If you’ve been injured in a serious car accident, you know that the crash may be just the beginning of a much longer ordeal of physical, emotional and financial pain.
A crash happens in a split-second. Recovery, on the other hand, may take years or even a lifetime, but we can help with this process.
You need to know that there is help and assistance available to get your life back on track and once again be able to enjoy everyday moments. A car accident attorney at Childers, Schlueter & Smith can seek the maximum compensation available under the law – not the lowball offer an insurance company might offer.
We know how to build car accident cases. We have secured many of the top verdicts and settlements in Georgia by fighting on behalf of clients like you. Our record of success goes back 20 years.
We take our commitment to protecting Georgia motorists seriously. That’s why we are active in community efforts to tackle dangers like distracted driving and unsafe truck drivers.
Our families drive the same roads as yours. The safety of motorists is very important to us. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, when you’re ready, take a moment to contact our firm and tell us what happened.
How a Lawyer Can Help Auto Accident Victims
After a serious accident, the first thing you should do is to seek medical treatment for for your injuries. It’s common after an accident not to want to file a lawsuit. All you want to do is get your life back to normal – heal your injuries, pay your medical bills and move on with life. But you need to know that hiring an attorney may be the best way to begin getting your life back in order.
The aftermath of a serious accident brings ambulance rides, hospital stays, rehabilitation, medical bills, missed work and lost income — not to mention the stress of dealing with insurance companies that care more about their bottom line than about your health. Just like you need your loved ones for support and your doctor for medical care, you may also need an attorney to restore your life.
Without an attorney fighting for you and speaking on your behalf, you will likely be given settlement offers that fall far below what you deserve. That’s because insurance companies are businesses seeking maximum profit. Paying you less than you may deserve is why Progressive had revenues of $17 billion in 2013. That same year, State Farm collected an astonishing $68 billion in revenue, according to the company’s end-of-year report.
Large insurance companies are focused on profits. They aren’t working for you.
However, your attorney does work for you. An attorney will stand up to these insurance companies and fight to get you the money you deserve. We can seek compensation for:
- Income you lost because you were, or will be, unable to work
- Doctor visits and hospital stays
- Medical procedures and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
We know that this compensation won’t take away the pain, frustration and hardship of your accident. But it can help you cover your expenses and get the best medical treatment. It’s a big step forward toward getting your life back on track.
We handle all cases on a contingency basis, which means that if we don’t recover compensation for you, you owe us nothing. There are no up-front or out-of-pocket expenses.
Do I Have a Car Accident Case?
The first thing an attorney will do is review your case to see if you have a valid claim. What makes a valid claim?
- First of all, your accident had to have been due to the fault of another driver (or the maker of a defective car part, if that caused the accident). It needs to be identifiable from the evidence that another party bears a majority of the responsibility for what happened.
- An attorney will have to prove that the person who caused the accident acted with negligence. Typically, this means showing that the driver broke a traffic law by running a stop sign or texting while driving, for example. Their behavior could even be criminal, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Negligence is particularly apparent when the accident is caused by an intoxicated driver or by a driver who flees the scene. Eyewitnesses can be very helpful in establishing what happened.
- If you’ve suffered injuries that have heavily affected your life – resulting in hospitalization, lost work or emotional and psychological pain – then you may have a solid case to seek compensation for the costs associated with your losses.
Even if your injuries do not seem severe to you, you may still have a case. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, may not always have obvious symptoms. You can suffer a concussion without losing consciousness.
In Georgia, car accident cases are based on what’s called “comparative negligence.“ That means that it will be determined not only who bears responsibility, but also what portion of the responsibility the driver bears.
So if the crash was 15% your fault, you’d be able to collect 85% of the maximum damages.
The law is complicated. The best way for you to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney experienced with car accident cases. Call us today at (404) 419-9500 to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer at Childers, Schlueter & Smith.
What If I Have Medical Payments Coverage (Med-Pay) and/or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
These are not required in Georgia. They are forms of insurance that can help you pay for your medical expenses after an auto accident. If you do have this coverage, you may be eligible for some compensation after a serious crash.
But don’t forget that most all car insurance companies are not looking out for you. They are looking out for their bottom line. That’s why they often offer a low cash settlement in hopes that you take the lowball offer and save them money. What they offer you may not be the full compensation you deserve. And if you accept their offer you may forfeit your right to seek full compensation.
You shouldn’t accept any offer until speaking with an attorney about your rights and options. Call Childers, Schlueter & Smith today to talk with an attorney who has experience building successful car accident cases.
Types of Automobile Accident Cases We Handle
Car accidents: A typical car accident may have two drivers and two stories about what happened. If you have eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident, these people may be able to substantiate your claim and expedite your settlement and recovery.
Trucking accidents: A passenger car is no match for any of the thousands of tractor-trailers on the road during a collision. Truck accident cases are different from ordinary car accidents because there are specific laws and regulations that govern trucking industry safety. If you hire a trucking attorney, you need someone who understands these laws. Often, not only the driver can be held legally responsible, but so can his or her employer.
Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians should be cautious and vigilant of their surroundings. In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians died in traffic crashes — up 6% from 2011. Whether the driver was intoxicated or disobeying traffic signals, a driver who strikes and seriously injures a pedestrian can and should be held accountable in court.
Bicycle accidents: Some cycle to and from work, while others enjoy cycling to maintain an active lifestyle. Whatever the case, bicyclists are often not given proper consideration by other motorists. Drivers who have little regard for cyclists may cause an accident from carelessness and negligent driving. For a person on a bike, there is no such thing as a “minor” collision with a car. If you or a loved one was hit while riding their bicycle, take the time to contact us and learn more about your rights under Georgia’s laws.
Motorcycle accidents: Our firm understands the risks and dangers motorcyclists face on roads and highways. Motorcycles have very little protection because of their build and size. When a motorcycle accident occurs, it can result in injuries far beyond recovery — sometimes even fatal. Often, it’s the negligence of another driver that causes the crash, not the actions of the motorcyclist. The driver responsible should be held legally responsible.
DUI and DWI cases: Cases in which a drunk driver injures another person on the road call for swift, aggressive justice. The reckless behavior of a drunk driver cannot be tolerated, and our firm will fight for the maximum penalty and the highest compensation for our client.
Drunken driving is one of the leading causes of highway deaths. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, alcohol was involved in nearly 25% of all Georgia traffic fatalities in 2011. When a driver chooses to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel, their thoughtless behavior puts the lives of others at risk. If you or someone you love were involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, we at Childers, Schlueter & Smith can aggressively fight for the justice you deserve.
Hit-and-run accidents: All drivers have a legal and moral obligation to remain at the scene of a serious accident until police arrive. Drivers who injure others and then flee are both reckless in their actions and reprehensible in their behavior. Make sure to send a message that this behavior will not be tolerated.
After a Car Accident
- DO go see a doctor if you are in pain. Seeking medical attention is important for your recovery, and it ensures that your injuries are documented.
- DO cooperate with law enforcement. They are there for the safety of you and other drivers.
- If able, DO document and take pictures of injuries, swelling and healing so there is a record of your recovery. Also take photos at the scene of the accident, if possible.
- DO keep track of doctors’ visits, medical treatments and your pain level during your recovery.
- DO contact an attorney. A car accident lawyer understands the many nuances of these cases and can provide vital assistance.
- DON’T throw away any evidence from the crash (such as bloodstained clothes, damaged or defective products, accident reports, etc.). It is important to preserve this evidence.
- DON’T overextend yourself while healing and recovering. Auto accidents are traumatic to the body. It will take time to recover.
- DON’T speak with the other driver’s insurance company. Don’t agree to any settlement. Instead, contact an attorney to learn about your options.
Proud to Be Car Accident Attorneys
We’re proud of the work we’ve done to help car accident victims, and we’re proud of our involvement and support for the End Distracted Driving program and 60 For Safety — organizations who fight to make our roads safer.
If you or someone you know has been seriously hurt in a car accident, we can help.
We understand that it’s been a painful and stressful time, and we want to ease your burden as much as possible. We can work tirelessly to maximize your car accident claim. Most importantly, we’re here to help you get your life back on track.
Call us at (800) 641-0098 or (404) 419-9500. A case evaluation is always free, and there is no obligation on your part.