Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Atlanta, Georgia Car Accident Statistics
We hope you never need an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney, but statistics show at some point you probably will. Ranging from the relatively harmless fender bender to the thirty-car pile-up on the interstate, chances are you will eventually be involved in some form of a motor vehicle collision. In fact, in Georgia alone, from 1996 to 2003, the latest years for which complete statistics have been compiled by the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety (GDMVS), there were nearly two and a half million crashes involving over 4.7 million drivers. Overall, over 6.6 million people—whether drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or others—were involved in a car accident during those seven years in the state of Georgia.
While automobile manufacturers continue to innovate and install enhanced safety devices in modern vehicles, the fact is, there are many more drivers on the road and more of those drivers are putting more miles on their vehicles. Given Georgia’s current population of just over 9.8 million residents, it is easy to see that, at one time or another, nearly every Georgia resident will be involved in a car accident. Each year, according to GDMVS, 873,800 individuals, or the equivalent of 9% of Georgia’s total population, become involved in a motor vehicle accident in Georgia, either as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian. Any time you step into a vehicle and get on the road, the risk of experiencing an accident is very real.
While many crashes involve either no injuries or minor injuries, the unfortunate reality is that some car accidents have serious and even fatal results. From 1996 to 2003, nearly 31 individuals were killed every week in a car accident. In 2010, there were a total of 1,317 fatalities, or an average of 25 fatal accidents per week. That’s equal to one person dying every seven hours as a result of a car accident in Georgia.
Yet even a non-fatal car accident can result in injuries that may be just as devastating, both to the injured parties themselves and to their family members, if the injury is one which entails months of recovery, or where the injury causes a permanent disability. To put this in stark perspective:
- From 1996 to 2003, 368 people were injured from car crashes each day in Georgia, compared to 60 people injured as a result of an aggravated assault;
- Over that same period, the number of individuals killed in motor vehicle crash was three times higher than the number of murder victims in Georgia;
- From 2000 to 2006, 42,337 people suffered severe injuries such as traumatic head injuries or paralysis from car crashes in Georgia,;
- Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of head injuries, which can result in death or serious long-term incapacitation.
When an injury is serious, full recovery can take weeks or even months, or, as stated above, where the injury is to the brain or spine, it may lead to a permanent disability. Car accident injuries can cause an individual to incur expensive emergency care, surgery, extended hospital stays, create a need for medical devices and recuperative therapy, and require in-home care from professional care-givers. Other damages may include lost income, lost employment, impaired ability to perform jobs, and so on.
Obtaining Recovery for Atlanta Car Accident Injuries
Under Georgia law, the victim of a car accident caused by another’s negligence may recover all the costs associated with their medical treatment and rehabilitation,
the amount of lost wages they incurred—both actual and prospective, as well as damages for pain and suffering. In addition, Georgia allows some victims to recover punitive damages under certain circumstances, such as if the driver at fault was intoxicated, or otherwise acted in reckless and callous disregard for the safety of others.
When you become injured in an Atlanta automobile accident through no fault of your own, do not make the mistake, as many people do, of assuming that your claim will be covered by an insurance company simply because Georgia law requires all drivers to carry accident liability insurance for every vehicle they own. In Georgia, the law only requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to two or more people, and only $25,000 per accident for any property damage. While this may be adequate for minor accidents, it is severely inadequate for claims that involve serious injury.
Even if there is sufficient insurance coverage, some insurance companies are not always prompt and willing to settle even the most legitimate claims. When an insurance company willingly covers the maximum allowable under a policy, an injured party may still not obtain full recovery unless they pursue a claim against the at-fault party personally or against their own insurance company under an underinsured/uninsured provision, if available. The Atlanta car accident attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter can not only handle all the dealings with the insurance company on your behalf, but investigate whether any other resources of recovery are available to you.
You should also be aware that statistics compiled by the Georgia Department of Transportation showed that, in one typical year, one out of every ten drivers involved in a car accident in Georgia had a driver’s license from another state or country, and that the proportion was even higher for fatal vehicle crashes. Consequently, in some instances, Georgia’s insurance requirements may not apply in your accident: some accident victims in Georgia may have no recourse to insurance.
If you've been in a car accident in Atlanta, it is critically important to make sure that you understand your legal rights. Georgia law on car accidents is complex, and the statute of limitations for filing a claim can be short. You need to recognize that, the longer you wait, the more likely it is that important rights may be forfeited, and critical evidence may be forgotten by witnesses, or damaged or destroyed as time elapses. Further, it is often prudent to retain an attorney before you talk to an insurance representative and/or other officials, to make sure that they are not using your own statements as evidence that will ultimately be used against your interests.
Getting Help From an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, call one of the qualified Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. right away, at 404-814-8949, or use our confidential online case evaluation form here on this site. Your consultation is free, and, if we agree to take your case, we will not charge you a dime until we recover damages for you. With every consultation, your information is kept confidential, and there is no obligation on your part to retain our firm. If you need help, contact us, and put some of your burdens in our care.
Also, be sure to visit our Georgia Learning Center Page where we have assembled a number Articles and Videos specific to Car Accident Claims such as: