Traffic clogs Downtown Atlanta and the city's various highways, including I-285 and I-75. When traffic backs up suddenly, many drivers try to get ahead. However, in the process, they may cause a serious accident that leads to multiple injuries.
If you recently sustained injuries in a car accident that another driver caused, you may have legal options available to you. In addition to seeking continuous medical treatment for your injuries, you should contact a qualified car accident attorney in your area who can handle the legal aspects of your claim.
A lawyer can first investigate how your traffic accident happened and help you pursue a claim for monetary damages. Your lawyer can then negotiate with insurance company representatives for favorable settlement compensation.
If the insurance company does not offer you the fair compensation you deserve, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your case in court for a prompt and efficient resolution.
If your case must go to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing, your attorney can aggressively represent you, introduce evidence on your behalf, and help you secure the best possible result in your case.
How Car Accidents Happen in Busy Traffic
One common cause of traffic accidents is speeding, especially when drivers fail to consider weather and traffic conditions. When drivers speed excessively, they may be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a rear-end accident or other collision. Similarly, a driver who speeds may quickly lose control of their vehicle, causing multiple collisions in heavy traffic.
Traffic accidents may also happen when drivers do not yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times.
For example, if a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or red traffic light, and traffic conditions are heavy, they may negligently strike the side of a vehicle proceeding through a green light on an intersecting road. In some situations, the collision may cause the vehicle on the receiving end to roll over or spin around rapidly.
Other accidents happen when drivers exhibit road rage in heavy traffic conditions. Road rage is an unwarranted response to a roadway situation, usually when someone else is driving too slowly. An angry driver might resort to horn honking or exhibit other aggressive driving maneuvers, including speeding, tailgating, failing to use turn signals, and overzealously weaving in and out of heavy traffic. As a result of these aggressive maneuvers, a driver might negligently cause a car accident that leads to multiple injuries.
Additionally, some car accidents happen when drivers fail to use their mirrors and vehicle technology, including lane-change warnings, in heavy traffic. Drivers may also drive in a distracted manner by failing to watch the road attentively.
Instead of watching the road, a driver might listen to loud music in their vehicle, program a GPS navigation device, or text on a cellular phone or tablet while driving. Additionally, drivers may become distracted when vehicle passengers interrupt them or make a lot of noise.
When drivers turn their eyes away from the road or look down, they might fail to see an approaching vehicle in heavy traffic, causing an accident and injuries.
Finally, some car crashes happen when people drive in heavy traffic while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. When a driver is intoxicated, they often experience physical symptoms, including dizziness, limited concentration, and delayed reflexes. Consequently, they may not see a vehicle approaching and collide with the other car.
Similarly, drunk and drugged drivers often experience limited reaction time, which prevents them from stopping their vehicles before causing a crash.
If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle crash that resulted from another driver's negligence, combined with heavy traffic congestion, you should seek out the legal help that you need right away.
Your lawyer can file a claim and pursue the monetary damages you deserve by aggressively negotiating with insurance company representatives in your case.
Injuries That Frequently Result From Negligent Driving
When people drive negligently in heavy traffic, the chances are good that they will cause an accident with one or more other vehicles. The resulting injuries that an accident victim suffers will depend on the number of collisions that occur, the force of the collisions, and whether the accident victim's body strikes something inside their vehicle, like the dash, headrest, steering wheel, or window.
In general, the more collisions that happen, and the more forceful those collisions, the more severe the injuries that a driver or passenger will likely suffer in their accident.
For example, if a driver strikes their head on the headrest or steering wheel during an accident, they may suffer a traumatic head injury, such as a migraine or concussion. Similarly, a forceful collision may cause the accident victim's neck and back to move back and forth quickly, resulting in a soft tissue whiplash contusion.
Other possible injuries that accident victims may suffer include:
- Bone fractures
- Rib fractures
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord damage
- Full or partial paralysis
- Open cuts and lacerations
If you sustained any of these injuries in an accident, you should follow all of your medical treatment provider's recommendations. For example, if you have a primary care physician (PCP), you might need to consult with them as soon as possible. In addition, you may need to attend physical therapy appointments or medical appointments with a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor or neurologist.
By seeking ongoing medical treatment for your injuries, you help to ensure that you recover from your injuries as soon as possible. Similarly, you demonstrate to the insurance company that your injuries are both serious and deserve favorable monetary compensation as part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
While you focus on your treatment schedule, your lawyer can begin working for you and handling the legal components of your case, including gathering documents, investigating the circumstances of your accident, and preparing a settlement demand package to file on your behalf once you complete your medical treatment.
Proving a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit
As the accident victim in a car accident claim or lawsuit, you have the burden of proving all of the legal elements of your case.
Those elements include:
- Duty - Drivers must always drive in a reasonably safe, careful, and prudent manner. In addition, they must follow all traffic laws and regulations that are in effect at the time.
- Breach - Drivers breach their duty of care when they violate one or more traffic laws or drive while distracted – or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Causation - The accident victim must also establish that the car crash was both the actual and the foreseeable result of the other driver's negligent actions or inactions
- Damages - The accident victim must demonstrate that they suffered at least one physical injury due to the at-fault driver's negligence.
To satisfy these legal elements, your attorney can introduce favorable evidence in your case, including copies of your medical records, medical bills, and lost income documents.
In addition, your lawyer can retain one or more experts to testify at a deposition or jury trial in your case. Specifically, if the insurance company disputes fault or liability for your accident, your attorney can retain an accident reconstructionist to visit the accident scene, review police reports, and determine the cause of your accident.
Similarly, your lawyer can retain a qualified medical expert, such as a treating medical provider, to establish that you suffered a permanent injury and causally relate your injuries to the car crash.
Recovering Damages for Car Crash Injuries
The monetary damages that a car accident victim can recover in their case will depend upon several factors, including the severity of the accident victim's injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, the cost of their medical care, and the likely permanent effects of the accident on their overall life and well-being.
In general, the more serious an accident victim's injuries and limitations, the higher the monetary damages they can recover in their case. Moreover, if an accident victim suffers a permanent injury, they are more likely to recover greater monetary damages than if they suffer a relatively minor injury in their car crash.
First, accident victims can recover monetary damages for all of their related medical costs. Those expenses may include the costs associated with doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, and medical procedures.
In addition, if a medical provider determines that the accident victim needs to undergo future care, the victim can recover their anticipated medical costs as part of their personal injury case.
Next, if the accident victim had to miss time from their job to recover from their injuries, they can bring a claim for loss of earnings. If their injuries necessitate that they quit their current job and switch to a lower-paying job, they can assert a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition to these out-of-pocket costs, accident victims can recover monetary damages for their intangible losses, including pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of use of a body part, loss of life enjoyment, loss of spousal companionship, permanent disability, and permanent disfigurement.
Your lawyer can help you maximize the total damage award you receive in your case, through settlement or litigation, by introducing appropriate evidence on your behalf and making convincing arguments in your case at trial.
Consult with a Car Crash Attorney Near You Today
If you recently sustained injuries in a car crash in heavy traffic, you should take prompt legal action to secure the monetary recovery you deserve. Victims of car crashes only have two years from their accident to file a lawsuit seeking monetary recovery and damages.
When a car crash victim does not file a timely lawsuit in their case, the court will usually prevent them from recovering any monetary damages for their losses. The law provides limited exceptions to this rule.
To prevent the statute of limitations from running out in your case, you should involve a skilled lawyer to represent you as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can promptly investigate your accident circumstances and file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf within the statutory timeframe, but only if you begin the process soon. Your lawyer can then settle or efficiently litigate your case and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Never wait to start seeking compensation for your losses. Call a personal injury lawyer today.