All Initial Consultations are Free of Charge. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Car Accident, then please contact us now on our Auto Accident Injury Hotline at (770) 865-8654 to speak with one of our experienced Attorneys.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys specialize in Auto Crashes so that you receive the attention that your case deserves and the compensation that you are entitled to in your case. Most of our Lawyers have worked for the auto insurance companies before working for the injured so we are at a distinct advantage over those attorneys who have never handled a case from the insurance company’s perspective.
As such, we know the strategies that the insurance companies will use to make sure that you get the lowest amount possible for your injuries, and we are here to work for you so that you get the most amount of compensation that you deserve if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Auto Accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Car Accident in Atlanta, then we are very sorry and we understand that this can be one of the most devastating times in a person’s life. We will work hard on the legal aspects of your case so that you can work on what is most important and that is getting better and back to your life before your auto accident. Contact us today for your free legal consultation at our Auto Accident Hotline at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, by email at email@example.com, and you may Contact Us on our website.
There are many damages that you and your passengers may be entitled to recover in an automobile accident including, but not limited to, damages to your vehicle, rental car expenses while your vehicle is being repaired, medical bills, lost wages, temporary and/or permanent disability, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and, especially if you were involved in an automobile accident with a drunk driver, then you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
It is very important that you contact us early on in your case for two (2) very important reasons: 1.) So that you receive the best medical treatment that you deserve so that you can get well; and 2.) There are time limitations in your case, known as the Statute of Limitations, that must be strictly adhered to so that you don’t lose your right to a cause of action against the person or entity who injured you. Both of these will be discussed in detail herein below.
The Statute of Limitations in a Car Crash case is generally two (2) years from the date of the incident. There are exceptions to this rule set forth in the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Section 9-3-99 pertaining to minors and cases where criminal charges are pending pertaining to the auto accident. It is not wise, however, to rely on these two (2) exceptions so it is imperative that you contact our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers right away after your accident.
It is very important that you receive the proper medical treatment immediately following your Auto Crash. Many cases are diminished in value, and some lost, when the injured person does not receive proper medical treatment in a timely manner which is immediately following the accident. If you are injured at the scene of the accident, then take an ambulance to the nearest emergency room to be thoroughly examined.
If you leave the accident scene without an ambulance but at any time later feel any pain whatsoever, then seek medical treatment at the nearest emergency room immediately. Waiting too long for the proper medical treatment can leave you with injuries without proper medical attention and treatment, and can seriously diminish the value of your case not to mention prolong your recovery.
Many types of diagnostic tests are available to doctors to assess patients injured in an auto accident. Such tests include, but are not limited to:
- CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scans and CT (Computed Tomography) scans, which are the same tests. These terms are just used interchangeably but mean the same thing. CT scans and CAT scans are similar to x-rays but allow the doctor to see a 3D image of the body. CT scans are generally used to determine whether a medical condition such as, but not limited to, a brain injury, bleeding within a body cavity, a stroke, and/or whether tissue damage is present.
- An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), on the other hand, looks at medical conditions such as, but not limited to, spinal code injuries, problems with the vertebrae or intervertebral discs, and/or whether or not ligament/tendon injuries are present.
- An EMG (Electrocardiogram) a/k/a Mygam is a test used to record the electrical activity in muscles. EMGs detect abnormal electrical activity so they identify pinched nerves, peripheral nerve damage (damage to the nerves in the arms, elbows and legs), herniated discs, and whether or not inflamed muscles are present.
As you can tell, it takes an expert Auto Accident Attorney to interpret these medical results along with your doctors, and it also emphasizes the importance of seeking proper medical treatment immediately following an auto accident so that these necessary tests are performed in a timely manner and a proper diagnosis is made so that you can get well as soon as possible following an auto accident.
You may be fortunate enough to suffer minor injuries as a result of a Motor Vehicle Accident such as soft tissue injuries, bruises, or minor fractures. Some of the more serious injuries that we see from auto accidents, however, are spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. Unfortunately, car accidents are the most common cause of spine injuries.
The spine is divided into four (4) parts:
- Cervical (7);
- Thoracic (12);
- Lumbar (5); and
- Sacral (5).
Each vertebrae in the spinal column is separated by intervertebral discs that are small cushions of cartilage. Feelings of discomfort of tingling, numbness, and pain can indicate a spinal cord disc injury. A herniated disc is a common cause of back pain. As disc is herniated when it thins out or ruptures. An MRI will detect the herniation or tears.
Other types of spinal cord injuries include, but are limited to:
- Paraplegia which is a spinal injury below the cervical spine, and results in the loss of sensation or function in the lower trunk or legs.
- Quadriplegia (a/k/a) tetrapelgia) is a paralysis of all four limbs and/or the entire body below the neck. Not all quadriplegia means that there will be no movement in parts of the body. For example, injuries of the spinal cord at the C1, C2, and/or C3 may mean that there is a complete paralysis of the entire body from the neck down, but some amount of neck and head movement may be possible. Spinal cord injuries at C5, C6 and/or C7 may inhibit function in the wrist, hands, or fingers.
There are also several types of brain injuries caused by car accidents such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Concussions are when the brain is bruised from a hit to the head leading to headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and may lead to problems with memory.
- Skull fractures which result from a break in the bone surrounding the brain.
- A Subdural Hematoma is when blood builds up between the dura (the lining of the skull) and the brain tissues and often require surgery.
- An Epidural Hemotoma is when blood builds up between the dura and the skull and also usually requires surgery.
Our Car Accident Lawyers are very familiar with all of these types of auto accident injuries and more and, therefore, are able to evaluate your case and present your case to the insurance company so that the insurance company knows that we mean business when it comes to getting you the compensation for these injuries that you deserve, and that you are seeking the proper medical treatment so that you can get well following your accident.
In Car Crash cases in Atlanta, you are also entitled to an number of different types of damages. These damages include, but are not limited to:
- Special Damages which are readily quantifiable damages such as medical bills and expenses, lost wages (past, present, and future), and permanent and/or partial disability; just to name a few.
- General Damages which diminish your quality of life from before the accident to after the accident. In serious injury cases, this is often the largest component of damages when you are not able to enjoy the activities you enjoyed prior to the accident.
- Pain and Suffering which includes physical and mental pain.
- Scarring on the face or anywhere on your body.
- Mental pain, shame, and/or mortifications as a result of disfiguration or mutilation.
- Punitive Damages if they apply in your case such as if the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and in hit and run cases. Please note, however, that some insurance policies exclude punitive damage awards.
Upon our representation of you, we will immediately notify your health insurance company provider and all medical providers that we represent you. We will also request all of your medical bills and certified copies of all of your medical records, and each and every medical note, office report and office note under O.C.G.A. Sections 31-33-1 and 31-33-3.
We offer a free consultation and you may contact us 24/7 by any or all of the following means for your free legal consultation by phone at our Auto Accident Injury Hotline at (770) 865-8654 and by phone (813) 363-6664, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Contact Us on our website.
After your case has been properly evaluated by an expert Automobile Accident Attorney, then you will sign a Retainer Agreement in which you agree for us to represent you in your case, a Release for Medical Records and a HIPAA Release so that we may obtain all of your medical records involving your case, and your lawyer will then request Insurance Policy Coverage Limits from any and all insurance carriers potentially involved in the incident. This is especially important for reasons that we will set forth herein below so that you receive the maximum amount of compensation from the insurance companies that your case deserves.
The Insurance Companies will have sixty (60) days in which to provide, under oath, the following information with regard to each such insurance policy; the name of the insurer; the name of each insured; and the policy limits of each policy. By law, this information comes in the form of a Declaration Page from each individual liability policy pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 33-3-28(a)(1). Under Georgia Law, the insurance company must disclose the name of each insurer providing liability coverage for the injuries and/or damage in question pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 33-3-28(a)(2). This is vitally important so that you have access to all the insurance that may be available to you in an automobile accident. Otherwise, the insurance companies can be held liable for fraud, misrepresentation, and/or bad faith insurance claims pursuant to Georgia Law O.C.G.A. Section 33-3-28.
Stacking is a term used to describe when there is more than one insurance policy responsible for payment of damages in an incident. Stacking follows a statuary order under Georgia Law so that when the policy limits of one policy have been exhausted, the policy limits of the next policy is “stacked” on top of the limits of liability in the previous policy. In stacking, the liability usually follows the car. For example, if the car is not owned and the driver of the car is liable for the accident, the insurance company that insures the car will be exhausted first, then the insurance of the driver of the liable car will be “stacked” upon the other policy until the limits of liability are exhausted. Our Car Accident Lawyers serving Atlanta understand the laws of stacking so that you receive the maximum amount of liability insurance that you deserve if you are injured in an automobile accident.
There are exceptions to the stacking rule, however, such as when a person rents a car and doesn’t purchase additional insurance through the rental company, then the person driving the car becomes the primary policy to be staked and the rental company insurance becomes secondary. This is why you are asked when renting a car or other vehicle whether or not you want to buy additional coverage so your coverage isn’t the primary coverage in the event of an accident even if you are not liable and reimbursed later, and if you don’t purchase the additional insurance through the rental car or vehicle company, then your insurance company will be the first to pay subject to all deductibles in your policy and you will have to pay even if you are not liable.
There are also many instances where the Uninsured Motorists Coverage or the Underinsured Motorists Coverage can also be stacked to provide insurance coverage to cover damages. In many cases, uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage can mean more insurance and, therefore, more money for your claim. This, however, can be a very complicated area of the law so it is important that you have an experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer on your side to request all of the insurance policy information from all insurance companies on all vehicles, including your own, so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember that insurance companies are not obligated to inform you of all of these laws and all of your rights and will, often, try to deny coverage, especially in uninsured and underinsured situations, and staking situations that are very complicated, and only experienced Georgia Automobile Accident Lawyers will be able to fight for your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve. The insurance companies are protecting the insurance companies’ interests; not yours, so Contact Us for your free consultation to make sure that you receive all of the compensation that you deserve from all the insurance companies responsible in your particular situation.
Furthermore, when someone is injured in a a car accident who does not have insurance, that person can still recover for his or her damages if she or he lives with a relative, spouse, and/or parent who does have Uninsured Motorists insurance. Even in a hit-and-run situation, many Uninsured Motorists insurance policies will cover the incident so long as the injured insured notifies the insurance company within thirty (30) days after the hit-and-run accident.
Just as legal statutory time limitations are sensitive under Georgia Law, the insurance companies notice of an accident is also time sensitive under Georgia Law, and only an experienced Lawyer will know to send notices of the incident to all insurance companies, including your own, who are potentially responsible to pay an insurance claim and, therefore, later the insurance company can’t argue that they didn’t receive timely notice of the incident and try to bar, or deny, recovery under certain insurance policies which, in effect, diminishes the amount of money that you could be entitled to recover in your case.
Another issue of insurance in an automobile accident is whether or not there is Medical Pay coverage in the policy to cover the insured or the insured passenger(s). Medical Pay coverage is optional insurance coverage and, as with all insurance policy terms and conditions, it takes an experienced Attorney to determine when, and if, Medical Pay becomes a part of your, or your passenger(s), coverage or compensation and under what terms.
As you have learned, it takes the kind of experience that we have to take your case from start to finish to get you the proper medical treatment and compensation that you deserve if you have been insured in an automobile accident. We are available 24/7 and you may contact us for your free consultation by any or all of the following means by phone at our Auto Accident Injury Hotline 770-865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, by email at email@example.com, and/or Contact Us on our website. We are here to assist you and we look forward to hearing from you soon.