Searching for an accident lawyer is never a pleasant task. You’ve just been through the trauma of the accident itself, and now you’re facing the possibility of having your pain unjustly dismissed with a token settlement or none at all. You’re wondering if you need an expert’s help, or maybe you know you do but aren’t sure where to look.
In your efforts to find the right person, you might have tried looking up lawyers who specialize in rear-end collisions, sideswipe collisions, T-bone collisions, head-on collisions, multi-car pileups, or another very specific kind of accident. Maybe you’ve even found someone who mostly covers your accident type, but there are special circumstances you’re not sure they’re qualified to handle.
While two accidents that look alike may have similar causes and result in similar lawsuits, the angle of impact is actually one of many factors that go into determining liability. There’s a lot of overlap between the different categories of traffic accident.
In many instances, which car was in front of the other at the time of impact may be far less important than the fact that one of the drivers was drunk, speeding, or using a cell phone, for example. In other cases, the fault for the accident may not be in question at all, but the severity of the victim’s injuries is.
Because of how interconnected these aspects of a car accident lawsuit can become, it’s wise to work with a lawyer who has a broad understanding of both traffic law and personal injury law, or, if applicable, wrongful death law.
Below, we’ll discuss some of the most common ways traffic accidents affect Marietta residents, the obstacles to fair compensation, and how a lawyer can help. If you’d prefer to speak with a Marietta car accident lawyer directly right away, feel free to reach out at any time by phone or chat.
Marietta Drivers Often Don’t Take Adequate Care Around Pedestrians and Motorcyclists
As a general rule, when traffic collisions occur between vehicles of different sizes, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed. The danger is even greater for people using vehicles without physical shielding, such as bicycles and motorcycles, and for people not using a vehicle at all.
That’s why it’s so important for drivers to stay on the alert for pedestrians and small vehicles around them. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t happen on Marietta roads.
On April 22nd, 2022, at the intersection where MacLand Road becomes Windy Hill Road, a car turned left on a flashing yellow light, right in front of the Chick-fil-A. The flashing yellow light means that oncoming traffic had the right of way, and the driver turning left was supposed to wait for an adequate gap, but this apparently didn’t happen. An oncoming motorcycle braked but was not able to avoid the car. The car driver was unharmed, but the motorcycle rider died of his injuries in the hospital.
The very next day, at the intersection of Delk Road and Franklin Gateway, another car crossed multiple lanes while turning left, and crashed into another motorcycle. The rider and his 9-year-old passenger were both seriously injured. The driver of the car was later arrested and charged with, among other things, reckless driving.
In November of 2021, there was a similar cluster of car-versus-pedestrian accidents. On November 15th, a car struck a man who was trying to cross Cobb Parkway South in front of the Regency Inn and Suites. The next day, another car struck a woman who was walking her two grandchildren across Delk Road near Powers Ferry Place, in front of the Shell station.
In both cases, the victims died, and the drivers fled, though one later turned himself in, and a suspect in the other incident has been caught. The two children, thankfully, were not injured.
Law-abiding pedestrians and small-vehicle users who are harmed by careless Marietta drivers always have a right to sue for compensation. Or, in the case of fatal accidents, that right passes to the next-of-kin for a wrongful death suit.
Lawbreaking Pedestrians Can Also Be the Cause of Accidents
There are, of course, times when the more vulnerable person involved in an accident is also the one responsible for causing it, in whole or in part.
For example, Marietta has had some problems recently with pedestrians appearing on the I-75 for unknown reasons. One was struck and killed in January in the middle of the night, near the South Marietta Parkway entrance. Another was struck and severely injured in April, just south of Windy Hill Road.
Pedestrians are not allowed on freeways, unless they are performing work there or are recent traffic incident survivors, moving for their own safety or the safety of others. Just like drivers, pedestrians who break traffic laws and cause accidents can be held liable for the harm they cause to others.
However, regardless of who has the right of way, it’s never okay for a driver to hit a pedestrian if safely avoiding them is an option. In some cases, the driver can be faulted for not watching carefully enough for pedestrians, even if that driver has broken no other traffic laws.
If you are unsure where the liability falls in your case, it’s always worth checking with a car accident lawyer.
Racing, Intoxication, and General Irresponsibility Make Marietta Roads More Dangerous
Traffic accidents can happen to anyone, prompted by even the smallest lapses in attention. However, there are some behaviors that greatly increase the odds of a crash, or the probable harm to others.
A few key examples include:
- Street racing — There’s simply no way to make racing on public streets safe, and unfortunately, it’s quite popular in Georgia. Marietta lost a 19-year-old to a suspected street racing crash in February of 2022. In that case, the deceased was one of the suspected racers, but street races are also extremely dangerous to innocent bystanders.
- Driving while intoxicated — Intoxicated driving can occasionally happen by accident, when a driver has an unexpected reaction to medication while on the road. Most of the time, however, it’s a conscious choice someone makes, to use alcohol or drugs and then get behind the wheel, putting others in danger. Intoxication was a suspected factor in another pedestrian fatality just south of Delk Road in February, a two-car accident on Sandtown Road in November of 2021, and another crash on the I-75 in July of 2021, in which one driver struck multiple police cars.
- Excessive rushing — Everyone finds themselves running late and trying to catch up sometimes, but commercial vehicles tend to be the worst offenders on this front. When companies try to fulfill extreme promises of quick delivery, or maximize efficiency at all costs, their drivers end up facing impossible timetables and pressures. One Marietta family is currently suing Amazon over an accident caused by a delivery driver, allegedly because of excessive, forced rushing. The accident in question paralyzed a young man and also injured his brother and father.
- Hit and run — Any accident can become a hit and run if one of the people involved fails to stop and follow the required steps. Even though this behavior comes after the accident has already happened, it makes matters worse for victims, partly because it makes it harder to collect compensation from the right person, but also because it skips over the responsibility to render emergency aid to the injured. Hit and run is a serious problem in Georgia. Many of the incidents already mentioned above ended with a driver fleeing.
There is one piece of good news for victims of these dangerous behaviors. Once a driver crosses one of these lines, it becomes easier to establish their negligence in court. In fact, drivers who are caught fleeing the scene of an accident can often be sued for punitive damages, even if they didn’t cause the accident itself.
Establishing Negligence Is Important for Even the Most Innocent Wrecks
If the person who caused your accident was doing their best to be a good driver, you may feel an obligation to accept whatever payout you’re offered without “causing a fuss.”
In these situations, it’s important to realize that the conflict over how much you will receive is not between you and the other driver, but between you and the other driver’s insurance company. Car insurance companies take on their customers’ liability in case of an accident. That’s what they’re paid to do. So, financially, the consequences of the at-fault driver’s mistake are the company’s responsibility.
An insurance company’s objective is always to collect as much money as possible, and pay out as little as possible, regardless of the circumstances of any given accident. Their go-to strategy for doing this is to offer you much less than your recovery will actually cost, and then wait to see if you will accept, or hire a lawyer to pursue fair compensation.
It doesn’t really matter whether the at-fault driver was a murderer drunkenly fleeing the scene of a crime, or an overworked nurse just trying to get home safely after a long shift. This dynamic between you and the insurance company remains much the same.
An insurance company will be more than happy to take advantage of your compassion for your fellow driver, and encourage you to think of accepting less than you deserve as an act of mercy, generosity, or reasonableness. In reality, however, it only harms you and your family, while padding the company’s profits.
The Stoddard Firm Has Lawyers Who Can Help with Marietta Car Accidents
If you find yourself needing to sue for fair compensation after a car accident in Marietta, it can be very helpful to choose a lawyer who practices locally.
Aside from the obvious benefits of easy collaboration and scheduling, a lawyer who personally knows the area will be better able to explain the traffic patterns surrounding the accident in court, and may even have easier access to crucial evidence.
The qualified car accident attorneys at The Stoddard Firm are experts on traffic law in general, and on issues that crop up over and over on the I-75, Delk Road, and other Marietta traffic hotspots. We’re well situated to coordinate with the Marietta Police Department, Cobb Superior Court, Wellstar Kennestone, and local towing companies like Marietta Wrecker and K.O. Towing. In many cases, we already know the people we’ll need to talk to about your accident, your car, your health, and the progress of the case itself.
As we gather the facts and build your case, we’ll also take care of all interactions with the insurance company. We’ll block any attempts to get you to weaken your position, and we’ll make sure they understand you’re serious about getting your expenses covered. Meanwhile, you’ll have the time and space you need to focus on healing.
To get started with a free consultation, just reach out at 678-RESULT or through our online chat function.