If you are in a car accident, consult an experienced car accident attorney
Even if you think the damage is very minor and your injuries are not serious, you should take pictures and get medical help to document the accident. Many of the most critical injuries (brain injury, internal bleeding, etc.) may not be immediately apparent. After you have documented the accident scene and received initial medical treatment, contact Michael Fulcher Law and schedule a free consultation.
It’s upsetting enough to be involved in a car accident, but the mental stress and financial impacts associated with car accidents can be overwhelming. Besides worrying about injuries of anyone involved in the accident, after an accident, you’ll have to deal with insurance companies (who want someone else to pay) and Georgia comparative fault laws. That’s why it’s important to contact Michael Fulcher Law as soon as possible when you are involved in an accident. Getting a knowledgeable, experienced car accident lawyer involved in these early stages can save you money and help you to assess your situation.
Michael Fulcher Law helps people involved in car accidents
You can count on Michael Fulcher Law for the skilled legal representation you need at the scene and after a car accident. Michael Fulcher worked in the Greene County District Attorney’s Office for eight years. As an assistant district attorney (ADA) for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, he handled thousands of DUI, speeding and other traffic citation cases in the Greene County Probate Court.
As ADA, he worked with victims of traffic accidents to get them compensation for their losses. Before that, he was an assistant public defender in the Macon Judicial Circuit for two years. Michael Fulcher’s experience helps get the best outcomes for people involved in car accidents throughout central Georgia including Greensboro, Eatonton, Madison, Monroe, Crawfordville, and Monticello.
Car wreck injuries are often life altering
Injuries from a car accident often have life-changing impacts such as paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, or even death. When you are involved in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need skilled legal professionals to help you get the best settlement as quickly as possible.
Car wrecks can cause expensive vehicle and property damage
After an accident, it might look like the damage to the vehicles involved is minor, but that can be very deceiving. What might have cost hundreds of dollars to repair a few years ago can cost thousands of dollars to repair today. Most vehicles now have driver-assist warning systems, which means that even a small dent may require a replacement or recalibration of expensive electronics.
Modern vehicles have cameras, radar systems, GPS receivers and an array of sensors. Even a small dent, if it’s in close proximity to a camera, can be very expensive to repair. Insurance companies are well aware of this and it can make them even more reluctant to payout on car wrecks. Sometimes, the insurance adjuster will just review the damage that can be easily seen and not include the impact to the electronic systems in the estimate.
An experienced car wreck attorney can help you get a more realistic estimate and settlement that minimizes or eliminates any unforeseen out-of-pocket expenses.
Is it worth getting an accident lawyer?
The insurance companies are in business to make money or save money. Insurance adjusters and claims departments might be very nice, but they are not your friends. They work for large corporations that stay in business by paying out as little as possible. They would prefer that someone else’s insurance company pay the claim or that they pay as little as possible as quickly as possible. When they interview you, they may take your statements out of context, or you may inadvertently say something that they will use to claim you are responsible for the accident. They may characterize your injuries before you are even aware of the extent of your injuries.
A knowledgeable Georgia attorney like Michael Fulcher can help you submit an appropriate claim and negotiate your insurance settlement by:
- Investigating the facts of your accident to find all involved parties and assess fault or negligence. We interview witnesses in their homes, at work, in jail, or wherever they are. If they used a company vehicle, we will investigate the company, too. We thoroughly investigate to discover all the facts of your case.
- Engaging accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of the accident and build an-evidence based case. Georgia has comparative fault laws. That means that the insurance companies (or court) will determine which of the people involved in the accident caused the accident. Anyone found to be at fault for 50% or more of the accident cannot claim compensation from the other party’s insurance company. So, it’s important to accurately and correctly establish what happened and who should be assigned blame.
- Consulting medical experts to determine the extent of injuries and associated expenses.
- Filing claims and negotiating settlements to get appropriate compensation from all insurance companies of any parties involved in the accident. You can file claims for lost earnings, medical costs, transportation/rental cars, vehicle repair or replacement, wrongful death, pain and suffering, punitive and compensatory damages, and other property damage. Your attorney will also note and comply with any and all statutes of limitations and ensure that all your filings are accurate and on time.
- Negotiating deferred payments until your case is settled to ease your financial burden. Some medical professionals will let you defer payment for treatments until your case is settled. An attorney can negotiate an agreement with the doctors to pay an amount upon settlement.
Engaging a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident will reduce your stress and help maximize your chances of getting the best possible settlement. Hiring a lawyer does not mean you are going to wind up in court. Engaging Michael Fulcher Law to work on your behalf helps streamline the process and protect your rights. As a former assistant district attorney, Michael Fulcher is well known and well-respected in Morgan County, Greene County, and throughout central Georgia.
Today, in his private practice, his clients have confidence in his ability to gather all the facts, negotiate with insurance companies, and meet deadlines. They also appreciate how everyone at Michael Fulcher Law treats them with care and compassion. Michael Fulcher Law offers a free initial consultation. Our offices are conveniently and centrally located, And, if you are unable to come to us, we can come to the hospital or your home or office.
What are the penalties for a car accident in Georgia?
Georgia has a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit and a four-year deadline for filing most vehicular and/or property damage lawsuits for a car accident. Due to Georgia’s comparative fault laws, you may not be able to collect anything if your fault is found to be more than 50 percent. In 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court removed the limits on car accident damages which covers compensation for medical bills, vehicle repair, rental or replacement costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. Punitive damages, however, can only be a maximum of $250,000.
In addition, if it was found that the accident was caused by violating “Georgia’s Rules of the Road,” the penalties can range from a fine to loss of license or years in prison. These “Rules of the Road” include, but are not limited to:
- Ignoring a traffic signal OCGA § 40-6-20
- Drifting out of your lane OCGA § 40-6-48
- Following too closely OCGA § 40-6-49
- Not yielding to traffic when making a left turn OCGA § 40-6-71
- Not stopping or yielding as posted OCGA § 40-6-72
- Not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk OCGA § 40-6-91
- Speeding OCGA § 40-6-180
- Distracted driving OCGA § 40-6-241
- Texting while driving OCGA § 40-6-241.2
- Driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle OCGA § 40-6-253
- Hit and run accident OCGA § 40-6-270
- Reckless driving OCGA § 40-6-390
- Driving under the influence (DUI) OCGA § 40-6-391
You can find more details on these rules and their penalties in the Georgia Driver’s Manual.