Accidents can’t be anticipated. One day you’re driving down Chamblee Dunwoody Road and, suddenly, your life takes a left turn you couldn’t have seen coming.
Out of nowhere, you’re saddled with the inconvenience of needing to fix your vehicle, and figuring out how to find the money to start paying your medical expenses and other bills incurred from the accident. And all of this can make it harder to focus on the most important thing, which is healing from your injuries.
How a Dunwoody Attorney Can Help After a Car Accident
The thing about car accidents is that they require you to learn a lot of information quickly about topics you’ve never had to think about before.
The good news is you don’t have to figure any of this out on your own. The sooner you hire a Dunwoody car accident lawyer, the better they’ll be able to support you through the entire, complicated process.
They can help you answer questions like:
- How much money can you expect to receive in a fair settlement with an insurance company?
- Is the claims process different after truck accidents or motorcycle accidents?
- What do you do if you think someone you love was the victim of a wrongful death?
- What happens if you’re in an accident where the liable party is an uninsured driver?
And what if you’re a passenger in one of the vehicles? Do you have the same rights as drivers? How do you file an insurance claim when you weren’t even driving a car?
Here at the Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin, we’re committed to giving our clients the support they need as they navigate the aftermath of a car accident. We know how hard it can be to focus on documents and phone calls when you’re in physical and emotional pain.
We want to come alongside you and help make sure you come out the other side of this accident as whole and healthy as possible. Schedule a free consultation if you’re ready to learn more, or keep reading for a real-life example of how we helped
What Happens If You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident?
No one thinks they’re going to get into a vehicle fine and leave it injured. Sometimes, though, bad breaks happen. And when they do, the at-fault driver (or their insurance company) should have to pay, not you.
We’ll call the person at the center of our story Monica. Monica was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a driver who was not paying attention.
In the blink of an eye, Monica was dealing with pain all over her body, abdominal abrasions from the seatbelt, leg pain, and an obviously injured hand.
This was more than your standard bumps and bruises received during a car wreck, and the road to recovery would be a long one.
“I was hospitalized,” Monica says.
“After some tests, they determined that I had signs of internal bleeding in my abdomen from where the seatbelt tightened. I had a fractured sternum from where the seatbelt crossed my chest.”
Of course, it wasn’t just her chest that was giving her pain.
“Originally the doctors thought I had a fractured leg and hand. After X-rays, it was determined that my hand, specifically my thumb, was badly sprained and required a cast.”
How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?
Georgia is an “at-fault state,” which means that the driver who causes an accident is the one who has to pay for any injuries and damages.
But how is it determined who is at fault in an accident? In general, someone is considered at fault if they acted negligently or recklessly, or if they broke a law. This could be anything from violating traffic laws to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to driving while distracted to texting and driving.
Georgia also has something called comparative negligence, which allows drivers to recover damages in an accident even if they were partially at fault. As long as you are determined to be less at fault than the other responsible parties, you can collect damages based on the percentage of responsibility.
For example, if the court decides you were 40% at fault in an accident with $100,000 in damages, you could collect $60,000. If, however, the court decides you’re 51% at fault in the accident, you could not collect any damages.
Even if you think you were at fault in an accident, you should never admit that to the insurance companies involved — especially if you were just a passenger. A Dunwoody lawyer can help you figure out the best way to talk about the accident without accidentally admitting something that will stop you from getting the compensation you deserve.
In Monica’s case, the fault was split between Monica’s friend, who was driving the car she was in, and the other driver.
“The person driving the car I was in was my best friend. The fault was split between her and the other driver, but the other driver was given a higher percentage of fault.”
Will Insurance Cover My Medical Bills?
Medical bills can pile up fast after a car accident. But if you were not at fault in the accident, you shouldn’t have to pay for your injuries.
If you think you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to go to a doctor as soon as possible. Several of the most common injuries from car and motorcycle accidents — like whiplash — don’t present symptoms right away. By getting care early, you can sometimes prevent future complications.
Plus, you’ll have a record of your treatment that starts immediately after the accident, which can strengthen your insurance claim.
For Monica, problems continued to arise even after her initial injuries were first treated.
“I had calcium build-up on the back of my hand. I needed and got injections to dissolve it.”
It was discovered that her leg was not fractured, but badly bruised, which resulted in nerve damage. This type of injury can have a major impact on your quality of life, and the medical costs associated with treating nerve damage are often high.
“The skin in that area is still numb.”
Monica wanted relief, fast, so she could get back to her normal life. And just as importantly, she wanted to focus on getting better rather than worrying about how she would pay for the medical care she needed. Luckily, she found a local Dunwoody car accident attorney that could help her and provide the advice she needed.
If you’ve been injured or think you might have been injured, look out for some of these common symptoms and seek medical care as soon as you notice them:
- Back or neck pain
- Cuts and bruises
- Neck stiffness
- Pain in limbs and joints
- Trouble breathing
And make sure to save all your medical records and bills! If you hire a Dunwoody attorney, they can help you keep them organized.
Finding A Dunwoody Car Accident Attorney Who’s Right for You
Monica was talking to their family about the situation they were in, and an uncle had a suggestion: seek out experienced legal counsel from a local personal injury attorney with an excellent track record.
“I was referred to Nick by my uncle who is an attorney in a different district in Georgia. He highly recommended Nick for the situation I was in.”
Getting a recommendation from someone who is in the same field and a family member was all the prodding Monica needed. Of course, not everyone is in that situation so we recommend calling at least three law firms and hiring the one that you feel will do the best job for you. In the end, if you feel you made the wrong choice you can always fire your attorney.
“Since I was not at fault, we involved Nick Martin in order to have the drivers’ insurance companies compensate me for my medical and legal bills.
What To Know About Hiring a Dunwoody Personal Injury Attorney
Having a first meeting with a lawyer can be a pretty stressful situation, but Nick immediately put Monica at ease. As anyone who has worked with Nick knows, he’s always got a plan.
“When first meeting him, he had me explain exactly what happened in the wreck, provide any proof I had, as well as give him a copy of all the current medical bills I had at the time. He explained to me exactly how the process would go, gave me options, and answered any questions I had.”
As an attorney with extensive experience working on car accident cases, Nick was able to give Monica peace of mind by making sure she understood all the steps of the legal process. He reminded her to keep all her medical records organized and explained what she could expect when filing a personal injury claim.
Having a Dunwoody based personal injury attorney that knows the ins and outs of the law is invaluable, especially when you’ve got someone on your side that makes sure to listen to what you need.
How to File an Insurance Claim
As soon as a car accident has occurred, you should make sure to notify insurance as soon as possible. Make sure you contact the insurance companies of all involved parties, not just your own. You can typically do this by calling the number listed on your insurance card or by submitting a form online.
Remember that timing is extremely important. If you wait too long to file, car insurance companies will sometimes use that as a reason to deny your claim.
But sometimes, you might be too injured or too overwhelmed to file a claim. In these situations, it’s especially helpful to have a great lawyer on your side. They can walk you through the process or even file your claim for you, so you can focus on getting better.
A car accident attorney can also advise you about what to include in your insurance claim. Insurance companies are looking for any possible reason to deny your claim or pay you the smallest possible amount, so you never want to give them extra ammunition to do that. Stick to basic, verifiable facts, and never speculate about what happened or admit to being at fault.
A lawyer can help you prepare for these conversations with insurance, and if you ever don’t know how to answer a question, remember the magic words: “I’d like to consult with my lawyer, first.”
What Should You Expect During the Insurance Claims Process?
Filing your insurance claim is an important first step, but unfortunately, the claims process is far from over. You should expect to hear back from the insurance company, who may ask for further documentation.
This could include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Photos of the damages to your car
- Photos of your injuries
- The accident police report
- Your notes from the scene of the accident
This is why it’s so important to keep records of absolutely everything. But remember, you should only submit information the company explicitly asks for.
Once you’ve filled out all the necessary forms and records, most insurance companies will then bring in an insurance adjuster to assess your reports and determine how much the company owes you in damages.
These insurance adjusters do not have your best interests at heart. They’re looking for reasons to reduce the amount of money owed to you, so make sure to approach all interactions with caution.
During this stage of the process, it’s extremely helpful to have a lawyer on your side who can help you prepare for interviews with the adjusters, know what questions to answer, and even negotiate with the company on your behalf.
What if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Most people know to file an insurance claim after a car accident, but what if the driver who’s at fault doesn’t have insurance? Or, what if their insurance policy is not large enough to cover all of the damages?
Even though Georgia law requires drivers to have insurance, there are plenty of people who break the law and drive uninsured.
In these situations, it’s especially helpful to have uninsured motorist coverage, which is an add-on you can purchase with your own insurance policy to cover damages if another driver is underinsured or not insured at all.
You can also take your case to court, which helps make sure the at-fault party pays you what you owe, whether it’s all at once or in installments over time.
In either situation, you’ll definitely benefit from having an experienced accident attorney on your side. Nick Martin has a successful track record of helping people get compensated after being hit by uninsured or underinsured motorists, and he can help you with your case, too.
What Can I Get Compensated for After a Car Accident?
Depending on the circumstances around your accident, you may qualify for more damages than you realize. It’s not just car repair bills or your initial doctor’s appointment that you can get compensated for.
In the state of Georgia, car accident victims can receive compensation for:
- All past and future medical bills relating to the accident
- Lost wages due to injury or lack of transportation
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle rental while your car is damaged
Insurance companies will not usually offer up payment for pain and suffering or lost wages. You have to know to ask for them, and that’s why having a Dunwoody car accident attorney on your side can significantly increase your compensation.
What Happens if I Lose a Loved One in a Car Accident?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, a lawsuit may feel like the least of your concerns. But you deserve to be financially taken care of, especially in the midst of your grief.
Nick Martin has experience with wrongful death suits after Dunwoody car accidents. He wants to help you get the compensation you deserve, while also making it as easy as possible for you in an incredibly difficult time.
Wrongful death suits are complex cases that require an experienced attorney’s time and attention. They involve both personal injury and intangible damages, so it’s important to have an expert on your side.
And while getting compensation won’t bring the person you love back; it will help you make sure you aren’t left struggling because of funeral expenses or lost income. Our team here at Nick Martin’s office is here for you, and we want to help you get the justice you deserve.
Can I Argue or Renegotiate if Insurance Doesn’t Pay Me Enough?
Insurance companies make money by not paying out. They want to take your premium, build their wealth, and then pay the smallest amount possible when called to task. Insurance companies will take even seemingly small things — like filing your claim after their expected timeframe or not getting all the right documents from medical professionals — and use them as an excuse to deny you fair compensation.
Even when the injured party is a passenger and clearly not at fault, the insurance company will look for ways to pay the smallest possible amount, or avoid paying at all. Monica found out that truth the hard way during settlement negotiation.
“One issue that we encountered was that the insurance company of the at-fault driver fought us on how much we were asking for and tried to counter for a much smaller amount.”
Without an attorney, Monica might have thought this was the best offer she would get. After all, it’s hard to know exactly how much compensation you deserve for your injuries and for your pain and suffering.
Luckily, she had Dunwoody’s best personal injury attorney on her side to make sure she didn’t get less than they deserved. Nick took a close look at her claim and decided that based on previous precedent and on the extent of Monica’s injuries, she deserved a significantly larger settlement.
“Nick advised that we not take this offer and fought back for a much better settlement.”
You should never accept an insurance company’s first offer without first consulting your lawyer. A Dunwoody accident attorney can help you determine if the amount they’re offering you is fair or if you should ask for more.
Filing Litigation Against Someone in DeKalb County
As much as possible, your car accident attorney is going to try to get you the compensation you deserve without taking legal action. But sometimes, insurance companies can’t be reasoned with, and you’ll need to fight for your compensation in court.
When this happens, the major insurance companies are already at an advantage, because they deal with car accidents every day. This is why it’s so important to work with a lawyer who’s just as experienced with car accidents and personal injury.
The decision to file litigation can be especially challenging when you’re in a situation like Monica’s, where one of the at-fault drivers was her best friend. Fortunately for Monica, Nick Martin knows how to navigate the choppy waters of personal injury lawsuits.
“My friend was supportive through all of it and filed her own suit against the other driver. Nick and I agreed that nothing would come out of my friend’s pocket.”
With Nick Martin on Monica’s side, they were able to start to see a path out. With Nick focusing on the legal issues, Monica was able to begin the process of healing up and taking care of their health.
Stop The Stress So You Can Heal Faster
During personal injury litigation, the back and forth can be as stressful as the car wreck itself.
The law can be confusing and off-putting for a non-lawyer to try and maneuver through. Things are often happening without your knowledge and, especially when dealing with a big box law firm, your complaints might be lost in the shuffle.
Even if the heads of these law firms are experienced personal injury lawyers, you may never get to speak directly with the lawyer who’s in charge of your case. Attorneys at these firms are extremely busy and will often leave most of the work to a paralegal, rather than engaging with clients directly.
That’s not the case with Nick Martin, who will never hand your case off to some paralegal. He works with each of his clients directly, personally overseeing all the details of his clients’ accident claims to make sure they get the best possible outcome.
“Nick kept me informed every step of the way. He sent me all documents that the other attorneys provided him and made sure to have my approval with all of his responses. He explained everything as simply as he could, so it was easy to understand what the next steps were.”
Automobile Accident Insurance Claims Lawyer Who Wins Cases
With Nick and Monica working as a team, they were able to get a settlement that took care of her concerns.
“I was very satisfied! He was able to get me a settlement that not only covered all my medical bills and lawyer fees, but also enough to have a good chunk left over.”
Some lawsuits can drag on for years, but Dunwoody car accident attorney Nick Martin made sure to set reasonable expectations and then worked to beat them.
“From the beginning, he informed me of how long the lawsuit process could take and was able to get me a large settlement in under the time frame he originally quoted.”
“I would and have highly recommend Nick to all of my friends!”
Highly Rated Dunwoody Personal Injury Law Firm
Recommendations like this mean the world to our team at The Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin.
We’re not a big box law firm who takes on thousands of cases, we’re a dedicated team of real people who want to help our Dunwoody community.
The aftermath of a car accident is incredibly complicated, but just by giving Nick Martin a call, you’re taking an enormous first step toward making your life easier. Knowing we’re helping real people get the money they deserve from giant insurance corporations who only serve the bottom line is a mission we’re proud to be a part of.
And though we know it can be overwhelming to try to pick the right attorney, Nick has the track record to prove that he can deliver great results. He’s successfully dealt with cases involving:
- Careless drivers
- Catastrophic injuries
- Commercial truck collisions
- Driver fatigue
- Head-on collisions
- Motorcycle crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability
- Rideshare vehicles
- Uninsured motorists
- Wrongful death claims
If you’ve been in an accident, whether it be as a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian, you don’t deserve to pay for the pain inflicted on you by the negligence of others.
Nick Martin can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve, whether it’s for property damage, severe injury, or emotional trauma. You shouldn’t have to worry about financial recovery when you’re dealing with the consequences of a negligent party’s actions.
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