Have you been in a car accident in Georgia? Was someone else to blame? If so, you might be wondering about how much they owe you. The effects of a car accident can be far-reaching, from expensive medical bills from the treatment to get you back on your feet to lost wages while you’re unable to work to the long-term consequences of lingering impairments – and that’s to say nothing about the pain of the injuries themselves. So, what might affect the value of your claim against them? Let’s explore that question in detail.

Liability and Negligence

Determining who is to blame for an accident might seem like a black-and-white issue. However, Georgia law operates under the principle of comparative negligence when it comes to assigning liability – that is, who’s legally responsible for an accident. This means that insurers and courts look at the facts of the accident and assign percentages of blame on each party involved. Only an injured party who is less than 50 percent at fault can recover compensation from the other at-fault parties.

However, under this system, the amount you can recover will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. As such, comparative negligence means that your ability to recover damages – the legal term for financial compensation – depends on proving the other driver was more at fault than you were. Furthermore, the clearer the fault on the part of the other driver, the greater the value of your claim.

Verifiable Losses

As the injured party, you’re responsible for coming up with a figure that will make you whole again, and then backing that figure up with evidence. As such, the amount of money you recover will also depend on your ability to accurately calculate the total costs of the accident. The value of your claim rests principally on the cost of your economic losses – the dollars-and-cents expenses like medical bills, property damage, and lost income. As such, be sure to save:

  • Invoices for medical appointments, treatments, surgeries, and medications
  • Pay slips, tax forms, and correspondence with your HR department that can prove how much income you lost due to missed time at work
  • Auto repair and replacement bills, as well as invoices for rental cars or alternative transport

However, economic losses are just one part of the equation. Non-economic losses like pain and suffering and diminished quality of life are just as real as hospital bills, but they have no obvious price tag. The more compelling a case you can make for the physical and emotional harm you’ve suffered, the more you can get for these more subjective losses. A knowledgeable car accident attorney in Atlanta can get to know you, understand the true extent of your suffering, and translate this into a legally compelling argument for additional compensation.

Your Lawyer’s Negotiation Skills

Most claims are settled out-of-court via negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Insurers tend to offer low settlements to save costs. While the amount they offer might seem significant at first, it is crucial that you do not accept the initial offer. They simply want to catch you off guard before you understand the full value of your claim. 

An experienced personal injury attorney will understand this dynamic and be able to negotiate with the insurer after calculating the true value of your claim. With an experienced negotiator on your side, you can demand a fair settlement that compensates you for what you’ve suffered.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Atlanta, GA

The seasoned legal team at W. Winston Briggs Law Firm knows how to properly value a car accident claim, because we have more than 30 years of experience fighting and winning for injured Georgians. We want to get to know you, review your situation, and determine the fair value of your claim – then fight hard to get it. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.