Fry | Goehring successfully helps the injured recover the compensation they deserve.
Car Accident Settlement Amounts
Car accidents are unexpected and challenging experiences. Whenever they happen, victims often struggle to deal with multiple issues, including car damage, possible physical injuries, mental anguish, and, in some cases, not knowing if they will be able to return to work.
Maybe the greatest uncertainty that faces car accident victims in Georgia is whether or not they will recover any damages after the accident. This scenario becomes even more concerning if you must undergo extensive medical treatment and be out of work for a given period.
At Fry | Goehring, we understand the financial burden of a car accident. That’s why we go above and beyond for our clients to ensure they receive sufficient settlement amounts to cover their medical bills and lost income and provide their families with financial security. We aren’t afraid to take your case to trial if the insurance company in question offers a lowball settlement amount. Our qualified and experienced car accident lawyers will zealously represent and fight for you so you can get maximum compensation after your Georgia car wreck.
Types of Damages in Georgia Car Accident Claims
Damages in Georgia car accident cases are broadly categorized into economic and non-economic damages. Sometimes, a judge or jury might also award punitive damages, which aren’t as common as the other two.
Economic damages in Georgia car accident cases are those whose value can objectively be verified using estimates, receipts, projections, and other monetary statements. The calculation of these damages depends on the unique situation of your case, meaning injured victims shouldn’t expect similar car accident settlements since the facts surrounding their cases are somewhat similar.
Some of the economic damages our legal team can help recover after a crash include:
- Past and future expected medical expenses, including medications, surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, and therapy
- Lost earnings
- Reduced earning capacity
- Cost of assistive devices
- Cost of in-home care
- Loss of business opportunities
- Property damage
These damages are awarded to car accident victims to compensate them for intangible, non-monetary losses. These damages may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship and society
Also referred to as “exemplary damages,” these damages are awarded not to compensate the plaintiff for losses incurred following the crash but to punish the plaintiff for their actions. Judges or juries may order the plaintiff to pay these damages if they establish that their conduct was wanton or grossly reckless or if their actions were motivated by malice.
Factors Influencing Car Accident Settlement Amounts
Contrary to the notion that car accident settlements are a quick “cash grab,” there’s more to the settlement amounts of a Georgia car accident case than meets the eye.
Settlement processes can be tough and tedious and often involve the aggrieved party sending a demand letter to the relevant insurance company.
Usually, this happens when you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and when your medical care bills, lost income, and future medical costs can be estimated.
Still, there’s no rule book for determining the settlement amount in a Georgia car accident case, and anyone who tells you they know the value of your accident claim without having the facts of the case is likely giving misleading information. Car accident settlement amounts differ on a case-by-case basis.
However, some factors go into evaluating the value of your car accident claim, which explains why car accident settlement amounts vary. Below are some of those factors.
1. Insurance Coverage Available
One of the main determinants of the value of your car accident settlement amount is how much you can recover from insurance companies. Georgia law requires drivers to carry minimum liability insurance while driving on Georgia roads. These minimum limits are:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per incident
These being the minimum liability insurance a driver must have, you can decide to pay for coverage greater than the minimum. If you’re involved in an accident caused by another driver with only the minimum liability insurance, your car accident settlement amount will likely not exceed the $25,000 liability policy limit.
Sometimes, the at-fault driver may not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injury. It is also not uncommon that the at-fault driver was uninsured at the time of the accident. In such cases, your underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage will cover you.
2. Who Was To Blame for the Crash
In most cases, the at-fault driver carries all the financial burden of the accident. However, the settlement amount of your claim will likely decrease if you were partially at fault for the accident. In such cases, it becomes crucial to determine who was at fault for the accident and by how much.
How To Determine Fault After a Car Wreck in Georgia
Fault in Georgia car accidents is determined based on the legal concept of negligence. Usually, the insurance companies involved will collect evidence at the scene and then apply the rule of law to determine the at-fault party. Such evidence includes eyewitness statements, police reports, and vehicle damage photos, among other things that could point to negligence.
To prove that the other driver was negligent and responsible for the accident, you must prove that the following conditions or elements of negligence existed:
- Existence of duty of care: You must show that the other driver or defendant owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of that duty of care: Instead, they breached the duty they owed you by acting negligently.
- Causation: The other driver’s breach of duty is the actual reason for the accident and the resulting injuries and losses.
- Damages and losses: You suffered injuries and losses due to the other driver’s breach of duty of care.
Proving fault isn’t always straightforward, but our skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyers can help you with this process, including gathering crucial evidence. Some of the pieces of evidence our attorneys can help you collect to prove negligence include:
- Police reports, which may indicate issues such as impaired driving
- Eye witness reports, which may point to distracted driving or speeding
- Expert reports
- Video or photo evidence from traffic cameras and dashcams
- Medical reports and bills
Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence
In Georgia, the comparative fault rule governs compensation payments when two or more drivers in a car accident are at fault for the accident. Section 51-12-33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated states that a jury should determine the claimant’s percentage of fault for the accident and award compensation less that percentage unless they are 50% or more at fault.
Let’s look at an example scenario: You’re driving down the road, and suddenly, a drunk driver runs a red light and collides with your vehicle. However, it turns out that you were slightly over the speed limit at the time.
In this scenario, you and the other driver share some blame for the accident. Let’s say the insurance adjuster or court determines that you were 30% at fault while the other driver was 70% at fault for the accident. If the compensation available in that accident case is $50,000, you will receive $35,000, which is 30% less than the total settlement amount.
3. The Severity and Permanency of Your Injuries
In most car accident cases, “minor” injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, will likely settle for less than permanent or catastrophic ones. Severe injuries often settle for six- or even seven-figure amounts. Such injuries include:
On the other hand, soft tissue injuries with full recovery and no permanent damage often settle for small amounts covering medical bills and lost income.
4. The Type and Duration of Treatment You Receive
The treatment plan for some injuries involves hospitalization, surgery, and intensive care. If you suffer such injuries, you’re likely to receive more compensation compared to “minor” injuries, whose treatment mainly involves physical therapy or chiropractic care.
The period during which you get treatment for your injuries also determines the settlement amount of your claim. If your injury requires ongoing treatment for an extended period, you will likely receive more than that of someone who requires a shorter treatment period.
Remember that stopping treatment against your doctor’s advice can adversely affect the settlement amount in your case.
5. How Soon After the Accident You Sought Medical Care
A general rule of thumb in car accident cases is to seek treatment for your injuries as soon as possible, regardless of their severity. If you experience any symptoms of injury after an accident, it is important that you seek immediate medical care. The longer you delay seeking medical care, the more likely the defense lawyer or insurance adjuster will downplay your injuries, which could lead to a smaller settlement amount.
Seeking medical treatment soon after your accident and getting a doctor’s report ensures you receive a fair settlement amount to cover your medical bills and other losses.
Average Settlement Values For Georgia Car Accident Cases
Compensation amounts in car accident cases differ greatly, given each case’s different scenarios and factors. Generally, typical car accident settlement amounts in Georgia are about $23,000. However, these amounts will mainly depend on the nature and extent of the injury and the treatment costs.
Typically, the type of injury the victim suffers determines the average settlement values for Georgia car accident cases. The typical car accident settlement amounts with injury as the determining factor include the following:
- Soft-tissue injury cases: $2,500 to $20,000
- Concussion and minor head injury cases: $20,000 to $30,000
- Bone fractures: $15,000 to $100,000
- Neck, shoulder, and back injury cases: $30,000 to $100,000
- Traumatic brain injury cases: $100,000 and above
- Severe back injury cases: $100,000 and above
- Spinal cord or paralysis cases: $1,000,000 and above
- Wrongful death cases: $500,000 to $1,000,000 and above
Some of the cases Fry | Goehring has successfully won for clients include:
- A truck collision case in which the law firm helped the truck driver get 2.5 times the amount the insurance company had offered.
- A referral hit-and-run case, in which the firm filed suit and settled the case through mediation for five times the initial offer.
- A pedestrian accident case in which a distracted driver hit a senior citizen. Our Atlanta law firm took over the case and helped the client get over $300,000 for her injuries, pain, and suffering.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
When filing a car accident claim with an insurance company to seek compensation for damages, the process can be incredibly daunting without the assistance of skilled legal representation. During settlement negotiations, you can expect to ask questions that seek to dispute your claim. These questions are intended to test how firm you are about the facts and evidence you have presented.
The most common questions that insurance adjusters ask during negotiations include:
- Can you prove the extent of your injuries and whether they have had a lasting impact on your health and daily life?
- Can you share if someone else was at fault in the accident? Also, could anything you did have contributed to the injury?
- Could you explain if the medical treatments and therapies you had were necessary for treating your injuries?
- Did any pre-existing health conditions make your current injury more challenging, leading to a greater impact on you?
You don’t have to negotiate with insurance companies alone; leave the headaches and stress of car accident settlement negotiations to experienced injury attorneys who have recovered millions for clients just like yourself. At Fry | Goehring, we handle all the communication with the involved insurance companies and negotiate with them on your behalf to obtain the settlement amount you deserve.
Our Atlanta auto accident attorneys understand that insurance companies may try to find ways to reduce or eliminate their liability. With that in mind, we will handle negotiation talks with involved insurance companies to try to come to terms with a settlement amount that is acceptable to you. If we cannot reach an agreement, we will discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit and pursuing the compensation you deserve in court.
When To Seek Legal Help
It is advisable to seek legal help if you have been in a car accident resulting in significant damage and injuries. However, some specific scenarios necessitate legal counsel and representation to avoid the legal implications of handling the case without legal representation. Some of these include:
- When you or the other driver have been injured
- When there was a fatality in the car accident
- When the other party’s insurance company contacts you to make an offer
- When your or the at-fault driver’s insurance company denies your car accident claim
- When it is not clear who is at fault for the accident
- The crash involved multiple parties
- When you need help gathering and preserving evidence
- When the other driver is underinsured or uninsured
Remember, this list doesn’t cover every possible scenario, and each case is one-of-a-kind. If you are in a situation where you’ve been injured due to another driver’s actions, reaching out to our Atlanta personal injury legal team is a smart initial move. We can provide tailored advice and guidance to help you navigate the specifics of your situation. Your well-being matters, and having our law firm on your side can make all the difference in obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
Speaking to an Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as possible helps protect your rights in the case and ensures that you get the compensation you deserve. Some of the ways we help our clients after a car accident include:
- Listen carefully to your story
- Collecting the relevant evidence regarding the car accident
- Communicating, mediating, and negotiating with the insurance companies on their behalf
- Keep you in the loop from start to finish because communication and constant contact are key to us
- Determining fault in the car accident case
- Helping you figure out the damages they might be eligible to collect
- Charging you zero attorney fees until we secure compensation for you
We Can Help With Your Georgia Car Accident Claim
At Fry | Goehring, we put the interests of our clients at the forefront to increase the chances of getting the maximum available settlement amount. Our attorneys understand that even seemingly minor accidents can still result in thousands in medical expenses and lost income. We’re here to ensure you receive a fair settlement following a car accident.
We aim to assess the damages you’re entitled to by gathering essential evidence to bolster your claim and fight for your rights. We’ll provide the at-fault party’s insurance company with supporting documentation to push for the best possible settlement. Rest assured, our legal team is committed to advocating for you and ensuring you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
Trust Fry | Goehring for Legal Support and Advice After Your Car Accident in Georgia
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, having an experienced attorney in your corner bolsters your ability to recover the maximum possible settlement amount. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys are here to provide powerful representation to help you pursue the fair payout you deserve following a car wreck in Georgia.
The personal injury lawyers at Fry | Goehring are strong advocates for auto accident victims in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. We work hard to help our clients and their families seek fair compensation for their losses in collisions caused by other drivers. Let our team advocate for you and fight for what you deserve.
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