, the statistical chances of having and being injured in an accident increase exponentially.
- Weather – a sudden change in road conditions can be deadly, especially for young and inexperienced drivers. (Simply check the freeways in Atlanta during one of the rare freezes.)
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The types of injuries sustained in vehicle accidents are almost too numerous to count. However, some injuries are more common than others:
- Head and Back Injuries — Because of the trauma of the crash, head and back injuries are the most common in any type of vehicle accident. Injury to the head can cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury, and severe trauma can injure the spine and cause paralysis.
- Neck and Chest Injuries — Neck and chest injuries may range from whiplash to broken bones. During an accident, the neck is especially vulnerable as the impact against the vehicle may strain the neck and make it move at dangerous speeds and directions. And the chest is especially vulnerable from impact with a steering wheel or an exploding airbag.
- Other Injuries — Some crash victims suffer broken hands, arms or legs; internal injuries; and PTSD. Immediate medical attention after an accident is recommended in all cases.
Atlanta Driving Safety Tips
While some accidents are unavoidable, by simply following some expert safety advice, including the tips below from Nationwide Insurance, your chances of being in a vehicle accident and being injured are reduced substantially.
- Avoid Distractions – Pay attention to and focus on the road.
- Drive Defensively – You may be the safest driver on the road, but you cannot control the driving of other people.
- Plan Ahead – Adjust equipment before driving; know where traffic is worst and avoid it if possible; be prepared for construction or to take an alternate route if necessary.
- Be Safe – Wear your safety belt, keep important items within arm’s reach, and make sure all materials that may move when driving are secure.
After the Wreck
After a car wreck occurs, here are two things to keep in mind.
First, an insurance company owes a duty to its shareholders to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. As a result, an insurance claims adjuster is not on your side, but instead is trying to minimize the recovery in your car wreck case. The adjuster’s tactic is to gather recorded statements from any easily accessible witness and later use any discrepancy in witness testimony to paint you as a liar. The tactic is well documented in an industry insider tell-all book about insurance claim practices. See, e.g., From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves: The Dark Side of Insurance, by David J. Berardinelli.
Second, and more importantly, reaching out to the Stoddard Firm is free. Please contact us online or call us at 678-RESULTS (678-737-8587) so we can answer your questions and discuss what is necessary to achieve a favorable result in your car wreck case. It never hurts to have more information. There is no reason not to call or contact us for free advice.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Atlanta, call Matt Stoddard of The Stoddard Firm today. The Stoddard Firm has the knowledge, experience and resources to successfully pursue your claim. If you have questions or would like to set up an evaluation, contact us online or call 678-RESULTS.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.
How can a lawyer help me?
If you have been involved in an accident, you should explore every option available for making yourself whole again. It is your right to seek financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Lawyers are trained professionals who know what questions to ask, what details are important, how to identify every responsible party, how to handle insurance companies, and how to prepare a case for trial.
Do I still have a claim if the accident was partly my fault?
Believing that you shoulder some of the responsibility for an accident does not mean it is true. There are many factors involved in an accident, some of which may be unknown to you. If it turns out that you are partly to blame, this does not necessarily bar you from recovery. Laws about fault are different from state to state, which is another good reason to have a lawyer evaluate your claim.
What do I do about the insurance companies?
Prompt notice of an accident is required by most insurers or coverage under an uninsured / underinsured motorist policy may be denied, but this rule typically applies ONLY to your insurer – not the insurer of the striking driver. Further, while you may be required to cooperate you’re your uninsured / underinsured motorist carrier, you are under no obligation to cooperate with the insurance companies providing coverage for the other drivers/parties involved, and in fact, you should refuse to speak with them until you have a chance to consult an attorney. Insurance adjusters are out to protect the bottom line of the insurance company; they almost never have your interest at heart. As a result, its is preferable to communicate with such insurers, if at all, through your lawyer.
Will my claim be settled or will I have to go to court?
The answer really depends on how willing the other side is to legitimately compensate you for your injuries and losses. Settlement is possible once a fair value offer is made, and settlement is the client’s decision. That said, at The Stoddard Firm, we approach each case as if we are going to trial.