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Atlanta Passenger Injury Lawyer

HomeThe Best Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm Near Me » Atlanta Automobile Accidents Attorney » Atlanta Passenger Injury Lawyer

The average driver in Atlanta traveled about 36,000 miles in 2022 alone, making the metro area sixth on a list for overall traveled miles in some of the country’s 110 largest areas. Not all of these drivers were traveling alone, and at least some of them experienced a crash along the way.

According to recent data, around 44 car accidents happen every hour in Georgia. If you become a part of that statistic and wind up getting hurt as a passenger, then it’s important to understand your rights. If you’re not sure, then the right personal injury lawyers in Atlanta can help you get informed.

In general, you’ll be able to file for compensation that covers your losses after your crash. Learn more about how to go about the process below.

What To Do After a Passenger Injury in a Car Accident

When you experience a car accident as a passenger, it’s easy to simply allow the drivers to handle the situation and step back from what’s going on. While that feels natural, it’s not always the best thing to do, especially if the drivers mutually do not want to involve the police.

Below, we’ll go over exactly what to do if you’ve been in an accident as a passenger and you think might be hurt. By following these steps, you’ll protect your physical health and preserve your rights in case you later decide to file a compensation claim.

Take Immediate Steps at the Scene

First, there are immediate steps you need to take at the scene. Ask the driver to stop and wait at the site. Check yourself, other passengers, the driver, and occupants of the other vehicle for any serious injuries. Make sure that you’re safe from getting struck again by traffic. If anyone seems injured, then it’s best to call the police.

Secure Your Safety and Get Medical Attention

In order to preserve your physical health, you need to prioritize yourself if you’re hurt. Secure your safety by getting timely medical attention. You might need immediate assistance from emergency medical responders who drive out to the scene, or you might opt to take yourself to the hospital after dealing with the aftermath of the accident. Don’t delay seeking out care because doing so could make your injuries far worse. What’s more, it could complicate matters if you later decide to pursue a claim.

Documenting Your Crash at the Scene

Depending on how serious your injuries are, you may be able to start documenting evidence right away at the accident scene. Take photographs of the vehicles, consider asking witnesses to stay and give a statement to police, and look around to see if any cameras are nearby that could’ve filmed your incident.

Legal Steps to Follow After the Crash

After your crash, you have a legal right to file for compensation, but you need to take the right steps to uphold those rights. Those steps include properly reporting the accident, getting the medical care you need, and leveraging your rights by filing a claim with the right party.

Reporting the Accident

To leverage your legal rights, you need to first report the accident. You can do this right away at the scene by calling the police. Once authorities come out to the scene, they’ll document everything and file an official police report regarding the accident. Once you have a police report, you also need to report the incident to your insurance provider. Before you take this step, though, you might want to speak with an attorney.

Contacting a Reputable Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta

An injured passenger lawyer will advise you on how to properly speak with your insurance company about what happened. Since insurance adjusters work for the insurance company at the end of the day, you need to be careful about what you say to them. Your statements could potentially harm your claim.

That’s not the only reason you’ll want to get in touch with an attorney, though. Your lawyer will be a huge help as you navigate the process. First, they’ll help you unpack what happened and who might be responsible. Then, they’ll help you properly value your losses, collect the right evidence, and file the right paperwork. By using an attorney, you’ll maximize your claim and streamline the whole process.

Determining Liability for Your Passenger Injury

Since you were a passenger in the accident, it’s very unlikely that you caused or contributed to the incident. To determine who was at fault, courts will need to go over specific evidence like video footage, witness statements, and accident investigations.

Understanding Georgia’s Comparative Fault System

Georgia’s courtrooms officially utilize a modified comparative fault standard, which means that injured individuals can file for financial compensation after an accident even if they were partially to blame for the incident. Courts will consider what happened and assign each party a percentage of fault. If the injured party is less than 50% at fault, then they can file a claim. If they are more than 50% to blame, then they won’t be able to seek compensation.

Common Parties Involved in Liability

Every motorist has a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of everyone else on the road, but they aren’t the only party that could be potentially liable after an accident. Depending on what happened, the following parties could potentially be responsible:

  • Drivers
  • Vehicle owners
  • Employers
  • Manufacturers
  • Service providers
  • Local or city governments

Most often, another driver is at fault. Drivers can be liable when they drive while distracted, don’t adhere to traffic laws, or otherwise recklessly cause a crash. Employers could also potentially be held liable if a driver causes an accident while driving under the scope of their job duties. A local or city government, contractors, or roadworkers could also be held liable if they cause unsafe driving conditions that cause an accident. For instance, in a recent case, roadwork debris caused an accident and led to a significant $1.6 million settlement.

Rights of Injured Passengers Under Georgia Personal Injury Law

After a crash that isn’t your fault, you have very specific rights. One of the most important rights you have is the right to file a claim for compensation that will financially restore you to the position you were in prior to the accident. While this right is evident under the law, you might need the help of an injured passenger lawyer to enforce them and officially file your claim.

Types of Damages Recoverable

The best auto accident lawyer can help you recover all the expenses associated with your accident injury that you experience. These expenses could come in the form of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or more.

Special Consideration for Passengers

When it comes to being a passenger, you maintain the same rights as you would if you were driving yourself. The only difference is that your own car insurance policy will not come into play unless the other drivers are uninsured or underinsured.

Statute of Limitations

There are time limits that dictate how quickly you need to act to uphold your compensation rights. Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims typically gives you two years from the date of the accident to pursue your claim.

Process of Building a Personal Injury Claim

To build a personal injury claim, you first need to gather up all the evidence you need to prove your claims. From there, you’ll negotiate with the responsible party in an attempt to reach a settlement. If the other party isn’t willing to provide you with a reasonable settlement, then you may have to go to court.

Gathering Evidence

First, you need to gather all the evidence required to prove what happened, who was responsible, and what you’ve lost. This part of the process should take the longest and be the most intensive part of the whole ordeal. In general, the stronger case you build upfront, the more successful your claim is likely to be overall.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Next, you’ll present your case to the responsible party. They have the power to decide whether to simply pay you what you’ve asked for, negotiate a reduced settlement award, or refuse to pay you at all. Their decision will be based on the strength of your case and evidence.

Going to Trial

The best auto accident lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial if necessary. This step is rare, though, as most cases are resolved during the negotiation process.

Reach Out to a Highly Experienced Atlanta Passenger Vehicle Accidents Lawyer

When you’ve experienced an accident as a passenger that led to injuries, it’s best to get in touch with personal injury lawyers in Atlanta who can help. Unfortunately, as a passenger, you likely have a relationship with the driver, and you probably don’t want to strain that relationship in pursuit of compensation. Hiring an attorney can help you navigate the situation carefully and respectfully.

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