Duluth is a wonderful place to live and work. There are some wonderful shopping experiences in the area, and it’s an easy commute to Atlanta. Because of all of its advantages, the population of Gwinnett County is booming, and plenty of people come to the city to shop, eat and spend the day. Unfortunately, that means car accidents are common.
After your wreck, you may receive a settlement offer from your insurance company. Chances are, that offer is less than what you deserve. Before you accept that offer, speak with an experienced attorney about all of your legal offers. Since 1988, the Duluth car accident lawyers at Andersen, Tate & Carr have helped members of our community get the compensation they deserve after a collision.
Call us at (770)-822-0900 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Compensation You May Receive After a Car Accident in Duluth
After a car accident in Gwinnett County, you may be left unable to work, you might have medical bills piling up, and you may be left without transportation. While your insurance company may cover some of these expenses, the simple truth is that they will try to give you the lowest offer possible settlement to pad their profit margins.
If the insurance company won’t budge on the settlement offer they sent you, you can take legal action to make it right. You may be entitled to further compensation or damages. Damages are generally divided into two categories: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are those that help you recover the real expenses you’ve incurred. For instance, you may be compensated for medical bills (past and future), property damage, rehabilitation costs, and more. Because you can assign a real dollar value to economic damages, they are typically the easiest to recover.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are much more subjective. They are not intended to help you recover from financial loss, but rather to compensate you for pain and suffering, mental anguish and more. Your attorney will have to prove you deserve this type of damages through the severity of your injuries and other elements.
Proving Negligence After a Car Accident
The only way to get compensation after a car accident is to either prove the other driver intentionally caused the accident, or they acted negligently. Legally speaking, if a person acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t, and they cause injury, they were negligent. There are four elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty
- Injury Caused by Breach of Duty
- Real Damages Caused by Injury
When a person is driving on the road, they have an obligation to operate their vehicle safely and follow all traffic laws, and to avoid causing harm to others on the road. This obligation is called a duty of care. If this duty of care is not followed, and someone gets injured as a result, that driver is said to have breached their duty of care.
However, duty of care is not breached every time a law or rule of the road is broken. Essentially, if a person acted in a way a “reasonably prudent” person wouldn’t, such as texting and driving, it’s considered negligent behavior. But if they were reacting to an unseeable incident, such as a branch falling in the road, it may be difficult to prove they breached their duty of care.
Next, you must be able to prove your injury was caused by the other driver’s duty of care. For example, if you already had a broken leg, you can’t say the wreck caused the leg to break. But if you sustained new injuries that were directly caused by you being involved in the wreck, causation exists.
Finally, you must have real damages that can be monetarily compensated. This is generally easy to prove. For instance, if you went to the hospital and incurred medical bills, those bills can be compensated. Even if you just suffered property damage, such as your car being totaled, those damages can be monetarily compensated.
Comparative Negligence in Georgia
Very few states still follow “contributory negligence” laws. These laws state that if you are even a little bit at fault for your injuries, you cannot receive compensation. Instead, Georgia and most other states have adopted comparative negligence laws.
Under Georgia law, if you were 49% or less at fault for the accident and your injuries, you can receive compensation. However, that compensation will be reduced by the amount at which you were at fault.
For example, say you were at a stop light at night, and one of your brake lights wasn’t working. Another driver comes and rear-ends your car, causing broken bones and other injuries. Because your brake light wasn’t working, you’re found 10% at fault for the accident. At the end of the trial, you’re awarded $100,000 in compensation. But, because you were 10% at fault, you would only receive $90,000.
Speak to a Duluth Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a car accident, you have legal rights. At Andersen, Tate & Carr, we have recovered millions of dollars for car accident victims, and we’re dedicated to helping you get the compensation you need. We know the tricks insurance companies try to use to get out of paying you the full amount you deserve, and we know how to fight for your rights both in and out of court.
To speak with an experienced Duluth car accident lawyer, call our offices today at (770)-822-0900 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.