Where do car accidents most occur in Macon? The last thing you want to happen is a car accident. However, no matter how careful you are, you can’t control another driver’s actions. Macon and the surrounding area have several roads that see a higher percentage of accidents than other roads, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s crash data. You can lower your chances of getting into an accident by avoiding these roads if possible, especially during rush hour. For more information, reach out to a Macon car accident lawyer.
Most Dangerous Roads in Macon
The Georgia Department of Transportation lists accidents by county. It found that roads that are the most dangerous include: Pio Nono, Eisenhower, Gray, and Mercer University Boulevard. Traffic is high on these roads, and in the case of Mercer University Boulevard, even higher when school is in session.
While GDOT does not list what type of accident happened on which roads, the Macon area sees upwards of 7,000 accidents in a year, with 126 serious injuries and 35 fatalities.
Injuries you might sustain in a car accident could range from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic brain injuries or even death. In some cases, you may have the ability to help prove your accident case.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you can move around without causing additional damage, you can help prove the other driver’s negligence but taking the following steps after a car accident:
- Check on other drivers and call first responders.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Be sure you get photos from all angles. Include damage to the road, such as skid marks, and nearby property, such as lawns, fences, mailboxes, and trees.
- Allow emergency medical technicians to check you over.
- Obtain contact information for other drivers and witnesses.
- Obtain other driver’s license, registration, and insurance information.
- Give the police officers your version of the events.
Once the police release you from the accident scene, seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Let the medical professionals know that you were in an accident and need a complete checkup. The sooner you seek medical attention, the less the defendant can argue that your injuries are not as bad as you say.
Finally, contact a Macon car accident lawyer. The sooner you connect with a lawyer, the sooner the lawyer can start working on your case. This is important as evidence tends to disappear. The weather erodes evidence, the defendant and others can inadvertently destroy evidence, and the defendant can purposely destroy the evidence.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Many people like to post things that happen in their lives on social media. Until you settle or complete litigation, you should not post anything about the accident on any social media site. Nor should you post your activities. The defendant will use something as innocent as a dinner out to show that you are not really hurt.
Additionally, if the defendant or his or her insurance company contacts you, refer them to your attorney. The only information you should give the insurance company is your name, policy number, the date and location of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
The injuries you could suffer in a car accident vary depending on several factors, including speed and the size of the vehicle.
Injuries might include:
- Bumps, bruises, scrapes, scratches, and cuts.
- Strains and/or sprains.
- Pulled and torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Ear injuries, including permanent deafness.
- Amputation of a limb or digit.
- Chemical and thermal burns.
- Psychological injuries.
You could also recover compensation for secondary injuries, such as infections of open wounds or deafness. Additionally, if the accident injuries exacerbated existing injuries or illnesses, you could recover compensation for those new injuries since you would not have otherwise suffered them from the original wound.
Why You Need Medical Attention Even for Minor Injuries
Some injuries do not manifest until hours or even days after an accident. Medical professionals can perform tests to check for “hidden” injuries, such as muscle and other soft tissue injuries, neck injuries, and internal injuries.
Doctors may not find all hidden injuries depending on which tests they do. However, the documentation of visiting the doctor helps should injuries appear later.
Why You Should Contact a Macon Car Accident Lawyer After an Accident
Some people want to attempt settlement negotiations on their own. In most cases, those who do, do not recover as much compensation as they could with a Macon car accident lawyer. We do not recommend settling your case yourself, especially if you have severe or catastrophic injuries.
Our Macon car accident attorneys work with expert witnesses to recreate accident scenes and determine the cost of future medical expenses and loss of earning income. Insurance companies do not want to pay these expenses, so they will do everything possible to show that your injuries did not cause life-altering disabilities.
An expert medical witness has extensive experience in the medical field and can testify before the court as to the future outcome of your injuries based on your current medical records. Expert accident reconstruction witnesses have experience in forensically reconstructing accidents to show who was at fault. We often call them in if the police report is incorrect or the insurance companies insist on relying on incorrect witness testimony.
Other expert witnesses we might work with include psychologists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, cognitive therapists, and occupational therapists, especially in cases where you suffered catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
The Difficulty of Accident Cases
Even what looks like a simple accident case becomes complex under certain situations, such as when more than two vehicles wreck, when the vehicle that hit you is a commercial vehicle, and when you suffer severe or catastrophic injuries or lose a loved one because of the accident.
When you have to sue more than one defendant, the case becomes complex as each defendant has his or her attorney, and each defendant’s insurance company has its attorneys.
During the settlement process, you must be able to convince the defendant’s insurance company why you are asking for the amount you included in a demand letter. If your case goes to litigation, you should always have an attorney represent you, as the average layperson does not know the laws—this could leave it wide open for the defendant, his or her attorney, or the insurance company to take advantage of you.
Statute of Limitations
Every state, including Georgia, has a statute of limitations. This is the law that states how long you have to bring legal action against a defendant. In most accident cases, you have two years to take action against the at-fault driver.
Fighting Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Every claim they pay out decreases their bottom lines—their overall profits. Thus, every insurance company will do its best to find a reason to deny your claim. Barring that, the insurance company will offer you the least amount possible.
Insurance companies have several tricks they use to minimize their losses. If you speak to an insurance company, it will twist what you say to lay the blame for the accident at your feet. Another trick insurance companies use is to tell you that the most they can pay is a certain amount—which is almost always not true.
Causes of Car Accidents
To recover compensation after a car accident, you must prove the other driver was negligent.
Negligence might include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, legal or illegal prescription medications, and illicit substances.
- Aggressive driving.
- Reckless driving.
- Speeding and excessive speeding.
- Driving while tired or fatigued.
In some cases, what might seem like an honest mistake could be negligence, including:
- Failure to account for weather: A driver driving too fast for conditions is negligent, even if he or she was driving under the speed limit.
- Vehicle maintenance: If a vehicle owner does not properly maintain the vehicle and the maintenance issue causes an accident.
- Poorly maintained roads: In this case, the driver and municipality that maintains the roads could share responsibility for your injuries. If the driver drives too fast over poorly maintained roads, he or she is driving too fast for the conditions. Municipalities have a responsibility to ensure the roads are safe.
Recovering Damages After a Car Accident
Georgia allows accident victims to recover three types of damages after an accident, depending on their injuries and losses.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value. Most people who suffer injuries in an accident can recover economic damages, including:
After a vehicle accident, many people have at least some medical expenses, while others could have significant medical expenses, including:
- Doctors’ appointments, surgeries, and follow-up appointments.
- Prescriptions and prescribed over-the-counter medications
- Ambulatory aids.
- Cognitive therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Psychological therapy.
- Occupational therapy.
- Hand controls for vehicles.
- Widened doorways, wheelchair ramps, grab bars, and railings to make your home accessible.
- Home health care.
- Rehabilitation and/or nursing home care.
Unlike some other types of accidents, you can recover compensation for destroyed or damaged personal property after a vehicle accident. You could recover compensation to repair or replace your vehicle and valuable items on your person or in your vehicle that were damaged or destroyed in the accident.
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, no amount of money can heal your sadness or bring your loved one back. It can, however, reduce the financial stress of taking care of your loved one’s affairs.
You could recover compensation for the following:
- Funeral expenses.
- Burial expenses.
- Cremation expenses.
- Certain probate court expenses.
- Probate attorney.
If you suffered severe or catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one, you could recover compensation for lost income and loss of future earning capacity. Even if you can go back to work, you can recover compensation if your injuries do not allow you to work full-time or in the same profession.
Not everyone can recover non-economic damages. You must recover economic damages; in most cases, your injuries or losses must be long-term or permanent.
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a monetary value and include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make life-long changes, such as taking prescription drugs or using ambulatory aids.
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy or take part in family daily activities, special occasions, and/or events.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a finger or leg.
- Loss of use of a bodily function, such as your eyesight or bladder.
- Disfigurement or excessive scarring.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
While it is the court’s discretion as to what constitutes long-term injuries, the Social Security Administration considers disabilities that last over a year or result in your death as long-term or permanent.
To recover punitive damages, you must prove gross negligence. Instead of making you whole again, as economic and non-economic damages do, the court orders a defendant to pay punitive damages as a punishment for gross negligence or intentional behavior.
Examples of gross negligence might include excessive speeding while evading the police or texting while driving. You might recover punitive damages for intentional behavior—you have to prove it—such as someone intentionally running you off the road in a fit of road rage.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact a Macon car accident lawyer for your free case evaluation.