CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS SERVING SAVANNAH GEORGIA
Finding the right attorney after suffering injuries in a Savannah car accident can be tough. Thankfully, the experienced attorneys with Williams Elleby are here to help. Our firm cares deeply about the people of Savannah, and we are committed to assisting them in recovering fair compensation when they are injured by a negligent driver.
If you were injured in a Savannah car accident, you probably have a lot of questions running through your mind. What should I do? Should I deal with the insurance company on my own? How do I handle medical bills after a car accident? Our skilled attorneys have been fighting for the rights of Savannah residents for years and have the answers to your legal questions.
Contact Williams Elleby today by calling 833-LEGALGA for a free attorney consultation and put our extensive track record of courtroom success to good use. But don’t take our word for it, see what our satisfied clients have to say about the benefits they received by working with our firm.
WHAT NOT TO DO AFTER A SAVANNAH CAR ACCIDENT
Recovering from an injury and resolving the resulting insurance claim on your own can be challenging. Unfortunately, you can make the process even tougher with just a few seemingly minor missteps. For starters, never ignore the injuries you suffer during a car accident in Savannah. Not only do you risk seeing your physical health deteriorate due to an untreated injury, but you also risk making it much more difficult to prove the wreck caused your injury if you sue the responsible party.
Second, never speak to a representative from the responsible driver’s insurance company without consulting a car accident attorney first. Representatives from the other insurance company may be friendly, but they are not on your side. They make their living by using your own words against you, so there is little benefit to giving them a formal statement. An attorney can deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf, which will give you more time to focus on your recovery.
Third, at no point should you sign any paperwork provided by the opposing insurance company. The reasoning is the same as before; their sole purpose in contacting you is to try and trick you into giving up your rights or accepting a settlement offer worth less than the value of your claim. Review every document with a car accident lawyer before signing anything from an insurance company.
Lastly, reject any unsolicited payment you may receive from the other insurance company. A common strategy for insurance companies is to attempt to settle a claim before the injured person has the full picture of their medical bills. By the time they realize they are looking at potentially years of future treatments, they have already accepted a settlement worth a fraction of their medical bills. An experienced car accident lawyer will review your medical records and help you identify the true value of your claim.
THE TOP 10 THINGS TO REMEMBER AFTER A SAVANNAH GEORGIA CAR ACCIDENT
- Call 911 immediately. You could be assessed a fine of up to $500 for failing to report a car accident that resulted in bodily injury.
- Wait until the police arrive. It is never worth leaving the scene of an accident unless required for medical reasons.
- Take pictures. Immediately after your accident will be the only time when evidence can be collected from the crash scene. Photographs are some of the most powerful evidence that can be used at trial.
- Exchange information. It will be important going forward to know if the other driver had insurance at the time of the accident.
- Identify witnesses. If any pedestrians or other drivers stop at the scene of the accident, collect their contact information in case they are potential witnesses at trial.
- Contact your insurance. Your policy likely requires that you inform your insurer of any collision, and it is important that you comply with the requirements of your policy. A failure to comply could result in the insurance company refusing to issue payments for liability or uninsured motorist claims.
- Never admit fault. Even if you feel like you were responsible, liability is a legal determination best left to the attorneys.
- Seek medical care if needed. If you are injured in an accident, your first priority is your health and well-being.
- Keep extensive records. Every piece of evidence can be critical in a Savannah car accident trial. Maintain a file containing photos, medical bills, and anything else related to the collision.
- Hire an experienced lawyer for your case. For more information, give Williams Elleby a call at 833-LEGALGA (534-2542).
THE THREE STAGES OF A SAVANNAH GEORGIA CAR WRECK CLAIM
Every claim for injuries stemming from a Savannah car accident has three distinct stages: (1) Pre-suit, (2) Litigation, and (3) Trial and Appeal.
The initial stage in any crack wreck claim is known as pre-suit. That is because during this stage, no lawsuit has yet been filed. For the most part, this stage involves investigation of the accident as well as potential negotiation with the opposing insurance company.
Pre-suit, our experienced Savannah car accident attorneys will review the facts of an accident with a fine-toothed comb. This process begins with discussing the collision with you and includes further investigation through police reports, dash cam video, medical records, photos, and witness statements.
At the outset, an attorney should mail a demand letter pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-67.1 in the hopes of soliciting a settlement offer. Demand letters will often bring in settlement offers, but in many cases, those offers are far below the actual value of the claim. If our office is able to come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the client, the case may be resolved before a lawsuit is ever filed.
If a claim is not resolved pre-suit, the next step involves the filing of a lawsuit in the appropriate state or federal court. During this phase, the lawsuit will be filed and the responsible party will have an opportunity to respond. The response or “Answer” is usually filed by an attorney hired by the at-fault party’s insurance company. There are frequently legal battles that occur early in the case, as the insurance defense attorney may try to have a case thrown out at the onset.
The litigation phase also involves what is known as discovery. The discovery process allows both parties to review the evidence the other side intends to offer at trial. This process can last for months and can include written questions as well as live deposition testimony. At the completion of discovery, the judge may require mediation before a case can go to trial. Any case that does not settle during discovery or mediation will be set for trial.
Trial and Appeal Phase
If a Savannah car accident case does not settle, it will eventually go to trial. The idea of testifying in front of a jury may be daunting, but our experienced attorneys will help prepare you for what to expect. During the trial, both sides will have the opportunity to put forth evidence including witness testimony, video, and photographs.
Lawsuits stemming from a Savannah car accident claim typically are litigated in the State Court of Chatham County. Depending on the severity of the injuries, a trial could be a lengthy process. From selecting the jury to questioning witnesses, an experienced Savannah car wreck attorney will play a critical role in your trial. With so much riding on the outcome, it is important that you select your legal counsel carefully because a bad lawyer may kill your case.
After a verdict is rendered, some attorneys choose to appeal the result of their car accident case. An appeal can be made by either the Plaintiff or the Defendant, depending on the outcome, and will be heard by the Georgia Court of Appeals. Subsequent appeals can eventually make it to the Georgia Supreme Court.
At the appellate level, the courts will either (1) affirm the judgment from the lower court, (2) reverse the judgment and require a new trial, or (3) reverse the judgment and enter judgment in favor of the party filing the appeal.