Car Accidents in Columbus, Georgia
Every year, hundreds of people tragically die and many more suffer from significant and potentially life-changing injuries on Georgia’s roads. According to Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, almost 1,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in car accidents in 2018 alone.
Though some accident victims only suffer minor injuries, others may be left with serious medical issues, injuries, and complications that result in a lasting negative impact on their lives. Injuries from car accidents can cause painful physical injuries and leave psychological scars that may never fully heal. If you suffered injuries or losses as a result of a car accident in Columbus, Georgia, The Sessions Law Firm can ensure your legal rights remain protected. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Columbus, Georgia today for a free case evaluation at (470) 225-7710.
Columbus Car Accident Statistics
Columbus is a city in Muscogee County, Georgia, with a population of just under 200,000. While the city has a suburban feel, there are many things to do and see in the vicinity of Columbus. Locals enjoy walking or cycling on the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, and there are plenty of attractions to visit such as local museums and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center.
While traffic congestion and commuter times are relatively manageable, compared to the larger nearby city of Atlanta, Columbus does have its fair share of traffic congestion especially during rush hour on Interstate 185. Accidents on Columbus’ roads can occur during bad weather conditions, in construction areas, and due to drivers’ negligence. According to City-Data, there were 24 fatal accidents in Columbus in 2017, nine of which involved intoxicated drivers.
Types of Car Accidents in Columbus
Car accidents can happen anywhere in Columbus, Georgia, including on the highway, on overpasses, on rural roads, and at intersections. Types of motor vehicle accidents that occur in and around the city include:
Head-on crashes are often devastating for all involved, especially if they happen at high speed. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), head-on collisions only make up a small number of overall accidents in the United States, however, they cause 10 percent of all fatalities. Head-on collisions can cause catastrophic and permanently disabling injuries. They typically happen due to intoxicated drivers, distracted driving, or excessive speed.
Rollover car accidents are rarely harmless and can cause severe injuries, especially when car occupants end up ejected from the vehicle. Vehicles with a higher center of gravity such as SUVs, trucks, and vans can be more prone to rollovers than other types of vehicles. Rollovers might happen with single-car accidents or due to another driver’s negligence. In some instances, a car manufacturer or other party can be liable for victims’ damages in rollover accidents.
Single car accidents can occur due to falling asleep at the wheel, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, a vehicle defect, or inclement weather and road conditions. While in most instances the driver would be at fault for their own accident, there are some notable exceptions, where another driver, a car manufacturer, or a government entity could be responsible, including the following examples:
- The accident occurred due to avoiding a collision with a negligent driver
- The accident was caused by a defective car part such as faulty brakes
- The accident happened due to a dangerous condition on the roadway
Side-impact crashes are also called T-bone accidents. This type of accident can occur when a driver crashes into the side of another car after failing to yield, running a red light, or failing to monitor their surroundings. T-bone accidents can cause horrific accidents and injuries, particularly when they happen at high speed.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end crashes make nearly one-third of all car crashes, which makes them the most frequent accident type on United States roads. Some rear-end collisions amount to little more than a fender-bender, perhaps leaving car occupants with a stiff neck and a little shock. However, other rear-end collisions can have tragic consequences. When a large commercial truck slams into a car at high speed, for example, the result can be horrific injuries and fatalities of the car occupants.
How Do You Determine Fault in a Car Accident?
Determining fault and negligence in a car accident can be legally complex and challenging. Unfortunately, simply knowing that the other party caused your crash will not hold up as evidence in insurance company negotiations or in court. An accident victim that suffered harm due to the negligence of another car driver will have to prove fault with conclusive and compelling evidence. The process of gathering the necessary evidence and proof can be frustrating, especially for those who may still suffer from serious injuries related to the accident.
Sometimes, even the police can get it wrong and a police report may not accurately portray the events or who is to blame for an accident. In those cases, having a dedicated, passionate, and experienced car accident lawyer by your side can help ensure your legal rights remain protected by building a strong case against the negligent party.
Establishing Fault of the Other Driver
Another driver can be at-fault for your accident and injuries in many different ways, for example by:
- Driving distractedly
- Driving intoxicated
- Driving fatigued
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Running red lights
- Failing to yield
- Driving a defective vehicle
- Generally driving in a careless or reckless manner
Determining the fault of the other driver can be relatively easy in some cases. A clear-cut case, for example, would be an intoxicated driver slamming into your car after failing to yield. If the police arrive at the scene quickly, determine the intoxication and fault of the other driver, you could have excellent evidence for the other driver’s negligence.
However, in many other accidents, especially those involving multiple vehicles, determining fault can be challenging and require extensive research as well as accident reconstruction experts. Having an experienced Columbus car accident lawyer in your corner can provide practical help as well as peace of mind and comfort.
When to File a Lawsuit
Victims of a car accident should consider getting legal advice as soon as possible after an accident. However, this does not mean that an accident victim should file a lawsuit immediately. Timing can be crucially important in order to maximize compensation. Generally, a claimant should wait until the full extent of their injuries can be determined, in particular the potential need for any future treatments. Knowing the long-term consequences of the accident on your health, career, and private life is important in order to determine a fair settlement amount.
Next, negotiations with insurance companies often produce fair settlement offers. However, if the insurance company of the negligent party fails to provide you with a full and fair settlement, you may want to file a claim in court. You must do so within the statute of limitations (deadline) which is two years according to Georgia law under Georgia Statutes Section 9-3-33.
How To Best Help Your Personal Injury Attorney
There are some steps you can take that can help your personal injury attorney build a strong case against the negligent party. Your lawyer will likely require the following details from you before they can begin preparing your claim:
- Specifics about your car accident
- Copies of police reports and other relevant documents
- Photographs of the accident scenes and vehicles if available
- Details of any car damage and repair or replacement costs
- A list and details of your injuries and how they have affected you
- Proof of your medical expenses such as receipts
- Proof of loss of wages such as pay stubs
- Medical reports and statements
- Insurance information
- Contact details of other drivers and their insurance information
- Contact details of any witnesses
- Receipts any out-of-pocket expenses
In your first consultation, a personal injury attorney can inform you about any additional documents and materials they may require negotiating with insurance companies or file a claim in court.
How Much is My Car Accident Worth?
While car accident victims are understandably curious to find out how much their settlement could be worth, there is no way to determine this without looking at a claim and damages in detail. Compensation depends on many factors, including the severity of injuries, property damage, and any non-economic damages a victim suffered such as loss of life quality. While your lawyer may not be able to provide you with an exact amount, they can assess your damages and could give you an indication of your claim’s potential worth. Ultimately, a settlement will depend on the outcome of negotiations or a trial, and it can be impossible to predict exactly how a trial will be decided.
However, a plaintiff could be entitled to various types of compensation which can include:
- Medical expenses and future medical treatment costs
- Lost income and future income losses
- Property damage
- Pain and anguish
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of life quality
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Punitive damages
Depending on your claim, you could also recover additional damages. Rest assured that the Sessions Law Firm can fight tirelessly for fair compensation so that you do not end up out of pocket due to someone else’s negligence and recklessness. If you would like to find out more, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer in Columbus today at The Sessions Law Firm.
The Sessions Law Firm Is Here to Help
When you have suffered extensive injuries and damages, the last thing on your mind may be dealing with the stresses and technicalities of either negotiating with an adversarial insurance company or filing a lawsuit. We understand that your priority is your health and recovery from a painful and emotionally taxing experience. However, you have a legal right and deserve to be compensated for what you have been through if your injuries and losses are the results of someone else’s negligence.
If you are looking for a car accident lawyer in Columbus, Georgia, who will provide you with the attention and commitment that you deserve, the Sessions Law Firm is the right choice for you. We have made it our goal to stand up for regular people who have suffered due to other’s negligence. We can help you in a number of practical ways, including:
- Building a strong personal injury case
- Negotiating aggressively with insurance companies
- Representing you passionately in court
If you or a loved one suffered significant injuries and damages in a car accident, consider turning to our experienced attorneys for legal help and advice. We will take our time to get to know you, fully assess your claim, and discuss your options honestly and openly with you. Call the Sessions Law Firm for a free consultation today at (470) 225-7710.