When you see a car accident on the side of the road, you can usually tell if it was serious or not. When you don’t see any ambulances or firetrucks, it’s safe to assume that everybody was able to walk away from the crash. Then there are times when you have to avert your eyes because the scene is so terrifying. As auto accident lawyers in Macon, we see both types of cases. Ironically, it’s the people who were involved in the minor crashes that think their case is worth a million dollars. Accident victims who were terribly hurt are usually concerned with making sure their medical bills are paid. They worry about how they’ll take care of their family if they can’t work again.
Here, we will explain how our personal injury attorneys in Macon, GA determine whether a potential client has a case. There are numerous factors that can influence the value of a person’s accident claim. We will discuss these here as well. If you happen to have questions about your own accident case, feel free to give us a call. We’ll gladly schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone.
Not All Car Accident Victims Are Entitled to Damages
Some people think that, just because they were in a car crash, they’re automatically entitled to damages. It doesn’t work that way, especially in Macon, Georgia. To be eligible for damages, your auto accident lawyer in Macon must prove that the defendant was negligent. To do this, they must prove all four elements of negligence.
According to the American Bar Association, negligence requires the plaintiff to demonstrate the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – In a car accident case, it isn’t all that hard to prove the defendant owed you a duty. All drivers owe a certain duty of care to other motorists. At a minimum, they are required to obey all traffic laws.
- They breached this duty – You must also prove that the defendant breached their duty. This is often the lynchpin of your case. Your attorney has to show that the other driver didn’t behave the way a reasonable person would have given the circumstances.
- You were injured – Obviously, you must suffer an injury if you expect to collect damages. You would be surprised how many people think they should be paid even if they weren’t hurt.
- Your injuries were a result of the defendant’s breach of duty – As long as you go to the hospital immediately after your accident, it shouldn’t be hard to prove this element. Unless the defendant can show that something other than the accident caused your injuries, you should be in the clear.
If your personal injury attorney in Macon can prove all four elements, there’s a good chance you’ll recover damages. However, if the defendant can prove that you were also partly at fault, your damages will be reduced.
What Happens to Your Case if You’re Found to Be Partially at Fault?
In our experience, nobody’s ever 100% at fault in a car accident. Even if the other driver caused the crash, you probably did something wrong during the crash. For example, imagine the other driver hit you from behind. Your brake lights could’ve been out. Or you may have slammed on your brakes out of nowhere.
If the defendant’s attorney can prove that you were partially at fault, it’s not the end of the world. In some states, your case will be dismissed if this happens. However, since Georgia follows the comparative fault rule, you can still collect damages, even if you’re partly at fault.
The way comparative fault works is that a plaintiff can still collect damages, even if they were partially at fault. However, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. So, if your initial demand was for $500,000, and you were found to be 20% at fault, your claim will be reduced by $100,000.
Will an Auto Accident Lawyer in Macon Still Be Willing to Represent You?
A good attorney is an honest attorney. If your auto accident lawyer in Macon doesn’t think your case is worth pursuing, they’ll let you know. The last thing they want to do is waste your time or theirs. Once they’ve had a chance to thoroughly review your case, they’ll determine whether it has merit. If it does, they may offer to handle it for you. If it does not, they’ll pass.
Even if your case is worth a decent amount of money, that doesn’t necessarily mean a lawyer will want to represent you. For example, if you’re too close to the statute of limitations period, they may not want to take on your case. If they don’t have time to adequately prepare your case, they’re not going to want to handle it.
The good news is that you can trust your attorney to be honest and upfront with you. Some lawyers may be willing to take any case that comes their way. However, a seasoned personal injury attorney in Macon isn’t going to want to file a case that has no merit. And you shouldn’t want to work with anybody who would.
It’s Definitely Worth Meeting with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Macon
Maybe you were in a motor vehicle accident, and you aren’t sure if you have a case or not. Perhaps you filed your insurance claim it was denied. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to meet with an attorney and find out if you have a case or not. Our auto accident lawyers in Macon meet with new clients every week wondering the same thing. Sometimes, it takes a seasoned attorney to determine if it’s worth pursuing damages.
We suggest that you call The Herro Law Office today and schedule your free, initial consultation. You’re not making any kind of commitment. You’re simply meeting with someone who knows the law. If they believe your case has merit, they’ll let you know and you can proceed forward. If you don’t have a case, they’ll be upfront and honest with you. Since the initial meeting is free, you have nothing to lose.