Most people who get into a car accident file their insurance claim and wait to see what happens without asking an auto accident lawyer. When, weeks later, they get a denial letter in the mail, they don’t know what to do. As much as they think their claim should’ve been paid, they assume all hope is lost.
Other accident victims think the complete opposite way. Even if they aren’t hurt in the crash, they assume they can sue the other driver for millions of dollars. Auto accident lawyers in Atlanta have to explain that it doesn’t really work this way.
Of course, if your auto insurance claim is denied, you have every right to file suit. However, you can only sue if you’ve suffered an actual loss. This can come in the form of physical injuries. Or it may only be for economic damages. It all depends on the facts of your case.
The best thing to do is to call one of our injury attorneys in Atlanta and schedule your free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to ask one of our attorneys any questions you may have. They can also give you an idea of how strong your case is.
Here, we’ll talk briefly about how your attorney determines if you have a case. We’ll also explain what kind of damages you can demand if you do have a valid claim.
In Order to Have a Valid Car Accident Case, You Must Prove Negligence
Before you can think about collecting damages, your auto accident lawyer in Atlanta needs to prove negligence. This requires that they show the other driver did not behave the way a normal driver would have in the same circumstances,
In Georgia, there are four elements to negligence. You must prove all 4 in order to have a valid claim. The elements are as follows:
Duty of Care
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it won’t be hard to prove the defendant owed you a duty of care. All drivers owe a certain duty of care to other motorists. At a minimum, they have to obey all the local traffic rules.
Breach of Duty
The hardest part of your case will be proving that the other driver breached their duty of care. One way to do this is by proving they broke the law. For example, if your auto accident lawyer in Atlanta can prove the defendant was arrested for DUI after the crash, that will be enough to prove a breach.
You must show that you were injured. This is why your injury attorneys in Atlanta insist that you go to the hospital after your accident. This is the best (and only) way to prove that you were hurt.
It isn’t enough that you were hurt. You still have to demonstrate that the other driver caused your injuries. As long as the defendant’s lawyer can’t prove that something other than the accident caused your injuries, you should prevail.
If you can prove all four elements, then you can move on to the issue of damages.
How Can Your Injury Attorneys in Atlanta Prove Damages?
To have a legitimate case, you need to be able to prove damages. This can be done in a number of ways. Your attorney may be able to prove causation using the police report. Or worst case, they can always hire an accident reconstruction specialist. They’ll be able to show what really happened.
Another way your auto accident lawyer in Atlanta can prove damages is by submitting affidavits from your doctors. For example, if your complaint includes a demand for future medical bills, you’ll need to prove that you need medical treatment down the road. You can do this by submitting a copy of your medical records. You can also have your doctor testify if need be.
What Are the Different Types of Damages You Can Demand?
If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages. We’ve already discussed what your attorney needs to do to prove negligence. We’ve also explained the various ways in which your lawyer can prove your damages. Now, it is time to discuss the different types of damages you may be entitled to.
The various types of damages in most car accident lawsuits include the following:
Medical Bills and Future Medical Bills
The defendant will be responsible for any medical bills you accrued as a result of the accident. They’ll also be responsible for any future medical bills you may incur. For example, you may need additional back surgeries in the coming years. Your auto accident lawyer in Atlanta can estimate the costs of this future medical care and include it in your damages.
You’re able to demand damages for lost income and lost wages. Lost wages would include any time you missed work because of the crash. Lot future income represents the money you’ll lose going forward if you can’t do the same kind of work you used to do.
Obviously, you’ll be able to demand reimbursement for any mechanic’s bills to repair your vehicle. If your car was destroyed, you can demand the fair market value of your vehicle.
Pain and Suffering
One thing that almost all accident victims demand is compensation for pain and suffering. These damages are meant to compensate you for any mental or physical anguish you suffered as a result of the accident. Typically, these damages equal about three times your total medical expenses.
It’s important to keep in mind – it’s your lawyer’s job to make you whole. It is not their job to make you rich. You must be reasonable in your expectations.
Contact a Seasoned Auto Accident Attorney in Atlanta Now
If you’ve already been injured in a car crash, call our office. You should meet with our experienced injury attorneys in Atlanta right away. This way, they can give you an idea of what kind of damages you’re entitled to. They’ll also let you know if you have a solid case.
One thing about auto accident attorneys in Atlanta is that they’ll be honest with you. If they don’t think you have a valid case, they’ll let you know. They don’t want to waste your time or their own time. Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation today. Let our seasoned staff help you get the damages you deserve.