Following a personal injury incident, it’s conceivable for victims to wonder about the amount they are likely to receive as compensation. It’s hard to tell without knowing the exact circumstances surrounding your accident. 

A good rule of thumb is that the value of your claim depends on the nature of your injuries and their impact on your life. Typically, the amount of your personal injury settlement will factor in three types of damages that the personal injury may have caused you:

Economic damages

These damages are awarded to victims based on the verifiable monetary loss brought about by the injuries. They may include medical bills you incurred in seeking treatment for your injuries, as well as income lost while you were recuperating. 

Also considered under economic damages is the future income lost as a result of your injuries. For instance, if your work involved manual labor, which you can no longer execute due to your injuries, your potential income lost will likely figure into the settlement amount.

Non-economic damages

Pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish arising from your injuries, will also likely be figured into the settlement offer that you receive. All these are covered under non-economic damages, including loss of consortium and a lower quality of life. Such damages aren’t easily quantifiable, but that does not mean they are not included in the settlement.

Punitive damages

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be awarded punitive damages. In most cases, they are not meant to compensate you. Instead, they are supposed to punish the defendant’s conduct in the lead-up to your injuries. Punitive damages may not weigh in much on the value of your personal injury settlement since they do not depend much on your losses.

There is no actual figure for all personal injury cases

Every case is different, and the amount of compensation varies. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the compensation you demand is enough to cover all of your personal injury damages. Knowing more about the kind of injuries brought resulting from your accident will put you in a better place when it comes to receiving adequate compensation. It’s the best form of justice you can get.

Many different factors influence your risk of a crash. Timing plays a role, as wrecks are more likely at certain times of day than at others. There are also seasonable changes in different kinds of crash risk, like drunk driving crash risk and the possibility of a wreck involving a motorcyclist or a pedestrian. Drivers who know the most dangerous times to drive can make smart choices about when they drive.

They may also need to consider where they drive. Location is also a key factor in someone’s risk for a car crash. Some places are much safer for surface travel, while others leave drivers with a higher risk for collision. In Georgia, you can look at the crash data from 2020 on a county-by-county basis and start to see a clear pattern about who has the most risk on the road.

What counties are the least safe for drivers?

Given that there are 159 counties in Georgia, drivers might hope to live and drive someplace that reports a low number of traffic deaths. Bibb County was among the ten counties with the highest number of traffic fatalities. However, with 28 traffic deaths, it came in seventh on that list. Fulton County had 129 traffic deaths, Dekalb County had 80 and Gwinnet County saw 61 traffic deaths in 2020.

The size of the local community seems to have an impact on the risk of fatal collisions. Decatur, Atlanta and Lawrenceville are all relatively large municipalities with high population density, especially when compared with Macon. Cobb, Clayton, Chatham and Hall Counties all also reported more fatalities in traffic in 2020 than Bibb County.

What does that information mean for you?

Recognizing that traffic density and local culture influence your risk of getting into a crash can help you make better decisions about your travel habits. From adding extra time to your schedule so you can keep the focus on safety when you visit these bigger metropolitan areas to planning a slightly longer but much safer route that bypasses the higher risk locations, little steps can help you protect yourself and the people you love out on the roads.

Learning more about modern motor vehicle collisions will help you reduce risk on the road and better handle a claim if you do experience a crash.

Any time you’re in a collision, there are things that you should or shouldn’t say. Depending on how you handle yourself after a crash, you could hurt your chance of getting the compensation you need.

Saying the wrong thing could even end up having the unintended effect of making it seem like you were to blame.

To protect your right to a claim, here are three things you shouldn’t say after you’re in a crash.

  1. I’m sorry

The first thing to avoid saying is that you’re sorry for the crash. You may be used to saying you’re sorry even though you’re not at fault, but now is not the time to do so. If you apologize, the other driver or people around you may mistakenly believe that you caused the crash.

  1. I didn’t see you

The next thing to avoid saying is that you didn’t see the other driver. Even if you didn’t see them coming, it isn’t a good idea to let others know that you couldn’t see them coming. When you say that, it sounds like you weren’t paying attention, and others may believe that you’re to blame as a result.

  1. I’m fine, don’t worry about it

Finally, don’t say that you’re okay until you’ve gone through a medical exam after a crash. You might feel fine at the moment, but the reality is that many people develop symptoms within 24 to 48 hours after the collision (and sometimes even later than that).

Protect yourself by not making any claims about your health. Let a doctor check you out first.

Following these tips helps you protect your claim

If you follow these tips, you can protect your right to a claim. It’s not your responsibility to prove or disprove fault, so it’s better not to make any claims when a crash happens. Let the insurance companies do their work, and focus on doing what you need to do to protect yourself and get the medical care you need.

Later, your attorney can help you file a claim against the other driver for the injuries you’ve suffered.

The average American household doesn’t have that much in savings. If one of the wage-earning family members suddenly loses their income because of a car crash injury, there may only be enough money in savings to cover your mortgage for one or two months.

You will be reliant on auto insurance coverage to help your family cover your cost of living expenses and handle the practical consequences of a car crash. While you may have good coverage on your vehicle, the Georgia motor vehicle insurance system focuses on liability. Your coverage won’t necessarily protect you when another driver is at fault for the crash. Instead, you will depend on what insurance the other driver carries.

How much will the other driver’s policy pay for after a crash in Georgia?

Every driver in Georgia needs two primary forms of liability coverage. They need property damage liability coverage to help repair vehicles and other property damaged in the crash. They also have to carry bodily injury liability coverage that pays for people’s injuries and secondary expenses related to injuries, such as lost income while someone is in the hospital.

A driver can legally operate a vehicle in Georgia with just $25,000 in property damage coverage and another $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage. That amount of bodily liability coverage does double if two or more people get hurt in one wreck. However, many people will find that a basic policy without supplemental coverage amounts will be far less than the total expenses they suffered because of a car crash.

Serious injuries or substantial damage to a vehicle could push the costs of the wreck well above the $25,000 threshold, and the insurance company may try to offer even less than that when negotiating a settlement.

What about your own policy? Perhaps you have one paid for extensive coverage on your own policy. You may have collision coverage that protects you or underinsured motorist protection. You can make a claim against either of these kinds of coverage after a crash. Sadly, your liability coverage will have no impact after a crash caused by another driver. Understanding the way car insurance works in Georgia can help those injured in a crash make good decisions about their finances.

The risk for a crash is always there no matter how safe you try to be. However, there are certain driving habits that add to your overall collision risk far more than other behaviors.

You likely already recognize how dangerous drunk driving or texting while driving is. You may even avoid driving when you feel tired or when you have a cold. However, it is not just your physical condition when you get behind the wheel but also the choices that you make while in control of a vehicle that determines your overall risk for a crash.

The maneuvers that you make can directly contribute to your collision risk or reduce it in some cases. There is one driving maneuver that has a strong correlation with car crashes and even traffic fatalities.

Left-hand turns leave you and approaching traffic at risk

The flow of traffic determines the risk involved in different driving maneuvers. Traffic in the United States stays on the right-hand side of the road, which means that right-hand turns create minimal risk and exposure to oncoming traffic.

Left-hand turns, on the other hand, take longer to complete and expose the entire side of your vehicle to approaching traffic. There is a strong correlation between turning left and significant motor vehicle crashes.

In fact, the correlation is strong enough that big companies like UPS intentionally create routes for their drivers that try to eliminate left-hand turns if possible.

Do you have to avoid turning left at all costs?

Companies trying to plan routes that don’t involve left-hand turns may have their workers complete a more circuitous route to repeat the same location. Should you also make a habit of going around the block or taking a less direct approach every time you drive somewhere?

The truth is that avoiding left-hand turns simply isn’t practical for the average person. Instead of trying to never turn left, you may want to pay closer attention to the traffic around you before starting a left-hand turn and also make a point of double-checking for people turning left in front of you as you drive.

While these habits won’t eliminate your crash risk, they can help reduce the likelihood of being at fault for a major car wreck because you turned left.

Macon sees its fair share of traffic. The roads fill up during rush hour every weekday afternoon, and thousands of people drive through the area in late November and early December because of the incredible Christmas displays. These tourists are particularly dangerous drivers because they don’t know the roads and may look at displays more closely than traffic conditions.

Both local and tourist traffic can benefit the community by increasing interest in the area and causing people to spend money at local businesses. Unfortunately, whenever there are more vehicles on the road, your risk of getting into a crash increases.

What are some of the concerns that affect your safety when traffic is particularly heavy?

Heavy traffic increases your overall statistical risk

After years of declining collision rates, crashes and traffic deaths have increased in the United States. Your overall risk is already higher than it was two years ago, and traffic conditions can increase your risk even more.

There is the possibility for any vehicle driving near yours to crash into you. The more other vehicles you encounter, the more statistical risk you have. Not only are you at higher risk for a crash, but more drivers mean a greater chance of encountering someone without insurance, someone texting at the wheel or someone driving while drunk.

Heavy traffic can lead to bad driving decisions

When there are many vehicles on the road, the flow of traffic may slow down. Rather than becoming more cautious, many drivers become more unsafe at such times.

They may distract themselves from their boredom by handling their phone or get aggressive and start to tailgate the vehicles around them. Not only could driving aggressively make someone unable to prevent a collision, but it could also lead to road rage incidents.

How can you protect yourself when sharing the road with many vehicles?

The easiest way to reduce your risk of a crash during times of heavy traffic is to stay off the road. However, you can’t just stay at work all evening to avoid rush-hour traffic or all December to avoid people who want to look at the lights.

If you do go out on the roads when traffic is heavy, take less popular roads and leave extra space between your vehicle and the others near you in traffic. Recognizing the risks of heavy traffic and adjusting your habits accordingly can help you avoid a motor vehicle wreck or at least causing one.

Following a personal injury incident, it’s conceivable for victims to wonder about the amount they are likely to receive as compensation. It’s hard to tell without knowing the exact circumstances surrounding your accident. 

A good rule of thumb is that the value of your claim depends on the nature of your injuries and their impact on your life. Typically, the amount of your personal injury settlement will factor in three types of damages that the personal injury may have caused you:

Economic damages

These damages are awarded to victims based on the verifiable monetary loss brought about by the injuries. They may include medical bills you incurred in seeking treatment for your injuries, as well as income lost while you were recuperating. 

Also considered under economic damages is the future income lost as a result of your injuries. For instance, if your work involved manual labor, which you can no longer execute due to your injuries, your potential income lost will likely figure into the settlement amount.

Non-economic damages

Pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish arising from your injuries, will also likely be figured into the settlement offer that you receive. All these are covered under non-economic damages, including loss of consortium and a lower quality of life. Such damages aren’t easily quantifiable, but that does not mean they are not included in the settlement.

Punitive damages

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be awarded punitive damages. In most cases, they are not meant to compensate you. Instead, they are supposed to punish the defendant’s conduct in the lead-up to your injuries. Punitive damages may not weigh in much on the value of your personal injury settlement since they do not depend much on your losses.

There is no actual figure for all personal injury cases

Every case is different, and the amount of compensation varies. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the compensation you demand is enough to cover all of your personal injury damages. Knowing more about the kind of injuries brought resulting from your accident will put you in a better place when it comes to receiving adequate compensation. It’s the best form of justice you can get.

Sometimes, injuries sustained following an accident may affect other aspects of your life beyond the physical and mental spheres. For example, these injuries might have adverse effects on your relationship with the people closest to you. An example would be the bond between you and your spouse, which may be strained or broken down due to your injuries. In such a case, you can seek remedy for the deprivation of family relations by making a loss of consortium claim.

Below is more of what you should know about a claim for loss of consortium.

What does a loss of consortium entail?

Loss of consortium is not restricted to physical interactions between you and your spouse. It stretches to everything you used to do as a couple that you can no longer engage in due to your injuries, such as household chores or the occasional date nights. Other examples that may amount to a loss of consortium include:

Virtually anything that you customarily did with that loved one before your accident that you can longer enjoy doing afterward could warrant your filing a loss of consortium claim.

What the law in Georgia says regarding loss of consortium

While children and dependent parents of the personal injury victim can claim loss of consortium in some states, the law is different in Georgia. Only the spouse can claim loss of consortium, and for the claim to be available, the couple must be married. In addition, the law in Georgia does not place a cap on non-compensatory damages. 

It may be a bit difficult to quantify loss of consortium claims. Insurance companies or the courts may weigh various factors, such as the contrast in your marital relationship before and after the accident before deciding whether you have a valid claim and the financial loss associated with it. You may unknowingly suffer a loss of consortium after an accident, which is why it is essential to look out for your rights and get the justice you deserve.

If you get involved in a car accident, it’s generally wise to gather evidence at the scene. For instance, you may want to take photos of the crash, talk to any witnesses and maybe even take notes about what happened to make sure you remember. 

To this end, will a dashcam help you? You may have seen people posting videos of drives in beautiful locations or of strange things they saw while they were driving, and you may have felt that it was interesting — prompting you to buy your own. But could that camera also record footage that will assist you if you get hit by another driver?

A camera isn’t perfect, but it can help

Like anything else, a dashcam isn’t perfect. It may miss key events or show a limited view. In other words, there’s no guarantee that it will help — but the odds are heavily in favor of it helping, and there’s no real drawback that would make you not want to have the camera. 

One of the major issues with car accidents is that they may happen where there are no cameras and no witnesses. If it’s just you and the other driver in your respective cars, you may disagree on the course of events. 

For instance, the crash scene may clearly show that one of you ran a red light. But what if the other driver says they had a green light and you hit them, while you are very sure that you actually had the green and the other driver committed the mistake? A dashcam can quickly clear something like that up and may drastically help to determine fault. That’s incredibly helpful as you seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you poll people about who they think are the most distraction-prone drivers, odds are that most people are going to pick teenagers. They may even describe your typical young driver, texting away behind the wheel while heading to high school or college. 

But is this stereotype fair? It’s true that teens get distracted, but are they really the demographic group that faces distraction most often? 

Nine out of 10 parents will drive distracted

According to one study, parents may actually be some of the most distracted drivers in the world. When asked about 10 different types of distractions, and if they ever did those things with their children in the car, 90% of parents admitted that they did. They were distracted when the car was in motion and the child was a passenger. 

This is concerning on many levels. For one thing, it is worrying that parents can’t even bring themselves to avoid clear distractions — like texting — when it puts their own children in danger. 

Beyond that, we also know that children themselves can be distracting to drivers. They may talk or sing, they could request snacks and drinks, they may cry or complain when the ride feels too long, or they may constantly ask parents to do things to help them, like picking up toys that they dropped. This, combined with other levels of distraction, puts everyone in danger. 

After an accident, you have options

If you get hit by a distracted parent who is driving, the good news is that you do have legal options to seek compensation for medical bills and related costs. Working with an experienced advocate is often the best way to protect your interests against the insurance company involved. 

For your free consultation connect with one of our legal team today Call 478-621-4980
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