Injured in a car accident in Albany?
Find the best Georgia injury attorney near you.
2410 Westgate Dr, Suite 101
Albany, GA 31707
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Georgia injury lawyers helping accident victims near Albany for over 50 years
It’s no secret impaired driving is the biggest concern among drivers. Georgia’s new hands-free laws will hopefully go a long way toward reducing those numbers, but currently, 70% of the fatalities in car crashes are caused by these unsafe driving behaviors, impairment or driving too fast in bad weather or road conditions. In 2018, there were an average of 4 deaths every day in the state of Georgia from car accidents, adding up to 1,514 fatalities.
Here in Albany and Dougherty County, serious and fatal car accidents are an ongoing problem. In 2017, 8 people died in fatal car accidents in Albany, GA. Some of the most deadly roads in the area include the Liberty Expressway (US-82), East Oakridge Dr. (Highway 234), and US-19.
Pedestrians are even run over and killed on historic downtown Albany roads like Tift Ave. and Madison St. Wherever a crash happens, accident victims are entitled to certain rights and benefits under Georgia law.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident, it’s important that you fully understand your responsibilities and your right to compensation, which is why you need the best Albany car accident lawyer you can find. Our injury lawyers have over 200 years of combined experience helping car accident victims like you receive the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and other damages.
What to do after a car accident in Albany, GA
- Make sure everyone is okay. After an accident, you will probably experience shock. Take a few moments to breathe and get your bearings. Check for injuries by gently moving your arms and legs, and use your hands to check your head for scratches and abrasions. If you’re okay, make sure the other driver is, too. If you are seriously hurt, try not to move and wait for help to arrive. If you require emergency care, you might not be able to follow any of the following post-accident steps, and that’s okay. Focus on your safety and well-being.
- Call the police. Once the damage check is done, the next thing you should do is reach for the phone to dial 911 (if someone else hasn’t done so already). Even if the accident doesn’t look that bad, or if only one car sustained damage, always call the police to report a collision. Insurance companies require official documentation of the incident, and it will be less likely for either party involved to skew the story and avoid any penalties. If you or someone else is seriously hurt, be sure to tell the dispatcher so that they can send an ambulance.
- Take pictures. As you wait for police to arrive, take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible — if you’re able to to do so safely and are not seriously injured. Every cell phone comes with a built-in camera that can be used to take good quality pictures of the damages. Be sure to get multiple angles, lighting, and shots of the surroundings — not only of your vehicle, but the other driver’s vehicle as well.
- File a police report. Once police arrive, follow their instructions and answer their questions; however, be careful not to admit fault or say “I’m sorry,” even if you suspect the accident may have been your fault. Other factors may have contributed to the crash that you aren’t aware of, and admitting fault may reduce your ability to seek compensation later on. Monitor what the police are doing and correct them if needed. Even the police can make a mistake; they’re human just like everyone else. Take the time to look over the report and any other documentation the police give you to make sure the facts are straight.
- Notify your insurance company. As soon as possible after the accident, perhaps before you even leave the accident scene, call your auto insurance company and let them know that you’ve been in a car accident. Again, be sure not to admit fault in any way. Answer their questions truthfully, but avoid saying more than what’s absolutely necessary.
- See a doctor. No one likes to take time off to go see a doctor, but it’s important to make sure no injuries were sustained. Even if you don’t think you were hurt, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Injuries are not always visible, so an examination by professional medical personnel is important.
- Consult a car accident attorney. Last but not least, if you or a loved one are involved in a serious crash, it’s in your best interests to learn about your legal rights. Talk to an experienced Albany car crash lawyer before accepting a settlement offer or giving a recorded statement to an insurance company.
Common types of car accidents
- T-bone. Often considered the worst types of collision two cars can have, T-bone or side-impact collisions tend to occur at high speeds and cause the most damage to both vehicles, their drivers, and passengers. An example is when a car crosses an intersection at a green light and another vehicle drives through a red light to hit them in the side, creating a “T” shape and a mess that no one should ever have to deal with.
- Sideswipe. Not to be confused with a side-impact collision, sideswipes occur when two vehicles traveling in the same or opposite direction make an impact. Long scratches and missing mirrors and dents are often the result.
- Rear-end. One of the most common accidents, rear-end collisions often happen at red lights, stop signs, or from sudden deceleration and tailgating. For example, a rear-end accident might occur if Driver A is following Driver B too closely when Driver B needs to slam on the brakes for a pedestrian crossing the road.
- Hit and run. Let’s say you’re driving down the road, minding your own business, when another car suddenly hits you and continues to drive off like nothing happened. This is called a hit and run. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in the state of Georgia, yet, people do it all the time.
- Multi-vehicle. A multi-vehicle pileup is exactly what it sounds like, and extremely dangerous. A pileup occurs when one vehicle hits another and causes a chain reaction that damages several cars and numerous injuries to drivers and passengers.
- Head-on. Head-on collisions rank as one of the deadliest car accidents when they occur at high speeds. Drivers and passengers alike often suffer severe bodily injuries, whether it’s a single car accident or multiple vehicles. When the front of one car hits the front of another car, tree, post, brick wall, or other object, this is considered a head-on collision.
- Drunk driving. Drunk driving is more common in Albany than it should be. Each year, many innocent lives are lost or changed forever when an intoxicated driver with a .08 blood alcohol level or higher hits another vehicle.
- Uber/Lyft accidents. Taxis and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are considered one of the reasons why fatal car accidents have increased in recent years after an all-time low. If you were injured as a passenger, it’s important to know your rights as the process is different than collisions involving 2 private individuals.
- Accident with an uninsured driver. Despite drivers being required by Georgia law to have automobile insurance, not everyone does. And if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your medical expenses and auto repairs have to be paid out of pocket.
- Pedestrian/bicycle accident. When it comes to car accident fatalities, pedestrians and bicyclists who are struck by a vehicle tend to suffer the highest rates of death. Whether the accident was caused by the driver ignoring the right of way or the pedestrian running into the road, the results are often serious and even deadly.
Albany car accident compensation
If you or a loved one were injured in a car crash in Albany, GA, and the accident was due to another driver’s negligence, then you may be owed compensation for certain “damages” you’ve experienced.
- Medical bills. Following a serious car accident injury, you’ll probably start receiving medical bills for emergency care, hospital service, ambulance fees and other expenses. All of these costs should be paid by the at-fault driver or their insurance company.
- Lost wages. The severity of your injury can affect your ability to return to work, which may result in you having to take time off work. These lost wages (both past and future) can be accounted for in a car accident lawsuit.
- Property damage. Property damage includes hitting your neighbor’s mailbox with the car, hitting another vehicle, or even damage to your personal property that was in the vehicle at the time of the crash such as your phone.
- Pain and suffering. In simple terms, pain & suffering is the discomfort, unhappiness, & emotional distress that might arise from an accident, which courts will often calculate in order to award compensation.
- Wrongful death. No amount of money can compensate your family for loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident, but it can provide some justice and perhaps a sense of closure. If a spouse, parent or child dies in an accident, the state of Georgia allows eligible survivors to receive financial support for funeral/burial costs and other expenses.
Georgia car accident statute of limitations
Albany residents have just 2 years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident, according to the Georgia statute of limitations (OCGA §9-3-33). For a property damage claim, you have up to 4 years.
The clock starts ticking on your claim from the moment your accident occurs. While your case doesn’t have to be completely resolved in the 2 years, you do have to announce your intention to file a lawsuit before this deadline. The sooner you can consult with a car accident attorney about your case, the more time they’ll have to prepare a strong argument for compensation.
Why talk to an Albany, GA car accident lawyer?
You’re entitled to representation, and it should be nothing but the best. With over 50 years of experience, our lawyers at Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson will fight to make sure you don’t have to settle for less. If you or a loved one have suffered from personal injuries due to a car accident, we are here to offer expert legal advice at any of our three offices located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins.
What to do if you cause a car accident
A few simple steps can reduce your penalties.
Documenting details after your accident is crucial.