Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers

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Do I Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident in Atlanta?

As the victim of a car crash in Atlanta, you may be wondering “do I need an attorney?” You may think all that’s necessary is to submit an insurance claim and wait for a check. However, it is rarely that easy. The best car accident lawyers in Atlanta know that if you are involved in an auto accident, you shouldn’t go at it without the help of an experienced accident attorney.

In fact, a 2017 study by Martindale-Nolo found that 91% of clients who hire a lawyer after being injured in an accident received a payout, compared to only 51% who did not hire an attorney. That same study also found that the average payout for those who hired an attorney after their auto accident received an average payout of $77,600, compared to an average payout of only $17,600 for those who did not hire an attorney.

Even when you expect to get a settlement for your accident, hiring an attorney helps. The Martindale-Nolo study found that respondents who filed, or threatened to file, a personal injury lawsuit received an average of $45,500, compared to only $23,000 for those who did not. This study shows a clear correlation between higher settlements and more financial compensation when people injured in car wrecks hire an accident attorney compared to those who do not.

At Allen and Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, attorneys Charles Allen and Graham Scofield have more than 33 years of legal experience and have litigated thousands of cases. Call our car accident lawyers today at (404) 419-6674 to schedule a free initial consultation. And remember, with all personal injury cases that our accident attorneys work on, you don’t pay a dollar until we win.

How Our Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help

Attorneys Charles Allen and Graham Scofield bring more than 33 years of experience to the table and there are numerous ways that our accident attorneys can strengthen your auto accident claim and the improve the chances of recovering the compensation you need. Our auto accident attorneys can help you by:

  • Investigating the Accident: When you begin working with attorney Charles Allen or Graham Scofield, they will start by researching the facts surrounding your car accident case. They may send an investigator to the scene, recreate the accident, take pictures of the damage or injuries from the accident, gather witness statements, look over police reports, research your and the at-fault party’s driving records, and anything else that may help strengthen your case.
  • Calculating Damages: Even when there is an at-fault party in a car collision, you still must prove that you suffered measurable damages as a result of the car crash. Common types of damages that may result from an accident are lost wages, medical bills, car repairs, and much more. Compensation for your car crash should not simply focus on the medical bills you’ve had plus the damage to your car. Rather, the idea is to get everything that you need to get your life back on track.
  • Filing an Auto Insurance Claim: After investigating the accident and finding out all of the possible damages, your accident attorney will file a fair car insurance claim. This claim will state your injuries and all damages suffered as a result of the accident, how the other driver was negligent, and request that you receive fair financial compensation based on the case that your car accident attorney has laid out.
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company and Their Adjusters: Insurance companies aren’t just going to give you the compensation that you deserve. They will offer you a low-ball settlement in the hopes that you accept it and disappear. Attorney Graham Scofield has worked for large insurance companies in the past and uses that inside knowledge to leverage the facts and create a strong case for you when negotiating to maximize your car accident settlement. Our attorneys won’t accept a settlement that isn’t a fair offer. If an offer isn’t fair, our accident attorneys will negotiate to increase that offer and, if necessary, will go to trial in order to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

As experienced car accident lawyers, we have been asked every question there is to ask about auto accidents. Some of the most common questions we get asked after a car crash in Fulton County are:

  • How long do I have to file a claim in Georgia?
    The statute of limitations on injury claims in Georgia is 2 years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations for filing a claim for property damage, like repairs to your car, is 4 years. While there are some exceptions to Georgia’s statute of limitations, it is a reminder that it is important to begin working with a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
  • How much money should I expect from a car accident settlement?
    Unfortunately, there is no universal car accident compensation calculator. Each accident is different and there are a number of factors that can determine how much compensation you could receive after a motor vehicle accident. Some of the factors are how much fault you share for the accident, the cost of your medical bills, repairs to your car, ongoing medical treatment, missed time off of work, and many other factors. A car accident lawyer could help you evaluate how much financial compensation you may be able to file a claim for.
  • How long will my car accident case take?
    There is no definitive answer to this question. Each case is different, and depending on the facts surrounding your auto accident, it could take anywhere from a matter of weeks or months to a few years. Trying to navigate the car accident lawsuit process on your own is likely to make your case take longer, so it is always wise to work with an auto accident attorney.
  • What if I got into an accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
    Although Georgia law requires drivers to have automobile liability insurance if they are operating a vehicle, Georgians still drive uninsured and underinsured. The minimum limits under Georgia law is Bodily Injury Protection of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence and Property Damage liability of $25,000 per occurrence. Even if the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance, you still have a right to pursue compensation for your car wreck.
  • Should I accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer for my car accident?
    NO. Car insurance companies are likely to first give you a lowball settlement offer. Insurance companies do this hoping that injured drivers accept the first settlement offer, take the money, and run. They know that the quicker the insurance claim process ends, the less money they have to pay you. A car accident lawyer in Atlanta could negotiate with the auto insurance company to increase its settlement offer, or threaten to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to get you additional compensation for your injuries.
  • Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Car Accident Lawyers

    You may have more questions after your car crash, and you may need help with things like filing an auto insurance claim, filing a personal injury claim, or working to meet Georgia’s statute of limitations. Our Atlanta accident attorneys can help. To speak directly with one of our best Atlanta car accident lawyers, call (404) 419-6674 today to schedule a free initial consultation at our office in Buckhead, GA. Our accident attorneys can help you deal with every aspect of the situation, from speaking with an insurance adjuster, to filing an auto claim, and even representing you at trial. As with any personal injury case, our accident attorneys handle car wrecks on a contingency basis. That means no win, no fee.

Learn More About Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC

About the firm script graphic About the Firm

What Compensation Could You Receive For Your Accident?

After being injured in a car accident, you may be worried about how to pay for repairs to your car, a rental car, medical bills for a trip to urgent care, or missed pay as a result of being unable to work.

Fortunately, under Georgia auto insurance law you have the right to pursue a car accident claim to financially compensate you for your losses. The idea is that you should be able to recover financial damages to help restore you to the condition you were in before the car accident. There is no limit on the amount of damages that you can recover for specific things such as medical bills, or for non-specific things such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages, which are those damages specifically meant to punish the careless driver for any reprehensible conduct, are capped at $250,000 in Georgia. Some common car accident damages in Georgia are:

  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Rental car
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Modifications to your home or car
  • Temporary or permanent disability needs
  • Wrongful death

Our Atlanta car crash lawyers can represent you in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in pursuit of your financial recovery. Schedule a free consultation with our auto accident attorneys by calling (404) 419-6674.

Calculating Damages After Your Accident

Many factors influence the value of your damages after a car accident, and that can be confusing for anybody. The compensation that you receive should not just focus on medical bills and damage to your car. Car insurance companies are often quick to give you a low offer in hopes that you think that it should cover your emergency room visit and some repairs to your car.

Car accident attorney Graham Scofield has worked for large insurance companies and knows that when we seek compensation for a car accident victim, we need to consider all of the financial compensation you may need. This includes future costs, like lost wages, physical therapy, future medical bills, and pain and suffering related to your car wreck.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is defined as “the physical or emotional distress resulting from an injury.” This includes not only the physical injuries common from car accidents like concussions, broken bones, and whiplash, but also the aches, PTSD, depression, and other life-long effects that an accident may cause. There are two approaches that our car accident attorneys can take to calculate your pain and suffering damages:

  • Pain and Suffering Multiplier: This uses your actual damages (car repair costs, medical bills, etc.) and multiplies them to determine what you should get for your pain and suffering. The multiplier number is normally between one and five, and it is determined by the extent of your injuries.
  • Per Diem Approach: This method assigns a certain amount of money that you should get for pain and suffering each day for a certain amount of time. For example, we can negotiate that you need $150 per day for pain and suffering until you reach a specific milestone in your physical recovery.

How to Determine Fault and Negligence in an Accident

“Negligence” is when a driver has acted in a thoughtless or careless manner which causes him or her to cause harm or injury to person or property. If you are bringing a lawsuit to the other driver to prove they were negligent, you have to prove the following:

  • The law required the defendant be reasonably careful
  • The defendant was careless
  • The defendant actions or inactions caused your injuries
  • You suffered losses, injury, and damages

Proving fault can be difficult on your own. Proving fault and negligence can involve reviewing police reports for traffic violations, reviewing the state traffic laws and rules of the road, and using “no-doubt” liability, like rear-end collisions and accidents caused by violating traffic laws, to persuade the insurance company. Let our Atlanta car accident lawyers negotiate on your behalf and ensure the other driver is held accountable for their actions.

Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Law

Georgia operates under what is called modified comparative negligence law. This means that even if you were partially at fault, you can still recover damages from the accident. Under Georgia’s comparative fault law, the damages you recover will be reduced by the percentage of liability that you share for the accident. If you were 25 percent liable for the accident, and the jury awards you $100,000, then your award would be reduced to $75,000.

Insurance companies will try to use the comparative negligence rule to reduce the amount that they have to pay you. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers understand Georgia’s negligence laws, and won’t be intimidated into accepting a settlement offer that is too low. Our accident attorneys will negotiate with the insurance company in good faith to try and get you a settlement that takes into account all possible past and future damages.

Negotiating With The Insurance Company and Going to Court

The person that caused your car crash owes you compensation, and their insurance provider can offer you a car accident settlement that quickly gives you some relief. However, any experienced auto accident attorney knows that by building a strong case and negotiating with the other party’s insurance company, that settlement could be more favorable.

With 33 years of experience, and having previously worked for insurance companies, attorneys Charles Allen and Graham Scofield will aggressively negotiate to get you the compensation that you deserve. Reaching a satisfactory settlement for you and your family can also help the negligent person’s insurance company since it avoids the costly and time-consuming court process.

Building a winning case requires investigative work by a skilled legal team. Some of the many pieces of evidence that we will collect in your case include:

  • Accident witness statements
  • Any available security photos or video footage
  • Accident debris and tire markings at the scene of the wreck
  • Police reports
  • Toxicology reports
  • Drivers’ background and driving records
  • All pertinent medical information
  • Cell phone records
  • Accident reconstruction data

If the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement, our Atlanta accident attorneys are not afraid to go to court in order to win compensation for your accident. Charles Allen and Graham Scofield are experienced trial lawyers and will lay out your car accident case before a judge and jury to get you the compensation that you deserve. Attorney Charles Allen has given lectures on how to develop and try cases in auto accident cases and has even created presentation templates for use during mediations and trials. Schedule a free consultation with our car accident lawyers by calling (404) 419-6674.

"Charles is an excellent trial attorney who possesses a unique talent to hone in on the significant issues and turn the Defendant’s strengths against them. Charles is as honest as the day is long and works tirelessly to ensure that his clients receive all that is possible. While no lawyer is perfect, Charles strives to be as good a lawyer as there is on this planet, and he succeeds!"
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Common Types of Car Accidents We Handle

According to the 2017 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, Atlanta drivers spend an average of 70 hours in traffic per year, the eighth most of any city in the country. In fact, in 2015 Georgia had a total of 385,221 car crashes resulting in 19,405 injuries. These traffic facts alone tell the story that there are a number of ways that Atlanta drivers can get injured in motor vehicle accidents. This can include speeding, texting behind the wheel, driving under the influence, or any number of careless activities. There will always be several factors involved in a car crash, but understanding exactly what happened becomes essential if you are seeking compensation for your injuries.

By working with our Atlanta auto accident attorneys we can analyze every detail, collect evidence, identify the at-fault parties, and provide straightforward guidance regarding the next steps going forward. Our car accident lawyers have experience in virtually every type of motor vehicle accident, but the most common accidents we see are:

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are accidents that occur when a driver is hit from behind. Drivers are often rear-ended while stopped at stop signs, traffic lights, and while in stop-and-go traffic. Due to one vehicle being stationary, the injuries associated with these accidents often include whiplash and concussions from the unexpected and sudden jolt forward of the vehicle being hit. Additionally, victims frequently experience middle and lower back pain after the car accident, as well as shoulder pain from the seatbelt.

T-Bone Collisions

Side impact collisions, or T-bone accidents, are accidents that involve the front end of one car colliding with the side of another vehicle. These accidents frequently occur at traffic intersections, as intersections are one of the more common locations accidents occur. T-bone accidents frequently happen due to drivers texting and driving, running red lights, and not stopping at stop signs. Due to the force of the impact, and sideways momentum of the car, T-bone accident injuries frequently include concussions and brain injuries from the driver’s head hitting their driver-side window, as well as back injuries and spinal injuries from the sudden sideways jolt of the vehicle.

Fatal Car Accidents

Unfortunately, fatal car accidents happen all too often in Atlanta. In fact, an IIHS study found that Interstate 285 in Atlanta ranks as the deadliest interstate in the country, with an average of 3.5 fatal accidents per 10 miles. These accidents are heartbreaking, and our accident attorneys will file wrongful death claims on behalf of the surviving spouse and children if that option is available.

Drunk Driving Accidents

In 2016, there were a total of 2,150 motorists in accidents involving alcohol. Drinking and driving is illegal for a reason – alcohol impairs the body. However, even with apps like Uber and Lyft, Atlantans still get behind the wheel after drinking. This negligent decision often results in accidents and injuries to innocent drivers obeying traffic laws. Drunk drivers should be held accountable, and our car accident attorneys in Atlanta work vigorously to help the victims of drunk driving accidents to get the compensation they deserve.

Other common types of auto accidents in Atlanta are:

Accidents in Atlanta can happen anywhere and at any time. Whether you got hit by a semi-truck while merging from I-85 onto I-285 at the Tom Moreland Interchange, or you were rear-ended while waiting at the intersection of Hembree Road and Alpharetta Highway, our accident attorneys can help. Graham Scofield and Charles Allen will listen to your story, examine the facts surrounding your accident, and help guide you through the entire process. Call to schedule a free initial consultation today. (404) 419-6674.

Common Injuries From Car Accidents

Regardless of the cause of the accident, car crashes can cause serious injuries. These accidents will inevitably result in staggering medical costs, extensive treatment plans, and terrible pain and suffering. Injuries from motor vehicle accidents can also affect your ability to provide for your family or prevent you from enjoying a rich and full life.

Car accident victims can suffer a wide range of physical and mental ailments following a collision depending upon the severity of the impact, including:

  • Neck and back damage Spinal cord and vertebrae injuries can cause years of pain and suffering. Sometimes, the damage is permanent. Additionally, neck and back pain after car accidents sometimes take days or weeks to manifest itself.
  • Broken or fractured bones – Broken bones can cause serious external or internal bleeding. They also typically take months to heal. Sometimes, victims never regain the mobility or strength that they had prior to suffering the broken bone.
  • Punctures and lacerations – Cuts to your skin can be very painful and cause significant bleeding. Proper medical attention is needed to make sure that a serious cut fully heals.
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage – Internal blood loss can quickly become fatal. It also may be difficult to notice that organs are damaged by hard impacts or cuts caused by bone. Therefore, you should always go to the emergency room after a car collision to undergo medical imaging scans on your internal organs.
  • Joint damage – Many car accident victims have dislocated or shattered joints that may require extensive surgical repair. Knee and hip injuries are common in serious wrecks and sometimes requires joint replacement surgery.
  • Post-Traumatic stress Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can take days or weeks to show up in those who suffered through a very violent accident. Recovery often requires extensive professional therapy.

Other common injuries we see as the result of car accidents are:

Dangerous Roads And Intersections In Atlanta

Fulton County is home to over 50,000 car accidents every year. The traffic areas associated with the most catastrophic car collisions include intersections, highway ramps, and construction zones. Devastating wrecks occur throughout the Atlanta area, but some of the most dangerous spots include:

  • Memorial Drive and Hairston Road in Stone Mountain – That large intersection is the site of many accidents every year. Some of those collisions cause serious injuries. These large roads do not intersect at a 90-degree angle which can make it difficult for cars to identify cross-traffic as they approach the intersection.
  • Campbelltown Road and Barge Road in Atlanta – That intersection is immediately west of the off-ramps for Interstate 285. Many vehicles merge and turn there and they do not always drive at safe speeds.
  • Cobb Parkway and Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw – Drivers are often distracted by shops and parking lot entrances when they approach this intersection. Furthermore, the turns there are usually not wide enough to safely handle the heavy traffic.
  • Panola Road and Covington Highway in Lithonia – That intersection is complicated because there are multiple entrances to various gas stations and parking lots in the immediate vicinity of the intersection. If a driver is distracted while approaching that intersection, he will not know where to safely turn until it is too late.

Contact Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers Today

No one wants to be the victim of a car accident, but unfortunately, it still happens. You may have suffered serious injuries from your car crash, and the physical recuperation time after an auto accident can be considerable. Combine that with the devastating financial and emotional trauma that comes with a motor vehicle accident, and you may be feeling helpless and overwhelmed.

If you lost a loved one or were injured in a car accident due to the negligent or reckless actions of another driver, we know the challenges you are facing. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers have litigated thousands of cases and have been assisting clients for more than 33 years. Call and schedule a free initial consultation with our car accident attorneys at our law office in Buckhead, GA. (404) 419-6674. As with all of our personal injury cases, you don’t have to pay a dollar until we win.