Augusta Reckless Driving Car Accident Attorneys
Every state has laws to try to keep drivers safe on the road. However, many people disobey the law when they feel they can get away with it. Some motorists are simply reckless and put others in harm’s way. The fact is, reckless driving causes serious car crashes and severe injuries.
If a reckless, negligent driver was responsible for your accident, they should be held accountable for the injuries they caused, the medical bills you’re facing, and the losses you’ve suffered. Georgia is a fault state, which means any driver who causes an accident is liable for all the injured party’s losses.
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime, and state law defines it as a reckless disregard for people and property. It comes in various forms and can be any action that puts other drivers in a dangerous situation, such as speeding, tailgating, running a red light, or driving while impaired, fatigued, or distracted.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a reckless driving accident, the award-winning Augusta car accident attorneys at Chris Hudson & Associates can help you secure the maximum compensation you need. Call us today at 706-863-6600 to set up a free consultation. We’ll review all your legal options and answer all your questions. We’re ready to help.
What You Should Do After a Reckless Driving Accident
It’s frightening crossing paths with a reckless driver. It’s difficult to predict their next move and to try to remove yourself from harm’s way. Reckless driving accidents are unfortunately common, and may be caused by any of the following:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failure to use headlights at night
- Drug or alcohol impairment
- Merging illegally
- Fatigued driving
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Distracted driving
If you do get injured because of another person driving recklessly, there are some steps you should take before leaving the scene:
- Call the police to the crash site to investigate. Refrain from admitting any fault for the accident occurring and let the officer know if you believe reckless driving was to blame;
- Get as much information from the negligent driver as possible, such as their name, contact information, insurance information, etc.;
- Take pictures of the scene, damage to all vehicles involved, debris, skid marks, and other relevant evidence; and
- Talk to anyone who witnessed the crash and get their names and phone numbers, so you have eyewitnesses to support your claim.
Victims of reckless driving accidents typically suffer serious injuries. If you can’t follow the steps above, ask someone else to do it for you. Car wrecks get cleaned up within hours after an accident. If there’s evidence on the road, it’ll get removed, and you want to make sure there are photos of it before that happens.
Seeking medical treatment is crucial after collecting evidence at the accident scene. Don’t wait for days or weeks. Insurance companies look for any reason to deny or delay insurance claims. If you wait to see a doctor, they’ll likely refuse to pay you the compensation you deserve because your injury may not seem serious.
Hire an Augusta Reckless Driving Attorney Immediately
The Augusta car accident attorneys from Chris Hudson & Associates understand the complexities of auto accident cases. There are various pieces of evidence you need to obtain and documents to send to the insurance carrier. If you’re unfamiliar with the procedure, it’s confusing and can become overwhelming to handle.
Your reckless driving car accident attorney will take care of each step on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about the stressful claims process. When you hire us, we will thoroughly investigate the crash and locate sufficient evidence to prove the other driver was reckless and should compensate you for your expenses.
The evidence we gather may include:
- The at-fault driver’s liability auto insurance policy
- Photos of the crash site
- Video surveillance of the accident
- Statements from witnesses
- Car repair bills and rental vehicle invoices
- Your medical records, prescriptions, and receipts from any out of pocket expenses
- Police reports
Chris Hudson & Associates will file an insurance claim and negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf. It’s our goal to reach a favorable outcome in your case and make sure you receive the highest compensation available. You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s poor decisions. We’ll hold the reckless motorist responsible and get you the money you deserve.
Pursuing Compensation After a Reckless Driving Accident
There are multiple options available for pursuing compensation if you get injured in a reckless driving car crash. These include:
Liability Insurance: Georgia law requires all drivers to hold liability insurance with bodily injury and property damage coverages. If the reckless motorist caused the accident, you could file an insurance claim with their insurance carrier for compensation.
Lawsuit: You could file a civil suit against the negligent driver if you believe their behavior was entirely reckless and deserves a monetary punishment. Insurance companies pay settlements in insurance claims, but when it comes to a lawsuit, the at-fault party may be responsible for paying.
UM Insurance: In Georgia, you have the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage on your auto policy. It provides compensation to victims of accidents if the driver at fault doesn’t carry liability insurance.
Damages in a Reckless Driving Claim
When you file a claim, you typically try to get compensation for your total damages. Damages are the economic and non-economic losses resulting from an accident or injury. Depending on the severity of your injury and the amount of coverage on the auto insurance policies, you could potentially pursue the maximum compensation available.
Economic damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income and future earnings
- Car repair
- Replacement of damaged vehicle
- Rental car costs
Non-economic damages may include:
- Physical pain
- Disfigurement or impairment
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
It’s difficult to place value on non-economic damages. There isn’t a bill or number associated with physical and emotional pain, so it’s usually up to a jury to determine how much the victim deserves. Many states impose a cap on non-economic damages; however, Georgia does not.
Georgia’s Contributory Negligence Rule
In Georgia, the contributory negligence rule determines the maximum compensation the injured party is allowed to receive in a lawsuit. The total damages permitted depend on the percentage of shared fault.
As long as you’re less than 50% responsible for the injuries you suffered, you can win a financial award. If a judge or jury finds that you’re 20% to blame for the reckless driving accident, you’re only allowed up to 80% of your damages. That means if your damages equal $10,000, the highest award you can win is $8,000.
Pursuing Compensation in a Lawsuit
If you decide you want to sue the reckless driver, you have to follow a strict deadline. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years. That means you only have two years from the date of the accident to pursue legal action against the individual who caused it.
Even if you initially decide you want to file an insurance claim, you need to plan accordingly. Some claims take months or years to resolve. If you’re waiting for the insurance adjuster to provide a settlement offer and the two-year deadline passes, you won’t have the opportunity to file a lawsuit if your settlement is much lower than you deserve.
Injuries Caused by Reckless Driving
When someone is driving recklessly, they put everyone around them at risk of severe physical harm. If you get into an accident, you’ll probably sustain life-threatening injuries or develop a permanent medical condition.
Reckless driving accident victims suffer from the following injuries the most:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Loss of limb
- Traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Spinal cord injury
- Permanent scarring
- Soft tissue injuries
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
If the victim of a reckless driving accident dies from their injuries, immediate family members can file a wrongful death claim. The damages suffered depends on the type of injury and how long after the crash the victim passed away.
Under Georgia law, the individuals who can pursue a wrongful death claim against the liable driver include:
- A surviving spouse, and represent the interests of any minor child
- Surviving parent or parents, if there isn’t a spouse or child
- A personal representative of the estate if there’s no spouse, child, or parent
When seeking damages from a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members can recover compensation for their damages, as well as the deceased person’s damages had they survived the crash. These may include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Physical or mental suffering, lost time, and necessary costs suffered by the family due to the death
- Lost income between the date of the injury and death
- Emotional anguish suffered by the victim because of their fatal injury or medical condition
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages the deceased would have made if they survived
- Loss of the victim’s companionship or love
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the victim’s death. The two-year clock stops in specific situations, such as:
- If there’s a pending criminal case against the reckless driver for the same events as the wrongful death claim or
- If the deceased person’s estate doesn’t go into probate.
Contact Chris Hudson & Associates to Speak with an Experienced Augusta Car Accident Attorney
Chris Hudson & Associates understands the financial burden you’re facing and also how overwhelming it may feel to take on a legal case. Our Augusta car accident attorneys will handle the legal legwork for you. We dedicate our time and attention to each client to ensure you receive the compensation you need to heal and move forward with your life.
To find out how we can help you recover the money owed to you after a reckless driving accident, call 706-863-6600 to schedule a free consultation.