I-285 is a busy interstate highway in Atlanta that many cars and tractor-trailers traverse every day. This high traffic volume increases the likelihood of severe accidents and injuries.
Most highway traffic accidents occur when people drive carelessly and negligently under the circumstances. They might fail to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, fail to use their turn signals, or drive in a distracted manner.
If you sustained injuries in a traffic accident on I-285 in Atlanta, immediately get medical attention. Then talk with an experienced car accident attorney in your area.
An experienced attorney can speak with you about your highway accident, how it occurred, and your injuries. Your attorney can then pursue a personal injury claim for monetary damages or, if necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
If your case must go to a discovery deposition, jury trial, or binding arbitration proceeding, your lawyer will be present to advocate for all of your legal interests. Your attorney will do everything they can to help you maximize your total monetary recovery so that you become whole again after your highway accident.
How Do Highway Accidents Happen?
Traffic accidents on I-285 typically happen when drivers fail to observe the road or engage in reckless and careless driving maneuvers. One common cause of interstate highway accidents is excessive speeding, especially around sharp turns and curves.
Drivers must adjust their speeds to the weather and traffic conditions. When they hurry to get ahead of other cars and trucks, they can cause accidents.
Highway accidents may also happen when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles, especially when switching lanes in traffic. Drivers must use their turn signals before changing lanes. Otherwise, they may cut other vehicles off in traffic.
In addition, highway drivers have to watch the road attentively at all times and look out for other vehicles. In some cases, drivers may become distracted with electronic devices in their cars, like tablets, GPS navigation systems, cell phones, or earbuds.
Loud music or adjusting the volume or station on their stereo systems can distract drivers. Other vehicle passengers may also distract a driver from observing the road. Distracted drivers can lose their focus, preventing them from driving safely.
Next, traffic accidents sometimes happen when drivers fail to utilize the safety devices in their vehicles, like their rearview mirrors, side view mirrors, and electronic cameras. For example, when drivers fail to adjust their mirrors before heading out on a trip, they might fail to notice an approaching vehicle and make an unsafe lane change on the highway, causing a severe accident.
Finally, some highway accidents result from intoxicated and drunk driving. Despite the many warnings people hear about drunk driving, some drivers still choose to drive after drinking too much.
Alcohol can slow down a driver's central nervous system, preventing it from functioning correctly. A drunk or drugged driver may experience nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision, preventing them from seeing other vehicles in time to avoid a crash. Alcohol may delay reaction times due to slowed reflexes. Consequently, drivers may not brake in time to avoid a crash.
If you suffered injuries in a highway accident on I-285 that resulted from one of these types of driver negligence, time is of the essence. Obtain medical treatment as quickly as possible and contact an experienced attorney to represent you.
Your lawyer can look into your accident circumstances and, if necessary, retain an accident reconstructionist to investigate your accident further. That individual may also serve as an expert witness in your case, such as during a discovery deposition or civil jury trial in court. Your lawyer can also file a claim and pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your injuries.
Highway Accident Injuries
Accident victims often stand to suffer severe injuries in a highway accident. This is because highway accidents typically occur at high speeds. Generally speaking, the more forceful a collision, the more serious the resulting accident and injuries.
Other factors that may affect an accident victim's injuries include:
- The accident victim's position in the vehicle.
- The number of vehicles involved in the crash.
- The accident victim's bodily movements in their car during the impact.
For example, if a driver's body moves from side to side or frontwards and backward during a crash, the accident victim may suffer a soft tissue injury, such as whiplash, to their neck and upper back. They might also sustain a traumatic brain injury, like a concussion, if they hit their head on the steering wheel or headrest during the crash.
Other possible injuries that accident victims may suffer include:
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis injuries
- Open cuts
- Rib fractures
- One or more broken bones
In some situations, a highway accident victim's injuries are permanent. Therefore, the accident victim may never fully recover from their injuries, and they suffer pain and other symptoms for the rest of their life. They may also need ongoing medical treatment, such as physical therapy or pain management, for an extended time.
To determine that an injury is permanent, you will need a qualified medical provider on board in your case. Moreover, that medical provider must be willing to state, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that your injury or injuries are permanent. The medical provider can also draft a report or be an expert witness in your case.
While you focus on completing your medical treatment regimen and recovering from your injuries, your attorney can start working on the legal components of your personal injury claim. Specifically, they can gather important documents, like police reports and medical records, and assemble them into a settlement demand package.
After completing your medical treatment, your attorney can submit this demand package to the insurance company and pursue the monetary award you deserve to recover for your highway accident injuries.
Documents for Filing a Car Accident Claim
To file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company, your lawyer must submit various documents for the adjuster's review.
Those documents may include:
- Photographs of camera footage that showed the accident happening
- Reports that witnesses prepared
- Police report that details how the accident happened, who is at fault, and whether the at-fault driver received a citation.
- Medical records and medical bills for the treatment that the accident victim underwent
- Lost income documentation and tax returns, if the accident victim is claiming that they missed time from work due to their injuries
The insurance company adjuster handling the accident claim will review these documents and use them to place an initial settlement offer on the case. However, when that offer comes back low, your attorney can negotiate with the adjuster and work to secure a favorable settlement result in your case. Your lawyer can also threaten the insurance company with litigation if they refuse to compensate you fully and fairly for your accident-related injuries.
Legal Burden of Proof in a Highway Car Accident Claim
In a car accident claim or lawsuit, the injured accident victim must satisfy several legal elements.
First, they must establish that the highway driver who caused the accident deviated from the standard of care in some way. In other words, the other driver must have violated one or more traffic laws, engaged in distracted driving, or exhibited road rage while behind the wheel.
Next, you must show that the accident occurred as a direct result of the other driver's careless and reckless act. Finally, you must show that you sustained one or more physical injuries as a direct result of the accident.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney can prove the required legal elements in your case so that you recover monetary damages for your losses.
Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case
Highway accident victims can bring a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit in the court system, to recover various types of damages. Every accident case differs, and the amount of monetary compensation an accident victim recovers depends on the nature and extent of the accident victim's physical injuries and the cost of their medical treatment.
Possible compensation that an accident victim can recover in an interstate highway accident case includes:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of use of a specific body part
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Humiliation from visible scarring
A skilled car accident attorney can help you determine which damages you are eligible to recover in your claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also help you set realistic expectations for your case and the compensation you might receive, either through settlement or litigation.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a highway auto accident, the time to act is now. If you wait too long to seek legal representation for your injuries, you might waive your legal right to the compensation you deserve.
Accident victims in Atlanta only have two years from their accident date to file a lawsuit and seek the monetary recovery they need. If the accident victim fails to file their lawsuit on time, they forever waive their right to recover financial compensation for their accident-related losses.
A skilled personal injury attorney in your case can file the necessary claim or lawsuit promptly and pursue the fair damages you deserve. Your lawyer can also represent you during all litigation proceedings in your case and aggressively fight for your right to the monetary recovery you need.