Responding to a car accident in your life is never easy. You might be stuck without a vehicle, juggling endless-seeming medical appointments, struggling to keep your career and your family’s schedules on track, and worrying about whether the new aches and pains in your body will become chronic.
In the worst-case scenario, you might be planning funeral services, grappling with grief and the realization that life will never be the same again. Money may be short, time and emotional energy almost certainly are, and in the midst of all this, you’re trying to figure out whether you need a car accident lawyer, and how to choose one.
Below, we’ll go into more detail on how traffic accidents harm the Alpharetta community, and how a lawyer can help you get the settlement you deserve. If you’d prefer to speak directly with an Alpharetta car accident lawyer, please feel free to reach out by phone or chat at any time.
Many of Alpharetta’s Traffic Disasters Stem from Aggression and Recklessness
Traffic collisions are often collectively referred to as “accidents,” and that’s what most of them are. One or more people are almost always at fault, but it’s usually through inattention or misjudgment rather than intentional wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, many of the recent injuries and deaths that have happened on Alpharetta roads stretch the definition of the word “accident,” or leave it behind entirely.
In October of 2021, one driver collided with two others in an apparent road rage incident at Canton Street and Mayfield Road. He was then caught on camera hitting one of the other drivers in the face, and kicking one of the cars.
Five months earlier, an Alpharetta woman crashed into a tree at Pleasant Hill Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, killing her passenger. Police believe she did it deliberately, and she was charged with murder as well as reckless driving, DUI, and an assortment of other offences.
The month before that, a young man from Alpharetta was arrested for multiple counts of hit-and-run along the GA-400. He was picked up in Sandy Springs, but residents from all over the metro Atlanta area reported seeing the same SUV driving recklessly, running red lights, and doing high-speed “donuts” in intersections and residential areas. One of the sightings was here in Alpharetta, at the Target. His charges also included DUI.
That was an especially fraught month for commuters on the 400. Only a few weeks before the SUV’s alleged rampage, there was a fatal accident involving a vehicle driving the wrong way. That’s not an easy mistake for a capable driver to make, so the culprit may have been either severely impaired or driving the wrong way on purpose.
Survivors of these kinds of borderline accidents and non-accidents on the road have some of the strongest grounds to sue for extensive compensation.
Hit-and-Run Makes Any Accident a Crime
A hit-and-run accident is any accident that ends with a driver fleeing the scene, without exchanging the required information with the other people involved.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run is fairly common in Georgia. According to a survey by AAA, Georgia had the fourth-most fatal hit-and-run incidents in 2016, trailing only California, Florida, and Texas, all of which have much larger populations.
Drivers who flee are more likely to be young, intoxicated, and at-fault for their accidents, as appears to be the case with the SUV driver arrested in Sandy Springs. That’s not always the case, however.
For example, in May of 2021, a driver struck two pedestrians in a crosswalk at Milton Avenue and North Main Street, and then drove away. Surveillance footage of the incident shows the driver having a green light, so police note that they might not have been assigned any fault if they had stayed. Hit-and-run is a crime regardless of the nature of the accident itself, so this driver is now facing jail time, as well as civil litigation, if they are ever found.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one to a hit-and-run accident in Alpharetta, your biggest obstacle to compensation will be locating and identifying the driver. If police do find the culprit, however, you may be able to sue for punitive damages on top of your financial and emotional losses.
Street Racing Has Become a Serious Problem for Suburbs Like Alpharetta
As Atlanta police crack down on street racing, many racers are taking to the suburbs. Although thoroughly illegal, these races have a surprising level of organization behind them, with dozens of conspirators working together to take over public streets for their events.
Unfortunately, the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety seems to be a few steps behind their Atlanta colleagues in addressing the problem. Last January, one of these events reportedly took place at the intersection of Winward Parkway and Deerfield Parkway. A woman who stumbled across the race in progress says she called police as soon as she figured out what was going on, but she remained trapped at the intersection for at least 15-20 cycles of the light before anyone arrived to help. No arrests were made.
Street racing is extremely dangerous, not only for the racers, but for spectators and anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. Any innocent bystander who falls victim to the fallout from this reckless pastime absolutely has a right to sue.
Large Trucks and Heavy Traffic Can Add to the Danger of the GA-400
Alpharetta commuters know that it doesn’t necessarily take a street race or an intoxicated driver to turn the delicate web of local thoroughfares into a gridlocked mess. Major disruptions are fairly common, especially on the GA-400, like the tractor-trailer wreck last January, or the crash that blocked all northbound lanes last September. Both affected morning rush hours, backing up traffic for miles.
When these incidents happen, they often represent life-changing harm to one or more families, in addition to the inconvenience they cause to hundreds more.
Some accidents on the 400 can be explained by the sheer volume of traffic, especially as more people begin to work away from home again. Each extra driver on the road brings extra variables and possibilities for mistakes, and the rush to cram lots of vehicles through a few bottlenecks in a short period of time can further raise the risk of accidents, especially rear-end collisions.
The type of traffic on highways like the 400 can also be a factor. A high ratio of commercial vehicles increases the likelihood of fatalities and serious injuries on the road. This is because the size and weight of commercial trucks allows them to cause much more destruction during accidents than private passenger vehicles.
Companies that choose to operate vehicles on public streets have a duty to make sure those vehicles are operated as safely as possible, but many don’t live up to this obligation. Exhausting work schedules for drivers are the norm rather than the exception, leading to errors on the road.
If you’ve been harmed by an accident on the 400, the 120, the 9, or another major route through Alpharetta, it’s crucial to find out whether the at-fault vehicle was owned by an individual or a company. If an on-duty commercial vehicle caused the accident, you will need the company’s insurance information, rather than the driver’s personal insurance information, to pursue compensation.
The Insurance Industry Makes Lawsuits Necessary, Even for Honest Accidents
Survivors are often hesitant to pursue car accident lawsuits, because they don’t want to put the other driver through a legal ordeal they may not be able to afford. This is especially true when the at-fault driver only lost focus for a moment, and was not intoxicated, aggressive, or reckless.
As long as the at-fault driver is insured, however, this hesitation ends up benefiting their insurance company, rather than the driver themselves. Worse, the innocent accident victim ends up paying the price for the insurance company’s savings.
One of the main purposes of car insurance is to cover a driver’s liability to others in case of an accident. This means that, even though it was the at-fault driver’s mistake that caused the damage, it’s actually the insurance company that owes monetary compensation to the victims.
In an ideal world, car insurance would automatically compensate accident survivors fairly for their losses, but this almost never happens in real life. Insurance is a for-profit business, and one of the ways these companies maximize their profits is by deliberately offering survivors low-ball settlements, to see how many of them will accept.
In order to get the full compensation you’re owed, you will need legal representation. A qualified accident attorney will help you by:
- Handling communication with the insurance company on your behalf. This lets the company know that you’re serious about getting a fair settlement, and protects you from any tricks or hard-sell tactics the company might use to get you to accept less.
- Helping you arrive at accurate predictions for how your injuries will affect your future finances and quality of life, to calculate what a fair settlement would mean for you.
- Independently investigating the accident, to make sure you’ll have the evidence you need to go to court.
- Keeping your pursuit of justice organized and on track, so that you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind.
In order to reap the full benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer, it’s important to find one who has plenty of experience with accidents similar to yours. A familiarity with the area where the accident occurred can also be enormously helpful.
The Stoddard Firm Has Car Accident Lawyers Who Know Alpharetta
The experts at The Stoddard Firm have an extensive understanding of Georgia traffic law and common car accident lawsuit scenarios, including but not limited to:
- Rear-end collisions
- Sideswipe collisions
- T-bone collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents
- Vehicle vs. bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
We know Alpharetta, which helps us speak knowledgeably on local traffic patterns and accident hotspots. It also allows us to investigate our clients’ accidents more efficiently and thoroughly, because we already have relationships with many of the entities we’ll need to coordinate with.
We can confer with Wellstar North Fulton Hospital about your injuries, with the Atlanta Department of Public Safety about the accident report, or with Ever Towing Alpharetta about the physical evidence on the vehicle, to name a few.
In the event that you’re suing on behalf of a lost loved one, we’ll work closely with Gordon Funeral and Cremation Services, or your facility of choice, to ensure all relevant evidence is collected in time to prevent disruptions to your farewell plans.
To get started discussing your case with an Alpharetta car accident lawyer, just give us a call at 678-RESULTS or reach out through our online chat function for a free consultation.