Traffic accidents can happen at any time to anyone. They’re always sudden, always disruptive in the short term, and they often have permanent repercussions for multiple lives.
While many car accident survivors proceed without legal representation, survivors who work with lawyers are far more likely to obtain a settlement or verdict that both covers their true costs, and accounts for factors like pain and lost time with loved ones.
As you begin to take stock of the damage that has been done to your life, you might find yourself looking to hire a lawyer for the very first time, or looking for one with very different expertise than you’ve ever needed before.
Below, we’ll go over some of the major ways car accidents have affected Roswell residents, and what to expect if you pursue a car accident lawsuit. If at any time you would prefer to speak with a Roswell car accident lawyer directly, please feel free to reach out by phone or chat.
Recklessness and Mistakes Tend to Spill into Roswell from Outside
Ready access to the rest of the Metropolitan Atlanta Area is one of the best things about living in Roswell. Unfortunately, this convenient connectedness also exposes Roswell to outside traffic problems. The Roswell Police Department does coordinate with neighboring departments to manage these issues, but even with advanced warning, they can’t always diffuse incoming threats safely.
For example, in February, a driver traveling the wrong way down the 400 in the early morning made it from Sandy Springs into Roswell, before causing a head-on collision near the Chattahoochee. Sandy Springs police had already received multiple calls but been unable to catch the driver, and the Roswell police only arrived after the crash. Both drivers died at the scene.
Six months before that, the Alpharetta police called ahead to warn the Roswell PD about a pair of reckless drivers approaching. The drivers turned out to be racing each other. When the Roswell police attempted to pull one of them over on Holcomb Bridge Road, a chase ensued, reaching 120 mph and ending in a crash near Scott Road. Two of the people in the fleeing vehicle were taken to the hospital, where one died of his injuries. Two others escaped from the crashed vehicle and fled, though one later turned himself in. It’s remarkable, and lucky, that no Roswell bystanders were hurt.
Like any city with major thoroughfares, Roswell also faces the dangers that come with companies operating large vehicles on public streets.
While commercial trucks are a common and necessary part of modern life, their size and weight make them especially destructive if they’re not handled perfectly. Most companies don’t invest in making sure their drivers are adequately rested, unrushed, and generally supported, leading to serious safety lapses. The problem gets even worse when commercial drivers end up improvising routes through unfamiliar roads that weren’t designed to cater to them.
This March, a car-hauler tipped over while attempting a turn at Hembree Road and Wills Road. Apparently, both the angle of the road and a top-heavy load on the hauler were contributing factors. Thankfully, no one was hurt in that instance, but a similar misjudgment at a busier hour could potentially have crushed a long row of cars.
Holcomb Bridge Road Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in Roswell
The street race that ended on Holcomb Bridge Road was not the only deadly incident that road has seen, or even the most recent one. In February, there was a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Road and South Holcomb Bridge Way. One of the drivers was killed, and several other people seriously injured.
Back in August, one person was hospitalized after an accident on Holcomb Bridge near Dogwood, in the exact same spot as multiple other serious accidents over the past several years.
Holcomb Bridge and Dogwood is a big, busy intersection, so it’s possible the frequency of accidents there has more to do with volume than anything else. However, it’s also possible that there are issues with the design of the intersection, the timing of the lights, or the types of behavior that local businesses encourage.
Unfortunately, some of the dangerous driving on Holcomb Bridge is definitely linked to other types of crime. In May of 2020, for example, a man who had reportedly just committed armed robbery at a nearby McDonald’s tried to escape from police along Holcomb Bridge Road. He was seen driving on the wrong side of the road and nearly hitting at least one other car, before he crashed into the Holcomb Woods Parkway sign.
Avoiding being caught for other crimes is a strong motivator for ignoring traffic laws. However, as far as accident liability goes, it doesn’t matter whether breaking a traffic law was an isolated infraction or part of a larger spree. It’s still negligence, and cause for a lawsuit.
Traffic Accidents Follow Predictable Patterns
The vast majority of traffic accidents happen because a driver is distracted, physically or emotionally distressed, or behaving irresponsibly. A significant portion also happen because of poor vehicle design and maintenance, or poor road design.
Even the most unavoidable and random-seeming accidents tend to take the same forms over and over again, clustering around the most inherently dangerous parts of driving — crossing intersections, changing lanes, turning left, etc.
This consistency can actually be good news when you’re seeking compensation. Whatever the at-fault driver did, your lawyer and the courts have almost certainly seen it before, so there will already be a precedent for calling it negligence.
A few of the major categories of accident you might be facing include:
- Two-vehicle accidents. The simplest, most common types of traffic accidents involve two vehicles making contact with one another. Frequent examples include head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, T-bone collisions, and sideswipe collisions.
- Multi-vehicle accidents. Occasionally, more than two vehicles are involved in the initial impact. More often, the force of the impact pushes one of the vehicles into a third, or the accident becomes a stationary obstacle, which other vehicles then fail to avoid, resulting in a pileup. Liability gets more complicated with more drivers, but it’s always possible to determine.
- Vehicle-versus-pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to serious injuries and death, which is why drivers must always take particular care to avoid them, not just at crosswalks. Although there are exceptions when a pedestrian behaves recklessly, drivers usually bear the majority of the liability in vehicle-versus-pedestrian collisions.
- Vehicle-versus-bicycle accidents. Like pedestrians, bicyclists have very little physical protection against crashes with motorized vehicles. Roswell residents are lucky enough to have access to relatively bicycle-friendly roads, but average accommodations for bicycles across the country are quite poor. When a bicyclist is hurt in a collision, it’s worth looking to road design, as well as the at-fault driver, to determine how the accident could have been prevented.
Liability Is Usually Shared, but Not Equally
Financial responsibility for an accident is usually assigned in the form of percentages of fault. Even when it’s clear that one person broke a traffic law and essentially caused the accident, the other drivers and/or pedestrians involved will usually be assigned at least a small percentage of responsibility as well. The idea is that everyone has a duty to be alert and avoid accidents whenever possible, on top of following the letter of the law.
However, in any type of accident, there may be additional factors that shift the liability further in one direction, or simply make it more obvious.
- DUI. Getting behind the wheel while chemically compromised is an act of negligence in and of itself. When someone makes this choice and then causes an accident, their responsibility for the consequences is especially clear.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving is driving in a way that shows disregard for the safety of others. A driver who has been excessively speeding and weaving all over the road before finally injuring someone is more obviously negligent than someone who makes one isolated error.
- Hit-and-run. Fleeing the scene of an accident without exchanging appropriate information is a crime, regardless of whose fault the accident was. Locating a hit-and-run driver can be difficult, but making a case against them once they’re found is not.
Having a good lawyer on your side can help you ensure that responsibility is assigned fairly, according to what really happened, not according to false assumptions or the financial interests of insurance companies.
Auto Insurance Companies Are Financially Responsible for Their Customers’ Negligence
The role auto insurance plays in car accidents is one of the main reasons why car accident lawsuits are so often advisable.
In general, when one individual harms another through an act of negligence, the decision of whether or not to sue comes down to some uncomfortable math. Does the negligent party have the means to pay for the harm that was done? How great a burden would it be for them, and is the victim willing to impose that burden? In short, is a lawsuit really worth it?
An injured person shouldn’t have to worry about how rich the person who hurt them is when figuring out how to pay their medical bills, but that’s often what happens.
In theory, the purpose of auto insurance is to take road accidents — the most common situation where individuals negligently harm one another — and provide a way for the victims to collect the compensation they need, whether or not the negligent individual can afford to pay for it. Auto insurance companies collect monthly premiums from all their clients, and in return, they take financial responsibility when one of their clients causes an accident.
The trouble is that auto insurance providers are for-profit companies. Their business models are fine-tuned to treat profit, not helping people, as their primary purpose. For every claim they receive, the question, from their perspective, is not, “What do we owe?” but “How little can we get away with paying?”
In nearly every case, the only way to compel an insurance company to pay you the full compensation you’re owed is with professional legal representation.
The Stoddard Firm Has Lawyers for Roswell Car Accidents
As routine as car accident lawsuits are, it’s still crucial to choose a lawyer with the right expertise for your case.
The car accident attorneys at the Stoddard Firm are not only well-versed in traffic law and relevant theories of negligence, we also know the city of Roswell from a car accident lawyer’s perspective.
That familiarity can make all the difference when it comes to collecting evidence. We’ll follow your case from the scene of the crash, to Alfa Collision Center, to Wellstar North if need be. We’ll work with the Roswell PD, and with your doctors and mechanics, to make sure every detail of your accident, and its consequences, is documented and taken into account.
To learn more about how The Stoddard Firm can help you get a fair settlement after a car accident in Roswell, just give us a call at 678-RESULTS, or reach out through our online chat function.