Car accidents are stressful and frightening experiences. Unfortunately, many crashes are caused by someone else’s recklessness and can lead to severe, even life-threatening injuries. If you were injured in a car accident for which you were not at fault, you have the right to hold that party accountable for their careless actions and obtain compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Call a College Park car accident lawyer at Rafi Law Firm today for more information.
Car Accident Statistics for Fulton and Clayton Counties
College Park is located in both Fulton and Clayton counties. A city at the southern boundary of Atlanta, close to the international airport and I-85, College Park is busy, crowded, and no stranger to car accidents.
Unfortunately, the number of traffic fatalities in Fulton County rose steadily from 77 in 2014 to 144 in 2019. Forty-two of the fatalities in 2019 were alcohol-related, i.e., a drunk driver caused or was involved in a deadly accident. 30 deaths were related to speeding, and 34 were pedestrian deaths.
The most recent data for overall crashes in Fulton County is from 2018. In that year, there were 45,944 crashes and 656 suspected serious injuries.
Clayton County has a significantly smaller population than Fulton, so the number of crashes and traffic fatalities is also less. However, one fatal crash is one too many.
In 2019, there were 51 traffic fatalities in Clayton County, 17 of which were alcohol-related, and 20 of which ended in pedestrian deaths.
In 2018, there were a total of 10,087 accidents and 134 suspected serious injuries.
If you were injured or your loved one killed in a car accident in College Park (Fulton or Clayton County), you deserve compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. A College Park car accident lawyer from Rafi Law Firm will represent you and your best interests while working to get you the money you deserve for treatment, lost income, and more.
Call Rafi Law Firm at (404) 800-1156 for more information.
What to Do After a Car Crash
We get it – car crashes are jarring. It’s hard to think straight after suddenly being hit by another vehicle. When you’re involved in a car accident, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your legal rights. Follow the guide below to make sure you keep yourself safe and don’t compromise your potential case.
Saying or doing the wrong thing could make you unable to claim for injuries or property damage, so it’s important that you follow the guidelines below. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Rafi Law Firm. There’s no obligation to hire us; we just want to make sure your legal rights are protected.
1. Move your vehicle to a safer location.
If your car is driveable, move it to the side or shoulder of the roadway. This will protect you against the possibility of being in a pile-up crash, which is common when two or more vehicles have already collided and blocked the road.
If the accident occurred at night, turn on your hazards. If the accident occurred in the day, it’s not a bad idea to turn on your hazards, either.
If you can’t move your vehicle, get yourself, your passenger(s), and anyone else involved in the accident to a safer location.
2. Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries.
If you or your passenger(s) are in pain or visibly injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. If you’re seriously injured, try not to move until someone can get to you.
If you are injured and need to go to the hospital, don’t try and wait around for the police to show up so you can tell them about the accident. Your health is the priority, and you can always obtain the police report later.
Keep in mind that our bodies release adrenaline when we’re involved in traumatic events like car accidents. Adrenaline can dull or numb pain, so even if you don’t feel injured at the scene, you may still need medical attention. It’s never a bad idea to visit the doctor and receive a check-up; in fact, doing so is a good way to support your claim.
If you didn’t visit the doctor after your accident, the other party’s insurance company will likely bring this up in an effort to devalue your claim.
Latent injuries (injuries that appear later) are also common in car accidents. If you have a latent injury, such as an internal injury that doesn’t present symptoms right away, and you agree to a settlement from the other party, you may be selling your claim far short of what it’s worth. If there’s any chance that you may have been injured in the accident, be proactive and visit the doctor.
3. Call the police.
Even if the crash doesn’t appear serious, it’s a good idea to call the police to the scene. The responding officer will create an accident report that is an invaluable piece of evidence for the insurance company. Police reports aren’t admissible as evidence in court, but insurance companies place great value in them as they conduct their own investigation and determine the value of an injury claim.
The police officer can also function as a mediator if the other driver is being aggressive or noncompliant.
Before leaving the scene of the crash, the reporting officer will hand you a receipt with the identification number of the report. That document will likely have the phone number of the office from which the officer reported. Call the number and ask for your report with the identification number. You might have to pay a small fee (usually $5 or less), but that’s a small price to pay for an extremely helpful piece of evidence.
4. Exchange information with the other driver(s).
You’ve probably heard this before, but you must exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also try and obtain:
- The other driver’s name and address
- Their contact information (phone number, email address)
- The make and model of the other driver’s vehicle
- The name and contact information of any witnesses to the crash
- The name, badge number, and contact information of the reporting police officer
An unfortunate but common problem in Georgia is the prevalence of uninsured drivers. Auto insurance is mandatory in Georgia, but many people don’t comply with the rules and end up driving illegally.
You have several options if you were injured in a crash with an uninsured driver. You may be able to obtain payment from uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage; medical payments “med pay” coverage; health insurance, or collision insurance.
5. Gather evidence at the scene.
Even if you aren’t planning to file a claim at the moment, you can prepare yourself and be proactive in protecting your legal rights by gathering certain types of evidence at the scene of the crash. Valuable evidence is often destroyed or lost in the hours and days after a crash, so try your best to take pictures of the following as soon as you can (if it’s safe to do so):
- Accident scene from various angles
- Stop signs, traffic signals, and other traffic control devices
- Your and the other driver’s vehicles, including any damage
- Your or your passenger’s injuries
It would also be extremely helpful to obtain witness testimony from anyone who was nearby at the time of the crash. Other drivers are great, but also consider patrons in nearby restaurants, people walking on the street, or anyone else who would have been in the proximity of the crash.
If you have any questions about obtaining evidence and how it can be used in your case, contact a College Park car accident lawyer at (404) 800-1156.
How We Can Help
The attorneys at Rafi Law Firm are compassionate in our dealings with clients, vigilant in obtaining and scrutinizing evidence, and relentless in our approach to representing victims of negligent drivers.
We won’t take your case and forget about you; we want you to be involved and informed about your case from beginning to end. If you were injured because of someone else’s reckless actions, you deserve justice and compensation. Other lawyers may treat you as a number, the next in a long line of clients to whom they won’t pay proper attention. Rafi Law Firm isn’t like that, and we like it that way.
Here’s why we’re different from other law firms.
Maximum Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries
It takes a seasoned, experienced lawyer to get you maximum compensation. Parsing through evidence takes time and requires hard work, and many lawyers aren’t up to the task. They’ll do a halfhearted job of representing you so they can get you out the door and have another client take your place.
At Rafi Law Firm, our clients deserve nothing less than the full amount of compensation available. Anything less is a waste of our clients’ time.
The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict
A settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff (injured party) and the defendant (at-fault party) showing that they resolved the dispute without the need for a trial. On the other hand, a verdict is when the parties cannot reach an agreement and must have a court of law provide a ruling (whether or not the defendant should pay the plaintiff for damages).
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, and most of the time, defendants are compliant and willing to reach a settlement and have the whole ordeal over with. Other times, the defendant and their lawyer are noncompliant and unwilling to offer an equitable settlement to the injured plaintiff.
In that case, the only way to obtain maximum compensation is by taking the other party to court. Trial preparation is intense and requires much work, which is why many attorneys don’t bother and will try and convince you to settle instead.
At Rafi Law Firm, we’re here to get you the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and suffering. We won’t settle for anything less than what you need and deserve, and we prepare every case for trial. If the other party and their lawyer refuse to offer a fair settlement, we’ll be ready to take them to court.
What types of damages can I recover from my car accident?
Other than your physical wellbeing, one of the first things you’re probably worried about after being in a car accident is how you’re going to pay for treatment, make up for lost income, and more. Under personal injury law, victims with serious injuries may be able to recover economic and/or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the calculable, measurable costs associated with the crash. You can probably account for every penny you are owed through bills and invoices. Economic damages usually include:
- Medical expenses – All medical expenses related to the accident, including surgeries, hospital visits, medical equipment, medications, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages – Wages that were lost due to the inability to work. In cases of permanent disability, a victim may be awarded loss of future income
- Benefits – This may include loss of retirement benefits, health care coverage, and other benefits lost due to the victim’s inability to work
Non-economic damages are the incalculable, often intangible costs associated with the crash. When we say “costs” here, we refer to the emotional and mental toll that an accident can have on a person.
Non-economic damages may be harder to prove, but with the help of an experienced College Park car accident lawyer, you’ll earn every penny of the compensation you deserve.
Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Diminished quality of life
- Mental anguish
- Shortened life expectancy
You have the best chance at earning maximum compensation by hiring a knowledgeable lawyer who is familiar with both economic and non-economic damages and knows how to negotiate for both, if applicable.
For more information about the damages you may be able to receive in your case, call Rafi Law Firm at (404) 800-1156.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains, bruises, and/or tears in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries are extremely common in car accidents due to the unnatural, rapid movements that take a toll on the body.
Head and Brain Injuries
These are perhaps the most serious type of injury that can occur in a car crash. The force of impact can cause different types of head injuries.
Closed head injuries occur when there is a sudden, violent jolt or blow to the head without penetration of the skull. Open head injuries occur when an object pierces through the skull and enters the brain.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious condition caused by an open or closed head injury. TBIs can cause a range of symptoms varying in severity, from a mild concussion to death.
Neck and Back Injuries
Whiplash is the most common car accident-related neck injury. It occurs when the head jerks rapidly back and forth, causing tendons and ligaments in the neck to stretch beyond their normal range and tear.
Car accidents can also cause several different types of back injuries, the most common being herniated discs and spinal compression fractures. Herniated discs occur when the enormous amount of force generated in a car accident is absorbed by the body, causing discs in the back to slip and shift, pinching nerves in the process and causing incredible pain.
A spinal compression fracture occurs when the bone that makes up the spine collapses. These fractures can occur when a large impact and force, such as that of a car accident, is transferred to the back, putting it under more pressure than it can stand.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious and can have a lasting impact on victims. Even a small tear or perforation of the spinal cord can cause permanent disability, including paralysis, or even death.
There are few treatments for victims of spinal cord injuries, making them even more debilitating. Patients often require prolonged treatment, and full recovery is rarely guaranteed.
Some injuries cannot be seen. These are known as internal injuries, and they often occur in the torso and rib cage. These injuries can occur when the impact of a car crash slams the driver or passenger forward into their seatbelt or the dashboard, not breaking the skin but causing deep bruises that can lead to internal bleeding.
Internal bleeding is extremely serious and can be deadly, so if you were in a car accident, you should receive immediate medical care even if you aren’t in pain or experiencing symptoms.