Being involved in a car accident is scary enough – not knowing what comes next, can be even scarier. Not every car accident case is the same, but most cases follow the same general steps and procedures – even if the timeline is not the same.
DAMAGES | Typically the term “Damages” refers to all of your economic and non-economic losses caused by the car accident. The type and amount of your damages will directly impact the value of your case. The most common types of damages are:
MEDICAL EXPENSES | The cost of your ambulance ride (or air ambulance/ life flight), your initial Emergency room or doctor visit, your follow up medical appointments, surgeries, chiropractor visits, pain management, physical therapy, neurologist, orthopedic, primary care physician, and prescription or medication costs.
FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES | We typically try to ensure that our clients have finished treatment and their lives have retuned to as close to normal as possible before settling or proceeding to trial. However, sometimes it is either impossible or simply not feasible for a Client to complete their treatment, regain all their function, or be totally free from pain. In cases like this, it may be necessary to budget for future medical treatment for our Clients.
LOST INCOME | After suffering an injury from your car accident, you may not be able to return to work right away. Whether your injury is minor or serious, requires surgery, extensive medical care, or simply necessitates that you limit your physical activity your ability to work, run your business, and earn your normal income may be lost. Maintaining accurate records and keeping track of the calculation is necessary to ensure you are reimbursed for the income after being injured in a car accident.
TRAVEL EXPENSE | Traveling to and from your medical appointments, the pharmacy, or any other events or locations necessary for your treatment and rehabilitation can be an expensive and time-consuming process as well. Maintaining proper records, including your starting and ending location, the mileage between the two, and the reason for the trip is necessary to make sure you are properly compensated. The car accident Attorneys at Teague Law recommend you keep a travel log for this very purpose.
PAIN AND SUFFERING | The injuries you sustain in a car accident not only require you to seek medical care and undergo treatment to recover – but also to endure the pain caused by the injuries – pain that may very well last past the end of your treatment or even be permanent. When determining the damages you incurred during your car accident, your Teague Law Car Wreck Attorney will look at the duration and level of pain you suffered, any limitations on your physical activity and movements, and the inability to do things you enjoy.
DIMINUTION IN VALUE | If your vehicle will be repaired by the insurance company through your property damage claim, you also have a diminution in value claim – that is a claim for the decreased value of your car once it is repaired. Services like carfax that report every accident and insurance claim your vehicle has been involved in result in a decrease in the value of your vehicle once it has been involved in an accident – even once the damage has been repaired. A diminution in value claim allows you to request compensation for the loss in value to your vehicle, even once it is repaired. Some vehicles will incur a significantly larger diminution in value than others. Calculating this decrease in value is difficult and may require that your Car Accident Attorney employ the services of a professional adjuster in certain cases.
PROPERTY DAMAGE | When you are injured in a car accident and an insurance claim is filed, you will have two separate claims – 1) property damage and 2) bodily injury. These claims will have the same claim number but will typically be handled by two different departments and adjusters within the insurance company. The Property damage claim only concerns the damage done to your vehicle and any other personal property on or inside of your vehicle. A property damage claim may be for minor damages to your vehicle that will be repaired by a body shop – or it may be for a total loss when the cost to repair the vehicle reaches over a certain percentage of the value of the vehicle (typically 75-85 percent). If a vehicle is totaled the amount paid out should be in a range between the Kelley blue book and NADA dealer black book value. Typically, Attorneys are not involved in the property damage portion of your case – however, the car accident Attorneys at Teague Law have helped clients when the insurance company has refused to accept liability, make a reasonable offer, or the claim involves a specialty vehicle or collector car.
What you Need to Know
What you Need to Know
SERIOUS INJURY – Any car wreck is scary but a car accident that results in a serious injury is life-changing - particularly if you do not have a car accident Attorney fighting for you. If you or someone you care about have suffered a serious injury from a car accident the Car Wreck Attorneys at Teague Law will fight to ensure that your rights are protected, that you receive the treatment you need to reach a full recovery, and that you are compensated for your pain, suffering, and other losses that you suffered through no fault of your own.
A serious injury car accident case requires a skilled and experienced Car Accident Attorney who will aggressively pursue every option to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Your Teague Law serious injury car wreck Attorney will work with you to ensure that you receive all the medical care you need to make a complete recovery or regain as much function as possible if you have suffered a permanent injury or disability. Making sure you receive quality medical care in a timely manner will increase your chances of making a permanent recovery and decrease your recovery time. Further, depending on the severity of your injury, your Teague Law Car Accident Attorney may set up a life care plan or work with you and your medical providers to calculate the future medical expenses that you will incur due to your injury.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury speak to one of our Car Wreck Attorneys today.
SOFT TISSUE AND WHIPLASH INJURY – Soft tissue damage and whiplash are the most common injuries suffered by drivers involved in car accidents. Soft tissue damage is a term typically used to describe injuries that do not involve broken bones, head injuries, or organ damage – examples could be strained or sprained muscles, muscle spasms, injuries to ligaments and tendons, deep bruising, and soreness. Whiplash refers to an injury caused by the violent jerking of your neck, sudden stop, and then change in direction – this typically results in damage to the neck muscles, tendons, and possibly the disks in the neck.
Hiring a car accident attorney experienced in soft tissue and whiplash cases like the car wreck attorneys at Teague Law is vital to ensuring you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Contact us now (button)
WRONGFUL DEATH – The death of a loved one can leave a family in shock, pain, and reeling with grief while having to make serious and immediate decisions. Losing a loved one in a car, truck, DUI accident, or through someone else’s actions can compound the grief a family is facing and leave them facing even more questions and uncertainty.
Retaining a compassionate and aggressive wrongful death attorney to help guide you through the this difficult process can be daunting in itself. The wrongful death Attorneys at Teague Law will work with your family to make this process as simple as possible and avoid any unnecessarily added stress during what we know is one of your most difficult and challenging times.
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim may be filed by the family of the person who died under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2 for their loss of a loved one.
A case may also be brought on behalf of the deceased’s Estate for the pain and suffering experienced by the decedent – this is separate from the case brought by the family for their loss.
The claim must typically be filed within two years of the death, with some limited exceptions.
If the person who died was married at the time of their death, the surviving spouse has the right to bring the claim in most circumstances.
If there is no surviving spouse at the time of their death, any surviving children may bring the claim.
If the person who died had no spouse or children at the time of their death, then the parents or may bring the wrongful death claim.
The damages are determined in 2 parts: 1) the noneconomic loss such as love, enjoyment, encouragement, and time spent together; and 2) the economic loss the family has suffered as a result of losing their loved one.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence speak to one of our compassionate and Wrongful Death Attorneys today.
INJURY BY DUI DRIVER – Too often crashes caused by DUI Drivers result in significant and serious injuries to the innocent victims of the DUI driver. While the liability or at-fault portion of an Injury by DUI claim would seem to be simple, DUI car accident cases are in fact extremely technical and can be quite difficult to resolve.
In addition to your claim for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering - DUI Injury claims also involve claims for punitive damages [link to our blog on punitive damages – already complete and in blog folder], which are assessed not to compensate the innocent victim of the DUI driver for their injury, but to punish the DUI driver for their reckless and dangerous behavior. Calculating and recovering punitive damages can be difficult and requires an Attorney both knowledgeable and skilled in the science and techniques of detecting impaired drivers.
Our DUI injury attorneys have received special training on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration course for the detection of impaired drivers – the same course taught to law enforcement all across the Country for their DUI officers and have passed the accompanying test to administer standardized field sobriety examinations. Our Attorneys have attended and even taught at numerous classes on the subject of DUI drivers and DUI cases.
DUI car accident injury cases may involve highly technical issues involving breath testing devices, chemical blood panels, standardized field sobriety testing, and special case law relevant only to DUI cases – if you have been injured by a DUI driver it is imperative that you hire a qualified DUI injury attorney to represent you and fight to recover the full compensation you are entitled to.
Call Teague Law today to speak with one of our DUI Injury Attorneys. [call here]
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE – Car accident’s involving commercial vehicles often result in far more serious injuries than typical car wrecks. A commercial vehicle doesn’t have to be an 18 wheeler, tractor-trailer, dump truck, concrete truck, or bus – a commercial vehicle can be any vehicle driven for or during the operation of a business – a cab, an Uber, a box truck, a heavy-duty pickup truck, a large SUV, or delivery van. Due to the nature of the commercial activities, these vehicles are involved in they may cause significantly more damage to another vehicle and greater injuries to the passengers.
Josh grew up in a family that owned and operated heavy equipment, dump trucks, and semi-trucks. Spending summers and weekends around semi-trucks, dump trucks, and other heavy equipment have given Josh insight that most accident attorneys just don’t have.
Hiring a car accident attorney who understands the intricacies of a commercial vehicle accident will greatly increase your chances of recovering the compensation you are entitled to after being injured by a commercial vehicle. Commercial vehicle insurance policies can be very complex and contain provisions that may exclude certain types of activities or damages – making sure your car wreck attorney understands these issues and is well versed in commercial vehicle car accidents is essential to ensuring you receive the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
TRUCK WRECK – Car accidents involving semi-trucks, 18 wheelers, tractor-trailers, dump trucks, concrete trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles typically result in serious and life-changing injuries. The difference in size and weight between these large trucks and most passenger vehicles is vast and can lead to tragic results when the two collide – that is why these large trucks and other vehicles are subject to strict requirements by the State and Federal Government ensure both vehicle and driver safety.
The regulations and requirements surrounding large commercial vehicles can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the operations of commercial trucking and transportation services. Attorney Josh Teague grew up in a family that owned and operated heavy equipment, dump trucks, and semi-trucks. Spending summers and weekends around semi-trucks, dump trucks, and other heavy equipment has given Josh insight into both the operation and maintenance of these vehicles that most accident attorneys just don’t have
Hiring a truck accident attorney who understands the intricacies of the trucking and transportation industry greatly increases your chances of recovering the compensation you are entitled to after being injured by a large truck or another commercial vehicle. Trucking companies maintain insurance policies that can be very complex and contain provisions that may exclude certain types of activities or damages – making sure your car wreck attorney understands these issues and is well versed in trucking accidents is essential to ensuring you receive the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
EVIDENCE – Collecting and analyzing evidence to prepare for a potential trial or insurance claim is one of the most important things you Teague Law Car Wreck Attorney will do. Evidence is a broad term that can include many types of documents, recordings, images, and other data. It is essential that your car accident attorney begin to collect this evidence immediately because some may disappear or be lost forever if not collected quickly. Some of the common types of evidence that we look for are:
POLICE REPORT – The officer who appeared on the scene at the car accident should have written a report that will include essential information: The at fault drivers name, address, and insurance information, a list of any potential witnesses, a diagram of the vehicles, the officer’s determination of how the accident occurred, a list of the contributing factors of each driver, and the officer’s determination of which driver was at fault.
911 CALL – The 911 call can be a trove of vital information. Anytime someone calls 911 the call will be recorded from beginning to end. The recording can be a great resource to find errors and discrepancies in the other driver’s story – has the explanation of events given on the 911 call changed over time? The other driver may even admit guilty or be so confused about what happens that it casts doubt on their entire story. Additionally, this same method can strengthen your case if you made an initial 911 call and your story has been consistent. Finally, other bypassers may have witnessed the accident and called 911 to give a statement that may strengthen your case.
VIDEO – While it is very unlikely a video camera captured the entire car accident (unless you have a dash camera – see below) it is still vital we check as quickly as possible. A store or traffic camera near the location of the car accident may have recorded the entire wreck; however, that evidence can disappear in mere hours or days. It is urgent you hire an Attorney quickly to persevere this evidence. Your Car Accident Attorney at Teague Law will send out spoliation letters to preserve any possible evidence from destruction. Additionally, any video you took of the accident scene, the damage to the cars, your injuries, or the behavior of the other driver can be some of the strongest evidence we could hope for – particularly if you have a video of what the other driver is saying immediately after the accident.
PICTURES – Pictures are a great form of evidence that are easy for a jury or judge to connect to and understand. The power of one good photograph can change the outcome of a case. The officer who worked the accident scene may have taken photographs, but we cant depend on them. Hopefully, you read our 9 things to do immediately after getting into a car accident [link] and you took photographs as soon as possible – before the cars were moved or the scene was cleaned up.
TEXT MESSAGES – Keep in mind that any text messages sent by you or to you, regarding your injury, accident, or case – can be obtained by the other driver’s attorney if we proceed to trial – for this reason, it is best case practice to never discuss your case or injuries with anyone, particularly by text or messaging app. This same principle applies to the at-fault driver, we may discover evidence to strengthen your case in their text messages.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS – Much like text messages, what you or the at-fault driver have posted to any social media platform will be dissected. Do pictures posted prove you were not that severely injured? Or that the at-fault driver was? Did the at-fault driver post their version of the accident on social media? Is it consistent with their other statements?
WITNESS STATEMENT – We may be able to identify and track down witnesses from the police report or 911 call. Identifying and speaking with witnesses early on can help shape and strengthen your case. Recorded verbal or sworn written statements are typically used to memorize the witness's statement.
STATEMENT TO INSURANCE – When you call to report the accident to your insurance company, keep in mind they are recording anything you say – and may use it later to try and deny any claim you may have on your own insurance. Additionally, the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to contact you for a statement if you don’t have an attorney – they will ask you for a recorded statement – never give any statement to the insurance company, they will try and get you to say something to harm your case. You should be especially careful if both you and the other driver share the same insurance company.
DASH CAMERA VIDEO – Dash cameras are becoming more commonplace – their use can be a benefit – but they can also be dangerous for your case. The camera will have recorded everything before, during, and after your car wreck. Any bad behavior of your own – using a phone, speeding, following too closely, failure to maintain lane, failure to yield, running a red light, or even discussions about alcohol or drug use could possibly be recorded.