Can a Car Accident Make Scoliosis and Other Back Conditions Worse?

Table of Contents

  1. The Link Between Spinal Injuries and Car Accidents
  2. What is Scoliosis and Where Does it Come From?
  3. Those With a Pre-Existing Condition May Struggle to Get Fair Compensation
  4. How Can I Tell If I Have a Spinal Injury After a Car Accident?
  5. Treatment and Legal Options
  6. Harry Brown: The Chiropractor Lawyer

If you’ve suffered a car wreck and found yourself experiencing pain in your spine as a result, you’re not alone.

Neck and back problems are among the most pervasive symptoms following an accident. In fact, the United States alone reports well beyond 800,000 auto-accident related neck injuries each year. Overall, U.S. consumers and insurance companies spend over $5 billion annually on treatment for these injuries.

But what if you already have an existing back problem, like scoliosis? Can a serious car accident make your situation worse? And if so, what kind of compensation could you receive from a personal injury lawsuit?

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how car accidents can cause or exacerbate back pain and scoliosis, and what your legal options may be.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

The Link Between Spinal Injuries and Car Accidents

So, can a car accident cause back conditions, or make existing cases worse? The short answer is yes, it can.

Your spinal column is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body during a car crash. When two vehicles collide, the sudden “whipping” impact of inertia often causes the load on the occupant’s neck to skyrocket. This is especially true for rear-end collisions, but it can occur in other types of vehicle accident as well.

Sometimes, the force is strong enough to result in herniated spinal discs, broken vertebrae, joint damage, muscle damage, or even a spinal cord injury. If left untreated, injuries such as the above can trigger the development of scoliosis or cause an existing case to worsen at an accelerated rate (or develop symptoms for the first time). This may result in increased pain and mobility problems and make it much more difficult to function from day to day.

scoliosis after car accident
scoliosis after car accident

What is Scoliosis and Where Does it Come From?

Let’s provide a quick explanation of scoliosis.

A healthy spinal column is straight and firm. From this position, it helps the body retain upright and proper posture.

Scoliosis, however, causes the spinal column to bend in various abnormal ways. Instead of rising straight through the back to the neck, it bends toward one side or another (often taking on the shape of an S or a C). Because of this improper shape, scoliosis patients may suffer from a range of problems, including:

  • Mild chronic pain (causing daily irritation, but manageable)
  • Poor posture
  • Mobility limitations
  • Exhaustion
  • Severe chronic pain (impeding everyday tasks)

There are a number of possible causes for scoliosis — in fact, doctors are fairly certain they haven’t yet identified every factor in its development. But some of the most widely recognized are:

  • Hereditary genetic conditions and/or genetic mutations (such as Marfan or Down syndrome)
  • Physical trauma such as sports injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Birth defects
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Tumors

For many patients, scoliosis is first diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. In some cases, physical trauma later in life can be an instigating factor.

RELATED POST: What is a Fair Settlement Amount for my Back Injury?

Those With a Pre-Existing Condition May Struggle to Get Fair Compensation

If a car accident caused your back condition or made it worse, you absolutely have a right to make a personal injury claim.

Legally, the insurance company is required to take an injured person “as they are.” If you have a pre-existing medical condition that is unaffected by the accident, then you won’t receive any compensation for it. But if your medical condition is aggravated by the accident, you are entitled to compensation—to the degree that it was made worse.

However, this does not mean that getting fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages resulting from your car accident injuries will be easy. Saying a car accident aggravated your scoliosis is one thing; proving it to the insurance company is another.

You will likely need strong evidence that establishes:

  • Your condition, symptoms, and project long-term medical treatment needs as they were before the car crash
  • Your condition, symptoms, and projected long-term medical treatment needs after the car crash
  • A qualified medical opinion linking the aggravation in your symptoms to the crash

Always Get a Thorough Medical Evaluation After a Car Accident

Because the range of injuries possible in an auto accident is so vast, it’s not unheard of for a victim to walk away from the incident assuming that they’re physically unharmed, only to find themselves dealing with more pervasive problems days, weeks, months, or even years later.

Scoliosis is of vital concern to automobile accident victims — both for those who already suffer from the condition and those not diagnosed beforehand. Many accident victims find themselves wondering if they developed scoliosis because of the incident, while those with a pre-existing scoliosis diagnosis may develop a sneaking suspicion that the accident made it worse.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, regardless of how you feel immediately afterward, it’s critical that you seek medical attention immediately. Not only will this assure your well-being, but it will help you establish the best chance of filing an insurance claim for medical problems that may arise in the future.

Again, it’s very likely that the insurance company will try to argue that your scoliosis was pre-existing and not caused or made worse by the accident. The best way to defend yourself against that claim is to have detailed medical records, originating as close as possible to the date of the crash, outlining your diagnosis and the treatment steps you’re taking.

RELATED POST: Can I Be Compensated for Neck and Back Pain After a Car Accident?

can a car accident aggravate scoliosis
can a car accident aggravate scoliosis

How Can I Tell If I Have a Spinal Injury After a Car Accident?

It’s understandable if neck and back injuries aren’t your first thought after a car accident, especially if you’re not currently experiencing any symptoms. The excitement and trauma during and following an accident can cause an increased flow of adrenaline, which can cloud judgment and senses.

In other cases, as we mentioned, a spinal injury may take time to manifest because of prolonged deteriorations. Some patients may not notice until much later in life. Again, this is why you should seek medical attention immediately.

As far as scoliosis is concerned, there are some telltale signs that may indicate an aggravated or onsetting condition. These include:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Tingling or numb limbs
  • Leg and back muscle strain
  • One arm hanging lower than the others (uneven shoulders)
  • Uneven ribcage
  • Uneven hips (one higher than the other)

Fortunately, scoliosis is usually easy to diagnose. Doctors will often use an X-ray to look for structural damage to the spine. If it’s discovered, they may order additional imaging to determine the extent of the damage.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

can a car accident make scoliosis worse
can a car accident make scoliosis worse

Treatment and Legal Options

Recovery from scoliosis and other back and spinal injuries can be difficult and time-consuming. In treatment, the doctor will seek to limit pain, improve discomfort, and prevent further curvature of the spine.

A number of treatment options are available, depending on the severity of the condition. More invasive procedures may be required in extreme cases, especially if discs have been damaged or vertebrae have been fractured. These treatment options include.

  • Surgery (with a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon)
  • Wearing a back brace
  • Chiropractor visits
  • Physical therapy

Unfortunately, this process can often mean financial distress. Patients undergoing treatment for scoliosis often miss time at work. Treatment can be expensive, and insurance companies are known to drag their feet when paying out a claim. Others may attempt to use pre-existing scoliosis as an excuse to avoid payments—even if the scoliosis didn’t cause problems prior to the crash.

Once again, your first step should be to seek medical attention. But whether your condition is new or aggravated, the law is on your side. If you’re experiencing additional or worsening pain as a result of negligence, an experienced attorney can help you prepare the necessary documentation and prove your claim to the insurance company (or if necessary, at trial).

Harry Brown: The Chiropractor Lawyer

Harry Brown was a chiropractor before becoming a lawyer, giving him unique insight when it comes to cases involving back conditions such as scoliosis. His mission has always been to protect the injured, whether in a healthcare setting or within the legal framework.

He understands the physical and emotional toll attached to auto accident injuries, and will be with you every step of the way to guide you through this stressful period of your life. This expertise also renders  him uniquely qualified to fight for the payout you deserve while you focus on recovery. Request a free consultation today!

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild. We serve all of Georgia and South Carolina from four conveniently located offices in Savannah, Atlanta, Athens, and Okatie.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (912) 324-2498 or completing our simple online form.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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As personal injury lawyers, we expect at-fault parties and their insurance companies to negotiate for lower compensation to injury victims. But we’re still astounded when the other side outright refuses to offer any settlement or negotiate at all, despite obviously being responsible for what took place.

That’s exactly what happened to our client, George, after a traffic accident he had no way to prevent. Not only was he suffering from serious injuries that kept him from living his life fully, but he also felt the pressure of dealing with an insurer who didn’t want to give him a dime.

In this article, we’ll share George’s story and the difficulties he faced because of the insurance company’s stubbornness. Fortunately, The Brown Firm was prepared to help George fight for what he deserved.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

George Was Rear-Ended by an Intoxicated, Reckless Driver

George’s personal injury story started while he was simply driving up the road on a late spring day, following the rules and minding his own business.

Up ahead, George saw a golf cart travelling the same direction he was and planned to carefully pass it on the left. As he moved over, things took an unexpected turn.

George’s car was suddenly rear-ended by the driver immediately behind him. Apparently, that driver meant to aggressively pass George and the golf cart without waiting to see if George would go first. Later, it was discovered that the other driver was not just being careless — he’d also been drinking, which undoubtedly contributed to his reckless behavior.

For George, the result was serious neck and spine injuries that required two years of medical treatment. During that period, he racked up almost $60,000 in medical bills and pharmaceutical costs. He and his family faced financial challenges while also losing time to physical and emotional suffering.

Fighting Back When the Insurance Company Refuses to Pay a Dime
Fighting Back When the Insurance Company Refuses to Pay a Dime

The At-Fault Party’s Insurer Wouldn’t Negotiate Fairly

George needed guidance and support to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, so he turned to The Brown Firm. As seasoned personal injury attorneys, we expected a few rounds of negotiation and an eventual settlement that was reasonable for everyone involved.

However, it quickly became clear that the at-fault party and his insurance company had no intention of honoring that process. In fact, they were refusing to pay so much as $1 for George’s clear pain and suffering.

This was unacceptable. George was living with the consequences of an accident he did not cause, which happened because of someone else’s gross irresponsibility. We knew we could make a solid case for him.

The Brown Firm Gets Tough and Recovers a Large Settlement for George

Liability was no question in this case. Between the other driver’s reckless action and the fact that he’d been drinking, George had clearly been wronged and deserved full compensation—not only for his financial costs, but also for the two years he spent living with pain and discomfort.

To be clear, George tried as hard as possible to find solutions for his injuries. What began as neck pain and headaches had progressed to pain radiating down his arms and numbness in his arm and hand. He’d received injections, taken medications, and gone through physical therapy, all without much relief.

Still, the insurance company didn’t think that pain and suffering deserved compensation. Negotiations broke down, and we were forced to file a lawsuit. We made it clear that we were willing to take the case to trial, and that doing so would probably not go well for the at-fault driver.

Ultimately, the case went before a jury. We went from a zero offer to securing a significant verdict for George, making it possible for him to begin rebuilding his life and sending a message about how our team deals with stubborn insurance companies who don’t want to pay their fair share.

RELATED: How Long Can I Sue After a Car Accident in Georgia?

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

The Brown Firm Protects the Injured from Stubborn Insurance Companies

At The Brown Firm, we stand up for injured people in Georgia and North Carolina, negotiating with the insurance companies and demanding fair compensation that brings security and peace of mind.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, we’re ready to hear your story and determine the best path forward. We begin every case with a free consultation. Schedule yours today by calling (800) 529-1441 or using the simple contact form on our site.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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What to Do if You Are a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident in Georgia

Being a passenger injured in a car accident can be devastating. The road to recovery might look long and difficult, with significant medical bills to pay. On top of that, you may feel additional stress and anguish if the driver of the car is a loved one—who may have been at least partially responsible for what happened. 

Are you, as the injured passenger, entitled to any compensation or medical bill repayment? You have rights as a passenger, and it’s important to know what those rights are, and what steps to take to recover from an auto accident in Georgia.  

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

The Steps to Take After You Are Injured in a Car Accident 

The most important priority after being injured in a car accident is to receive prompt medical attention. Make sure that if you, or anyone else, are injured, you immediately call medical services. 

No matter how minor you think your injuries are, getting treatment as soon as possible is very important. Even if you feel fine, you may have injuries that you are not aware of. Adrenaline and endorphins may mask the full extent of your pain and injuries following an accident. Some of the most common injuries associated with auto accidents, such as whiplash, may take days or weeks to show symptoms. 

It’s also important to get as much information as you can to document the nature of the accident. This includes things like: 

  • The insurance information of any drivers involved 
  • Names and phone numbers of any witnesses 
  • Photos or videos of the scene of the accident 
  • Copies of any records as they become available, such as the police report and your medical bills. 

This information will help the insurance companies and attorneys figure out who is at fault, which will help you file an insurance claim. 

RELATED POST: Shoulder Pain After Wreck? Here’s What to Do Next 

passenger injured in car accident
passenger injured in car accident

Determining Who Is at Fault 

As a passenger, it is extremely unlikely that you would ever be considered at fault for the accident. However, it may be difficult to figure out who is responsible if there are multiple drivers involved.  

If fault isn’t clear, there may be a long, drawn-out process to determine how the blame should be apportioned. Unfortunately, that may mean a longer wait to get the compensation you deserve, even if you did nothing wrong. 

For any accident, there is an investigation into determining which party should be held responsible. This investigation consists of police reports, witness statements, and statements from the involved parties. The insurance adjusters use this information to assign blame for the wreck, determine who is eligible for compensation, and how much each involved insurance company must pay to each victim. 

RELATED POST: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Recovery After a Car Accident 

Filing a Claim Against the At-Fault Party 

You, as the passenger, are not liable for the accident. Your personal injury claim will be the responsibility of the other driver’s insurance policy, or the car insurance policy of the driver you were with.  

Georgia is an at-fault state, which means the person responsible for the accident is responsible to pay for the damages. You can usually initiate a claim by going to the at fault driver’s insurance company’s website or calling them. Since you are not a driver involved in the crash, but a passenger and are filing under an insurance company that is not your own, this is called a third-party claim. 

Making a claim is a time-sensitive issue. In Georgia, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after a personal injury. However, you will want to get the ball rolling much sooner, as building a case takes time and evidence may be lost if not followed up on immediately after the accident. Speaking with a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash can help ensure you don’t miss any critical deadlines. 

What if My Friend or Relative is at Fault for the Car Accident? 

Filing a claim may feel awkward if the person at fault is the person you were riding with. It’s important to remember that your friend or relative will not be the one paying for your medical bills, just their insurance company. This is the reason that they have car insurance coverage! 

You have a legal right to file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy as a passenger in a car with them. It may seem wrong, or uncomfortable, but you do not deserve to be responsible for the medical bills and treatment when you were injured in an accident that is their fault—not yours. 

What if it is Not Clear Who is at Fault? 

If the investigation to determine responsibility is unclear about who is at fault, then your next step is to file against both driver’s insurance policies. If partial blame is given to both drivers, then each insurance policy will pay out a portion to cover your medical bills. 

Only file a claim with both insurance companies if it is not clear who is at fault. If there is clearly one driver at fault, filing two claims may slow the process down. 

passenger injured in car accident
passenger injured in car accident

What if the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured? 

If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy does not have enough coverage to pay your car accident injuries, or if the at-fault driver is uninsured, other insurance policies may cover passenger injury claims. 

Your own car insurance coverage may include underinsured or uninsured motorist (UI/UIM) policies. Most UI/UIM policies cover you as a person, regardless of whose vehicle you are in. 

You might also be covered by Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay). Another option is your own health insurance.  

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help? 

One important thing to know about car insurance companies is that they will try to pay out as little as possible. If you are entitled to damages, they will probably give you a low offer, expecting that you will not know what your case is worth. 

An experienced car accident attorney knows how to calculate all of your losses, such as lost wages, costs associated with pain and suffering, the ongoing cost of medical treatment, and more. They can protect you against unreasonable lowball settlement offers and negotiate for what you truly deserve. 

In addition, if it is not clear which insurance company should pay for your car accident injury, an expert car accident lawyer will know if your best approach is to seek compensation from a personal injury protection policy, medical payments coverage, or your own health insurance. 

An insurance claim like this can be complicated, and not all lawyers have experience with passenger injury claims. At The Brown Firm, we have a winning record for injured passenger claims. 

RELATED POST: Winning for an Injured Passenger with Compassion and Persistence: Jaclyn’s Story 

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

passenger injured in car accident
passenger injured in car accident

Call The Brown Firm for Help with Your Passenger Injury Claims 

If you are a passenger who has been injured in a car accident, don’t try to take on the car insurance companies on your own. Team up with the experts at The Brown Firm to make sure you receive all the compensation you deserve. 

We know that medical bills can make you stressed about money, so we offer a no-strings-attached free consultation to talk about your case. Just give us a call at (912) 324-2498 or complete the contact form on our website. 

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Hip Pain After Car Accident? Here’s What to Do

Hip pain is a common symptom after a car accident. While some hip injuries produce obvious, intense pain immediately after the impact, others may start out as dull aches that worsen over time. 

Either way, it’s important to understand the steps you need to take if you experience any kind of hip pain after a crash, from mild to severe. By making smart decisions about your health, as well as your interactions with the insurance company, you can significantly improve your chances of a successful long-term outcome—physically, mentally, and financially. 

At The Brown Firm, our car accident attorneys in Atlanta, Savannah, and throughout Georgia and South Carolina help injured drivers bounce back from hip pain and get the fair compensation they deserve from the at-fault parties. Read on to learn more about what you can do after suffering a hip injury in a car accident. 

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Common Hip Injuries Following Car Accidents 

Some of the most common hip injuries faced by car accident victims include: 

  • Hip dislocation: A car crash can push the head of the thigh bone (femur) out of the hip socket and even tear some of the surrounding soft tissues. This might happen, for example, if your knee slammed into the dashboard after the collision and the blunt force trauma pops the thigh bone out of the hip joint. A hip dislocation is a serious injury that’s often accompanied by severe pain and difficulty moving the leg. Numbness is also possible if nerves have been damaged. 
  • Hip fracture: The symptoms of a broken hip can vary depending on the location and severity of the fracture. While a severe hip fracture can mean excruciating pain and inability to put weight on the affected leg, a stress fracture might not hurt much at first—but can easily get worse over time without a proper diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Hip bursitis: Like many other joints throughout your body, the hip joint is cushioned and lubricated by fluid-filled sacs called bursae. If the bursae become inflamed and irritated, the result is sharp pain across the outer thigh, particularly after prolonged exercise, at night, or when getting up from a chair. 
  • Hip labral tear: This injury involves tearing of the ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip socket where it meets the head of the thigh bone. A labral tear often results in pain and stiffness in the hip, groin, and buttocks, particularly after exercise. You may also here a clicking noise. 
  • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue inflammation or tearing in hip muscles, tendons (which connect muscles to bones), or ligaments (which connect bones to other bones) are also common and may result in mild to severe hip pain and joint instability, depending on the severity of the injury. 
  • Nerve pain: A car accident can lead to a pinched nerve in the hip. Common symptoms include tingling, burning, or shooting pain throughout the hips, legs, and buttocks. You might also experience some muscle weakness if motor nerves were also damaged. 

RELATED POST: Are Car Accidents A Leading Cause of Broken Bones? 

hip pain after car accident
hip pain after car accident

Always Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Hip Pain After a Car Accident 

We cannot say this enough: We strongly urge any person experiencing hip pain after a car accident (or any other symptoms in any other part of body) to visit a doctor for a complete physical examination as soon as possible. 

This is true even if your symptoms seem mild or you feel like you can “walk it off.” No amount of hip pain is “too small” to be concerned about. There are two major reasons for this: 

1. Delayed Injuries and Pain 

While some hip injuries (like an acetabular fracture of the hip socket, for example) are obviously severe the instant they occur, others produce only delayed pain. 

A stress fracture or a hip injury that affects soft tissue, for example, might initially produce only mild stiffness and soreness. But if you continue to walk on your injured hip and delay medical treatment, the pain can gradually worsen over the coming days and weeks. 

Being proactive and seeking appropriate treatment right away can help you catch and deal with these hip injuries early. Wait too long, and all of a sudden you’re dealing with a much bigger, harder-to-treat problem. In the worst case scenario, hip pain that could have been addressed in a few weeks or months through conservative therapies like steroid injections and physical therapy may now lead to long-term complications and require longer treatment timetables, or even surgery. 

RELATED POST: What To Do After Suffering A Broken Bone In A Personal Injury Accident 

2. Your Personal Injury Claim 

If you ultimately decide to seek compensation from the at-fault driver (and their insurance company) to pay for your current medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced future earning capacity, and other damages, you’ll need strong evidence linking your hip injury directly to the auto accident that caused it. 

The best way to ensure you have that evidence is by seeking medical care as soon as possible (ideally within one or two days) after your car accident. This tells the insurance company (and, if your case goes to trial, a judge and jury) a few important things: 

  • The car accident was (or is highly likely to be) the direct, necessary cause of your injury 
  • Your injuries are meaningful and you took them seriously 

The earlier you start to generate medical records after the crash, the harder it will be for the insurance company to argue that your injuries were unrelated to the accident, or are not as serious as you claim them to be. Another tip: make sure you continue to follow all your doctor’s treatment recommendations along the way, as blowing off their advice not only leads to more medical problems but can also weaken your personal injury claim. 

Remember, the insurance company is not your friend, nor is the insurance adjuster they sent to evaluate your claim. They are looking for any argument they can plausibly defend to doubt, discredit, diminish, or deny your personal injury claim. Their interest is in saving money for themselves, not ensuring you get fair compensation for your hip injury. 

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney 

Whether you’re dealing with hip pain or any other kind of post-accident injury, contacting a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation as soon as possible after your accident can go a long way toward maximizing any settlement or trial verdict you might be entitled to. 

Here are some concrete ways that an attorney can help you. 

Ensure You Get the Expert Medical Care You Need For Your Hip Injury 

A good attorney isn’t only interested in getting you a big financial payout. They want to help you recover physically and emotionally, and rebuild your life as best you can. As a former medical practitioner himself, our founding attorney (and licensed chiropractor) Harry Brown takes this part very seriously. 

We can help connect you with the right specialists in Atlanta, Savannah, or wherever you live and ensure you get the support you need to keep those important appointments. 

Thoroughly Investigate Your Personal Injury Claim 

As we mentioned above, insurance companies are in the business of limiting or denying claims, not paying them out. That’s how they make their money. 

If you want to get a fair settlement, simply proving that your hip pain is directly related to the accident is only one part of the equation. You’ll also have to prove that the other driver (or any other potentially liable parties, such as a trucking company) were responsible. That takes careful presentation of detailed evidence—something you probably aren’t eager to do yourself, particularly if you’re still suffering from hip pain and have no experience with the legal system. 

An experienced car accident attorney knows how to investigate a case. Depending on your circumstances, that might include gathering information at the scene, following up with eyewitnesses, securing any dash cam footage that might be available, and even speaking with expert witnesses in the medical, traffic, or accident reconstruction fields. 

Especially in those cases where the other driver is being less than fully truthful, hiring an expert who knows how and where to look for clues, and establish a winning case, is invaluable. 

RELATED CLIENT STORY: The Brown Firm Uses Police Footage for Settlement Demand 

Handle Negotiations on Your Behalf 

It’s unfortunate, but many accident victims end up costing themselves a big chunk of cash simply due to inexperience or preventable mistakes. A few common examples of what can happen. 

  • You agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster, offer unrequested information, or unintentionally provide answers that could be interpreted as contradictory. The insurance company then twists these words to sabotage your claim. 
  • You make mistakes when filing, miss key deadlines, or commit other preventable errors that could result in your claim being completely thrown out. 
  • You don’t know how to calculate a full, fair settlement amount for your hip injury, so you end up settling for far less than you truly deserve. 

By handing off your case to an attorney, you not only get the peace of mind from knowing that your legal case is in good hands, but you can also refocus on what really matters: getting yourself back to full health. 

RELATED POST: Should I Take the First Settlement Offer in My Injury Case? 

hip pain after car accident
hip pain after car accident

Pain in Your Hip Joints After an Accident? Contact The Brown Firm Today 

Our experienced personal injury lawyers have years of experience helping injured individuals get the care they need to make complete physical, emotional, and financial recoveries after their car accidents. 

To request your free consultation, contact our law firm today by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our online contact form. We serve residents throughout Georgia and South Carolina from our conveniently located offices in Atlanta, Savannah, and elsewhere.  

 

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Survival Action Claims in Georgia: What Families Need to Know

Grieving families face a range of emotions when a loved one is killed due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. People in this situation should absolutely pursue financial compensation for their losses—but how to do so can be complicated.  

Survival actions are often confused with wrongful death claims by those who’ve lost loved ones. These are two separate legal actions that apply to different circumstances, though in some situations a family may be able to pursue both simultaneously. 

This article will explain the purpose of a survival action and how to go about starting one in Georgia. We’ll also outline the differences between a wrongful death claim and a survival action, and how an experienced attorney can help families navigate both.     

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is a Survival Action in Georgia? 

Under Georgia law, a survival action is an extension of a legal claim associated with a person who has died. Basically, it addresses the losses the deceased person experienced between their injury and death, and seeks compensation to benefit their survivors.  

Typically, survival actions are used when the injured person lived for a while after the injury itself — long enough to experience fear, pain, or medical treatment. It is meant to cover the sort of losses they might have included in a personal injury claim, had they lived.  

For example, if someone was injured in a car crash and lived one week before they died, the action might demand compensation for a week of: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering 

In Georgia, funeral expenses and burial costs may also be part of a survival action because they are considered costs of the deceased’s estate (more on that in a minute). Some states include demands for funeral and burial losses in wrongful death claims, rather than survival actions.    

Even if the person only lived for an hour, the family could claim the pain, suffering, fear, mental anguish, etc. their loved one endured before dying.   

Who May Bring a Survival Action? 

In Georgia, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, often called the executor or administrator, brings (initiates) a survival action. The personal representative might already be named in the will, but if not, the court will generally appoint a family member to represent the estate. The estate includes anything still legally owned by the dead person and stands in for them in legal proceedings.  

Survival actions must be brought by the dead person’s estate, rather than their survivors. This is because the compensation is sought on behalf of the person who died for what they experienced, not for the losses their loved ones experienced because of the death.  

Ultimately, money secured from a survival action that isn’t needed for medical costs or other liens will go to survivors. It simply needs to go to the estate before being disbursed.  

Who Gets the Money From a Survival Action? 

Money secured from a survival action will go directly to the dead person’s estate. It is then considered an asset of the estate and treated like other items, such as bank accounts, property, and retirement funds. 

These assets go to the beneficiaries named by the deceased. If there isn’t a will or named beneficiaries, the money will be disbursed according to Georgia intestacy law. Usually, the money will go to the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, or other close family members. 

survival action
survival action

How Is a Survival Action Different From a Wrongful Death Claim?  

Simply put, a survival action is on behalf of the deceased person themselves. A wrongful death claim is on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors.  

A survival action seeks compensation for the damages (losses) a person suffered before dying. A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the damages survivors suffer because of the death.   

A wrongful death action or claim may be the one we hear about more often, and it may feel counter-intuitive to hear wrongful death and survival in the same sentence. However, surviving family members may wind up taking both actions to get the compensation they deserve after a family member’s death. Let’s dig into the differences. 

RELATED POST: The Complete Guide To Wrongful Death Lawsuits 

Damages Sought in a Georgia Survivor Action Claim 

The damages that “survive” a person killed by another’s negligence can include: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost earnings 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Mental anguish 
  • Funeral and burial costs 

Damages Sought in a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Claim 

The damages impacting the survivors of a person killed by another’s negligence can include:  

  • Lost income the deceased person would have made in the rest of their career 
  • Benefits held through the deceased person, such as health insurance and retirement plans 
  • The value of services the deceased provided for their household, like home repairs and yard work 
  • Lost care, support, affection, and guidance that the deceased person provided to survivors 
  • Lost consortium, which is the access to intimacy and companionship between spouses and partners 

Additionally, in South Carolina (where The Brown Firm also practices), wrongful death lawsuits can include claims for the family members’ (as opposed to the deceased person’s) emotional pain and suffering, as well as punitive damage to punish the negligent parties in the case of extreme recklessness or malice. However, these types of damages are not available under Georgia law. 

Differences in How Survival Action and Wrongful Death Claims Are Paid Out 

As discussed above, any money recovered in a survival action claim becomes property of the estate, which can then be distributed according to any will left by the deceased. 

By contrast, money recovered in a wrongful death claim are not property of the estate (because it is meant to benefit the survivors directly, not the deceased) and will always be distributed strictly according to Georgia’s intestacy law. In other words, this means that wrongful death settlements are always divided to heirs as if no will exists, regardless of whether the deceased person left one or not. 

RELATED POST: Who Gets the Money From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

Georgia survival action statute
Georgia survival action statute

How Does Personal Injury Law Relate to Survival Action and Wrongful Death? 

In Georgia, personal injury attorneys often represent families filing survival actions or wrongful death claims.  

Even though these are not technically personal injury cases, the claims process, relevant damages, and compensation center on similar factors, such as medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. This is because, in all cases, the injuries or deaths were caused by another party’s carelessness or recklessness.     

Both a survival action and a wrongful death claim may be options if your loved one was killed because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. Determining what’s best for your family depends on the specifics of the case.  

An experienced personal injury attorney will help you understand and navigate all the options when you’ve lost a loved one in this manner.    

RELATED: The Complete Guide to Wrongful Death Lawsuits 

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

The Brown Firm Offers Guidance for Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims 

The period after losing a loved one is difficult and unpredictable, making it that much harder for surviving family members to understand and manage the details of a legal undertaking. At the Brown Firm, we are committed to walking through complex cases with our clients and doing it with skill and compassion.    

We begin every attorney-client relationship with a free case evaluation, including cases involving survival actions or wrongful death claims. To set up your free consultation today, call (800) 529-1441 or use the easy contact form on our site.  

 

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 

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How to Prepare for Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer

When you or a loved one are involved in an accident that was not your fault, it can cause a lot of added stress in your life. It’s very common for accident victims to feel overwhelmed trying to get to and from doctor’s appointments, working, taking care of themselves, and much more.

In the aftermath of an accident, making time to see a personal injury attorney who specializes in auto accidents can sometimes feel like just another burden you have to deal with. But if you want to protect your legal rights and get fair compensation for your injuries, it’s a crucial step you need to take. Better yet, many law firms offer free consultations to potential clients.

In order to get the most out of your initial consultation with your attorney, find solid answers to your legal questions, and start the attorney-client relationship off on the right foot, you should take some time to prepare beforehand.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is Included in a Free Consultation With a Lawyer?

The initial consultation is an opportunity for you and your attorney to get to know one another, discuss the merits of your case, evaluate your legal options, and determine the best next steps to take. Typically, the initial consultation lasts about 30-60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the case and how much information you provide.

At this meeting, the attorney will be carefully listening to what you have to say and reviewing any documents you bring along. The more detailed and accurate you can be about your circumstances, the better the advice the attorney can give you regarding your particular legal issue. Ultimately, if the attorney believes you have a strong case, he or she may offer to take you as a client.

The legal consultation is also an opportunity for you to determine whether or not the lawyer you’re meeting with is a good fit for you and your family, too. It’s a two-way conversation, and establishing trust between both sides is extremely important if you want the best chance at a successful recovery.

If, at the end of the consultation, the attorney agrees to take your case (and you agree to their legal representation), there will be some additional documents for you to sign, including a contingency fee agreement, medical release, and notices informing you of your legal rights.

However, whether we take your case or not, you can still expect any attorney you speak with at The Brown Firm to use that initial meeting to fully explain the legal implications of your situation, answer whatever legal questions you may have, give you their honest opinion about whether you have a case, and help you make an informed decision about what to do next.

what is included in a free consultation with a lawyer
what is included in a free consultation with a lawyer

What to Bring to Your Legal Consultation

Before we continue, it’s important to understand that the list below is not a “minimum requirement” for your free case evaluation. You may not have access to the police report just yet, for example. Or maybe you didn’t take photos at the accident scene.

We understand, and we’re not going to turn you away if you don’t have everything discussed below right now.

Don’t delay scheduling your appointment because you don’t have every last record, bill, and document. If you and your lawyer decide to work together, they will do more evidence gathering.

With that said, let’s look at what’s helpful for your initial consultation:

RELATED POST: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Personal Injury Consultation

Details of the Accident

As soon as possible after the accident, write down all the details you can remember while they are fresh in your mind, and bring that list with you to your legal consultation.

Key details include:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident
  • Weather and roadway conditions
  • How the accident happened
  • Photos or video you took of the accident or your injuries
  • Witness names and contact information

It’s okay if you don’t remember every detail or if some of the details are fuzzy, but it is good to write down everything that you can.

The Police Report

The police report will contain important details of the accident, such as witnesses and maybe the responding officer’s opinion about who was at-fault. 

You might a copy of the claim number needed to obtain the police report after the accident. However, your attorney may also be able to obtain the report if for some reason you’re having trouble getting your hands on it.

Proof of Injury 

Before you meet with an attorney, you should have already been seen by a medical professional. The sooner you receive diagnosis and treatment for your injuries, the easier it will be for your attorney to obtain full compensation for your losses.

At the very least you should be able to tell your attorney: 

  • The name of the hospital or medical professional you saw
  • Your initial diagnosis and treatments
  • Any tests or images taken
  • How long your doctor expects you to need treatment
  • Whether you were injured prior to the accident

Medical Bills

When demanding compensation from an insurance company, you are allowed to claim medical bills for any treatment that you’ve received, as well as future expected medical expenses based on your expected recovery.

Bringing medical records, bills, and related receipts with you to the consultation can help your lawyer provide a more accurate initial estimate of how much compensation you might be entitled to.

A List of Questions for Your Attorney 

Free legal consultations are your time to ask attorneys any questions regarding your case and the process of obtaining a settlement. 

Some common questions you may want to ask include: 

  • Have you handled similar cases in the past?
  • How will we communicate throughout the legal process?
  • Will you handle negotiations with the insurance company? 

Of course, there are many more questions you might have, and your consultation is the time to ask anything and everything that is on your mind. Get the clarity you need to feel comfortable that your case will be handled properly. 

what is included in a free consultation with a lawyer
what is included in a free consultation with a lawyer

What Does “Free” Really Mean in a Free Consultation?

In the context of a free legal consultation, “free” truly means free.

There are no hidden fees and no obligations. If, at the end of the consultation, either you or your lawyer decide not to pursue a further attorney client relationship, you can walk away with a clear conscience.

What If I Decide to Hire the Attorney After the Free Consultation? How Much Will I Owe?

Like the vast majority of other personal injury law firms, The Brown Firm works on a contingency fee basis. What does that mean? In short, it means that you don’t pay a thing until we recover a settlement or jury award for you.

Rather than paying hourly fees or a flat fee, you’ll pay your attorney an agreed-upon percentage of your eventual settlement or verdict. At The Brown Firm, we will also cover the up-front legal fees associated with your case (such as filing costs, hiring expert witnesses, etc.) on your behalf.

Working on contingency helps ensure that the financial incentives for the client and the attorney are always 100% aligned.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Attorney at The Brown Firm Today

At The Brown Firm, we believe that scheduling and navigating your first meeting with a personal injury attorney shouldn’t be an intimidating process.

We know you’re going through an extremely difficult period in your life. Finding the right attorney should be stress-relieving, not stress-inducing. We work hard to make the consultation process as easy and comfortable as possible for you.

You can schedule a consultation today by calling our law firm at (800) 529-1441. You can also complete our convenient and simple online contact form and a member of our team will follow up with you to schedule within 24 hours.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Lower Back Pain From a Car Accident? Understand Your Options

Most people take it for granted that they will be able to do the activities they enjoy—as well as the ones they might not enjoy, but simply need to do—without chronic pain.

If you were in a car accident and are now living with pain, it’s important to understand your options—including enlisting the help of an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer. As you’ll see in this article, having legal representation from an attorney at The Brown Firm may be the right decision to ensure you receive fair compensation for your pain and suffering.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

A Law Firm That Understands Back Pain

As we discuss specific back injuries and your options following a car accident, it’s best to start with understanding what you are facing and why it’s happening to you.

On this front, we offer you a unique experience in two different ways:

  • Our core belief that “you matter” means we listen to you. And this allows us to have a better picture of what you are going through and what we can do to help your situation.
  • Our firm’s managing partner, Harry Brown Jr., DC, JD, started as chiropractor before practicing law. While The Brown Firm is not a medical organization, his background in providing chiropractic care does offer valuable insight into conditions like soft tissue injuries and back pain after a car crash, and what your treatment plan might entail. 
lower back pain from car accident
lower back pain from car accident

Why Do I Have Back Pain After a Car Accident?

Virtually all back injuries from car accidents come down to a matter of physics. Cars can move at very high speeds. If the car’s momentum stops or starts abruptly—like when it hits (or is hit by) something heavy or anchored—things inside the car (including a human body) continue moving forward until they collide with an airbag, dashboard, windshield, etc.

The force of impact in a car accident can cause back injuries. So can whiplash caused by the safety device intended to keep your body in motion from crashing into the windshield: your seatbelt. In this case, the forward-moving body is suddenly stopped and jerked back. (Most of the time, people think about a neck injury in conjunction with whiplash, but chronic back pain in a car accident can be related to whiplash as well.)

RELATED: How to Prove You Have Whiplash—and How a Lawyer Can Help

Common Back Injuries That Can Cause Chronic Pain After a Car Accident

When it comes to your pain after a car accident, there are a variety of possible back injuries you may have sustained. Some of the more common ones, and the injury symptoms, include:

  • Lumbar sprains and strains. Excessive physical force—such as the kind placed upon the body during car accidents—can cause muscles and connective tissues (tendons, ligaments) to stretch beyond their normal range. A strained back muscle or sprained tendon may become inflamed and lead to chronic pain in the lumbar region. You might also experience restricted movement with one of these soft tissue injuries. Fortunately, physical therapy can help restore movement and possibly even reduce the likelihood you will need surgery for your back injury.
  • Herniated disc. A herniated disc is a common back injury that can happen for a variety of reasons, including motor vehicle crashes. The bones (lumbar vertebrae) in your spinal column are separated by gel-filled spinal discs. When you have a herniated disc, the gel-like material normally contained inside the spinal discs may come into contact with nerve tissue, which can be a source of severe pain.

RELATED: How Much Is a Fair Herniated Disc Settlement in Georgia?

  • Discogenic pain. If you have sharp, shooting pain in your lower back that worsens by sitting, standing, or bending over for short (or long) periods of time, it’s possible this injury is responsible. Discogenic pain develops when inflammation or other problems with a spinal disc irritate the nerves. In some cases, this radiating pain continues down to other areas, such as the groin, legs, or feet in a related condition known as sciatica. If the pain goes away or improves when you lie down, it’s even more likely this is what you are experiencing.
  • Spinal stenosis. The bone channel housing your spinal cord and nerves can become narrow due to a severe car accident. This happens when a bone fragment or ruptured disc slides into the spinal canal. You will likely have sharp, severe back pain from this injury because of the pressure applied to the nerves coming from the spinal column. Intense pain is a warning sign for nerve injury or damage.
  • Cauda equina syndrome. A rare and severe form of spinal stenosis, cauda equina syndrome is a condition where all the nerves in the lower back become compressed. Some symptoms are similar to sciatica, in that issues such as pain, weakness, and numbness may extend beyond the back into one or both legs. This can make it difficult to get up from chairs or stumble when you walk. Other symptoms include bladder problems, incontinence, and sexual dysfunction. If your accident has led to this condition, there is a significant chance you will need surgery.
  • Degenerative spinal disorder. This term generally refers to any of several potential conditions, including spinal osteoarthritis, degenerative scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis. While these conditions are commonly associated with spine tissues breaking down over time from natural aging, there can be an earlier onset caused by physical trauma, such as a car accident.

While this list covers several likely possibilities for your back pain after a car crash, it is certainly not exhaustive. And while we can point you in the right direction, it is always best (for both your health and your legal case) to seek diagnosis from your doctor or another licensed medical practitioner as soon as possible.

Besides receiving proper diagnosis, the simple fact of the matter is that you do not want back injuries to be left untreated. This is especially true if the car accident caused damage to any of your spinal nerves. Early intervention can potentially help you avoid permanent nerve damage. Plus, pain medication reduces suffering and physical therapy can play a role in helping you recover from back injuries.

The Next Steps After Medical Attention for Back Injuries From an Auto Accident

Once you’ve received medical attention and started pain management and a treatment plan, it’s time to see what your next steps are.

After the accident, ideally you should have exchanged insurance and contact information with the other driver, taken pictures of the scene, talked with the police, and gotten names and information from witnesses. You should also record the year, make, model, and license plate numbers for all vehicles involved in the crash.

It’s best to write down everything you can remember about the accident as soon as possible, while your memory is still fresh. And be sure to obtain a copy of the police report.

RELATED: What Information Do I Need After a Car Accident?

Along with documentation from the accident itself, you also should keep and compile all bills, doctor reports, and any other important documentation related to pain management, medical treatment, and physical therapy. Essentially, any money you pay for receiving medical attention should be documented and accounted for, which can help your case in seeking fair compensation.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Once you feel comfortable about having all the relevant information collected, it is time to start the insurance claim process for your lower back pain.

Depending on the type of insurance company you use and coverage you have, you need to file your claim by anywhere from 30 days to two years after the accident. To know what timeframe you are looking at, you may want to review your policy, go to the insurance company’s website, or call an agent. Regardless of how long you have, though, it’s best not to delay this unnecessarily. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years, and if you wait too long to get the ball rolling you may not have enough time to build a strong case.

You probably have a handful of options for how you want to file your claim. Most major companies have forms on their website, but you can also call, email, or possibly even use a mobile app.

When you file, you’ll be glad you kept all the information we previously covered. Your insurance company will ask for basic details and it’s better (and easier) to use those resources, instead of trying to rely solely on your memory.

Working With an Attorney Can Significantly Strengthen Your Case

If your adjuster asks for an estimate of damages, be careful. Committing to a specific number might make things challenging as you seek appropriate compensation, and especially if you could be entitled to future lost wages.

Keep in mind that it is difficult to put a value on pain and suffering, especially when this isn’t your area of expertise. Also, remember that the insurance company’s main goal is protecting profits—not claimants—and that the first settlement offer you receive is likely for less (often far less) than what you truly deserve.

Fortunately, it’s one where our experienced personal injury attorneys can really help you out.

RELATED: What Is a Fair Amount for Pain and Suffering in a Georgia Personal Injury Case?

Along with calculating your case’s value, we can obtain and analyze evidence, review forms from your insurance company, communicate with the other driver’s insurer, and negotiate on your behalf.

Insurance adjusters have a goal of spending as little of the insurance company’s money as possible. When you have a trusted personal injury attorney on your side, you stand a much better chance of receiving a maximum settlement amount than you might if you go at it alone.

A key difference in the two approaches is that your lawyer likely has considerably more experience in organizing and presenting evidence to prove damages and liabilities.

Another advantage to hiring an attorney when you have lower back pain from a car accident is for negotiation with any medical lien holders on your claim. Your lawyer can potentially reduce the amount of the lien needing to be paid back or perhaps even dispute the basis of a claimed lien.

In addition to negotiating with lien holders, your personal injury lawyer works to have medical lien costs factored into your compensation. When we are able to do that for you, it means you receive more of the full amount you’re entitled to.

Georgia personal injury lawyer
Georgia personal injury lawyer

Georgia Car Accident Attorneys Who Make You the Priority

When you are suffering from back pain following a car accident, you have a couple different options:

You can try handling the insurance claim on your own. If you want to take this route, we hope you have a clearer understanding now of everything you need to do. It’s worth noting that the DIY approach is more likely to succeed in minor cases where you weren’t hurt (or your back injuries were very mild) and you feel comfortable collecting and organizing necessary documents and evidence. More importantly, you feel confident going against the insurance company and their vast experience and resources in settlement negotiations.

You can hire a personal injury attorney. This choice makes sense if you’d prefer to be guided by a skilled legal professional. As we discussed earlier, personal injury lawyers can do a lot to assist you through the insurance claims process for back injuries, and are often able to secure higher settlements—in addition to alleviating your responsibility and stress. Of course, this becomes an essential choice if your case ultimately ends up in a court of law, where you need an experienced legal professional on your side.

You can hire The Brown Firm. While you certainly have many options for hiring a personal injury lawyer in Georgia after you’ve been in a car accident, we believe you would have a hard time finding a stronger fit. Our team has proven skill and experience handling cases where clients are hurt in car accidents and need legal assistance.

More than that, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of Harry Brown’s unique position as both an attorney and a chiropractor. His medical insight can be quite beneficial in helping to make your case with insurers or in court.

At The Brown Firm, we go above and beyond for you because you are our priority. Your healing, in every sense of the word (financially, physically, emotionally), is important to us. We want you to emerge from a tough situation and be in a position where you can live your best life. And our dedicated, experienced attorneys give you the opportunity to make that happen.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

back pain car accident injuries
back pain car accident injuries

Unparalleled Legal Service for You and Your Loved Ones

We know firsthand that both the law and physical health can be hard, complicated matters. When a car accident leads to a life-altering problem like lower back pain, you need someone in your corner to help you become whole again. Your attorney with The Brown Firm can be that someone.

Our team is here to answer any questions you might have. Even better, think about contacting us for a free consultation. Doing so gives you the opportunity to have your story heard by attorneys who know what steps need to be taken if you want to receive compensation that is fair to you.

Remember, our Savannah and Atlanta offices are always here for you if you need a personal injury attorney. If you’d like to give us a call, you can reach us at (800) 529-1441.

References

Alexander Orthopaedic Associates. (2021, February 22). Common Back Injuries From a Car Accident. Alexanderorthopaedics.com. Retrieved from https://alexanderorthopaedics.com/blog/common-back-injuries-from-a-car-accident/

Wheeler, T. (2020, January 26). Causes of Back Pain. Webmd.com. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/causes-back-pain

Stuart, A. (2020, November 18). Cauda Equina Syndrome Overview. Webmd.com. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/cauda-equina-syndrome-overview#1

Ramsey Solutions. (2021, September 27). How to File an Insurance Claim: Everything You Need to Know. Ramseysolutions.com. Retrieved from https://www.ramseysolutions.com/insurance/how-to-file-an-insurance-claim

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

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You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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How Many Accidents Are Caused by Semi Trucks, and What Are the Common Causes?

Being involved in a commercial truck accident is not the same as being in a regular passenger vehicle accident. Not only do large truck crashes frequently cause more severe injuries than other kinds of motor vehicle accidents, but the resulting personal injury cases are often much more complex to handle, too. Tricky laws and regulations, multiple potentially liable parties, a significant amount of evidence to evaluate, and other factors can all add to the difficulty.

Many large truck accidents could be easily avoided. Unfortunately, drivers who aren’t alert and diligent behind the wheel of a massive vehicle can cause extensive damage. Just one reckless mistake can lead to a catastrophic or even fatal truck accident, and many truck accidents result from driver error on the part of the truck driver, or negligent practices on the part of the trucking company.

This article will provide some statistics on semi-truck accidents and explore what often leads to those numbers. We’ll also outline how a personal injury attorney can help injured people in Georgia pursue the compensation they deserve after being injured by a semi-truck.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

How Many Accidents Are Caused by Semi-Trucks Each Year?

Large truck crashes have been on the rise in Georgia and the nation in recent years. In 2019, our state was ranked fourth in the country for number of fatal crashes involving commercial trucks, trailing only Texas, California, and Florida.

Of the approximately 510,000 big truck crashes in 2019 in the United States, about 118,000 resulted in injury and 5,000 resulted in death. In Georgia, there were 195 fatal truck accidents resulting in 204 deaths, and the vast majority of the victims (173 out of 204, or 85%) were occupants of other passenger vehicles or pedestrians.

As a motorist, you can do little about the behavior of semi-truck drivers. Still, knowing the common causes and what to look for can help you better understand your case.

what causes truck accidents
what causes truck accidents

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

While any crash involving a big truck is likely to be more damaging than a crash with smaller vehicles, many of these fatalities and other catastrophes are caused by negligence or even recklessness on the part of the driver, their employer, or another entity involved with the truck itself.

Fatigue

Despite strict rules regulating how long drivers are permitted to drive without rest, many drivers do not follow them, often due to pressure from their employers. Driving while fatigued is sometimes because trucking companies demand delivery of goods within a certain time frame. Those deadlines may not be possible to meet without driving for extended periods without rest.

With poor or too little sleep throughout their journey, truckers can lose concentration and coordination while driving. In some cases, the driver may even fall asleep at the wheel.

Evidence of a truck driver being fatigued at the time of an accident isn’t the easiest thing to collect. However, working with a personal injury attorney means you have someone who knows where to look, such as driver logbooks and dash cam recordings. These are often complex and time-sensitive materials, and your lawyer will know how to navigate that system and make sure the evidence is preserved before it can be destroyed by the trucking company.

Speeding

Because trucking companies often require drivers to reach specific destinations within a specified time frame, many drivers end up speeding to reach their location on time.

When a commercial driver speeds, they put themselves and other drivers in grave danger. If a standard motor vehicle is hit by a semi-truck going at high speed, the result can be fatal.

A commercial truck’s sheer size (30,000 to 80,000 pounds) makes it that much harder to slow down or abruptly stop if needed. If a driver is trying to avoid an accident while speeding, even if their reflexes are sharp, the stopping distance may still be too long. The driver may end up veering into another lane or not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident.

Lawyers often work with expert accident reconstructionist to determine factors such as speed, another complexity that would be a lot to handle as an injured person.  

Substance Abuse

Some truck drivers turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the demands of their job. While some only take these substances off duty, others abuse them while operating a commercial vehicle.

If a driver is impaired while driving, it’s all too easy for an accident to occur. When a driver’s full attention is not focused on the road, an accident can occur, causing harsh injuries and damages. Causing an accident while impaired will often lead to a criminal offense, loss of commercial driver’s license, job loss, and possible jail time.

Anyone injured by a truck driver under the influence should pursue compensation. The help of an experienced personal injury attorney increases your chance of getting the entirety of the money you deserve.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Commercial truck drivers often drive hundreds of miles each day, so truck owners are required to make sure their vehicles are in top-notch condition before their drivers hit the road. Vehicle maintenance is sometimes overlooked due to the cost involved and the time it takes to maintain the trucks properly.

Poorly maintained trucks are a huge reason for commercial trucking accidents. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Maintenance Errors: Improper vehicle maintenance can lead to an accident that can be blamed on the truck owner, trucking company, or maintenance company (and not necessarily the driver).
  • Design Defects: If a truck was not properly designed or has poor parts installed, such as failing brakes or tires, the chances of an accident are greater. The designers and manufacturers may be held liable if an accident occurs.
  • Cargo Issues: There are several ways that cargo issues can cause an accident. The cargo might be dangerous or mislabeled, leading to a hazardous spill or explosion. Cargo may have been loaded improperly: incorrect weight distribution can cause a rollover accident.

Bad Weather

Bad weather conditions such as excess rain, heavy snowfall, ice, or fog can impact one’s ability to drive safely, especially considering the above factors. Due to the heavy weight and slow stopping speeds of semi-trucks, it’s easy for a driver to cause an accident during inclement weather.

Driving at an appropriate speed for all weather conditions and braking properly to avoid skidding, jackknifing, and hydroplaning is essential for all truck drivers. Those who are not properly trained to drive during bad weather conditions should pull off to the side of the road to wait out the storm. Avoiding an accident is much more important than risking lives.

RELATED: The Most Common Types of Truck Accident Cases

how many accidents are caused by semi trucks
how many accidents are caused by semi trucks

How Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help People Injured in Passenger Vehicles

Pursuing a case against a or their employer is different than making a claim against non-commercial motorists in passenger vehicles.

Trucking companies are fully aware of their potential liability when it comes to truck accidents. That’s why they typically carry massive insurance policies—but also why they and their insurance companies fight so hard to keep their costs as low as possible.

For most people injured by semi-trucks, taking this on alone is going to be overwhelming, especially while healing physically, mentally, and emotionally. Lawyers bring not only their knowledge and experience, but a network of legal, medical, and traffic experts who work together to build your case.

RELATED: Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi-Truck?

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

how many accidents are caused by semi trucks
how many accidents are caused by semi trucks

What to Do if You Were Involved in a Commercial Semi Truck Accident

If you were involved in a commercial truck accident caused by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, it’s important to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for legal help as soon as possible. Since truck accidents are often extraordinarily complex, it’s crucial to have legal help so the other party’s insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.

The Brown Firm has a team of highly trained and skilled truck accident lawyers who specialize in helping the injured receive the compensation they deserve. Seeking the help of an attorney as quickly as possible will provide you with the best chance at protecting your legal rights.

Often in a truck accident case, multiple parties can be held responsible for the accident. Even if the truck driver did nothing wrong, the trucking company, manufacturer, cargo loader, or other organization may be liable, and responsible to compensate you for your losses.

At The Brown Firm, our attorneys provide free consultations to truck accident victims. Our goal is to help each client receive the benefits they deserve for pain and suffering caused by another’s negligent behavior.

If you or your loved one were hurt in a semi-truck accident in Georgia or South Carolina, call (800) 529-1441 or use the easy contact form on our website to set up your free case evaluation today!

References

Large Trucks. (n.d.). NSC Injury Facts. Retrieved from https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/road-users/large-trucks/

National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2021, May). Large trucks: 2019 data. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813110

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

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You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

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Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?

Although there’s no such thing as a safe car accident, T-bone collisions (also known as side-impact collisions) are especially dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 around 31% of multi-car collisions involved an angled impact with the front of one car driving into the side of the other car. However, these same angled-impact collisions account for 46% of the fatalities. And even for those who are fortunate enough to survive, severe injuries such as broken bones, internal injuries, and spinal cord injuries are common.

If you’ve been injured in a T-bone accident and someone else was responsible, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Unfortunately, proving that the other driver was at fault in a side-impact collision can be challenging and frustrating, and often requires strong supporting evidence.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how fault is determined in T-bone car accidents, and what you can do to maximize your chances of getting a fair recovery.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

How Fault is Determined in T-Bone Car Accidents

Fault in a car accident is based on the legal concept of negligence. In order for a driver to be held at fault and pay damages, the following three conditions must be met:

  • The driver owed a duty of care to the person who was hurt. This condition is usually not in question—all drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of others on or around the roadway.
  • The driver breached that duty of care. In other words, the driver should have known better and did not take the appropriate steps to prevent the accident. For example, if the drive blows a stop sign or traffic light, pulls out in front of traffic, or commits any other traffic violation due to being distracted, drunk, or simply reckless, they clearly breached their duty of care. On the other hand, if the crash occurred because of an unexpected vehicle failure (faulty brakes, exploded tire, etc.) the driver may not be held responsible.
  • The accident resulted injuries or other damages. You can’t seek compensation against a person who didn’t actually injure you, even if they were driving at 100 mph and missed your car by an inch.

RELATED POST: How Fault and Liability Is Determined In A Car Accident

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

The vast majority of T-bone accidents occur at intersections, as this is the only place where you’d normally find cars travelling perpendicular to one another before a collision.

Some common scenarios include:

  • A vehicle blowing through a red light and striking a vehicle legally proceeding through the intersection.
  • A driver making a left turn directly in front of oncoming traffic.
  • A driver pulling out of a side street or driveway without making sure that the main road was clear of traffic.

As you may note, depending on the context, in some cases the driver who T-boned the other car is responsible, while in others the driver who was T-boned is responsible. This is unlike rear-end collisions, where the trailing car is at fault the vast majority of the time.

Quite often in T-bone accident cases, factors such as drugs, alcohol, and distracted driving (such as texting while driving) are a factor.

Who Can Be at Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

One of the tricky things about determining fault in T-bone accidents is that, depending on the context, either driver might be the one responsible. On top of that, sometimes both drivers share some degree of responsibility, while in rare cases other third parties might be at least partially to blame.

Here are just a few possibilities for who might be at fault:

  • One or both drivers involved in the collision. Again, most T-bone accidents occur at intersections, and in most cases only one driver will be held responsible. However, in some cases both drivers may share blame if both were negligent. For example, it may be determined that while one driver was speeding the other driver also failed to make sure the way was clear before proceeding through the intersection.
  • A vehicle or other equipment manufacturer. Perhaps you intended to stop, but your brakes failed—even though you properly maintain your vehicle and had no reason to suspect any problems. Or maybe your seatbelt failed, or your airbag didn’t deploy, and your injuries were substantially worse as a result. In such cases, the car manufacturer may be held responsible for faulty and unsafe equipment.
  • A third driver not involved in the collision. In rare cases, another driver may begin a chain of events that result in a side-impact collision. For example, imagine that a car in front of you performed an illegal or reckless maneuver, such as turning left into your lane of travel. You were then forced to swerve to avoid a collision, which caused a third car to strike yours. In this scenario, the driver of the first car could be at least partially at fault even if they didn’t hit anyone.

What Happens If Multiple Parties Are at Fault? Can I Still Recover Compensation If I’m Partially to Blame?

That depends on what state the accident took place in. Both Georgia and South Carolina use a system known as modified comparative negligence to determine who can receive compensation from a T-bone car accident case, and how much.

The basic rule is that the damages you’re claiming will be reduced by your share of the fault. So, to use a simple example, if you’re claiming $1 million in damages but a court finds you to be 25% at fault, you will only receive $750,000 (that is, $1 million minus 25%).

However, if your share of the fault is too high, you are prohibited from recovering anything. In Georgia, you cannot receive any compensation if you are at least 50% at fault. In South Carolina, you must be more than 50% at fault to barred from compensation.

The main difference here is what happens if fault splits 50-50. In South Carolina, both parties can recover half their damages. In Georgia, both parties walk away with nothing.

who is at fault in a car accident t bone
who is at fault in a car accident t bone

Proving the Other Driver’s Fault in a T-Bone Collision Can Be Very Challenging

It may be completely obvious to you that the other driver was the primary cause of the T-bone accident. But that’s no guarantee that the other driver (or their insurance company) will see it that way or admit to any culpability.

Again, with most T-bone accidents, the root cause is that the driver who was supposed to yield to the other vehicle at an intersection failed to do so. Usually, that’s because someone was speeding, driving distracted, driving under the influence, or failed to property stop at a stop sign or red light.

But if, for example, there were no eyewitnesses, the driver of the other vehicle may try to pin the blame on you. They may outright lie and say they were the ones with a green light. And if you don’t have strong evidence to back up your side of the story, they may well get away with it.

And in fairness, the other driver doesn’t have to be knowingly lying, either. Car accidents are traumatic experiences for everyone involved. They may simply remember the crash differently than you do. That’s another reason why proving fault can be such a challenge.

So, if you think you can sit back and trust that your good word and the official police report will be enough to carry the day in court, think again.

How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Prove Fault in a T-Bone Accident

A skilled and experienced car accident attorney will have a variety of tactics at their disposal to investigate the case and uncover the truth about what happened. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Making every possible effort to contact any eyewitnesses and get their statements.
  • Identifying and obtaining any surveillance tapes that might be available, such as nearby security cameras or dashcam footage, as quickly as possible (before the footage is erased).
  • Working with a traffic accident reconstructionist to piece together the most likely cause of the crash, by observing debris patterns, skid marks on the road, photographs, and other available evidence.
  • Picking carefully through conflicting statements and testimony for weaknesses in the other driver’s version of events.
  • Aggressively investigating whether other third parties (such as a car manufacturer who built a faulty seatbelt, or a bar that knowingly overserved a drunk driver) could be liable as well.

Your car accident lawyer can also help you avoid falling into traps that the insurance adjuster might set for you, such as getting you to make a statement on the record that could be used against you—for example, getting you to state that it’s possible you might share some of the fault, or that your symptoms might not be as bad as they seem.

Remember, the insurance company has been playing this game for a long time, and their goal is to get rid of your case as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Meanwhile, you’re just trying to get your life back together, and need to focus on your healing—not on fighting the insurer, on their terms, on their turf. They will not hesitate to take advantage of your situation and inexperience to get you to settle for a much smaller amount than you deserve—or deny your insurance claim entirely. That’s why you should always seek legal assistance.

How Much Should I Claim? Will My Case Go to Trial?

In addition to helping you determine fault in the accident, your attorney will also calculate how much your case is worth. Assessing the value of your damages can be difficult, as it often requires estimating future medical costs and lost wages, careful accounting of all your symptoms, and subjective evaluation of your pain and suffering. However, this is critically important work, as once you settle with the insurance company, you are unable to go back and ask for more later.

Once you and your attorney arrive at a number, you will make a demand for compensation. Sometimes the insurer will agree if the evidence is overwhelming, but often they will counteroffer to try to get you to take a lowball settlement.

If the two sides can’t come to a fair agreement, then you may have to file a lawsuit. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your case will end up at trial. The two sides can still negotiate all the way up to the trial date, and most cases do eventually settle before then.

However, it’s still important to hire an attorney with trial experience, as this shows the insurance company that you’re not afraid to fight for what’s fair and discourages them from making bad faith settlement offers.

RELATED POST: Should I Take the First Settlement Offer in My Injury Case?

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

who is at fault in a car accident t bone
who is at fault in a car accident t bone

Injured in a T-Bone or Side-Impact Accident? Call The Brown Firm Today

Led by personal injury lawyer Harry Brown, our aggressive legal team works hard every day to hold at-fault drivers and their insurance providers accountable for the serious pain and damage they cause, and to get our clients the fair compensation they deserve.

The sooner you contact an attorney after your T-bone car crash, the better your chances of maximizing your recovery. So don’t take the risk—contact The Brown Firm today to request your free consultation. You can reach us at (912) 324-2498 or completing our simple online form.

References

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data (Table 29: Crashes, by First Harmful Event, Manner of Collision, and Crash Severity, 2019). Retrieved from https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/tsftables/tsfar.htm

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild. We serve all of Georgia and South Carolina from four conveniently located offices in Savannah, Atlanta, Athens, and Okatie.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (912) 324-2498 or completing our simple online form.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Is Texting and Driving Illegal in Georgia?

You have a strong feeling that the person who caused your car accident was texting while they were driving. If this is true, it can certainly help any legal case you choose to pursue and boost your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries.

Of course, proving another driver was texting, and that the texting caused your injuries and other losses, can get complicated. What do you have to do first to ensure that your traffic accident case is handled properly?

This article outlines what Georgia law says about texting and driving, how dangerous distracted driving can be, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.   

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Georgia Distracted Driving Law and a Driver’s Wireless or Stand-Alone Electronic Device

The short answer is yes — texting and driving is illegal. But what that means for your case is a bit more complicated.

Cell phone use behind the wheel is a form of distracted driving, and distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents in the United States. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, 56% of motor vehicle crashes involved a confirmed or suspected distracted driver in 2019.   

For example, texting while driving can take someone’s eyes off the road for five seconds. If the car is moving at 55 miles per hour, it will travel the length of a football field in that time. That’s plenty of time, space, and speed to make for a catastrophic accident.   

While drivers can be distracted by anything, from the controls on the dashboard to a billboard on the side of the road, electronic devices (often called a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device) are among the most dangerous—and also the easiest to avoid. Further, their use is easier for experts to investigate than many other distractions, thanks to electronic records.

What Does the Law Say?

According to Georgia distracted driving law, it is illegal to:

  • Use one’s body to hold or support a cellphone, global positioning system receiver (GPS), or other electronic device used to search, send, or receive messages or internet data while operating a vehicle.
  • Write, send, or receive text-based data, such as text messages, email, or instant messages, on a wireless or stand-alone electronic device while operating a vehicle.

Drivers may use hands-free devices while driving. This includes voice-operated technology using speaker features or earpieces.

These distracted driving rules apply to all Georgia drivers. Commercial drivers, such as those making deliveries or hauling cargo in a semi-truck, must follow additional restrictions:

  • Voice communication technology may not use more than one button to start or end the call.
  • The driver must be able to remain in a properly seated driving position and belted when accessing and operating any communication technology.

Distracted driving laws do not apply as usual when a driver is reporting an accident or other roadway emergency. They also don’t apply to police officers, firefighters, and other first responders performing official duties.     

is texting and driving illegal in georgia
is texting and driving illegal in georgia

Proving Another Driver was Texting During a Motor Vehicle Crash

Despite the existence of electronic records, proving an at-fault driver was texting at the time of the accident is not easy.

The report of a law enforcement officer may contain helpful information, though officers don’t always know if a driver was texting at the time of the crash (and drivers aren’t always eager to share that information even when asked).

Obtaining cell phone records, including time and kind of use, often requires jumping through a hoop or two, such as issuing a subpoena (a demand for evidence) or warrant.

Another challenge is the passage of time. Cell phone companies keep records, but not forever. The longer it’s been since the accident, the more buried the relevant records might become. If it’s been years, the data may no longer exist.

Beyond any hard evidence, the at-fault driver may come up with any number of excuses or justifications for why they were using a cell phone while driving.

Going up against all of this on your own is challenging, especially if you’re healing from serious injuries.

Can You Sue if You’re Injured in a Car Accident Caused by Texting and Distracted Driving?

Any motor vehicle crash that was the fault of another individual and caused by their negligent actions (including distracted driving) can result in a lawsuit. You should never bear the burden of the damages and medical bills you incurred due to someone else’s reckless actions behind the wheel. 

If someone chooses to text and drive and injures you or a family member, it is their financial responsibility to make sure your medical bills, treatments, lost income, and other damages are taken care of.

However, at-fault drivers and their insurance companies will often try to dodge this responsibility, leaving injured people in financial and physical turmoil. If initial negotiations break down, a lawsuit is usually the next step.

That is where a premier law firm comes in to help. Hiring the right personal injury attorney can make all the difference in a distracted driving car accident case.

Your lawyer will gather evidence, fight for your legal rights, and do all they can to secure the compensation you need if you were injured in a texting and driving accident. 

RELATED: How Do You Recognize a Distracted Driver? (and What Should You Do if You’re Hit by One?)

ga texting and driving law
is texting and driving illegal in georgia

The Brown Firm Holds Those Who Text and Drive Responsible

At The Brown Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the injured. Those who endanger others by texting behind the wheel must be held responsible, and we have the experience to make that happen.

At your free initial consultation, we’ll listen to your story and figure out the best plan forward. To schedule yours today, call (800) 529-1441 or use the easy contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you!  

References

Georgia traffic safety facts: distracted driving. (2021, May). Shepherd Center. Retrieved from https://www.shepherd.org/docs/Injury%20Prevention/2019-distracted-driving-georgia-traffic-safety-facts.pdf

GA Code § 40-6-241 (2020)

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

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Dash Cam Footage Helps Secure Maximum Settlement for Our Client

On an otherwise normal day in July, Mark’s entire life was turned upside down when a distracted driver violently rear-ended his SUV, pushing it right off the road and into a tree.

Mark’s following months came with significant pain, numerous treatments, and plenty of lost income. To top it off, the insurance company wasn’t offering anything close to a fair settlement—at least not until The Brown Firm presented them with footage of the incident and made them understand what they’d be faced with if the case got to trial.

Keep reading to hear Mark’s story, understand his road to recovery, and learn how The Brown Firm helped him get the compensation he deserved.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Mark Is Pushed Off the Road and Into the Trees

Late one summer morning, Mark was driving along May River Road in his SUV. As a drywaller, he carried ladders and equipment in his vehicle, and was perhaps looking forward to a lunch break soon.

As Mark slowed down with traffic to make a left turn, he was suddenly and violently hit from behind. The impact caused Mark to lose control of his vehicle, fly off the left side of the road, run into a tree, and finally stop at the tree line.

Fortunately, Mark was conscious and able to move. But between the car crash itself and the run-in with the trees, his car was so crushed that he couldn’t get out of the driver’s side. Instead, he crawled out a passenger door and into someone’s yard.

Dash Cam Footage Helps Secure Maximum Settlement
Dash Cam Footage Helps Client

Months of Recovery and Missed Income

Mark was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he recalled being rear ended and crawling out the passenger side of his car, but nothing in between. He did remember a ladder hitting the back of his head after the initial impact.

Ultimately, Mark suffered a concussion as well as injuries to his back and knee. Within a few days, he also developed terrible abdominal pain and went back to the hospital, where he received injections for pain management. In addition, Mark sought chiropractic treatment for pain and decreased range of motion in his neck and shoulder.

Months later, and after countless injections, medications, and other treatments, Mark reached his maximum medical improvement (MMI). While he’d seen significant improvement in his comfort and mobility, his medical bills were adding up and the lost income during recovery made everything more difficult.

It was undeniable that none of this was Mark’s fault. It was time to demand a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

The Insurance Company Offers an Insultingly Low Settlement

Liability was clear in Mark’s claim. Not only did the other driver plow into Mark’s car, but the absence of skid marks on the road indicated that the other driver didn’t even try to stop. This suggests distracted driving. The responding officers questioned her multiple times about drug or alcohol use, though the causes of her distraction turned out to be fatigue, fumbling with a face mask, and using an electronic device.

We filed claims with the at-fault driver’s two relevant insurance policies. Mark easily recovered the maximum amount from one, but the other was more challenging. The insurance company offered only a fraction of what we demanded, and what Mark needed to get back on his feet after the medical bills and missed work.

The Brown Firm Uses Dash Cam Footage to Demand a Fair Settlement

The team at The Brown Firm knew it was time to get serious for Mark. We asked for dash cam footage from the police officer who responded to the accident.

This footage did not show the at-fault driver in a flattering light, to say the least. It showed her declining a nystagmus test (which officers sometimes use if they suspect DUI), claiming she could not take it due to legal blindness in one eye. It also revealed her admitting to her fatigue and distraction, as well as the officer’s comments about the lack of skid marks and frequent questions about whether she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

We reminded the insurance company that this and the other evidence we’d collected would create quite an ordeal for the at-fault driver should the case go to court. We also stressed how difficult the accident and recovery had been for Mark, and that the courts would likely agree with our assessment.

In the end, the insurance company finally gave in and Mark recovered the maximum compensation from that second insurance policy as well. His case didn’t have to go to trial, and he was able to focus on rebuilding his life.

RELATED: Insurance Company Plays Blame Even After Their Own Driver Admits Blame: Khadija’s Story

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

The Brown Firm Protects the Injured in South Carolina and Georgia

The Brown Firm is honored to protect the injured in Georgia and South Carolina. Our team of personal injury lawyers is experienced with a range of car accident types and injuries and approaches every case with compassion and skill. Better yet, Harry Brown was a practicing chiropractor before becoming a lawyer, and understands neck and spinal injuries in a way most attorneys can’t.

You can schedule your free initial consultation today when you call (800) 529-1441 or complete the simple contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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How Long Can I Sue After a Car Accident in Georgia?

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is almost always frustrating, exhausting, and overwhelming. In those first few days or even weeks after the accident occurred, hiring a personal injury lawyer or filing a lawsuit might not necessarily be the first thing on your mind.

But if you or a loved one are now weighed down by injuries and financial strain, struggling to pay for medical bills, not to mention daily living expenses, you need to start thinking about seeking fair compensation.

And you need to do it sooner rather than later, because you won’t have the opportunity to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit forever. Georgia has a strict personal injury statute of limitations, and the insurance company isn’t going to politely let you know when you’re running down the clock. If you miss the deadline, you permanently lose your right to sue under Georgia law. And if you delay too long, you may not have enough time to build a strong case before it’s too late.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is the Georgia Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

So, how long do you have after an accident to sue the at-fault driver? The broad answer is: It depends.

The “statute of limitations” is the legal term to describe the amount of time following a personal injury when you can file a lawsuit. The type of personal injury can also impact the amount of time you have to file, and it varies from state to state.

It is critical that you research the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in your state. If you do not take legal action within this time limit, your ability to sue will be forever lost.

For example, the Georgia personal injury statute of limitations is two years. Those who live in South Carolina, however, get three years to file most kinds of personal injury lawsuits. On the other hand, if you live in Tennessee, you only get one.

Exceptions to the statute of limitations for personal injury cases

Exceptions can, on very rare occasions, extend the statute of limitations. Some exceptions that may apply are:

  • For a minor child or mentally incapacitated victim
  • In the case of fraud
  • With the “discovery of harm” rule

Essentially, the discovery of harm rule states that the time frame you are given to file a lawsuit technically begins when you could discover and be aware that you have been harmed. It should be noted and understood that car accident personal injury cases do not typically fall under the discovery of harm exception, because you would have easily been aware of the damage and accident the day of the car crash.

The discovery of harm rule is most commonly applied in medical malpractice claims, as an individual may not experience negative symptoms until well after the day of their medical appointment or surgery.

These exceptions are rare and you should always contact The Brown Firm for a free consultation to find out if your claim qualifies for any extension.

Georgia statute of limitations personal injury
Georgia statute of limitations personal injury

Preparing to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

On the scene of an accident, you probably won’t know if your case will have to be litigated, but it is smart to prepare just in case. There are several things you can do to prepare yourself in the event you need to file a lawsuit.

1. Make Sure You Document Everything

You never want your personal injury case to turn into a “he said, she said” argument. You want to control as much as possible and present the facts as clearly as you can. If it comes down to the insurance companies and their adjusters, they will try to use vagueness against you to pay you a lower settlement.

Everything comes down to evidence. The more evidence collected in your favor, the better your settlement will be.

You’ll want to do the following to ensure you are providing significant evidence:

  • Take photos of your car and areas of damage. Capturing every detail on camera is important.
  • Collect witness statements that reinforce your stance that the other driver is at fault. Also, take witness names, addresses, and ask for copies of any pictures that were captured of the accident scene.
  • Always obtain a police report at the site of your accident. While police reports may be described as mostly an opinion, having the other driver appear as the guilty party in the police report could substantially assist your case.
  • Gather information from the other party. This can include name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
  • Seek medical treatment. If you plan to include injuries, pain, and suffering into your case you will need proper medical documentation.

Remember: The more evidence you gather, the stronger your case will be.

Georgia statute of limitations personal injury
Georgia statute of limitations personal injury

2. Call a Personal Injury Attorney

Whether you are still early in settlement negotiations the insurance companies or decide to sue, it is always best to have an accident injury lawyer on your side.

Lawyers understand the law and all of the intricacies that surround it. You don’t want to risk your settlement due to uncertainty. Besides having a better grasp of the law, lawyers have experience and training on how to use the evidence to coherently support your case.

Often individuals in car accidents will avoid contacting a personal injury attorney for fear of the expense.

However, many lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means your lawyer will only be paid if you win your case.

This creates a low-risk environment for the injured party and encourages the attorney to work tirelessly to win the case and earn you the highest financial compensation.

Request your free consultation with The Brown Firm to discuss your accident and the claims you might need to make. Our experienced team of attorneys will review your unique case with your health and financial needs in mind.

3. Deciding the Next Steps

Now that you have collected the necessary evidence and have consulted with a personal injury attorney, you should look at the facts and decide whether or not the best decision is to sue.

Work with your attorney to estimate the true value of your personal injury claim, considering all your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other recoverable damages. Almost always, the insurance company’s first settlement offer will be nowhere close to fair. But if after a few rounds of back-and-forth negotiations they still aren’t offering a reasonable settlement, your best choice may be to sue.

Remember, insurance companies are trying to end cases quickly and for the least amount of money possible. Even your own insurance company representing you doesn’t necessarily have your best financial interest at heart. When you hire an experienced trial attorney and demonstrate your willingness to file a lawsuit, you show the insurer that you’re serious about getting what you deserve.

Just because you sued doesn’t necessarily mean your case will go to trial. You can continue to negotiate with the insurer as the case proceeds, right up to the date of the trial. And because trials are risky and expensive—and because you’re now well represented—the insurance company should be much more motivated to offer a better deal.

RELATED POST: 4 Common Mistakes People Make With Insurance Companies

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Georgia statute of limitations personal injury
Georgia statute of limitations personal injury

Considering Your Legal Options? Contact The Brown Firm Today

Harry Brown and his team of attorneys can help you weigh your options and decide if pursuing a lawsuit is the right decision for you. We represent clients at all stages of the Georgia personal injury claims process. Whether you were injured in car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other personal injury scenario, our team may be able to help.

It’s never too early to contact an attorney. Although there’s a two-year window to sue, it takes time to build a strong legal case—and there may be time-sensitive information or important evidence that can be lost or destroyed if not gathered soon after the accident. Don’t wait until the filing deadline is just a few months away to take this important step.

Even if you’re not sure whether or not you have a fighting chance, give us a call to discuss it! Our consultations are always free, and you owe no legal fees unless we win your case. You can reach The Brown Firm at (800) 529-1441 or by completing our simple online contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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What to Do When You Encounter Georgia’s Worst Drivers

Do you often hear complaints about the drivers in your city or state being the worst in the nation? Depending on where you are, you might be right.

In 2020, Georgia had more than 600,000 car accident-related injuries. Broken down, that means more than 70 people were injured every hour in the state—an alarming increase from previous years. Further, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in Georgia for adults and children.

This article will explore what makes certain drivers higher risk than others, and what to do if you’ve encountered one of them. We’ll also outline how an experienced car accident attorney can help.  

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Who Are Georgia’s Most At-Risk Drivers?

Every driver has at least one anecdote about someone else who caused trouble on the road. But those experiences don’t necessarily tell us which kinds of drivers actually pose the biggest risk to the rest of us.

The most dangerous drivers may be defined by a range of factors, including behavior, age, and the preventive measures they take.  

Distracted Driving, From Road Signs to Google Searches

Drivers face numerous distractions on the road, and driving distracted is one of the leading causes of accidents across the country—Georgia very much included.

Some distractions are unavoidable, while others are a choice. For example, drivers often take their eyes off the road to read an important sign about directions or construction. While this is distracting, it’s more understandable than trying to reach something in the back seat or respond to a text.

Avoidable or not, frequently distracted drivers are far more likely to cause an accident.

Uninsured Drivers

Being uninsured does not necessarily make a driver more likely to cause an accident, but uninsured drivers certainly pose a bigger risk for injured people in need of financial compensation.

As an at-fault state, Georgia holds drivers who cause accidents liable for the damage and injuries they cause. If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligent or reckless driving, you have the right to demand compensation from their insurance company. If they don’t have insurance, you may or may not have other options; it hinges greatly on your own insurance.

We strongly urge all drivers to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of their own auto insurance policy. This helps protect you in cases where an at-fault driver is uninsured or doesn’t have enough liability coverage to fairly compensate you for your injuries and damages.

Behavior Leading to DUI Arrests

Drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs greatly increase their chances of causing an accident. Further, some studies show that people with previous DUIs (driving under the influence) are more likely to repeat their offense.  

Whether they get caught or not, people who drive drunk or on drugs are a significant threat to everyone else on the road.

People in Their 20s

Teenage and senior drivers are typically assumed to be a higher risk on the road. However, according to the data, people in their 20s are the most dangerous drivers.

Suggestions for why this might be the case include people in this age group being new to drinking alcohol and staying out late in bars, as well as living away from home for the first time and learning to balance freedom and responsibility.   

RELATED: What to Do When It’s Word Against Word in a Car Crash

worst drivers
worst drivers

Options if You Were Injured by a High-Risk Driver

As mentioned, Georgia is an at-fault state. If you’re in an auto accident (as a motorist or pedestrian) caused by someone else’s negligence and living with injuries that negatively impact your life, you have the right to pursue financial compensation.

Understand that simply being in a high-risk category of drivers does not increase the at-fault party’s liability.

For example, while driving without insurance is not wise, it does not make one more likely to run a red light. Likewise, simply being 24 should not count against someone in a court case.  

On the other hand, driving under the influence of alcohol and texting while driving are deliberate acts that qualified drivers know are dangerous.

After any car accident, keep the following in mind:

  • Take pictures of injuries and damage and record your memories of what exactly happened. These details can help determine whether the at-fault driver was distracted or intoxicated at the time.
  • If the other driver is uninsured or has too little coverage, check your own policy for injury protection and UI/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage). By law, insurance companies in Georgia are required to offer you UI/UIM coverage when you buy your policy, so many people don’t even realize they have it. However, it is possible (although never advisable) to decline this coverage in writing.
  • Whatever the details of your claim, do not speak to the at-fault driver’s insurance company without consulting with an attorney first, or accept their first settlement offer. Their job is to close the claim as quickly and cheaply as possible, not to give you the compensation you deserve.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Experienced car accident attorneys understand Georgia law and how it applies to your case. They are used to talking to the insurance companies and know how to demonstrate that the other driver is responsible for how your life has changed. Never try to go it alone.

RELATED: How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

driving in georgia
driving in georgia

The Brown Firm Protects Those Injured by Georgia’s Worst Drivers

Nothing is more frustrating than knowing your life was changed because of another person’s bad decision. If you’re ready to talk to someone who will listen with compassion and help you make a plan, it’s time to call The Brown Firm. Our legal team has decades of experience fighting for those injured in Georgia car crashes and is here to listen to you.

To set up your free initial consultation today, call (800) 529-1441 or use the simple contact form on our website. We look forward to speaking with you!

References

Kasperowicz, L. (2021, Dec. 16). What age group has the most fatal crashes? (No. 1 will surprise you) AutoInsurance.org. Retrieved from https://www.autoinsurance.org/age-groups-fatal-crashes/#36  

Motor vehicle crashes. (n.d.). Georgia Department of Public Health. Retrieved from https://dph.georgia.gov/health-topics/injury-prevention-program/cdc-core/motor-vehicle-crashes

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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