A Brief Summary of the Following Article
- Prevalence: Car accidents in the United States are a frequent occurrence, leading to a range of injuries. These incidents vary from minor to severe, with profound physical, emotional, and financial impacts on victims.
- Victim Rights: Victims of car accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses. Determining liability involves proving negligence of the other party, such as distracted or drunk driving, and considering Georgia’s comparative negligence rule.
- Claim Process: The legal process following an accident includes filing insurance claims, assessing damages, and possibly pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Important factors include establishing negligence, collecting evidence, and understanding the statute of limitations in Georgia.
- Legal Assistance: Hasner Law offers comprehensive legal services for car accident cases in Savannah, GA, including in-depth legal knowledge, claim assessment, negotiation with insurance companies, handling legal procedures, and providing emotional support.
Car accidents are a common yet unsettling experience, often leaving physical, emotional, and financial turmoil in their wake. Millions of people sustain injuries in traffic-related accidents annually in the United States. From minor fender-benders to catastrophic crashes, the impact of a car accident can be life-altering. Working with a Hasner Law attorney equips you with the resources, connections, and care you need to seek accountability and compensation for the injuries you suffered.
You might be entitled to compensation if you were hurt in a car accident. Hasner Law offers a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to call our Savannah car accident lawyers at 678-688-3142 to help you maximize your recovery. If you are one of those accident victims, you may find that your life has been disrupted in many different ways. It can be difficult to know where to turn or what to do following a crash—and too many people do not take the steps necessary to preserve their rights.
Helping Clients Seek Financial Recovery After Car Accidents in Savannah, GA
After an accident, when you call Hasner Law, we can advise you of your options and take steps on your behalf to ensure you receive any compensation you deserve. Our Savannah personal injury lawyers fully understand car accident laws in Georgia and know how to apply them to your case in your best interest. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights. Contact us to discuss your situation for free today.
7 Benefits of Hiring Our Savannah Car Accident Attorneys
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is both stressful and confusing, particularly when it comes to navigating the legal process. This is where the focused knowledge of the car accident lawyers at Hasner Law becomes invaluable.
The following are several key benefits of working with our experienced legal team:
- In-depth Knowledge of Savannah Car Accident Laws
Hasner Law car accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the legal framework surrounding collisions, including state and local traffic laws. We interpret these laws in the context of your unique case, providing clarity on your rights and the legal options available to you.
- Detailed Assessment of Your Claim
The experienced Savannah, GA car accident attorneys at Hasner Law can accurately assess the validity and value of your claim. We identify the strengths and weaknesses in your case and provide legal counsel on the best course of action, whether that’s negotiating a settlement or going to court.
- Skillful Negotiation Strategies
Insurance companies are known for their tough negotiating tactics. Hasner Law car accident attorneys are equipped to handle negotiations on your behalf, ensuring you don’t get pressured into accepting an unfair settlement. Our experience in dealing with insurance companies means we are knowledgeable of the right strategies to push for the best possible compensation for you.
- Handling of Legal Procedures and Paperwork
Legal proceedings involve complex paperwork and strict deadlines. Our legal team takes care of all these aspects, ensuring no procedural mistakes that could jeopardize your case. We also handle communication with all parties involved, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- Resources for Investigation
We have access to extensive resources and professional networks to thoroughly investigate your accident. This includes reconstructing the accident scene, gathering evidence, and interviewing witnesses. A comprehensive investigation is imperative in building a strong case for your claim.
- Emotional Support and Peace of Mind
Having a knowledgeable advocate on your side can provide significant emotional relief during a difficult time. We offer guidance and support throughout the process, giving you peace of mind that we will fight for your best interests.
- Trial Readiness
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a Hasner Law car accident attorney is prepared to take your case to trial. Our courtroom experience and advocacy are essential in presenting a strong case to a judge or jury.
How Car Accidents in Savannah Happen
You may drive your car without incident every day, and then, suddenly, a crash occurs out of nowhere that completely changes your life. Crashes come in all types—some involve multiple cars, while others may only involve your own vehicle. Regardless, you always have the right to hold responsible parties liable for your injuries and losses. The best way to be sure of your rights is to have an experienced Savannah car accident lawyer evaluate what happened and determine whether you can hold another party accountable for causing the crash.
To hold someone legally and financially responsible for your losses, you must prove that they were negligent in some way and that their negligence caused the crash. While many accidents are attributable to negligent drivers, additional parties may cause crashes.
The following parties are commonly liable for car accidents in and around Savannah:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Fatigued driving and falling asleep at the wheel
- Speeding and violating other traffic laws
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Aggressive driving or intimidating acts
- Improper passing
Auto manufacturers – In some situations, drivers’ cars may crash because part of the vehicle unexpectedly malfunctions. Auto manufacturers have the duty to sell reliable and safe auto parts—and when they fail to do so, those companies may face liabilities for any injuries or damages that result. Some auto parts that may be defective and lead to injuries include:
- Wheels and axles
- Steering systems
- Exhaust systems
- Ignition switches
Government entities—Local or state governments often have the responsibility to ensure that roadways are safe and free from hazards. If an agency fails to properly inspect, maintain, or repair roads, the following hazards may lead to crashes:
- Large cracks in the pavement
- Gravel on the roads
- Inadequate shoulders
- Dangerously designed roads
- Improper speed limits or warning signs
Other companies – Manufacturing companies are not the only corporations that may be liable in auto accident cases. If an employee of a company causes a crash while on the job, the employer may also face liability based on a legal principle called respondeat superior. This is especially common in cases involving large commercial trucks or buses, as injured victims can often seek compensation from the companies that employ the drivers as well.
Determining the cause of your accident and all of the parties who may be held responsible is a necessary step in assessing your rights as an accident victim. This often requires investigations, gathering evidence, and even expert analysis. Car accident victims rarely have access to the resources necessary to prove fault in their crashes. The car accident attorneys with Hasner Law, however, have the resources and experience to evaluate whom you may hold liable and to help seek the compensation you deserve from any and all parties.
Can I Still File a Claim if I am Partially At Fault?
To secure compensation in your Savannah car accident case, your Hasner Law car accident attorney must establish the other driver’s negligence. This is a standard approach in personal injury cases and involves demonstrating several key elements, including the following:
- Duty of care: Establishing the opposing driver owed a duty to act responsibly and safely on the road.
- Breach of duty: Showing that the opposing driver breached this duty through his or her actions or inactions.
- Resulting injuries: Proving that you sustained injuries.
- Causation: Linking your injuries directly to the defendant’s breach of duty.
While your attorney strives to prove the other driver’s negligence, the defense will likely try to demonstrate that you were either responsible for the accident or shared a portion of the fault. Georgia’s legal system acknowledges that often, both parties in a car accident may share some fault, which is called the comparative negligence rule. If you are less than 50% at fault, you can still pursue a claim against the other driver. However, any compensation awarded will be adjusted based on your degree of fault. For example, if you are awarded $200,000 but found 20% at fault, your compensation is reduced by $40,000, resulting in a total of $160,000.
If you are found to be more than 50% at fault (51% or more), your case will likely be dismissed without any compensation. Conversely, if the defendant is largely at fault (e.g., 95%), the insurance company may have to pay almost the entire claim amount. Our legal team will navigate these complexities, aiming to minimize your fault percentage and maximize your compensation.
How a Crash Can Affect Your Life
Car accidents can be extremely disruptive in many ways, and the effects of an accident often depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. However, even relatively minor injuries can lead to surprisingly extensive losses.
Common losses incurred by car accident victims include the following:
- Medical expenses, which include emergency department treatments, doctor visits, physical therapy, hospitalization, surgeries, medical equipment, medications, and more
- The estimated cost of ongoing medical treatment you will need in the future
- Income lost if your injuries caused you to miss time from work
- Future lost earnings ability if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous position
- Pain and suffering—both physical and emotional
- Permanent impairments, disabilities, or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
Because losses can differ significantly from case to case, so can the value of your individual claim. You should always have your losses thoroughly evaluated by a knowledgeable Savannah car accident attorney to ensure that you request the full amount of compensation available in your case.
The Legal Process After an Accident
You can pursue different options for seeking compensation after assessing liability and your losses. First, our attorneys can assist you with filing an insurance claim and negotiating the most favorable settlement possible in your case. If you are unable to obtain adequate compensation directly from the insurance company, we will file a claim for personal injury against any negligent parties. The civil court process involves many phases, and we work to obtain a sufficient pretrial settlement agreement whenever possible.
How Do I Know If I Have a Savannah Car Accident Case?
For a successful car accident claim, it’s essential to show that the opposing driver was negligent and his or her negligence led to your injury, which qualifies for compensation. The following elements establish whether your situation meets the basic criteria of a negligence claim for a car accident:
Establishing Negligence of the Responsible Driver:
The first step is to determine if the motorist who caused the accident failed to exercise ordinary care, leading to your injury. This involves evaluating whether the driver’s actions were consistent with how a reasonable person would behave under similar circumstances. A driver exercising due care adheres to speed limits, obeys traffic signals, and takes appropriate precautions in construction zones and adverse weather conditions, thereby averting foreseeable harm.
If the driver in your case, for instance, was speeding, ran a red light, or otherwise breached this duty of care, it could be indicative of negligence.
Linking a Driver’s Negligence to Your Injuries
You need to demonstrate that your injury was a direct result of the other driver’s negligent behavior. This step is crucial to ensure that your claim is directed at the right individual responsible for your injury. For example, if you were distracted by something unrelated to the driver’s actions and this led to an accident, their negligence may not be the cause of your injury. However, if the other driver’s breach of traffic rules directly led to a collision that injured you, then their negligence is likely the cause.
Assessing Compensable Damages from the Accident
Lastly, evaluate if the damages incurred justify the effort of pursuing a claim. These damages include lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If the collision resulted in physical harm, you are generally entitled to seek compensation. However, if the resulting costs, pain, and suffering are minimal, pursuing legal action might not be practical.
A Hasner Law attorney can be instrumental in helping you determine the extent of economic and non-economic damages and whether pursuing a claim is a worthwhile endeavor based on the specifics of your case.
Types of Evidence Used in Car Accident Claims in Savannah
In a car accident claim, proving negligence is crucial for securing compensation. Various types of evidence are utilized in these cases to establish the fault and negligence of the other party involved. The evidence gathered not only helps in proving who was responsible for the accident but also assists in quantifying the economic and non-economic damages suffered by victims.
The following are key types of evidence used in car accident claims:
- Police reports: These reports contain the police officer’s assessment of the accident scene, including any traffic violations, statements from the parties involved, and the officer’s opinion on what caused the accident.
- Photographic and video evidence: Photos and videos from the accident scene, taken immediately after the incident, provide tangible proof of the damage and circumstances surrounding the accident. This includes pictures of vehicle positions, road conditions, traffic signs, and any obstructions or hazards.
- Eyewitness testimony: Official statements from individuals who saw the incident can be instrumental. They offer an unbiased perspective on how the accident occurred, which can support claims about the other party’s negligence.
- Medical records: These records are crucial in proving that the injuries you sustained are a direct result of the accident. They provide documentation of your injuries, treatment plans, and the potential impact on your life.
- Expert testimony: Accident reconstruction experts or medical experts can offer professional opinions that lend weight to your claim. They can help in reconstructing the accident scene or in providing a detailed assessment of your injuries and future medical needs.
- Traffic camera footage: If available, footage from traffic or surveillance cameras can provide clear evidence of the events leading up to, during, and immediately following the accident.
- Cell phone records: In cases where distracted driving is suspected, cell phone records can be used to establish that the other motorist was using their phone at the time of the accident.
- Vehicle damage reports: Assessments of the damage to the vehicles involved can help in determining the impact and the dynamics of the crash. This can be used to infer details about the accident, such as speed and point of impact.
- Driver logs and records: In accidents involving commercial vehicles, the driver’s logs can be reviewed for any violations of service hour regulations that might indicate fatigue or negligence.
- Personal documentation: Personal notes, diaries, or journals detailing your experience, pain, and recovery process can also support your claim, especially in arguing for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
- Physical evidence: This includes any tangible evidence from the scene, such as skid marks, vehicle parts, or debris, which can help in piecing together the events leading to the accident.
Each piece of evidence plays a unique role in building a strong case for negligence in a car accident claim, creating a comprehensive picture of the incident. Obtaining a combination of evidence makes it easier to establish fault and secure rightful compensation for the damages suffered.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Georgia for Car Accident Claims?
The Georgia statute of limitations sets the maximum duration of time after a personal injury event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In the context of car accidents, it dictates that you have generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you are involved in a car accident in Savannah, you have two years from the date of the incident to seek a lawsuit for damages against the negligent driver.
The statute of limitations is an important legal deadline. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this two-year period, you are likely to lose your legal right to pursue economic and non-economic damages for injuries and losses. Courts in Georgia are typically strict about this deadline, and once it passes, your case is almost certainly going to be dismissed.
While the two-year limit is a general rule, there are exceptions. For instance, if the car accident involves a government vehicle or a government employee, different rules and time limits for filing a claim may apply. Additionally, if the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations might not start until the person turns 18.
It’s also important to note that the statute of limitations for property damage resulting from a collision (such as damage to your vehicle) is different. In Georgia, you may have four years from the date of the accident to file a property damage lawsuit.
Given these time limits, it’s essential to act promptly if you have been a victim of a car accident caused by negligence. The sooner you start the process, the better. Acting quickly helps ensure that evidence is preserved and that your legal rights are protected. Consulting with a qualified Savannah Hasner Law car accident attorney can provide clarity and guidance. We help you understand your rights, the specific deadlines applicable to your case, and the best course of action to take.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Savannah, GA, for a Free Consultation
After a car accident, you should focus your attention on the treatment of your injuries, returning to work, and resuming your regular activities as soon as possible. If you have permanent injuries, adjusting to your new life can also take time and energy. The last thing you should have to worry about is how to get compensation for your losses.
At Hasner Law, we handle every step of the legal process for our clients. If you have been injured, please call a Savannah car accident lawyer at (678) 928-8784 or contact us online to set up a free case evaluation.
5 Recommendations After You Are Involved in a Car Accident
Savannah Emergency Rooms
- Effingham Health System – 459 Ga Hwy 119 S. Springfield, GA 31329
- Candler Hospital: Emergency Room – 5353 Reynolds St, Savannah, GA 31405
- Memorial Health University Medical Center Emergency Room – 4700 Waters Ave Entrance, Savannah, GA 31404
- St. Joseph’s Hospital: Emergency Room – 11705 Mercy Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31419
*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.