CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

A good lawyer can make all the difference.

One bad decision by another driver can change your life forever. A car accident can total your car, injure your body, knock you out of work, and lead to medical bills that you can’t pay—creating physical, emotional, and financial problems. Long after the wreckers have left, you’re still picking up the pieces.  Our job is to win a verdict or settlement that can compensate you for what you’ve been through and put you on your feet again.

Our personal injury lawyers understand that car wrecks bring not just pain, but hardship.  As our clients can tell you, we can help.

 

In this trial in Atlanta GA, we represented a client whose car had been struck in the rear by a drunk driver while her daughter was in the back seat.  In this video clip from opening statement, we described the collision to the jury.  The jury found in favor of our client.

In this deposition clip, which we showed the jury in a car accident trial in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a doctor explained how the car accident caused our client’s back injury.

Car Accident Settlement or Verdict

We can’t “undo” the car accident, but we can help you get back on your feet afterward. That’s what a settlement or verdict is for.  Winning a car accident settlement or verdict usually involves dealing with insurance. We begin with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage, which should be at least $25,000 under Georgia law. We’ll then look for other insurance policies that may offer coverage, such as another driver’s policy, underinsured motorist coverage, resident relative insurance, an umbrella policy, or medical payments coverage.  We have found commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies written for $1 million and higher.

We know the law, and we use it to our clients’ advantage.  We often discover insurance that our clients didn’t think they had.  For instance, unless our clients have signed a written rejection with the insurance company, we can usually collect uninsured motorist benefits. See Abrohams v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co., 282 Ga. App. 176, 182 (2006).   We have also found resident relative insurance coverage that others had overlooked.

We’re ready and able to take your case to trial, where we know how to win.  It comes down to evidence.  We call witnesses and knock on doors to make sure our clients’ stories get told.  We uncover video footage from surveillance cameras, commercial vehicles, or bystanders.  We get your medical records certified so that we can present them in court.  We cross-examine the opposing witnesses to bring the truth out.  We do the hard work.

Our car accident lawyers help our clients by putting their financial lives back in order. We take on the insurance companies or at-fault parties to earn our clients the compensation they need. That allows our clients to stop worrying and move on with their lives. As a Butler Tobin client, your job is to heal and move on to the next phase of your life.  We’ll handle the rest.

Tenaya was driving home from work when she was hit by a negligent driver who fled from the scene. We worked hard to uncover the truth and get Tenaya the justice she deserved. She is a wonderful person and we are glad she chose us to help.

When another driver made an illegal left turn in front of the car Malcom was riding in, it changed Malcom’s life forever.  To make matters worse, the police initially got the wreck wrong and put fault on the wrong driver.  We visited the scene of the wreck, investigated the vehicles, and tracked down the witnesses—and we proved the other driver was at fault.  As a result of our hard work, on a Saturday night before trial scheduled for Tuesday morning, the insurance company settled Malcom’s case for a confidential, but satisfactory, amount.

Georgia Law about Car Accidents

Georgia has a large set of laws designed to prevent car accidents.  That section of the Georgia Code is known as the “Rules of the Road,” and it has its own chapter in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.  O.C.G.A. § 40-6-1 et seq.  When an at-fault driver causes a car accident by not only being negligent, but also violating Georgia’s Rules of the Road, that driver has been “negligent per se” and can be held responsible under the law.

Any experience car accident lawyer knows that most car accidents arise out of violations of the same rules.  At Butler Tobin, we understand those laws, we know how to cross-examine at-fault drivers about them, and we know how to get the trial judge to explain those rules to the jury.  When a car accident case goes to trial, we take care to select jurors who are familiar with the driving laws and understand why following them is important.

Some of the more commonly-violated Georgia driving laws in car accident cases are:

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49 (following too closely),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-48 (failure to maintain lane),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-180 (failure to drive at reasonable and prudent speed),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-72 (failure to yield at stop or yield sign),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20 (failure to obey traffic control device),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-71 (failure to yield when turning left),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241 (distracted driving),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.1 (use of wireless device by person under 18),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.2 (texting and driving),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91 (failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-56 (failure to pass bicycle at safe distance),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390 (reckless driving),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391 (driving under the influence),
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270 (hit and run), and
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-253 (open container).

Punitive Damages in Car Accidents

Certain cases authorize what the law calls “punitive damages”—that is, a verdict that will “penalize, punish, or deter” the other driver so that he or she does not repeat the misconduct and harm someone else. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(a). Punitive damages are appropriate where another driver made a conscious decision that put other drivers at risk—or, in the language of the law, displayed “that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.” O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(b).  For example, a jury could impose punitive damages if the at-fault driver was drunk, was texting and driving, or committed a hit-and-run.  A smart car accident attorney knows when to ask for punitive damages, and when not to.

Punitive damages may be available when:

  • the at-fault driver was intoxicated
  • the at-fault driver was texting and driving
  • the at-fault driver does not stop at the scene (hit and run)
  • the company that employed the at-fault driver knew the driver was dangerous, but let them drive anyway
  • the automobile manufacturer knew the vehicle was dangerous, but sold it anyway
  • other situations authorized by O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(b)

When our client told us that she’d been hit by a drunk driver, we sent an Open Records Request to the arresting police department for the dash cam videos—and we were glad that we did.

Further reading:

How to Handle a Car Accident Case

Taking a Deposition of an Eyewitness (1)

Deposing an Eyewitness (2)

For-Trial Deposition of Eyewitness (3)

Deposition of Corporate Employee (Commercial Vehicle) (1)

Deposition of Corporate Employee (Commercial Vehicle) (2)

Plaintiff’s Opposition to a Continuance

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