By: Georgia Car Accident Lawyer William C. Head, In Law Practice In the Peach State Since 1976
If you or someone close to you was injured in a car accident, you may need an Atlanta auto accident lawyer. Only select a legal advocate from an experienced car accident law firm to assist you. That helps assure the best settlement or court verdict for you. We are honored when one of our law firm members becomes a new client's car accident attorney Atlanta GA.
Our Atlanta car accident law firm is staffed by local car accident lawyers who have all earned Super Lawyers recognition for best accident lawyers in Atlanta. Plus, each partner has been named to multiple other legal industry directories or lists created by other top-rated Georgia legal practitioners.
These lists for rating attorneys with such organizations started in 1868, with as America's oldest law directory, Martindale-Hubbell. Not every car wreck lawyer on the Web has comparable legal experience and law firm attorney ratings.
Some local car accident lawyers seldom, if ever, have tried cases in a jury trial. Thus, in sorting through endless websites of accident lawyers in Atlanta, look for accident law firms in Georgia with longevity in this business and plenty of lawyer ratings by former clients.
Some Georgia firms are known for handling truck accidents, motorcycle wrecks, or premises liability cases. For some bigger legal offices, their car accidents case volume seems endless, since they must churn the cases to pay for expensive billboard, radio, and TV ads.
Car Accident Lawyer: Georgia Auto Accident Attorney Atlanta
A prospecting client calls our law office complaining about some aspect of a recent car wreck. in Atlanta metro. The issue may be medical bills, lost wages, or property damage suffered in the crash.
About 1 in every 60 cases, our caller is (unfortunately) seeking assistance on a wrongful death case. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer car accident professional, however, should review every case, looking for any viable causes of action.
Even though our legal team does not handle non-injury cases from property loss only, our lawyers in Atlanta still listen and ask questions. Our auto injury lawyers Atlanta know that some callers may not realize that the pain they are having today will get worse, and one day require surgery. So, the experienced wreck lawyer delves into the full details of the aftermath of this collision, looking for familiar patterns encountered by prior clients.
All accident claims deserve attention from an Atlanta auto attorney to investigate all angles of the crash with an experienced car wreck lawyer. Before speaking to our auto accident law firm, some potential clients have already talked to the insurance company of the other, at-fault party. This is something that most top accident lawyers in Atlanta advise against doing this, since most insurers will record these conversations.
List of Causes of Accidents Handled by Our Car Accident Attorneys in Georgia
Illegal driving behaviors and judgment errors that lead to car wrecks.
Speeding has always been the number 1 cause of accidents. When another driver is driving faster than the posted speed limit, that is a crime in Georgia, even if going only 1 mph over the posted limit.
Excessive speed collisions can manifest negligence of that vehicle operator in myriad ways. Open road speeding is virtually the norm, in 2021. But, a new and highly dangerous form of speeding in metropolitan areas called street racing has garnered attention for the City of Atlanta and State lawmakers.
Distracted drivers in GA have now surpassed driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol as the second most common cause of Georgia car accidents in 2021. Use of mobile devices, especially by teens and young adults has led to a substantial increase is serious bodily injury and death cases cause by distracted driving.
Drunken driving continues today, as it has since motor vehicles were invented. The Georgia General Assembly has made D.U.I. one of the serious misdemeanor-level driving offenses. So, this crime can be the "predicate" underlying misdemeanor charges that supports felony indictment for first degree VH (vehicular homicide) GA.
DUI also will support felony serious injury by vehicle (SIBV), which is referred to as being "in the first degree." Georgia criminalizes other types of impaired driving, including drugged driving, stoned driving (from marijuana or other cannabis products, and if the driver is impaired by noxious vapors or inhalants.
Major cities like Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Columbus tend to have a higher rate of intoxicated driving arrests and DUI accidents than rural areas. Rideshare companies helped to reduce the number of annual cases, but the COVID pandemic has made many drinkers hesitate to utilize Uber and Lyft at the present time.
Reckless driving in Georgia is defined broadly as driving in reckless disregard for persons or property. It is another of the serious driving offenses that supports 1st degree VH or SIBV in the 1st degree. The nebulous wording of OCGA 40-6-390 enables the District Attorney to charge such felony indictments and not just accept the driving conduct as being a misdemeanor-level crime.
Hit and Run (leaving the scene of an accident with an occupied motor vehicle) is still another misdemeanor driving offense that triggers felony criminal punishment. Along with two other less common serious traffic violations, attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, and passing a stopped school bus when the "stop" arm is activated and is receiving or discharging students.
A couple of decades ago, the State of Georgia passed OCGA 40-6-397, criminalizing aggressive driving. While it is designated as being a serious driving offense, it does not support felony enhancement of bodily injury or death cases due to aggressive driving.
However, violations of this statute were not added to the provisions of OCGA 40-6-393 (homicide by vehicle) or OCGA 40-6-394 (serious injury by vehicle) as a predicate offense supporting felony prosecution. Yet, few driving behaviors are more "intentional" in nature that the aggressive and dangerous conduct of road rage drivers.
Simple Misdemeanor Traffic Citations That Can Cause Death or Serious Injury
Driving while drowsy. Nighttime driving is where most of these cases occur. Tractor trailer drivers and motorists that push through a long, monotonous drive create great risk to others. Studies have placed this risk being close to as dangerous as DUI-DWI driving.
Those having trouble staying awake, when confronted by police after a bad accident, often explain what happened, thinking that this is a good excuse. In fact, Georgia case law authorizes the prosecutor to take the words of the negligent driver (about the accident being caused by his or her drowsy driving) and accuse the case as reckless driving. This exposes that driver to felony prosecution when another person has died from that behavior.
Red light violations cause many T-bone crashes that become fatalities. Drivers that run red lights, or do not yield to oncoming vehicles as required by Georgia law, run the risk of causing wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. This is due to causing side impacts, where less crush protection exists. When a fatality results, second degree vehicular homicide can be charged, as an additional misdemeanor crime.
These collisions at moderate to fast impact speeds (30 mph to 45 mph) have a high correlation to neck or hip fractures, head, and spine damage. Not adhering to the rules of the road results in hundreds of thousands of truck and car accidents annually.
Other misdemeanor driving conduct leading to wrecks. Among the most common causes of car crashes are:
stop sign violations;
failure to yield the right of way;
failure to maintain lane;
improper lane changes without signaling;
wrong way driving;
improper left turns; and
following too closely (also called "tailgating").
These same driving behaviors account for many pedestrian deaths.
Weather-Related and Time-of-Day Causes of Injuries and Fatalities
Night Driving. Driving in the daylight can be hazardous but driving at night nearly doubles the risk of a car accident occurring. An Atlanta car injury lawyer usually engages an accident reconstruction expert to investigate the scene for design flaws of impediments that may have causes or contributed to the collision.
Rain, ice, sleet, snow, fog, and darkness are all proven contributors to accidents in Georgia. Although these snow and sleet events are rare in GA, lack of driving experienced and properly equipped tires usually means that a much greater incidence of accidents occur.
Nighttime driving alone doubles the chances of an accident, due to diminished visibility for hazards (e.g., deer crossing the highway) and other impediments. In addition, if unfamiliar with the roadway, and excess speed can combine with darkness to increase the chances of a car crash.
Preventable Roadway Defects, Flaws and Hazards
Roadway design defects still exist on some Georgia highways. Sharp curves and inadequate warning signs of rumble strips will cause some drivers to underestimate the risk ahead. An auto accident attorney Atlanta will often need to hire a roadway design engineer to identify these deficiencies.
Potholes are more prevalent in southern states like Georgia, due to heavy, consistent rainfall every rear. Plus, big rig trucks take a heavy toll on asphalt surfaces, helping to expand and deepen potholes. A skilled Georgia car accident attorney can collect proof of the cause, and file suit to recover against all negligent parties.
The heavy rain and dense vegetation along the sides of Georgia's roads can also create poor water runoff and draining at culverts and roadway drains. If drains are not regularly cleared, this negligence can lead to pools of standing water on high-speed expressways.
Such neglect to make the highway safe can lead to a civil action against the city government or the State of GA. Certain pre-suit notices are required to be sent first, before filing suit against a government entity in a lawsuit filed by your Atlanta auto wreck attorney.
Tire blowouts (possibly from a pothole) can cause a driver to lose control of his automobile or pickup truck. For larger vehicles like 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, such sudden loss of control can be catastrophic. The car accident lawyer Atlanta GA that you hire will look into these issues.
Assessing Accident Lawyers in Atlanta GA for a Car Injury Attorney
Accident attorneys in Georgia know that every motor vehicle accident attorney, Atlanta GA, is looking for the "big" cases. However, the position of our accident attorneys in Georgia is that finding all sources of financial payout for the aggrieved client is our job.
This remains the prevailing thought pattern even when liability insurance and assets of the negligent party are limited, and underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage is insufficient. In a recent 2020 case in Cherokee County GA, additional funds (more than double the policy limits) were secured for our client by stacking State Farm policies of the insured family.
By doing their homework, most aggrieved accident victims can determine the best lawyers for car accident Georgia cases. Plus, ask pointed questions about who your direct contact at the Georgia auto accident lawyer's firm will be, if you hire the ATL car accident lawyer group you are interviewing.
In speaking with a Georgia auto accident attorney, listen to the type and number of questions being asked. If you do not get a good feeling about that accident attorney Atlanta's tendency to listen closely to you, do not expect that pattern to improve later.
Keep up your interviews until you are comfortable that you have found best car accident lawyer in Georgia for YOUR needs. For a FREE lawyer consultation with William Head, call today at 404-567-5515.