AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER BROOKHAVEN GA
In the time it takes glass to shatter, a car wreck can change your life—requiring help from an auto accident lawyer Brookhaven GA trusts. After a serious wreck, you’ll need someone who can help put the pieces back together. That’s what we do.
Auto accidents are an increasing problem.
After years of declining, roadway fatalities are on the rise once again. As an auto accident lawyer Brookhaven GA relies upon can tell you, the trend is definite and alarming. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, keeps a database called the Fatal Accident Reporting Statistics, or FARS. For decades, as automobiles became safer, the number of fatalities dropped. But recently, that trend has reversed.
Texting and driving is on the rise.
Why? In recent years, iPhones and other smartphones have become commonplace—and some drivers can’t seem to put their phones down. As an auto accident lawyer Brookhaven GA turns to, we have handled many cases involving texting and driving or distracted driving. Some cases have involved teenage drivers who have grown up in a constantly-connected world, whose friends expected instant responses to text messages, Snapchats, or other mobile communications. Others have involved professional drivers who, for whatever reason, allowed themselves to become distracted. Distracted driving, including texting and driving, probably has something to do with the increase in roadway fatalities.
Automotive technology is changing fast. Many vehicles now come with automatically-assisted braking, lane departure warnings, and other electronic safety features. Some vehicles are even sold with a feature called “autopilot.” These features may make cars safer in the long run, but they also present hazards. As an auto accident lawyer Brookhaven GA turns to for complex cases, we have some experience with automobile manufacturers whose products did not work as designed. When a feature that drivers rely upon—such as adaptive cruise control—fails, a collision may be the result. Or, some drivers may rely more heavily on an active safety feature than they should—and stop paying attention to the road, or choose to drive the car after drinking or when they are otherwise impaired.
So although automotive technology may make our roads safer in the long term, it’s not clear how those features will affect safety in the short term. If active safety features don’t work like they should, or if mis-named features induce drivers to depend on them too heavily, these technologically advanced features may hurt more than they help. That could contribute to the rise in roadway fatalities we’ve seen in recent years.
What to Do after an Auto Accident
Most of us either have been, or will be, involved in an auto accident. After a collision, your adrenaline is pumping. You or someone you love may be hurt. You may be called upon to help a driver or passenger in another vehicle. Either way, the period immediately after a serious accident is a stressful time. If you want to take the right steps, it helps if you’ve thought about them in advance. Here’s what to do.
- Seek medical treatment. If you or someone else in the wreck is hurt—or maybe hurt—call an ambulance. Remember that sometimes injuries are more severe than they first seem. That is in part because the adrenaline from the wreck can hide pain, and in part because damaged muscles and tissues tend to swell in the 48 hours following a collision, meaning that the symptoms and pain often get worse in the days after the crash.
- Take pictures. If you’re able, take pictures of the scene of the wreck. Do it beforethe tow trucks move the vehicles. Make sure to capture the angle of the impact, the place where the collision occurred, the damage to each vehicle, and anything that seems strange—such as a seat that is laid flat when it should be upright. Police are often too busy to take photographs, so recording the scene may be up to you. Take more than you think you will need.
- Write down witnesses’ names and phone numbers. Any auto accident lawyer Brookhaven GA relies upon knows that witnesses are often lost. After a wreck, many witnesses may stop to offer help, but few will wait around long enough to talk with the police officer. Even if they do, the police officer may not copy down their names and telephone numbers. So remember—save the witnesses’ names and numbers, or that information is likely to be lost.
- Be careful talking with the insurance company. Your policy with your insurance company may require you to give reasonably prompt notice to the insurance company after a wreck. But it is usually not necessary to give them notice immediately—normally, the next day or so is fine. That is important, because sometimes it is wise to calm down and gather your thoughts before calling. Also—be verycareful when speaking with any insurance company representative. They usually record the call, often without telling you that they’re recording! And remember—you’re talking to a trained representative who has been taught to get you to say things that will minimize the value of your claim so that the insurance company does not have to pay you as much. So if you talk to an insurance company—instead of allowing your lawyer to do it, which may be a better idea—be careful!
- Hiring a lawyer. You may decide to hire a lawyer after an auto accident. If you do, make your choice carefully. You only get one chance to bring a lawsuit. Be especially carefulof any lawyer who contacts you directly if you have not contacted the lawyer first or otherwise asked for legal advice. Georgia’s ethics rules prohibit lawyers from cold-calling people after they’ve been in a wreck, or seeking them out unless they’ve already sought legal advice. Good lawyers don’t break that rule! So if a lawyer approaches you in that way, do not hire him or her—it’s not the sign of a good lawyer.