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Car Accident Attorney in Albany, GA

Helping Clients Successfully Recover Damage Costs

During the last decade in the United States, there have been more than 10 million motor vehicle accidents and about 40,000 deaths due to car accidents every year. Distracted drivers contribute to a significant number of these crashes and fatalities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. When an accident occurs, having an experienced attorney to help craft a legal strategy can make a major difference. At the Law Offices of William F. Underwood, III, P.C., we have provided sound legal advice to clients facing car accident litigation for years.

Get experienced representation for your Albany, GA car accident case by calling (229) 999-4476 today.

Why Experience Matters

If you are involved in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you have already been a victim once. Without capable legal representation, you could be a victim twice. When responding to claims, insurance companies try to avoid taking pre-existing health conditions into account. If you have a physical condition made worse by a car wreck, most insurance companies will draw attention away from this fact to protect their profits by trying to minimize claim amounts, or even completely denying your rightful claim.

An insurance company may shift blame for the accident to you by accusing you of:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless of negligent driving
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Improper vehicle usage
  • Causing the accident

If your accident involves a commercial vehicle such as a freight truck or other business-owned vehicle, your case can become even more complex, as the business may try to assert its interests over your claim.

Georgia Is an At-Fault State

Like the majority of states, Georgia is an at-fault state in regards to car accidents. In other words, the driver or drivers responsible for causing an accident as well as their insurance providers will be responsible for the resulting damages inflicted to another party, including medical expenses and vehicle damage costs.

Georgia also follows a rule known as "modified comparative negligence," which allows drivers to recover compensation for a collision they are partially responsible for as they are less than 50% at fault for a collision, though their eligible award will be reduced proportionally. For example, say you were driving a few miles over the speed limit when another driver suddenly makes a left turn in front of you, causing a collision. While the other driver is found to be 80% at fault, because you were speeding, you are deemed to be 20% responsible. Even though your damages totaled $10,000, because of your partial fault, you would only be able to recover $8,000 (or $10,000 less 20%).

Since there is no precise way to determine fault, the ultimate decision will hinge upon your ability to negotiate with insurance adjusters or convince a judge or jury at trial. Insurance companies understand these comparative negligence rules well and may attempt to shift blame to you to minimize their financial liability. Having a skilled attorney on your side can help shield you from mistreatment and maximize your chances of recovering the full value of compensation you are owed.

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident:

  • Remain at the scene and call the police if anyone was injured, killed, or if the crash caused more than $500 of damage.
  • Call for an ambulance if anyone is seriously injured.
  • Exchange information such as names, addresses, vehicle registration, driver's license numbers, and insurance information to all involved parties.
  • Get detailed photographs of all damage, the final resting places of the vehicles before they are moved, weather conditions, and traffic patterns.
  • Answer any questions the police officer asks you in a polite manner while also making sure to avoid admitting fault in any way.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the collision, even if you feel fine. This is important to not only protect your health but to also ensure any injuries you suffer are properly documented.
  • Notify your insurance company within a few days of the crash.
  • Contact an attorney and explore your legal options.

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in GA?

Under Georgia Code § 9-3-33, individuals who were injured in a car accident have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If the accident caused someone's death, the family of the decedent has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Finally, lawsuits for vehicle damage must be filed within four years of the accident.

Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed will almost certainly result in your case being thrown out of court, thereby permanently halting your ability to pursue compensation. Since adhering to these filing deadlines can make or break your case, it is important you give yourself plenty of time and consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?

The time it takes to successfully receive a settlement for a car accident can vary. Some of the factors that influence the length of your claim are the complexity of your case, the scope of damage, and whether or not the liable party is disputing the claim. Some claims can be settled in just a few months while others can take several years. It's important to work with an experienced car accident attorney to fight for you while you focus on recovering.

Fight Against Insurance Companies

To insurance companies, you are a statistic. Their goal is to be rid of your case with as little financial loss on their end as possible. At the Law Offices of William F. Underwood, III, P.C., we take our clients’ cases seriously. We devote attention to detail and bring bulldog determination to every case.

Whether you need assistance investigating and documenting your case for insurance purposes, representing your claim for damages against a party at fault, or protection against being sued yourself, you need an injury attorney with expert legal knowledge and the ability to protect you from insurance company strong-arm tactics.

Call (229) 999-4476 or complete an online form today for aggressive Albany GA representation in your car accident case.

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