3523 Walton Way Ext, Augusta, GA 30909 | (706) 426-9555
Seeking Justice for Car Accident Victims in Augusta, GA
As the home of the Masters Tournament and the birthplace of James Brown, The Godfather of Soul, Augusta is not only rich in cultural heritage but also a hub for industry, technology, and outdoor recreation. Due to the many attractions Augusta has to offer and its status as Georgia’s 2nd largest city, residents and visitors alike face an elevated risk of car accidents in the city.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) lists Richmond County as the 7th deadliest county for car accident fatalities during the 5-year period between 2017 and 2021, averaging more than 30 annual fatalities during this period. Certain roads and intersections in the city, such as GA-56 and I-20, have been identified as particularly dangerous.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we understand the impact that car accidents can have on individuals and their families. Our compassionate and experienced team is committed to helping accident victims navigate the complexities of personal injury claims, ensuring they receive the compensation and support they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you can trust the Augusta car accident attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, to guide you through the process and provide the representation you need during this challenging time. Call us at (706) 426-9555 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
Car accidents can be incredibly disorienting and difficult to deal with in the moment, but the immediate aftermath is also one of the most important times to capture evidence that may help protect your rights in the future. Following these steps can help:
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, remain in place until help arrives.
- Contact the Augusta Police Department by dialing 911. In addition to helping with any injuries, the police will provide a report that may be critical to any future legal claims.
- Exchange contact information with other involved parties and any eyewitnesses.
- Document the accident by taking photos and videos of the scene, the vehicles, and license plates.
- Contact your insurance company to begin the claims process.
- As soon as possible, reach out to our Augusta car wreck lawyers for a free case review.
Why Hire an Augusta Car Accident Attorney?
While it’s not mandatory to hire a lawyer for your injury claim, having an experienced attorney on your side can greatly benefit your case. A skilled Augusta car accident lawyer can:
- Estimate the value of your damages
- Negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Gather and organize crucial evidence
- Inform you of legal deadlines
- Fight to maximize compensation for your losses
- Represent you in court, if necessary.
By obtaining a free legal consultation from a reputable law firm, you can better understand your chances of receiving compensation and determine if your case requires legal representation. An auto accident attorney in Augusta who is familiar with the area, local laws, and ordinances can provide invaluable support in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. They can help you secure compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other losses resulting from your accident while protecting your rights as a victim.
When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Augusta, GA?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it is crucial to contact an Augusta car accident lawyer as soon as possible. For starters, your case will be affected by Georgia’s statute of limitations – the deadline for taking legal action after a car accident – and there are several factors that can affect that timeframe.
Promptly contacting a car accident attorney in Augusta also ensures that crucial evidence is preserved, and witness memories remain fresh. By acting quickly, you minimize the risk of jeopardizing your case or missing any deadlines, which could impact your ability to receive compensation. Quick action is vital to protecting your rights and maximizing your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve – schedule your free consultation now to get started.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident?
The term “statute of limitations” simply refers to the state-mandated deadline for taking legal action after a car accident. There are a wide variety of factors and circumstances that can affect the timeline for your specific case, so it’s best to contact a car accident attorney in Augusta to understand the implications for your own legal claim.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Mental and emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck and back injuries, such as herniated discs
- Internal bleeding
- Trauma to the knee
Regardless of the specific injuries sustained in a car accident, a skilled Augusta car accident lawyer can help victims pursue compensation for the associated costs.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries in a Car Accident in Augusta?
In Georgia, an at-fault state, the driver responsible for causing a car accident is liable for any damages resulting from their negligent actions. This means that the at-fault driver’s car insurance company will typically cover the losses of other parties involved in the accident, up to the driver’s liability coverage limits.
Establishing liability, however, can sometimes be challenging from a legal standpoint. Georgia traffic laws are often cited when determining liability, such as when a driver violates the law by running a stoplight or making an unauthorized U-turn, which would likely result in them being held liable in a personal injury case.
It’s essential to note that Georgia follows a comparative negligence law, which can affect liability in a car accident. This means that if a claimant is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault, and the claimant cannot recover compensation if their fault is equal or greater to 50%. In such cases, it’s crucial to have a skilled Augusta car accident attorney on your side who can navigate the complexities of Georgia’s comparative negligence law and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Car Accident in Augusta, GA?
Georgia’s status as an at-fault state means the party responsible for causing a car accident is also responsible for compensating the victim for their losses, including medical bills. Medical expenses resulting from a car accident may include surgical expenses, diagnostic tests, emergency room costs, and more. However, you must prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the collision and the resulting injuries, and Georgia’s status as a comparative negligence state means your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault you share.
While the at-fault party is ultimately responsible for covering your medical bills, you are initially responsible for ensuring your medical expenses are paid until any underlying insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is resolved. That means you may need to rely on optional, no-fault coverage like MedPay insurance, which is paid out, regardless of fault, if you have applicable coverage. Otherwise you may need to lean on your personal health insurance, although they will most likely expect to be paid back from any settlement funds, or pay out of pocket until your claim is resolved.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Auto Insurance in a Car Accident?
If you get into a car accident in Augusta, Georgia, and you don’t have auto insurance, you can face fines, license suspension, and other penalties. Violating these auto insurance laws may result in a misdemeanor charge, a fine of between $200 and $1,000, or up to a year in prison. In some cases, you may face both fines and jail time.
Additionally, a first offense can lead to a 60-day suspension of your driver’s license, with subsequent offenses resulting in a 90-day suspension. You cannot register or renew your vehicle’s license plate without auto insurance, and unregistered vehicles will be impounded, along with any impounding fines.
In addition to these state penalties, you will be personally liable for the damages in a car accident if you are at fault. On the flip side, even if you are uninsured, you can still file a liability insurance claim against the other driver if you believe they are more at fault for the accident than you. If your claim is successful, you can recover damages to help repay your accident-related expenses. It’s best to consult a qualified Augusta car accident attorney if you have been involved in a car accident without insurance.
What if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
If the at-fault party in a car accident doesn’t have insurance, it can complicate matters for the victim seeking compensation. To protect yourself against such scenarios, insurance providers offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
This type of coverage safeguards you from potential damages caused by an uninsured driver, but Georgia state law doesn’t require you to carry uninsured motorist protection. The at-fault driver may also be underinsured, which means their insurance may not cover all the damages you suffered from the accident, and UM coverage can be helpful in these situations as well.
You can choose to pursue a lawsuit against an uninsured/underinsured driver for any damages sustained in the accident. However, it’s crucial to remember that successfully proving the other driver’s fault doesn’t guarantee full compensation, or even any compensation at all. Often, individuals who don’t have car insurance cannot afford it, and they may not have any assets for the judge to put a lien on until payment is made. As a result, filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver can be a challenging and potentially fruitless endeavor.
What Damages Can You Pursue After an Augusta Car Accident?
In Georgia, the person responsible for causing a car accident is also accountable for the resulting costs, known as damages. Victims of car accidents can make an insurance claim against the at-fault party to cover their expenses. Damages can be categorized into three main types: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Common economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle
- Lost income or reduced earning capacity
Non-economic damages can be harder to calculate, as they account for how the injury or other consequences of the accident affected the victim’s life. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment, including permanent disability
- Lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish, including depression or anxiety
- Loss of companionship, such as if a loved one was killed in the accident
Finally, punitive damages are meant to monetarily punish the defendant for their actions. In some cases, the court may award punitive damages when the defendant’s actions are particularly egregious, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
It can be challenging to estimate the settlement amount for a client, as it depends on various factors like the severity of the accident and specific circumstances surrounding it. Settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to well over a million dollars.
It’s important to note that each car accident case is unique, and the compensation recovered for one client does not guarantee the same amount for another. However, past case results can provide some insight into the range of settlements obtained. Some notable case results from our firm include:
- $4.1 million total recovered for a family hit by a truck
- $3 million total recovered for the family of a moped accident victim
- $2.5 million total recovered for two clients hurt in a highway collision
- $1.7 million for a client injured when hit by another car
- $1 million for a group of four people injured in an auto collision
- $957,865 for a family injured by a distracted driver
To better understand the potential damages you may be owed in a settlement, it’s best to contact a qualified car accident attorney in Augusta to review your case.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Car Accident Case?
The time it takes to settle a car accident case can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as internal insurance procedures, the extent of your injuries, determining liability, the value of your claim, and whether your case goes to trial. Therefore, it’s difficult to say how long your settlement may take without understanding the specifics of your case.
In an ideal scenario, you may be able to reach a fair settlement within a few months. But more complex or contentious cases could take well over a year to resolve, if not longer. Insurance companies may also try to prolong the settlement process, as it allows them to investigate claims and potentially pressure claimants to accept lower offers.
If you cannot reach a settlement with the insurer, you may need to file a lawsuit. While litigation can help jumpstart negotiations, it can also be a lengthy process. But it’s important to remember that a settlement can still be reached at any point during the litigation process. An experienced Augusta car accident lawyer can help you navigate this process and expedite it as much as possible.
How Do I Get a Temporary Rental Car After an Accident?
There’s a good chance you may need to pay a visit to the local Enterprise or National Car Rental offices to procure a rental car after your car accident. If the accident was not your fault, you should not be responsible for covering the rental car costs.
When you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and they approve your claim, they will typically arrange for a rental car through a rental car company. In some cases, your own insurance coverage may also provide rental car coverage if there are problems working with the other party’s insurance.
Keep in mind that insurance companies may attempt to provide you with the smallest, most affordable rental vehicle available. However, if you filed a claim, they should offer you a rental car that is comparable to the one you were driving before the accident. If this issue arises, contact your car accident attorney in Augusta, GA, as they may be able to negotiate a more suitable rental car for you.
What if I’m in an Accident in a Rental Car?
If you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car, understanding your insurance coverage options is crucial. There are typically three main insurance options available when renting a car:
- Your own auto insurance: Most rental car companies require you to have insurance, and your existing auto insurance policy may cover rental car accidents. Before renting a car, confirm with your insurance provider that your policy extends to rental vehicles. If not, consider purchasing additional coverage through the rental company.
- The rental car company’s insurance: When booking a rental car, the company may offer optional additional coverage, which can provide extra protection in the event of an accident.
- Credit card rental insurance: Some credit cards offer car rental insurance when you use them to rent a car. This coverage may cover damage to the rental car but usually does not include liability coverage, so it is important to ensure you have this through your auto or rental car insurance.
If you are at fault in a rental car accident, you are legally liable for the damages. Your insurance should cover these costs, whether it is through your auto insurance or rental car insurance. If another driver is at fault, they are responsible for the damages under Georgia law. In this case, the rental company will work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, you might receive a charge from the rental company before the case is settled.
If you are charged by the rental company, you will need to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which should reimburse you for the rental company’s charges. It is important to note that insurance companies may try to avoid liability, so hiring an Augusta car accident lawyer can be beneficial in navigating the process.
What Causes Most Augusta Car Accidents?
During the 5-year period between 2017 and 2021, The Georgia Department of Transportation reported an annual average of about 10,000 car accidents in Augusta. Some of the most common causes of accidents recorded during this period included:
- Intersection-related accidents, with more than 25,000 recorded incidents
- Distracted driving, which was cited more than 19,000 times
- Young adult drivers, who were involved in more than 10,000 accidents
Our Augusta Car Accident Lawyers Are Ready To Serve Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a car accident on one of our city’s busy roads, like the Mike Padgett Highway (GA-56) or the Bobby Jones Expressway (I-520), the Augusta car accident attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers will work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you may be owed.
We prioritize proactive communication, transparent accessibility, and personalized attention to your unique case, and in more than 40 years of practice, we’ve helped more than 40,000 car accident victims get the justice they deserve. Call us at (706) 426-9555 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle in Augusta
Our capable team has a diverse background in serving all manners of car accident cases, including: