Hundreds of car and truck accidents happen every day in and around Atlanta every day. If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, life can suddenly become much more difficult. If you are seriously injured, you may need expensive medical care and treatment. If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you and your family may not be able to pay for necessary medical expenses in addition to your monthly bills.
It’s tough to figure out what to do after an accident. There is no shortage of car accident lawyers in Atlanta, and choosing the right one is not an easy task. Finding the right attorney starts with a couple of questions. First, what injuries did you suffer as a result of the accident? Next, how do you want to be treated?
There are many different kinds of personal injuries, something that your average consumer may not be aware of. First, most people are familiar with the high-volume personal injury firms. These are the guys who usually advertise on billboards and TV and radio commercials. Their business usually consists of taking any and every case and trying to get a quick settlement with the insurance company. They may not provide the best service because they usually have hundreds of clients at any given time. You are probably just a number to them. And what happens when they can’t settle your case for what you deserve? They may either pressure you into taking the small settlement the insurance company is offering, send you to another attorney who will file the lawsuit, or drop your case altogether. Find out if your any of your friends have hired one of these firms before and ask them about their experience.
Another type of injury law firm is the one that specializes in a certain type of case, and only takes the biggest cases that fall into that category. They usually have very good reputations for providing great service and obtaining large settlements or winning big jury verdicts. Unfortunately, in order to work the big cases effectively, a firm cannot accept too many of them at the same time. This is because it’s very expensive, time consuming, and difficult to work a case correctly. Therefore, these firms usually don’t advertise to the public too much. They get cases from other attorneys who don’t have the resources, experience, or time to work on the big stuff. If you’ve been catastrophically injured, you should find one of these firms and see if they’ll take your case.
Then there’s our firm. We try to be the best of both worlds. We take cases where people are seriously hurt in a car wreck, but not to the point where they are catastrophically injured, and we work our hardest to maximize their recovery. We strive to provide top-notch service, meaning we update you on your case often, get you to the right doctors, return your phone calls promptly, and tell you the truth. Most importantly, we treat you like a member of the family, not like a customer.
We’re a small, family-owned business, and we want to keep it that way. You won’t see us on any billboards. You won’t hear any radio commercials or see us on TV. We don’t want to be everything to everyone. We want to be there when you need us. If you think of your car wreck as a get rich quick scheme, we’re not for you. We make the insurance companies pay fair compensation to people who are actually injured.
Roadmap for your Car Accident Case
Most car accident cases follow the same general pattern:
1. Initial Meeting:
You meet with Attorney Jerry Parisi to discuss the facts of your case. We’ll review the police report, photos, and any other evidence. If Jerry agrees to represent you, then you’ll will sign a retainer agreement (attorney-client contract) and a few other documents. We’ll get some basic information from you and make copies of your driver’s license and insurance cards. Then we get to work.
We will do our own investigation into the cause of the accident. We’ll also get all the relevant insurance policy information from the at-fault driver as well as your own insurance company.
3. Medical Treatment:
You can go to your own doctor, or we can help you find a healthcare provider that can treat you. It’s your job to make sure you attend your appointments and get the medical care you need so that you can improve.
Once you’ve completed your treatment and reached maximum medical improvement, then we prepare a demand letter and send it to the insurance company to tell them what you deserve for your case.
Oftentimes we are able to negotiate a fair and favorable settlement for our clients before we have to file a lawsuit. This is always the goal. It saves the client time, money, and stress when the insurance company does what’s right and pays you what you deserve.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t always do what’s right. That’s why we are always ready and prepared to file a lawsuit to take your case to court. 7. Trial: It could take a long time (years in some cases) to go to trial, but a jury will often give the client more than the insurance company was offering. We have experience defeating large insurance companies in jury trials, and to be honest, it’s one of the best feelings in the world when take on the big guys for our clients and win.
Can You Win a Case if the Car Accident was Partially Your Fault?
Yes. Georgia has a law called “modified comparative negligence.” This means that you can recover damages even if you were partially to blame for the accident. However, if you were 50 percent or more at fault, then you cannot recover any damages. So, the accident has to be mostly someone else’s fault.
How do you determine who was at fault in a car accident?
The first thing to do is review the police report. This will usually tell you who’s fault the accident was. If the police officer gave a citation to only one party, then that is usually the at-fault party.
However, there may be situations where the police get it wrong. They probably didn’t witness the accident themselves, so they base their determination of fault on what the parties and witnesses tell them. If you can find other evidence, such as video, pictures, skid-marks, etc., then you may be able to prove fault that way. But in general, the police report is the best way to determine who’s negligence caused the accident.