When we meet with prospective clients for the first time, they have a lot of questions. They want to understand how the legal process works. They ask how our fee structure works. But the one thing they want to know, above anything else, is how much their car accident case is worth. How much damages can they expect to get paid for? Most of what they know they learned from television and the movies. They envision their case going before a jury, their Athens injury attorney arguing their case before 12 anonymous men and women. The truth is that personal injury cases rarely work out this way.
Most of the time, a car accident lawyer in Athens, GA has an idea of what a case is worth after meeting with their client. They have spent so many years handling cases just like yours, they get a feel for what kind of damages you can demand. For example, they know that a whiplash case is worth about $5,000. They also know a case involving burn injuries or paralysis is worth more than most other cases. However, they cannot and will not predict, with any certainty, how much a particular client’s case is worth. It wouldn’t be fair to anybody.
It isn’t fair to get a client’s hopes up only to turn around and settle their case for much less than what they wanted. It also isn’t fair to the Athens injury attorney. They don’t want to be held to an impossible standard by their client. This is why it’s always best to wait until settlement negotiations are well underway before any predictions are made. Even then, your attorney can only provide estimates, not exact dollar amounts.
Here, we’ll talk about the different types of damages you can demand in your car accident lawsuit. We’ll also discuss the things that can hurt and help your case. If you still have questions after reading this article, don’t hesitate to contact our office directly. We can schedule your free consultation right over the phone.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Athens, Georgia Will Demand Damages
One of the smartest things you can do is hire a car accident lawyer in Athens, Georgia right after your accident. They’ll make sure your insurance claim is filed first. This way, they get your version of events before they hear from the defendant. Of course, this early in the process, it’s hard to know all your injuries and losses. Your attorney will either make an estimate or let the insurance company know that you expect your damages to increase once more information is available.
Some of the damages your Athens injury attorney will demand include the following:
- Compensation and reimbursement for any medical bills and future medical bills
- Property damage in case your vehicle was damaged or destroyed
- Lost wages if you missed more than a couple of weeks from work
- Lost future income if you are not able to do the same kind of work after your accident
- Disability if you find yourself partially or totally disabled as a result of your crash
- Pain and suffering to compensate you for any mental and physical anguish
- Punitive damages may be available but only if the defendant acted with gross negligence or recklessness
Your Athens injury attorney will make sure to mention any losses you’ve suffered as a result of your Georgia car accident.
What Happens if You’re Found to Be Partially at Fault?
Very rarely is one party 100% at fault. Even if the other driver was the primary cause of your accident, you may have been partly to blame. For example, imagine you’re hit from behind by someone driving an SUV. They argue that they only hit you because you didn’t have working brake lights. If this proves to be the case, you’ll be found at least 20-30% at fault. If this happens, your damages will be reduced by your percentage at fault.
In the above example, your initial damages may have been $100,000. If you’re found to be 30% at fault, your damages will be reduced by $30,000. This is based on Georgia’s law on comparative negligence. The good news is that you can still receive damages. This is the case as long as you’re less than 50% at fault. The worst thing that could happen is you’re found to be more at fault than the other driver. If this happens, you need to be careful that the other driver doesn’t sue you.
Call and Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Skilled Athens Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, the last thing you feel like doing is fighting with the insurance company. All you want to do is get your car fixed and recover from your injuries. We understand how you feel. Our car accident lawyers in Athens, Georgia have decades of combined experience working with clients just like you. What we do is deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. This way, you can focus on what’s important.
Even though you don’t want to directly deal with your car accident lawsuit, that doesn’t mean you won’t have questions. One of the first questions most clients ask us is how much their case is worth. And, as much as we want to be able to give you an answer, it just isn’t wise. It doesn’t help anybody if our lawyers make a prediction that doesn’t hold true. The last thing we want to do is give somebody false hope. This is why we wait until your case has played out before we start making predictions.
It’s better to wait until settlement negotiations to start thinking about how much money you’ll walk away with. For all you know, the defendant may have proof that you were partially at fault. Or your Athens injury attorney may learn that the defendant’s insurance policy had lapsed. There’s no way to predict these things. That’s why we always say to take these predictions with a grain of salt.
If you’ve recently been in a car or truck accident, all you have to do is call our office. We can schedule your free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with an experienced attorney who can answer any questions you may have. They can also provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.