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Auto Accidents

BASIC RULES WHEN IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT:


  • Call 911 to request police. Request an ambulance, if necessary.


  • Do not admit fault. 


  • Take photos of damage to your vehicle, damage to the other vehicle(s), yours and other's injuries, etc. 


  • Exchange insurance information. 


  • Move your vehicle (if movable).


  • Get incident report number from the officer (if possible).


  • Go to the hospital (even if you feel fine). It is better to be checked out as a precaution, than to be sorry later.


  • You do not have to speak to the other party's insurance company about your injuries for any reason whatsoever, whether you hire an attorney or not. 

Auto Accident Attorney Tim Blair can help.  (770)-769-5099

Auto Accident Attorney Tim Blair can help. (770)-769-5099

Types of Auto Accidents

Driving Under the Influence

Drivers who take to the roads while under the influence run a higher risk of causing an auto accident. Along with the potential for a higher accident rates and criminal charges, an accident could result in a lawsuit where a jury could award additional damages for driving under the influence as punishment. 

 

Rental Car Accidents

If you are involved in an accident with a driver in a rental vehicle, most of the time, the negligent driver's insurance takes priority. However, if the person driving is not insured or worse, if they cause more damage than is available under their insurance policy, then the rental car company will be liable up to Georgia State minimums for bodily injury $25,000.00. This would be added on top of the negligent drivers insurance. 

Distracted Drivers

Almost as dangerous as drivers under the influence. These drivers are pretty easy to spot on the roadway since they often can be seen looking down while texting. Similar to DUI drivers, there can be more consequences, both criminally and civil, as it is now illegal in Georgia to be texting and driving along with driving and talking on a cell phone (unless hands free).  

 

Hit and Runs

These drivers come in many shapes and forms, but often times you don't see who they are before they leave. If it's the case where the driver leaves before you catch a license plate, then your own insurance will have to kick in to cover your losses and injuries. It is very important that you call the police immediately to document the auto accident, because if you don't have an accident report, your own insurance can deny coverage. 

 

Uninsured Drivers

Drivers without insurance are a problem for everyone. An auto accident with an uninsured driver means your insurance will have to pay both property damage and bodily injury claims. Your insurance will not increase if you make an uninsured driver claim.   

Rear End Collisions

If you have been rear ended, most likely its because the driver was not paying attention, or speeding and could not slow down in time. Usually the rear vehicle receive a ticket for following too closely. Every now and then though, the front vehicle will receive a ticket for their actions in causing the accident.

Side Impact Collisions

These type of accidents usually occur when a person fails to obey a traffic light or stop sign. There are other ways side impact accidents occur but either way, this type of accident can be very terrifying as well as cause collateral damage to other vehicles or persons. 

Chain Reaction Accidents

Chain reaction accidents involve more than 2 vehicles and can be caused by any type of collision. The main thing to remember is that the vehicle that initially started the chain of collisions is usually the at fault party for damages to property and bodily injuries.

Head On Collisions

By far one of the most devastating types of accidents. It can mentally scar victims if they saw the vehicle coming at them before impact. Additionally, direct impact with a large vehicle can cause major bodily injuries to the victim.  

Uber/Lyft

If you are involved in an accident as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, there may be multiple insurance policies you can recover from. The most obvious is the at fault party, whether it's the rideshare driver or another party. The passenger may have a UM policy that is also available. Additionally, the negligence of the driver may make it possible to go after the company, although for driving purposes rideshare companies don't "employ" the driver and they are considered "contractors". 

Accidents with State Vehicles/County/Municipality (Police, County Vehicles)

This area is a little more convoluted and would be difficult to cover here in short form. The very basics are, State employees and Municipal employees are not immune from torts (civil wrongs). However, if they are in good faith performing or not performing their duties they are immune. However, Counties are immune from lawsuits, unless they waive their immunity.  The only way to go after a county employee in an auto accident is if the employee's own auto insurance is in play, or you have your own UM policy cover it.

Rollover Accidents

These type of accidents can leave the victim with severe injuries or worse, dead. The motion of the vehicle "rolling" can eject persons in the vehicle as well as subject those inside to roof collapses from the weight of the vehicle. Additionally, there might be some sort of defect that causes the car to lose stability, such as worn tires. This scenario could change the claim from an auto accident negligence lawsuit to a product liability claim. 

Types of common injuries suffered in auto accidents

Neck Injuries

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The "whipping" motion of the head after impact can cause muscle pain, bulging discs and herniated discs within the cervical spine. Neck injuries in a car crash entail minor muscle pain or severe herniated discs impinging on a nerve causing more pain to the victim. Additionally, many people might not even know they are injured until the next day, two days later or longer. It is always a good start to go to the hospital as a first precaution, but if the pain persists, you may need to see additional health care providers to diagnose and treat the injury.

Back Injuries

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Much like the neck, the middle and lower spine can be injured in an auto accident causing bruising, bulges, or herniated discs. It's always a good idea to go to the hospital first as a precautionary measure because the pain might not show right away. If the pain persists then you may have to see other health care providers for a diagnosis and treatment. 

Shoulder Injuries

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 The most common shoulder injury is tear of the rotator cuff. This is because the stretching of the arm or shoulder from the impact yanks the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in a motion the human body is not used to. This injury can cause pain in the shoulder area consisting of a dull ache. 

Arm/Wrist/Hand Injuries

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Depending on where your arms are at the time of the accident, may dictate whether you suffer injury to the arm, wrist, or hand. Additionally, airbags deploying can sprain fingers or wrists. Many of these injuries are sustained when people brace for impact, strike a part of the interior of the vehicle or their arms are at a strange angle upon impact. 


Knee Injuries

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Similar to the shoulder, knee injuries or sprains occur when the muscles, tendons, ligaments are yanked due to forces of the vehicles impacting. The knee can be injured by hitting the steering wheel, striking some part of the vehicle, or by the way a person is bracing or sitting upon impact.  

Visible Bruising

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After an accident, bruising may be visible along the part of the body that the seat belt covered. Though there is no treatment for these injuries, it is always a good idea to take some photos of the bruising for later use if the case goes to trial.

More severe injuries

Concussions / Brain Injuries

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The impact and sudden stopping of a vehicle in an auto accident can cause the brain to move around in the head. Additionally, injuries can be caused by objects striking the head or the head striking something in the car. If you feel nauseated, confused, dizzy, or other strange feelings after an auto accident, call 911 and request an ambulance.

Broken Bones

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The impact whether large or small may cause any number of bones to break due to the tension of the seatbelt, your body striking something in the vehicle, or something in the vehicle striking you. If you feel like you may have broken a bone during the accident and are able to, call 911 immediately 

Types of Car Insurance

Liability Coverage and UM Coverage Insurance

Liability coverage in its most basic terms, is coverage that pays the other party if an accident is your fault or when its the other drivers fault. 


Liability coverage follows the car, so if someone borrows your car and is in an auto accident that is their fault, your insurance will end up paying it. 


UM (uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance) covers you in the event you are not at-fault and the at-fault driver's insurance policy is not enough to pay your medical bills or in the event they have no insurance. **Your insurance rates will not increase in the event you use your UM coverage.  You or your attorney must notify your insurance quickly or else they can deny your claim (reasonable time limit is 30-90 days). 


UM coverage follows the person, so if you are a passenger in another vehicle other than your own, and and involved in an accident, you can use your UM coverage to help with medical bills. UM coverage can also cover you in your car, your household relatives, and your passengers. 

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Medical Payments

If you have medical payments on your auto policy, you can use it to pay your medical bills. It is highly recommended to purchase this on your policy since it can offset medical charges you will have to pay. 

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Prepare as if You are Going to Court

The fact is, insurance companies are in the business of making money.  If the insurance company can pay you less for your injuries, then they will do so. This is not to say an adjuster looking at your case might be fair and reasonable, but you could still find yourself on the losing end of the settlement if you choose to try to settle your case on your own. 


In order to maximize your case you may have to file the lawsuit and prepare as if you have to go to trial. I take each and every case with litigation and trial in mind, so that if we have to go to court, I am prepared. 


If the insurance offer is too low, not fair, or even no offer at all, I have no problems filing a lawsuit on behalf of my clients to help maximize their settlement. 

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Injured? Call Blair Law. (770) 769-5099

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Blair Law, LLC

1081 Cambridge Square, Suite D, Alpharetta, Georgia 30009

Phone: 770-769-5099 Fax: 404-393-2227

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