Every year, thousands of motorists sustain severe injuries in motor vehicle accidents on Georgia roads. According to the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan data, Georgians suffered 7,308 serious injuries from collisions in just one recent year. Nearly 1,500 people died during the same period.
After a crash, many victims are left with chronic pain and may experience lingering psychological effects that limit their ability to function optimally in daily life. These limitations can lead to financial difficulties due to missed income, expensive medical bills, and other constraints.
Attorney David Bence and the team of personal injury attorneys at Bence Law Firm, LLC are here to help if you’ve been hurt in a Georgia motor vehicle accident. Our law firm has recovered more than $35 million in compensation for injured people just like you. With help from a Columbus car accident lawyer, you can demand the full and fair compensation you need to cover your losses after a wreck in the Peach State. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Top Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Columbus
It’s all too easy for a negligent or reckless driver to cause a motor vehicle accident in Georgia. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Drivers who are talking on the phone, texting, snacking, putting on makeup, talking to passengers, adjusting in-vehicle controls, or are otherwise distracted may miss an obvious hazard in their path or be unable to react in time to avoid a collision.
- Impaired driving – Using drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel impairs a driver’s reflexes, affects their judgment, and may cause them to pass out while the car is still moving.
- Fatigued driving – According to one study, going 24 hours without sleep impairs someone’s driving ability to the same degree as someone who had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.10. Given that 0.08 is the legal limit in Georgia, you can see how severe sleep deprivation can greatly affect your ability to drive safely.
- Speeding – The faster a motor vehicle moves, the harder it is to control because there’s less margin for error. Speeding drivers will have a harder time merging or changing lanes safely. High-speed crashes also tend to result in more severe injuries because the force of impact is much more violent than collisions at lower speeds.
- Aggressive or reckless driving – Unsafe lane changes, taking turns too quickly, failure to yield, tailgating, running stop signs, racing, and other aggressive or reckless driving behaviors make a motor vehicle accident more likely on Georgia roads.
- Mechanical defects – A problem with a motor vehicle’s critical mechanical systems – brakes, engine, transmission, steering, etc. – can make it difficult or impossible for a driver to safely control the vehicle, leading to a crash.
- Poor road conditions – Rain, snow, ice, sleet, and other inclement weather can cause road conditions to deteriorate rapidly. Precipitation makes it harder for drivers to control their cars and increases the time they need to stop safely. Road defects due to poor maintenance can cause similar problems for drivers.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
Serious injuries are common in Columbus motor vehicle accidents. Examples include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage (e.g., muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc.)
- Deep cuts
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Back injuries, such as a herniated disc
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
- Facial disfigurement
How Long Do I Have to File a Columbus Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
In Georgia, you generally have two years from the date of the crash to file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit. Fail to file a claim within that timeframe, and you’ll most likely lose your chance at recovering compensation for your injuries. However, it’s a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable car crash lawyer in Columbus as soon as possible after the crash. Depending on the facts and who’s liable in your motor vehicle accident case, the deadline to file your claim could be much shorter or possibly longer. It’s critical to know what exceptions might apply in your case.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Columbus Car Accident
Here’s what you need to do if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Columbus:
- Call 911 – The most important thing to do after any car accident is to get treatment for your injuries. Calling 911 will bring emergency medical personnel to the scene to evaluate you for injuries and transport you to the hospital if needed. In addition, the police can start working on an accident report, which you’ll want if you need to file an injury claim later.
- Document the accident scene – If you or someone nearby is able, document the crash site. Take pictures or videos of the damage to any vehicles, the area around the crash area, and any injuries you sustained. If there are any eyewitnesses, get their names and contact information.
- See a doctor right away – If you aren’t taken to the emergency room, see your physician immediately after a crash. You may have internal injuries that aren’t obvious and require treatment. Your doctor can also document the injuries in your medical record, linking your condition directly to the crash. This will be crucial evidence in your motor vehicle accident claim.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company – An insurance adjuster may try to lock you into a story or get you to agree to a quick settlement. Don’t fall for it. Before agreeing to make any kind of statement, contact a motor vehicle accident lawyer in Columbus.
- Stay off social media – Anything you post on social media can potentially be used against you in the insurance claims process. Avoid making statements or posting pictures that can be used against you by the insurance company.
- Hire a Columbus motor vehicle accident attorney – Let a lawyer handle the legal legwork involved in your claim while you focus on healing from your injuries. A skilled attorney can help you pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
Types of Compensation After a Car Accident
With help from the right attorney, you could potentially recover significant compensation after a motor vehicle accident in Columbus. This includes money for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological distress
How a Columbus Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident, it’s essential to get help from a skilled attorney who can fight for you to receive full compensation and justice for your injuries. At Bence Law Firm, LLC, we will:
- Investigate the accident to determine who’s liable and what compensation you’re eligible for
- Gather and preserve evidence to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life
- Manage all of the necessary insurance and court paperwork involved in your motor vehicle accident claim
- Aggressively negotiate for a full and fair settlement for your car accident injuries
- File a car accident lawsuit if settlement talks break down
We can start on your case today. Call a Columbus car accident lawyer at Bence Law Firm, LLC for a free initial consultation.