How Long Will it Take to Settle My Atlanta Car Accident Case?
A car accident happens in seconds, yet the aftermath can last for months or years. There’s no quick fix for damages, especially those that are physical, financial, and emotional. Just as the healing process must run its course, so must any legal action. The statute of limitations in Georgia for pursuing a civil action for personal injury is two years.
The clock starts ticking from the day of your accident, making it imperative to contact a Georgia personal injury attorney without delay.
Atlanta Car Accidents
The Atlanta area is known for heavy traffic, especially during rush hour. The city is the county seat of Fulton, the most populous county in Georgia. The metro area experienced tremendous growth during 2017, with Fulton County alone adding 17,570 new residents.
According to data from Georgia Governor’s Department of Highway Safety, more than 58,000 crashes occurred in 2017, resulting in 17,947 injuries and 115 deaths. Drivers in Georgia and throughout the United States are at risk for encountering drivers with the following behaviors:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving and drug-impaired driving
- Sleep deprived driving
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving is of growing concern among drivers. Despite this, many drivers surveyed by AAA admitted to participating in texting or emailing while driving.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 9 people are killed each day in the United States by distracted drivers, with more than 1,000 injured. The CDC lists three primary types of distraction:
- Visual: Anything that takes your eyes off the road
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving
Sending or reading a text while driving at 55 miles per hour takes your eyes off the road for five seconds—long enough to cover a football field. The devastating effects of an accident at this speed are an important reason to contact a Georgia personal injury attorney.
Georgia Complex Accident Laws
The laws regarding compensation for car accident victims in Georgia can be quite complex. The challenge is identifying who is at fault and proving that the responsible party is liable for damages. Tort liability, comparative negligence, and third-party responsibility are just three of the important factors your case may face.
Tort Liability State
Georgia is one of several states to apply “at fault” or tort liability for car accident claims. This simply means that the at-fault driver and their insurance are generally liable for damages. In order to receive compensation from the other driver, the plaintiff must prove the other driver was at fault.
Comparative Negligence Law
Georgia law allows a judge to assign a percentage of liability to both the plaintiff and the defendant. Commonly referred to as modified comparative fault, or modified negligence law, any damages awarded to the plaintiff are minus the percentage of fault. If the judge finds the plaintiff 50 percent or more responsible for the accident, the plaintiff receives no compensation.
Third Party Responsibility
Serious car accidents often occur due to the actions of a third party. This may include a business vehicle in poor condition, improperly maintained roads, or a pedestrian or bicyclist who interrupts traffic, causing a crash. In each of these examples, the entity responsible wasn’t driving yet may have responsibility for personal injuries and damages.
How long it will take to settle your Atlanta car accident case depends upon the factors listed above, the extent of your injuries, and the insurance companies involved. No responsible attorney will tell you how long your car accident case will last, or promise any specific results. It may take months, and the most complex cases and worst injuries may take longer to resolve. A good attorney will stay in touch with you throughout the process, keeping you informed about any progress or challenges in your case.
Due to the complexity of the laws, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing evidence, the sooner an attorney reviews your case, the better. Two years may seem like a long time; however, the time goes by very quickly, evidence can be lost, and witness recollection may fade.
At Hasner Law, we work hard to secure the best compensation possible for our clients. If we are unable to settle, we aren’t afraid to go to court. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Common Car Accident Injuries
A sudden crash can change your life in an instant. Whether it is a quick trip to the store or traveling to work, a car accident is a violent jolt to your system. It is imperative that you seek medical attention right away. Even if you aren’t showing any outward symptoms, you may be at risk for:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken ribs or other bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck and back injuries
It is injuries like these that demand the proper representation for your case. Serious injuries from car accidents often require future surgeries, expensive medications, and medical equipment and personal care. For some injuries, there is no recovery. Power chairs and home modifications require an investment that most people can’t afford.
Hasner Law, for example, fights for fair compensation for not just current injuries—we also fight for future needs based upon those injuries. In many cases, an insurance company will offer a low dollar amount in an effort to get you to settle quickly. While it may seem like a lot of money, it most likely will not carry you or your family through your anticipated future care.
Find an Automobile Accident Law Firm You Trust
At Hasner Law, we understand Georgia law when it comes to proving liability. While we all take a chance every time we get behind the wheel, no one should suffer physically, financially, or emotionally due to the negligence of another driver. No matter how defensively you drive, experiencing an accident in Atlanta or the surrounding region is a real possibility.
If you were seriously injured in a car accident due to no fault of your own, it’s important to at least speak with an attorney about your case. Upon careful review of your case, attorneys can advise you of your options and legal rights. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay: The statute of limitations of two years for personal injury cases passes very quickly.