CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN MARIETTA GEORGIA
In need of a car accident attorney in Marietta, Georgia? The attorneys at Williams | Elleby can help. We are a team of experienced lawyers that practice in Marietta and are passionate about helping our fellow Georgians get the compensation they deserve after they’ve been in a car wreck.
There are probably several questions you need answered before you hire an attorney. 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? These are all normal worries but you don’t have to navigate them alone – we’re here to help!
Car accidents happen – they represent one of the most litigated types of civil claims in the State of Georgia. The partners at Williams Elleby are here to help 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 MARIETTA CAR ACCIDENT
First, take care of yourself – if you think need medical attention for a car accident injury, seek treatment right away. Not seeking medical care for injuries sustained in a car accident is bad for your overall health and it can hurt your personal injury claim. Document your injuries after a Marietta car accident through medical records to provide to insurance. Medical records and bills are a sure way to prove the type and extent of your injuries.
Secondly, you are not obligated to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Take the time to speak to a car accident attorney first. It’s important to remember that the other insurance company is not on your side. Do, however, reach out to your own insurance company to preserve any potential uninsured motorist claim if you have been hit by an underinsured driver. In either event, be sure to call a lawyer before you agree to a recorded statement after a Marietta car accident.
Third, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may send you documents to sign after a Marietta car wreck – do not sign these documents without first consulting a car accident attorney. Any competent car accident attorney will know exactly what information you should provide to the insurance company after a car crash in Marietta.
Finally, do not accept any payment from the at-fault insurance company after a Marietta car accident without speaking to an attorney first. Oftentimes, the at-fault insurer will attempt to settle the claim with a small check before you know the full extent of your injuries. By accepting the small settlement, you may be barred from seeking additional compensation in the future if your injuries are worse than originally assessed.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER AFTER A MARIETTA, GEORGIA CAR ACCIDENT
- Never leave the scene;
- Call 911: Georgia law requires you to report most car accidents that result in personal injuries or property damage in excess of $500;
- Take pictures: In Marietta car accident claims, photos of the damage can be the most valuable evidence for proving fault and liability;
- Exchange information with the other driver: Don’t just rely on a responding police officer to collect the other driver’s information. Ask for their phone number and insurance information yourself;
- Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the Marietta 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;
- Keep an information file. Document everything after a Marietta car accident – make note of every phone call, letter and email and save every record, bill and photograph. You will need them to pursue a claim;
- Hire a car accident attorney in Marietta. You can call the Cobb County Bar Association Referral Service for recommendations or you can reach us at 833-LEGALGA.
THE THREE STAGES OF A MARIETTA, GEORGIA CAR WRECK CLAIM
There are three stages to Marietta car wreck claims: (1) The Pre-Suit Stage (2) The Litigation Stage, and (3) The Trial & Appeal Stage.
THE PRE-SUIT STAGE
The pre-suit stage, or investigation stage, is when your attorney will gather all insurance information, gather publicly available information about the car accident (e.g. accident reports, 911 calls, dash camera footage, etc.), interview witnesses and hire any experts that may be needed.
During this stage, our Marietta Georgia 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 without filing a claim. If a fair offer is made by either the at-fault driver or their insurance, we will 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 Marietta car accident, our attorneys will file suit on your behalf and with your approval. During the lawsuit process, the parties will conduct discovery which lasts for at least six months. During discovery, attorneys exchange information and take depositions. After concluding discovery, most trial courts will order you to mediate any car accident claim. If your case does not settle during discovery or at mediation, your lawyer will begin working with you to prepare for trial.
TRIAL AND APPEAL STAGE
The third stage of the Marietta car accident claims process involves trial and any potential appeal. Often times, a jury trial can be the most intimidating part of any lawsuit, and understandably so since the outcome of your case will be determined by a jury of your peers. When it’s time to go to trial, your Marietta car accident lawyer should be prepared for battle because all of the evidence is neatly organized, witnesses are subpoenaed, pre-trial motions are filed, and he or she knows your case inside and out.
Most Marietta car accident cases are filed in the State Court of Cobb County. The trial of a Marietta 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 handle every part of a jury trial.
If a litigant chooses to appeal the verdict in a Marietta 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.
Typically, the appellate court will do one of three things on appeal: (1) Affirm the judgment, (2) Reverse the judgment and require a new trial, or (3) Reverse the judgment with direction that judgment be entered for the appealing party. If a new trial is granted, the case is sent back to the trial court for a new trial.
CALL OUR MARIETTA CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Marietta car accident, Williams Elleby attorneys are here to help. You can reach us at 833-LEGALGA to schedule your free consultation.