For most car accident cases, proving that the other driver breached their legal duty to you means proving that they were negligent. Negligence is generally defined as anytime someone fails to take reasonable care to prevent an accident. This sounds straightforward, but it can often be difficult to distinguish carelessness from typical behavior that wouldn’t be deemed unreasonable. It can be even more difficult in the context of a car accident with vehicles moving at high speeds and in different directions. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers have outlined common examples of negligence in car accident cases:
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. An experienced Atlanta auto accident lawyer can evaluate your case and identify whether negligence was involved in your accident.
Determining Fault in an Atlanta Car Accident
In order to win in a claim for damages after a car accident in Georgia, you have to prove the following three elements:
- The other driver owed you a legal duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner.
- The other driver breached that legal duty.
- You were injured as a result of the breach.
In most car accident cases, proving the first element is fairly simple. Every driver has a legal duty to other drivers to drive safely and obey the traffic laws. The critical element in most cases is proving that the other driver breached their legal duty to you. After an accident consult with an Atlanta auto accident lawyer to learn about the full range of your legal options.
We Can Strike Down the Defenses of the Other Driver
Many people are shocked when the other driver or the insurance company disputes their claim even when it’s obvious that they are entitled to compensation. An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer will be able to help you overcome the following defenses to your claim:
- Your own negligence contributed to the accident
- You are claiming pre-existing injuries
- You failed to mitigate your damages
- The accident was due to something beyond the other driver’s control such as weather or road conditions
No matter how obvious it may be to you, the other driver or their insurance company may look to avoid responsibility for the accident by any means possible. Knowing the facts and the law is critical in overcoming these defenses.
Work with an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer to Prove Your Claim
It may be obvious to you that the other party was at fault and should be held responsible for your accident. Unfortunately, the other party may deny responsibility. The insurance company will likely demand strict proof of even the most obvious aspects of the accident. Finally, if you are unable to settle the case, you will have to go to court and ultimately persuade a jury that you are entitled to compensation. As a result, you need to understand what your Atlanta car accident lawyer will need to prove from the very outset of your claim. The essential elements of a car accident case are:
- The other driver had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to other vehicles or pedestrians. In the context of a car accident case, this element is fairly simple – every driver has a legal obligation to operate their vehicle in a safe manner to prevent accidents.
- The other driver acted in a way that was unsafe or did not act in a reasonable manner. In many car accident cases, proving that the other driver breached their duty of care is the critical element to a successful claim. Typically, the breach takes the form of negligence – the other driver’s carelessness caused the accident.
- The other driver’s behavior was a major cause of the accident. The fact that the other driver was negligent isn’t enough to prove your claim. You will also need to prove that the driver’s negligence caused your accident. The other driver may claim that something else caused the accident, such as road conditions or another driver, or may even claim that your own negligence caused the accident.
- You suffered an injury or experienced a monetary loss. Finally, you will have to prove your losses that resulted from the accident, both economic and non-economic, which requires careful documentation of your medical expenses and other damages, including your pain and suffering.
How You Can Assist Your Attorney
Proving fault is quite difficult for people who are not experienced with the law. This is perhaps the most critical point in any car accident, and should be left to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at Gilormo Injury Law. We have the experience necessary for establishing fault.
Still, there may be ways to assist your attorneys if necessary, including:
- Never Admitting Fault. This type of admission can sink your claim before it even gets started. It’s best to prove your innocence by proving the other driver is at fault.
- Gathering Evidence. It takes time to clean up an accident, so use that time to take pictures of the accident scene and collect witness statements.
- Taking Pictures of All Vehicle Damage. Along with pictures of the accident scene, take pictures of the positions of the cars and the damage to them from various different angles.
- Checking the Details. Check for video cameras in the area that might have captured the accident and the accident scene. If you have a dashboard camera, check that as well. Try to determine if there were any violations by the other driver, such as an expired license, distracted driving, drug use, or impaired driving.
- Obtaining an Official Police Report. When there is a car accident, you should always contact law enforcement. Police reports are typically helpful in proving who is at fault. Make sure that the report is accurate because it will contain important details.
We’re an Atlanta Auto Accident Law Firm That Helps Clients Settle or Litigate Their Claim
Many car accident cases never go to trial and are settled out of court. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean the insurance company will offer you a fair settlement. Insurance companies protect their bottom line by paying out as little as possible on claims. As a result, they will typically offer you a low-ball settlement offer that is only a fraction of what your claim is worth.
Even if you don’t plan to go to court, an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company. As mentioned above, they will want proof that you were injured as a result of the other driver’s negligence. Your attorney can help you collect the evidence you need to document the full value of your claim and respond to any objections from the other driver or the insurance company aimed at reducing your settlement. Perhaps more importantly, your Atlanta car accident lawyer can handle all of the correspondence and speak on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.
Going to Court with an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, not every claim can be settled. This may be because the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly or because your case involves complicated factual or legal issues. In the event a settlement agreement cannot be reached by all parties, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will prepare for trial. The legal system is difficult for non-lawyers to navigate, and even a minor mistake can jeopardize your case. At Gilormo Injury Law, we aggressively litigate your case in the event it can’t be settled so that you can get the compensation you deserve.