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Athens Car Accident Attorney

Skilled Auto Accident Lawyers Serving Athens, Georgia

Athens Car Accident LawyersWith over 35 years of combined legal experience, Athens car accident attorneys Christopher Simon, Harrison Spires, and Tyler Bridgers have handled many hundreds of car accident cases on behalf of both injured victims and those responsible for causing them. Car accident cases in and around Athens-Clarke County happen all too frequently given the configuration of GA-316. The lack of signals at a lot of intersections and erratic and heavy traffic conditions at rush hour lead to a disproportionate number of crashes. Due to the high student population during the school year, we also see a large number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

Christopher Simon Attorney at Law understands how much a car accident can have a negative impact on the lives of you and your loved one. We will be there to help protect you and your loved ones and make sure insurance companies don’t try to take advantage of you when you are at your most vulnerable.

Common Types Of Car Accidents In Athens

You or your loved one may be involved in an Athens car accident with another car, a motorcycle, pedestrian, commercial truck, buses, and/or a pedestrian.

In Athens and throughout Georgia, there are many types of car accidents that occur, and while each one has its own set of unique circumstances, the most common types of car accidents in Athens are listed below:

  1. Rear-End Collisions: Generally speaking, a rear-end collision happens when the driver behind you is following too closely and is unable to stop should traffic suddenly stop. In Athens, rear-end collisions may result in injuries such as whiplash, and, in cases of an extremely violent collision, spinal cord paralysis.
  2. T-Bone (Side Impact) Collisions: In Athens, side-impact collisions normally occur at intersections. The driver that hits you or your loved one may have run a red light, blew through a stop sign or pulled out in front of you into oncoming traffic. This reckless behavior could cause your car to be run off the road, spin out of control, cause your car to flip, your car may slide on wet roads, or hit an object such as a telephone pole. There are various injuries that may occur if you or you’re loved one is the victim of a T-bone accident in Athens, but a defective vehicle or design flaw could also harm you or a loved one.
  3. Single Automobile Accidents: In Athens, single-car crashes are most common among young and/or inexperienced drivers. Generally, these types of accidents in Athens usually involve your car and a stationary object.
  4. Multiple-Vehicle Accident: In Georgia and elsewhere, when two or more vehicles are involved in a car accident, it’s often referred to as a multi-vehicle accident. It only takes one driver to make a mistake while operating their motor vehicle and crash into another vehicle to start a chain reaction that leads to multiple vehicles of all kinds being involved in an Athens car accident. These types of accidents can lead to serious injuries for you, your loved ones, and other drivers.
  5. Head-On-Collision: Head-on car accidents in Athens are generally very serious and the injuries you or a loved one could suffer in such an accident could be severe, if not fatal. Head-on accidents happen in Athens when two or more vehicles hit each other while facing each other. In some cases, the driver that hit you or a loved one may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fallen asleep at the wheel, or had a medical emergency.
  6. Side Swipe: In Athens and throughout the United States, a sideswipe accident can occur when one driver misjudges a turn or swerves to avoid a serious accident, but their car scrapes the side of your car. Generally, only minor injuries may happen in this type of Athens car accident, but they can cause damage to your vehicle.
  7. Parking Lot Accident: In Athens and throughout Georgia, parking lots can be dangerous places. Someone may not look before backing out of a parking space and could hit your vehicle or could strike you or a loved one if you’re walking in the parking lot. In other cases, someone may strike you or your vehicle while trying to parallel park. Most injuries sustained in this type of accident are minor but could be serious if a driver of a motor vehicle struck you or a loved one while you were walking.

In an Athens car accident, injuries such as broken bones, cuts, concussions, whiplash, nerve damage, soft-tissue damage, spinal cord injuries, and/or joint dislocation may occur. The legal team at the Athens law office of Christopher Simon is committed to answering any of your questions involving your Athens car accident and being there for you during this difficult time.

Common Causes of Athens Car Accidents

In 2015, Vox used data from the National Highway Traffic Association to report that the I-285 highway that circles around Athens, is the deadliest interstate highway in the United States. In fact, the state of California and Texas had fewer interstate deaths than Georgia. The article by Vox stated that on I-285 in Athens approximately 3.5 car accidents per every 10 miles of highway. In 2013, 26 people died due to an automobile accident on I-285. These statistics are staggering considering there was only 1,120 fatal car accident in all of Georgia.

Some of the most common causes of automobile accidents in Athens and throughout Georgia include:

  • Driving Under the Influence: Someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the major causes of automobile accidents in Georgia, in spite of the fact that laws are in place that gives DUI drivers harsher penalties. As an example, in 2013 297 of Georgia’s fatal car accidents were caused by drunk drivers. That number is just over 25% of all Georgia car accident deaths.
  • Distracted Driving: In Athens, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents. The driver that caused your accident and injuries to you or a loved one may have been texting, on the phone, adjusting their radio, eating and/or drinking, or following their GPS device. By taking your eyes off the road for one second, you could be involved in an Athens car accident and suffer major injuries.
  • Driving too Fast or Slow: If an Athens motorist is driving too slow or too fast, it could be difficult to stop in time or for another vehicle to stop in time as well should they have to quickly react to road conditions. This type of accident is generally classified as a driver being careless or negligent.
  • Failure to Signal When Turning: Oftentimes, Athens drivers don’t use their turn signals to indicate what they are going to do. The failure of a driver to use their turn signals can cause a serious car accident in Athens. Again, these types of accidents are caused by a driver acting in a negligent manner.
  • Disregard for Weather or Traffic Conditions: When an Athens driver ignores the weather and/or traffic conditions, it can lead to a serious car accident that may cause you or a loved one to be injured. In most cases, the other driver had a total disregard for weather and/or traffic conditions and a Georgia court may choose to charge them with negligence.
  • Not Obeying Traffic Signs or Signals: In Georgia, all drivers have a responsibility to obey posted signs and traffic signals from other drivers. A failure to do this is negligence.

In Georgia courts, when a driver fails to pay attention to the roads, obey traffic and safety laws, a judge or jury may find them guilty of negligence. Under these conditions, Christopher Simon Attorney at Law may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver that caused you or your loved one to be injured. The lawsuit may be able to give you and your family the compensation you need to pay for medical expenses, loss of wage costs, and more.

If you or a loved one was killed in an Athens car accident that was caused by another driver being reckless and/or negligent, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your deceased loved one’s behalf.

Having an experienced Athens car accident lawyer like Christopher Simon Attorney at Law on your side may give you the advantage. Our attorneys will review all the information obtained during an accident investigation and use it to file a lawsuit on your behalf. In your claim, your Athens car accident attorney will outline the driver’s negligent behavior, the damages you are requesting, the compensation for these damages, and the injuries you and/or a loved one suffered.

Christopher Simon Attorney at Law will use your claim in an attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies on your behalf to settle your claim out of court. We will be a strong advocate for you and handle all the negotiations with the insurance companies involved. If your case isn’t settled, then we will prepare your case for trial in a Georgia court.

Athens Hit and Run Accidents

Given the harsh penalties that go with the hit-and-run accidents in Athens, you would think they wouldn’t occur very often, but you’d be wrong.

Since 2009, hit and run deaths have increased by approximately 7.2% every year. It’s been estimated that a hit and run occurs somewhere in the United States at the rate of one every minute.

Whether you’re walking, driving, or on a bicycle, your chances of getting injured in a hit-and-run accident are extremely high.

The state of Georgia operates on a fault-based system. It often isn’t easy to track down the driver of the vehicle that caused your Athens car accident. If you aren’t able to locate the driver, your uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist car insurance coverage will be activated.

Most insurance companies in Georgia treat a hit-and-run driver like an at-fault driver with no insurance. This type of coverage may have been optional when you purchased your Georgia car insurance, and many Athens drivers choose to skip this coverage to save money.

Christopher Simon Attorney at Law recommends that you add this coverage to your automobile insurance because Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured motorist insurance is generally very affordable and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

In order to have a successful claim in an Athens hit and run accident, you will need to collect all of your medical expenses and records, try to calculate any lost wages, quantify your pain and suffering, and send a demand letter to your Athens car insurance company.

At this point, the negotiations with your Athens car insurance company begin, and most times your car insurance company will not offer you a fair settlement amount. You can choose to go through this process alone, but it is recommended that you have an experienced Athens car accident lawyer assist you in this process.

If you don’t have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage, you’re going to need to try to find the driver of the motor vehicle that caused you or your loved one’s injuries.

To accomplish this, there are some things you will need to do immediately after the accident:

  • Write down everything you can remember about the car that caused the accident and your injuries and the accident yourself right away. Try to remember the make, model, and license plate, along with the description of the driver.
  • Talk to any witnesses that saw the accident and write down any details they can give you. You may want to check with local businesses and the city to see if there is surveillance video of the accident.
  • Take pictures of the damage. Evidence such as paint remnants and tire marks might assist the Athens police department in tracking down the driver.

If you do manage to find the driver that hit you and caused your injuries, they may be facing severe felony charges. Depending on you or your loved one’s injuries, the driver could face a felony conviction, fines, and jail time.

A criminal conviction due to your hit and run accident can be used by your Athens car accident lawyer as evidence in your civil case.

If you or a loved one is involved in a hit-and-run accident, you’re going to need an Athens car accident attorney to help guide you through the often complicated and complex processes to get you the compensation you deserve.

Common Car Accident Injuries in Athens

If you’re involved in an Athens car accident, you or a loved one could suffer any number of injuries, and those injuries could result in conditions that affect you or your loved one’s future.

Depending on the severity of your or your loved one’s injuries are, you could be looking at extensive rehabilitation therapy and/or multiple surgeries. Even a minor injury may turn into something more severe days or weeks after the accident.

The most common injuries that occur in Athens include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. Whiplash and/or Neck Injuries: Whiplash is caused by the sudden impact of the Athens car accident that can move your head and neck outside your normal range of motion. This can strain tendons and ligaments.
  2. Cuts and/or Lacerations: Such things as broken glass, ripped metal, and flying objects in your automobile can all cut you and cause lacerations that could require you to need stitches. In some cases, your cuts and lacerations may require surgery and/or plastic surgery.
  3. Internal Injuries: The seat belt, airbag, and other devices in your Athens motor vehicle that are meant to restrain you could cause you or a loved one serious internal injuries in the event of an accident. Such injuries normally require surgical intervention.
  4. Broken Bones: In some Athens car accidents, the impact is quite severe. As a result, broken bones such as wrists, arms, legs, and ribs are all common. In some cases, your broken bones could require surgery. Long-term effects of some types of injuries involving broken bones should be considered by you and your Athens car accident lawyer when filing your claim or lawsuit.
  5. Brain Injuries: Generally referred to as a “traumatic brain injury,” (TBI), these types of injuries can be caused by a blow to your head during the impact of your Athens car accident. It’s important that you realize that many times the symptoms of a TBI don’t show up immediately, so you should see your doctor as soon as possible after your car accident. Other types of traumatic brain injuries can include concussions, skull fractures, swelling of the brain, and other types of brain injuries.
  6. Spinal Cord Injuries: While extremely rare, severe spinal cord injuries due to your Athens car accident, could leave you paralyzed. Certain types of spinal cord injuries can be long-term in nature, and your doctor should fully explain your short-term and long-term medical needs before you and your Athens car accident attorney file a claim.
  7. Psychological Injuries: Many people don’t normally associate psychological injuries with Athens car accidents. However, it’s becoming more common for people to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), after being in a serious Athens car accident. For example, you may be having trouble sleeping, eating, interacting with friends and family, and trouble going to work. These are all common symptoms of PTSD. If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD, you should seek psychological help with these symptoms, not only to assist in your recovery, but you could be eligible for monetary damages due to your PTSD. In order to recover any compensation, it’s vital that a mental health worker gives you that diagnosis and that you are able to show you are seeking treatment.

It’s imperative that if you or a loved one is involved in an Athens car accident, you seek treatment by medical professionals as soon as possible after the accident. It’s also important to go to any follow-up appointments that are provided. This ensures no new injuries show up after the adrenaline of the accident wears off.

Damages You’re Entitled To After an Athens Car Accident

Problems arise when car accident victims deal with back and knee issues. The most common defense for these cases is that the pain complaints are all objective (that is they cannot be confirmed on an x-ray or other test) and what does show up on the films is pre-existing. The most common phrase out of the adjuster’s mouth is “that is just a soft tissue injury.” That is the dumbest comment out there because, by definition, anything other than a clear tear or fracture is soft tissue. A brain injury is a soft tissue injury, but it is very serious. If you and your Athens car accident lawyer file a lawsuit against the reckless and/or negligent driver that caused you or your loved one to suffer injuries in an Athens car accident, you could be eligible to receive damages, (financial compensation) that can be used to assist you and your loved one to recover from your injuries. Cases involving fractures, surgery, and scarring have unique values and all tend to be in excess of $100,000. The key is information. Any quality Athens car accident attorney will give you a free consultation so please, take at least three meetings. Get comfortable with the lawyers that you will be working with over the next year.

The types of financial compensation you and/or your loved one may be entitled to include, but may not be limited to:

  • Medical Expenses: This may include emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgery, medical devices, and appointments with medical professionals.
  • Ongoing and Future Medical Expenses: If you can prove that the injuries you suffered in your Athens car accident require continued medical care, you may be able to recover the cost of any future and/or ongoing medical expenses.
  • Pain and Suffering: This will include compensation for any physical pain you or your loved one suffered as a result of the injuries you sustained in the Athens car accident. In awarding these types of damages, the jury may examine the nature of your injuries, the extent of your pain, and the length of time you were left to suffer.
  • Mental Anguish: You may also be awarded compensation for your emotional suffering as a result of the Athens car accident. Mental anguish damages are meant to compensate you for fear, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, grief, and other emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Lost Wages/Earning Potential: If you were injured in an Athens car accident, you may be able to recover compensation for wages lost between the time of the accident and the resolution of your claim and/or lawsuit. If you were unemployed at the time of the Athens car accident, you might be awarded lost wages if you can demonstrate you had earning potential during this period of time.
  • Loss of Consortium: If your Athens car accident lawsuit is successful, your spouse may be able to recover damages for loss of marital benefits including companionship, sexual relations, affection, and comfort.
  • Punitive Damages: If the actions of the driver that hit you in Athens were malicious or egregious, the jury might impose punitive damages. These types of damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage them from the same behavior in the future.

What Should You Do After an Athens Car Accident?

One of the first things you should do is seek immediate medical attention for you, your loved ones, and any of the other drivers involved in the Athens car accident.

You have a responsibility to assist other drivers and/or passengers who were injured in an Athens car accident. After calling the police department, you should talk to the other drivers, if possible, so you can exchange names, phone numbers, and contact information for the insurance companies.

In order to protect your legal rights after an Athens car accident you should:

  1. Don’t ever assume responsibility for the accident, even if you think you may have been wrong. Even saying something like: “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” could be used as an admission of guilt, and you may not be able to recover any compensation.
  2. Take as many pictures as possible of any vehicles involved in the Athens car accident. Include pictures of obstructions in the roadway, the weather at the time of the accident, street signs, stop signs, stop lights, and the condition of every car involved in the Athens car accident.
  3. Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information.
  4. Record any events that happened right before, during, and after the Athens car accident. It’s important to write down everything you can remember as soon as possible so you don’t forget important details.
  5. Call your insurance company. Refuse to make any recorded statements. Keep your answers short and to the point. Anything you say may be used against you later when you and your Athens car accident attorney are in settlement negotiations. Don’t enter into any settlement at that time. Tell them the Athens car accident is still under investigation.
  6. Contact an experienced Athens car accident lawyer about the details of your car accident. The Athens law firm of Christopher Simon is there to assist you and to explain all your legal options.

What to Look for When Hiring an Athens Car Accident Lawyer?

If you or a loved one was in an Athens car accident recently, and that accident was caused by another driver’s negligent or careless driving, hiring an experienced Athens car accident lawyer is your best chance of recovering damages for your injuries.

When you are looking to hire an Athens car accident lawyer, there are several things you should look for in order to ensure your case will be handled properly. They include:

  1. Is the Athens car accident lawyer experienced? Experience counts. You want an Athens car accident lawyer that is not only experienced in handling Athens car accidents but is experienced in handling other types of personal injury cases as well. This wide range of experience gives your Athens car accident lawyer, the ability to use different strategies, and the capability to solve any complex problems that could come up in your individual case.
  2. Are they Available to You? When you’re looking for an Athens car accident lawyer, you want one that’s going to be there every step of your Athens car accident case. You are going to want to find an attorney who will be there to answer any questions you may have throughout what could be a long process.
  3. Do They Have a Successful Record? It’s your right to ask to see the success record of an Athens car accident attorney you are thinking about hiring to handle your case. Any attorney who has a record of success shouldn’t have any problem sharing that information with you.
  4. Do They Work on a Contingency Fee? During your consultation with an Athens car accident lawyer, keep in mind you should never have to pay upfront. The Athens attorney you hire should work on a contingency basis. This means that the Athens lawyer doesn’t require any up-front fees and will only get paid once your case is settled. Their fee will come out of the settlement agreement.
  5. Does this Athens Car Accident Lawyer Offer a Free Consultation? A free consultation is your opportunity to explain the details of your case, ask questions about the Athens attorney’s services, and decide if they’re a good fit for you. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee to discuss your case with an Athens car accident attorney. Make sure your consultation is with an attorney, and that your questions are being answered by the lawyer that is going to be handling your individual case.

Why Choose Athens Car Accident Lawyer Christopher Simon?

In Athens, one of the big problems is Athens Regional has a habit of not sending the car accident billing to the victim’s health insurance company. They instead ship it to a provider called Accelerated Claims. They are getting better about billing health insurance once we send a certified letter, but my question is what about all the unrepresented people out there who don’t know they should be insisting that health insurance pay the bill? When the time does come to consider hiring a lawyer to assist with your claim, several factors should be taken into account. Is your claim large or complicated enough for an experienced attorney to add real value through the attorney/client relationship? If not, you may be able to handle the claim yourself and avoid having to pay attorney fees.

Christopher Simon has written a book to assist people involved in Georgia car crashes whose claims may be suitable for settlement without hiring a lawyer. The Georgia Guide to Buying Car Insurance and Handling Car Accident Claims is available for purchase at Amazon.com and the firm will email it to you for free.

Our firm takes great care in deciding which cases are appropriate to accept. We handle a small number of cases at any one time so that we can give personal attention to our clients and their legal issues. When you are represented by our firm, your primary contact will be one of the lawyers, not a staff person.

Deciding whether to hire a lawyer and which law firm might best suit your needs is not always easy. However, calling for initial free advice certainly is. We appreciate you taking the time to review our website. If you have additional questions, or merely want to make sure you are on the right track in dealing with your auto accident claim, please call our Athens car accident attorneys today.

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