Car Accidents in Macon, GA
The city of Macon is located in central Georgia and is connected to the rest of the state via a network of highways such as State Route 247. The highway’s routing is within portions of Pulaski, Houston, and Bibb counties. According to Georgia Department of Transportation crash data, this highway is considered the most dangerous road in Macon. Highway 247 has seen car accidents causing complete highway shutdowns. Macon’s intersections are also prone to car accidents due to the high volume of vehicles traveling through them every day.
Some of the most dangerous intersections in Macon, GA include:
- Gray Highway and Shurling Drive
- Riverside Drive and Northside Drive
- Mercer University and Log Cabin Drive
- Gray Highway and Clinton Road
- Eisenhower Parkway and Log Cabin Drive
Regardless of what road a car accident occurs, Macon residents can further protect themselves and their loved-ones by searching for a credible injury lawyer on the State Bar of Georgia or connected to a professional car accident lawyer through the Eichholz Law Firm.
How Car Accidents Occur
Automobiles are inherently dangerous, and it comes as no surprise that car accidents are the leading cause of injury in the United States. Most car accidents themselves are limited to vehicle damage that do not cause physical injury, but car accident-related injuries can range from minor bruises to paralysis and even death. Many of these injuries and deaths result in car accident lawsuits.
Most of the time car accidents are a result of negligence on behalf of an individual. Other times it can be the result of intentional wrongdoing. Car accident lawsuits are almost always based upon a theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person who owes a duty of care to another person, acts in a careless manner, and their actions, or failure to act, causes foreseeable damage to another.
All drivers have a duty to follow the rules of the road, drive at a reasonable speed, keep their car in good repair, and pay attention to the road. Driving while under the influence or violating any common driver duties may raise a presumption of negligence. Some car accidents are simply unavoidable, especially in circumstances when the negligent actions of another motorist caused the accident or if there is a mechanical malfunction that causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle. If the accident was the result of a negligent driver, victims should speak with a lawyer to learn about filing a lawsuit to receive compensation.
Some common causes of car accidents are:
- Distracted Driving
- Drunk Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Texting & Driving
Car Accident Injuries
The types of injuries sustained in an automobile-related accident can be numerous and varied, but common injuries include:
- Head and back injuries that may include traumatic brain injuries, concussions, spinal cord damage, and herniated disks.
- Neck and chest injuries, such as cardiac arrest and whiplash. This includes any sudden jerking motion that is caused when a car suddenly stops from a collision, even at low speeds. This motion creates a hyperextension or stretching of the vertebrae, muscle, or ligaments within your neck or muscles. Symptoms can include stiffness or pain in the neck, headaches, dizziness, and back pain.
- Injuries to arms, legs, feet, and hands.
- Emotional distress following the trauma of a serious accident, regardless of any other physical injury.
Georgia residents have experienced all types of injuries from various road accidents. Sadly, there have also been fatal car accidents in Macon, GA, taking the lives of both adults and children. Victims of fatal and non-fatal car crashes alike have every right to hire a car accident lawyer and pursue a lawsuit for compensation.
What To Do After a Car Accident
The consequences of any car accident can be devastating. By following the recommendations below, you can increase your chances of successful litigation should you need to file a lawsuit for compensation.
- Stay at the scene, but in a safe location (move vehicles out of traffic if possible).
- Check drivers and passengers and request medical attention for those who need it. If an individual has neck or back pain, it is recommended not to move that person until a medical unit arrives.
- Call the police if there are injuries or property damage so they may file a police report once they arrive at the scene.
- Exchange information with other individuals that are involved in the accident, including passengers, witnesses, and other motorists. This information should include names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information.
- Take pictures of all damages, including any damage done to the property of another.
- Contact your insurance company.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Macon, GA
Lawsuits that seek compensation for accident injuries are civil lawsuits, also known as personal injury or tort cases. Car accident lawsuits are considered civil lawsuits and start with the filing of a complaint or petition with the local court. An at-fault driver is not only liable for initial medical expenses but may be on the hook for additional expenses that are foreseeable or related to the injury. This can include physical therapy, costs of equipment to help with mobility, and even in-home services. Taking notes soon after a car accident, assuming that a person is not severely injured, is very important and can help counter claims by an opposing party. Those involved in a car accident should continue to document details as symptoms come and go or new conditions develop. By keeping an accurate account of the incident in question and the lingering effects, a car accident lawyer can build a more robust car accident lawsuit when pursuing legal action for any injuries or damages that you may have sustained.
Filing a car accident lawsuit in Georgia may provide compensation for the following damages:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of affection, companionship, or consortium
- Punitive damages, if the responsible party’s actions were malicious or egregious.
Car Accident Settlements in Macon, GA
It is very uncommon for injury or vehicle damage claims following a car accident to be heard at trial. These cases are typically resolved by dealing directly with insurance companies. Even if a claim is filed against an individual and not the insurer, it is still likely to be settled without a trial. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced car accident lawyer to help you understand how car accident claims and settlements are resolved.
A settlement is a compromise among the parties involved in a dispute and having a skilled attorney at your side will increase your chances of a higher settlement amount. To reach an appropriate settlement, hire an experienced car accident lawyer. The factors that must be considered include:
- Insurance coverage
- Car damage and repairs
- Medical bills from both the past and future
- Pain and suffering of the injured
- Lost wages from missing work
Insurance Companies & Car Accidents
Insurance companies do not typically have the best interest of the consumer in mind. Car accident lawsuits tend to involve a series of interactions with insurers long before a lawsuit takes place. Insurance companies may have a team of attorneys ready to fight back against claims, therefore, an individual that is harmed in an accident should consult a Macon, GA car accident lawyer in order to achieve the best results and receive top quality compensation from both insurance companies and other liable parties.
Although insurance companies want to resolve a car accident claim quickly through settlement, that does not mean that it will be in your best interest to settle. An insurance company’s goal is to pay a claimant as little as possible. As soon as the release is signed, the case is closed. Therefore, it is important to make sure that a person does not agree to any car accident settlements until the full scope and extent of losses is understood and the insurance company comes to the negotiating table with an offer that amounts to fair compensation for those losses.
Georgia Car Accident Laws
A handful of states are contributory negligence states where victims who are negligent in any way cannot recover anything in compensation. However, most states are comparative negligence states, including Georgia. This means that liability will be apportioned based on the percentage of negligence that each party has been assigned. For example, if the victim of a car accident was traveling above the speed limit, they may be a certain percentage at fault, and their compensation could be reduced as a result.
Georgia’s minimum liability insurance coverage amounts that a driver is required to have include:
- $25,000 for the death or injury of one individual, which can be another driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, yourself, etc.
- $25,000 for any property damage caused by the accident
- $50,000 for the death or injury of more than one individual in a single accident
Georgia state law requires accidents to be reported immediately to local police if there is property damage of over $500, an injury, or death. It is also required that parties exchange information such as license, insurance, and contact information. Parties involved in a car crash must assist any injured persons and remain at the scene of the accident until all obligations are completed.
Georgia Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a state law that determines the deadline for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit. The time limit varies according to the case type or level of injuries the plaintiff has sustained. The statute of limitations does not apply to car insurance claims.
Georgia Code Section 9-3-33 states that “Actions for injuries to a person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues.” This means that whoever was injured in a car accident must file a claim within two years.
The deadline to file a wrongful death car accident lawsuit in Macon, GA is two years, while the deadline to file a car accident lawsuit over vehicle damage caused by the accident is four years, according to Georgia Code section 9-3-31.
It is important for victims to contact a Macon, GA car accident lawyer to help guide them through the complex legal steps of a car accident lawsuit.
Do You Need a Macon, GA Car Accident Lawyer?
The Eichholz Law Firm helps car accident victims take legal action that advances their legal rights. Our personal injury lawyers have experience with every step of the process and know the tricks that insurance companies will use to try to make sure that victims do not receive fair compensation.
Our Macon, GA car accident lawyers will negotiate on behalf of accident victims knowing that they can handle the legal process if the insurance company’s offer is inadequate. They will try to resolve legal issues outside of court but will take the matter to court if necessary. Insurance companies are often fairer to victims who they know are represented by counsel.
The Eichholz Law Firm prides itself on providing individuals with an attorney to serve their specific needs. Georgia residents who need a Macon, GA car accident lawyer may contact our law firm and will receive reliable legal counsel.
- Driving-Tests.org. “The Ultimate List of Driving Statistics for 2019”, Driving-Tests.org, https://driving-tests.org/driving-statistics/. Accessed May 9, 2019.
- Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics”, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, http://www.rmiia.org/auto/traffic_safety/Cost_of_crashes.asp. Accessed May 9, 2019.
- DMV. “Accident Guide”, Department of Motor Vehicles, https://www.dmv.org/accident-guide/. Accessed May 9, 2019.
- ASIRT. “ROAD SAFETY FACTS”, Association for Safe International Travel, https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- NHTSA. “Teen Driving”, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- NHTSA. “Speeding”, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- NHTSA. “Driver Safety”, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://one.nhtsa.gov/Driving-Safety. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. “New data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides insight into cell phone use and driving distraction”, Virginia Tech, https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2009/07/2009-571.html. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- Nathan Bomey. “Spate of drugged driving deaths alarms U.S. regulators”, USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/10/27/drugged-driving-dui-nhtsa-auto-safety/92678186/. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- David Goguen, J.D. “Georgia Car Accident Laws”, NOLO, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/georgia-car-accident-laws.html. Accessed May 15, 2019.
- FindLaw. “Georgia Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline”, Thomson Reuters, https://statelaws.findlaw.com/georgia-law/georgia-car-accident-settlement-process-and-timeline.html. Accessed May 15, 2019.