By: William C. “Bubba” Head, Atlanta Injury Lawyer. He handles cases across Georgia and has been representing clients in Personal Injury Cases in Georgia since 1976
Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) occur in Georgia daily. After a crash, the first order of business is to get immediate and complete medical care. Automobile crashes can involve internal bleeding, or a brain injury and these highly dangerous situations require a thorough medical evaluation.
The number one type of car crash fatality comes from head trauma. Crashes can cause a “brain bleed” which later creates pressure to build inside the skull. Immediate medical diagnostics should be undertaken to assure that this does not happen, since trying to “tough it out” can be fatal.
Beyond internal bleeding in brain situations, the other causes of internal breeding are stomach or pelvic region bleeding when a hip is shattered from a side impact. Many people are unaware that they may have a pre-existing medical condition that is exacerbated by an auto collision.
Because (in the Peach State) snow or ice only occur a few days each year, rain, fog and darkness are a common hazard for accidents near me. When normal weather conditions exist, important physical evidence from the vehicles and the roadway can help win your roadway negligence case.
This article addresses the need for taking action to assure prompt investigation and evidence preservation. Quickly choosing the best auto accident attorney near me in Georgia is the first step to protecting against dissipation of critical evidence.
Car Accidents Near Me: How Crashes Happen in The Peach State
Once the medical situation is stabilized, have an accident investigator (retained by your personal injury attorneys) preserve critical evidence at the roadway. Specially trained experts take measurements of all vehicles and obtain photographs that show a two-dimensional view. Plus 3-D digital images for accident reconstruction purposes are of vital importance.
The adverse weather conditions, in Georgia, create more hazardous conditions from the related increased stopping distances involved with a slippery surface and the decreased visibility that exists at night. Insurance company statistics show that inclement weather is a consistent cause of many highway collisions.
Driver reaction time is a “human factors” function of a driver perceiving the hazard and reacting to it by braking and steering to try to avoid impact with another car, big rig truck, an SUV, a MARTA bus or a pedestrian. Overall though, the number one most likely cause of a fatal or non-fatal car accident is SPEED.
All other causes combined such as distracted driving, drunken driving, or drugged driving cannot equal the devastation and crash likelihood that speeding in Georgia creates. The Georgia super speeder law was enacted about a decade ago and creates an additional $200 penalty (tax) on high-speed scofflaws, yet super speeder GA tickets continue to be issued thousands of times each month. Mr. Head has taught many high school safety courses, and his #1 message is to SLOW DOWN.
An Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer for Lawsuits Against a Trucking Company and Its Driver
In some types of grossly negligence conduct cases, special damages beyond ordinary monetary damages are collectible. This category of recovery is aside from your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages (past and future) and similar traditional categories for personal injury cases.
Punitive damages are a special and separate category of extra damages which may be provable in your case. Two examples of big rig drivers creating liability for their trucking companies are set forth below.
In 2019, a Columbus, Georgia jury returned a $280 million verdict against a trucking company whose driver went over the center line of the highway, killing five (5) related family member who were in the same vehicle. Three generations of that family, including twin sisters, their mother and two of the children, lost their lives.
The theory of the claim for a punitive damage award was that added $100 million in punitive damages to the other $180 million plus award was based on a driver asleep at the wheel. In addition, the plaintiffs' attorneys argued that the truck company pushed their drivers to remain on the highways too long, while carrying massive loads of cargo.
In April of 2015, five Georgia State University nursing students were killed. One other nursing student was seriously injured in the I-16 crash involving two 18-wheeler trucks and a passenger vehicle collided. According to news reports, all 5 fatalities and the survivor were nursing students who were just completing their clinical rotations at a Savannah hospital while attending nursing school.
Some of the Atlanta personal injury attorneys undertook a deep dive into cell phone records. This pretrial "discovery" material revealed that the primary at-fault tractor trailer driver had been illegally using his cell phone and failed to apply his brakes.
Part of the evidence uncovered by the wrongful death attorneys was that this driver had been viewing and texting with a woman while driving. Well in excess of $140 million was recovered by the Atlanta wrongful death attorneys for all the victims' claims. The driver got a 5 year state prison sentence, too.
The Federal Government's Interest and Involvement in Crash Investigations
For almost 50 years, a division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] the National Center for Statistics and Analysis [NCSA] has conducted Special Crash Investigations (SCI). Their research on property damage suffered in collision and offset crash tests has helped motor vehicle manufacturers create safer automobiles and trucks for America, and beyond our borders.
This program has provided N.H.T.S.A. with detailed auto and truck crash investigation. The information collected by the NCSA agency on a car wreck case or tractor trailer accident in the State of Georgia can also help a personal injury lawyer on your civil litigation. The passages set forth below identify this agency's purpose:
The data collected ranges from basic data contained in routine police and insurance crash reports to comprehensive data from special reports by professional crash investigation teams. Hundreds of data elements relevant to the vehicle, occupants, injury mechanisms, roadway, and safety systems are collected for each of the over 100 crashes designated for study annually.
SCI cases are intended to be an anecdotal data set useful for examining special crash circumstances or outcomes from an engineering perspective. The benefit of the program is its ability to locate unique real-world crashes anywhere in the country and perform in-depth clinical investigations in a timely manner that can be used by the automotive safety community to improve the performance of its advanced safety systems.
Past cases have triggered interest from individual companies and the automotive industry. The goal to improve the safety performance of motor vehicles, notably passenger cars, light trucks, and school buses.
Personal Injury Attorney Tip: An Engineer or Accident Reconstruction Expert Can Be Critical
Quick action, after a collision, makes a huge difference in many cases. Issues like crush damage to the vehicles involved can be translated into impressive trial exhibits for a jury to see or to show an auto insurance adjuster. Once roadway skid marks and gouges are gone, due to repaving, fading away from sun and rain or traffic passing over the markings, this evidence is lost forever.
Secondly, tracking down all witnesses is a critical stage of any PI case. Names and numbers can be obtained from emergency 911 calls, names of EMT and fire truck personnel at the scene, plus all law enforcement officers and any Good Samaritans that may have gotten involved. Because some people at the collision never give police their names, finding these witnesses can be difficult.
Police accident teams often use bright-colored paint on pavement showing tire positions of all vehicles, plus yaw marks, gouges in the asphalt, POI (point of impact) on the highway or on a retaining wall. In addition, the fluid trail that is often produced by the radiator and engine block oil in a head-on crash following a front-end collision can be a vital part of the evidence.
Drones are now commonly used to fly over an accident scene to give jurors a perspective of the roadway and sight distances for all drivers. Our Atlanta personal injury law firm finds that this type of evidence may make a huge difference with a jury, by use of this type of compelling demonstrative evidence.
Finally, a reconstruction specialist can look for potential product liability cases when a tire defect or failure has occurred. An auto injury that came from tire "blowout" on the at-fault vehicle could lead your automobile accident. Car accident lawyers near me would sue both the at-fault driver, the auto service that installed the tire and the tire manufacturer, since you (and other drivers who may be harmed) are foreseeable plaintiffs.
When a vital vehicle part fails (such as a tire that was defective due to tread delamination caused by faulty manufacturing methods at the factory in Mexico) an expert will have to examine the evidence. Then, he or she can establish the proximate cause of the vehicle careening out of control.
Hiring an Auto Accident Lawyer Near Me
Accidents in Georgia create tremendous stress in your business and family life. Even an airbag crash can cause permanent damage to some individuals in certain situations. Most of our law office's cases involve hospitalization, lost wages, some form of long-term disability, or wrongful death.
After a serious car wreck, disruption is unavoidable. Your only path to compensation is to recover all that Georgia law permits. This number will often be limited by the liability insurance and assets of the negligent party or company responsible for your injuries and losses.
Remember that (if involved in wrecks near me) your uninsured motorist coverage or your underinsured motorist coverage (under your OWN policy) can provide an additional, unexpected source of additional compensation. When another motorist is responsible for an at-fault collision in some serious injury or wrongful death cases, prompt action to preserve evidence is required.
Dial our dedicated 24-hour number for an immediate meeting with an Atlanta accident lawyer. After a car accident case you need targeted legal advice for personal injury cases at 1-800-462-8222, which spells out 1-800-GO-BUBBA.
Plus, our PI law firm offers a free consultation to those who are confused by all the requirements for evidence preservation early in the case. Plus, many of our clients may be physically unable to come to see us, and we are happy to come see them.