CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN CARTERSVILLE GEORGIA
In need of a car accident attorney in Cartersville, Georgia? The attorneys at Williams Elleby can help. We are a team of experienced lawyers licensed to practice in Bartow County and passionate about helping our Cartersville neighbors get the compensation they deserve after they’ve been in a car wreck.
Are you struggling with questions like: What do I do first? Who can I trust? Will insurance help me? Who do I see for medical attention and what about my medical bills? We’re here to help you answer these questions so you don’t have to go through this process alone.
Car accidents happen and often – they represent one of the most litigated types of civil claims in the State of Georgia. The Williams Elleby team is here to see you through each phase of the claims and litigation process to see that you get the compensation you deserve. We have the track record and satisfied clients to prove it.
First thing’s first – follow these tips to learn the basics of what to do and what not to do after a car accident:
WHAT NOT TO DO AFTER A CARTERSVILLE CAR ACCIDENT
First, get treatment for any injuries you sustained from the car accident. Not seeking medical care for injuries sustained in a car accident is not only bad for your overall health, it can also hurt your personal injury claim. Be sure to keep your medical records and bills so you can prove the type and extent of your injuries after a Cartersville car accident.
Secondly, you are under no obligation to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Reach out to and consult with a car accident attorney first. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is not on your side. It’s also important to contact your own insurance company to preserve any potential uninsured or underinsured motorist claim if the at-fault driver is underinsured.
Third, you may be sent documents from the at-fault driver’s insurance company after a Cartersville car wreck. Always consult a car accident attorney before signing these documents.
Finally, the at-fault insurer may attempt to settle the claim with a small payment check prematurely. Accepting any payment from the at-fault insurance company without first consulting a car accident attorney can bar you from seeking additional compensation in the future if your injuries are worse than originally assessed.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER AFTER A CARTERSVILLE, GEORGIA CAR ACCIDENT
- Do not leave the scene of the accident;
- Report the accident to law enforcement by calling 911. Georgia law requires you to report most car accidents that result in personal injuries or property damage in excess of $500;
- Document the damage with pictures. In Cartersville car accident claims, photos of the damage can be the most valuable evidence for proving fault and liability;
- Personally exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver;
- Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the Cartersville car wreck;
- Notify your insurance company in a timely manner. To preserve liability and Uninsured Motorist coverage, your automobile insurance contract most likely requires you to notify your insurance company within a certain time period;
- Do not admit fault. Even if you think the wreck is your fault, don’t admit it at the scene;
- Seek medical care right away if you are injured. If you wait too long to seek treatment, the at-fault insurance company will use this against you in settlement negotiations and at trial;
- Document everything after a Cartersville car accident – you will need every phone call, letter, email and copies of every bill, record and photograph to pursue a claim;
- Hire a reputable law firm for your Cartersville claim.
THE THREE STAGES OF A CARTERSVILLE, GEORGIA CAR WRECK CLAIM
There are three stages to Cartersville car wreck claims: (1) The Pre-Suit Stage (2) The Litigation Stage, and (3) The Trial & Appeal Stage.
During the pre-suit stage, also called the investigation stage, you attorney gathers all insurance information, publicly available information about your accident, interviews witnesses and hires any needed experts. Publicly available information can include things like accident reports, any recorded 911 calls, dash camera footage and other such material.
During this stage, our car accident attorneys may send a pre-suit settlement demand under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-67.1 to try and obtain a fair settlement prior to filing a formal lawsuit. If a fair offer is made by either the at-fault driver or their insurance, we can settle the case (with your approval) and our attorneys will work to close the settlement as quickly as possible while keeping any remining medical bills or health insurance liens top of mind.
If the at-fault party does not make a fair offer after a Cartersville car accident, with your approval, our attorneys will file suit on your behalf. This stage is referred to as the litigation stage. During the litigation stage of a Cartersville lawsuit, the first order of business is the exchange of discovery. Under Georgia law, the discovery period lasts for at least six months. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-26. During discovery, attorneys exchange information and take depositions. At the close of this stage, often trial courts will order the car accident claim to mediation. If a settlement cannot be reached during the discovery stage or through mediation, the case will go to trial.
Trial and Appeal Stage
The third stage of the Cartersville car accident claims process involves trial and any potential appeal. Bringing a lawsuit before a jury can be intimidating. This is why it is important to work with an experienced trial attorney for your Cartersville car accident who can present the evidence in an organized way, make sure witnesses are subpoenaed, pre-trial motions are filed and who knows your case inside and out.
The trial of a Cartersville car accident case is divided into 7 parts: (1) Voir Dire or Jury Selection, (2) Opening Statements, (3) Plaintiff’s Case in Chief, (4) Defendant’s Case in Chief, (5) Closing Arguments, (6) Jury Instructions, and (7) The Verdict. Make sure you hire a lawyer who tries cases. Jury trials are complicated and you need a lawyer who knows how to try a case.
If a litigant chooses to appeal the verdict in a Cartersville car accident case, the case will be appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals. If a party believes that the Court of Appeals’ decision is incorrect, it can petition the Georgia Supreme Court for certiorari. This means that the party is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to exercise its discretion and accept the case.
The appellate court has three options on appeal – Affirm the trial court result; Reverse the trial court and require a new trial; or Reverse the trial court with direction that judgement be entered for the appealing party. If a new trial is granted, the case is sent back to the trial court. If the case is in Cartersville, the trial court is usually the Superior Court of Bartow County.