Car accidents are unfortunately a part of life in Alpharetta, Georgia, and around the state. Many car accidents could be easily prevented if drivers focused on the road, rather than on their phone or other inner-car distractions. The number of car accidents has increased throughout the country in the last decade stemming from driver distraction and the advent of smart phones. While many states continue to ban the use of phones while driving, it can be difficult to monitor this use, and unlucky drivers bear the full brunt of the influx of distracted driving. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our Alpharetta car accident attorneys today.
Car Accidents in Alpharetta, Georgia
Fulton County is unfortunately ranked as the top county in Georgia for the number of fatal car accidents. The number of fatal car accidents declined from 2005 to 2011, but could still be improved. Car accidents occur on a daily basis in Fulton County and show no indication of slowing down. While fatal accidents only make up a small fraction of total car accidents, they are indicative of a national trend of overall driver distraction and failure to pay attention to the highways.
Georgia has recognized the need for new laws which combat distracted driving and has passed legislation banning texting while driving. Studies have indicated that texting while driving is as dangerous (if not more dangerous) than driving while intoxicated, although both types of distracted drivers continue to plague the roadways.
Alpharetta and Georgia Car Accident Statistics and Insights
At Slover Law, we are dedicated to helping car accident victims recover, which will help them get on with their lives more quickly and efficiently after an accident. Our car accident attorneys and staff are highly experienced, but we also believe the more our clients know, the better we can assist them. One way to understand the complications of traffic in Alpharetta and the metro Atlanta area is by seeing the statistics regarding accidents in the area.
Statistics Related to Alpharetta and State Car Accidents
Between 2005 and 2011, over 5,000 car accident fatalities occurred in Georgia. Most of the drivers involved in fatal crashes during those five years were between the ages of 15 and 21, and 1,682 of those drivers were under 21. Many fatalities involved motorcyclists, a large number of which were not wearing helmets at the time of the accidents. The year 2008 was the most fatal year for motorcyclists who did not wear helmets, with 178 fatalities. Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb Counties have been cited as the top five Georgia counties for motor vehicle accidents between 2005 and 2011.
Statistics show that alcohol-related fatalities in particular are lower in Georgia than in most of the US. For example, between 2009 and 2011, alcohol-related driver fatalities steadily fell from 333 to 277, a 16% drop. However, alcohol-related fatalities remain an issue statewide, with just over a quarter of deaths (26%) related to alcohol in 2009. Most fatalities of any kind involve passenger cars or light pickup trucks. Pedestrians have also been at high risk from Georgia car accidents, especially from 2009 to 2011, with fatality numbers ranging from 130 to 168.
By 2011, there were over 3 million privately owned registered automobiles in Georgia. These included commercial vehicles such as public buses, taxi cabs, and tractor-trailer trucks, all of which can cause severe damage and passenger injuries or fatalities if involved in automobile accidents.
As of 2013, the fatal accident count in Alpharetta, GA stands at approximately 6. Of these, only one involved someone driving under the influence of alcohol. However, Alpharetta is still a thriving urban area with enhanced potential for traffic accidents, so Slover Law urges potential clients to be as vigilant as possible and to take written or photographic information at all accident scenes so the case can be closed quickly and efficiently.
The costs of car accidents across the US remains at about $14 billion in medical, work loss, and other costs. Statistics show half of all car accident damage in the US comes from ten states. With $1.55 billion in damage each year, Georgia is fourth in the top ten most expensive states. In Georgia, car accidents kill 42% of young adults, 35% of adults, and 5% of children. Medical costs add up to $17 million each year.
Georgia’s Interstate System
Georgia is home to nine major interstates, including I-14, I-20, and I-75, 85, and 95. Many of these are located on state lines, feeding into Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. According to the Georgia Accident Data Center, Atlanta and Savannah are the two cities where drivers are most likely to experience accidents on the interstate, with 196 and 74 accidents, respectively, each year.
Slover Law attorneys caution past and potential clients to be particularly careful on heavily trafficked interstates, especially in Atlanta, where intoxicated and drug-influenced drivers may be found more often. Accidents involving Alpharetta drivers are likely to occur on I-85 or I-285. Alpharetta is part of Gwinnett County; as noted, Gwinnett is one of the top five counties in which Georgia drivers may experience accidents.
If you have been involved in a car accident, especially one involving Alpharetta’s interstate system, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at Slover Law right away.
Georgia Car Accident Laws
The aftermath of a car accident can be emotionally traumatic and physically painful. Accident and injury law is likely the last thing on someone’s mind after a driving incident, especially on the busy highways that leading into and out of Alpharetta. It’s wise to understand Georgia car accident laws, as those who don’t are more likely to face charges in court. Slover Law would like to highlight some of the key Georgia car accident laws that are important to understand before you sit behind the wheel.
Basic Car Accident Laws
The first thing each client needs to know is how Georgia handles determining liability in car accident cases. Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. That is, a car accident victim can recover losses from any party who is more at fault than he or she is. This generally refers to anyone who is 50% or less at fault for an accident. If a client is found to be more than 50% at fault, he or she may not be able to recover any losses.
Who is found at fault will depend on how much a claim is worth and what a judge and jury finds if said case ends up in court. Be aware that juries are usually reluctant to award damages to any party found negligent, distracted, or under the influence. Multiple-vehicle accidents may be handled differently, so if several drivers are involved in an accident, the best option may be filing a cumulative claim. In general, the driver at the end of the accident is found at fault in an accident.
Time Limits and Statutes of Limitations
Georgia employs time limits for filing accident-related claims. If a client is filing a personal injury claim, he or she has two years to prepare and present your case. This is likely because at times, physical injuries aren’t apparent right after a car accident. Injured parties should obtain a full medical exam as soon as possible after the accident.
Physicians will treat obvious injuries and let clients know what signs of injury to watch for at home. He or she can also diagnose invisible internal injuries and predict whether an accident will cause a semi-permanent or permanent disability. The presence of disabilities or long periods of missed work can influence the case, so file as soon as possible.
In filing a property damage claim – for example, a client needs to use awarded damages to pay for a new vehicle or if the accident damaged a building he or she owns or rents – the client has four years to file a lawsuit. Particularly for property damage, familiarize yourself with Georgia car insurance laws.
An insurance company can help decrease payments that might be needed to replace a vehicle or repair a building. If the accident involved government agencies – for example, a city bus rear-ended your business vehicle – the client will need to file a specific incident claim with the correct agency as soon as possible after the accident, and contact an attorney who has experience working with government agencies. Clients have six months to file an injury claim against your city or county in Georgia.
Georgia does require its drivers to have car insurance as part of the financial responsibility inherent to driving a vehicle. However, Georgia does not require drivers to show an insurance card, and will not accept a card as proof of insurance. Instead, the Georgia Electronic Insurance Company (GEICS) verifies accident victims’ insurance through the GEICS database. Most attorneys recommend paying for collision and comprehensive insurance, as well as insurance that covers accidents with uninsured drivers. If a client’s insurance does not cover uninsured drivers, he or she may get stuck paying attorney fees and damages for the driver who caused the accident.
If you have questions regarding car insurance, or if you have been involved in a car accident, Slover Law can assist you. Make an appointment for a consultation with one of our qualified Alpharetta car accident attorneys today.
The Most Dangerous Types of Car Collisions
Most car accidents don’t result in fatalities or permanent injuries, but plenty do. Knowing the most dangerous types of car accidents can help you avoid them and help you protect yourself if you happen to be in one. There are five specific accidents you must be knowledgeable about, particularly if you live in a heavy-traffic area such as Alpharetta, Georgia.
A head-on collision is exactly what it sounds like – two vehicles crash into the front of each other head on. Most head-on collisions occur in non-passing situations. Despite urban areas’ reputations for traffic accidents, head-on collisions often occur on rural roads, especially undivided two-lane roads. This might be because drivers on rural roads mistakenly think they have more room than they do or because they become more easily distracted if traffic is light. Many drivers on these roads fall asleep or are speeding. They may not recognize approaching traffic or road problems until it’s too late. Statistics show 75% of these collisions occur on undivided rural roads.
Side Impact Collisions
Also known as T-bones, side impact collisions are not always fatal but can cause severe damage and bodily injury. Side impact collisions are especially dangerous because they cause 1 in 4 child injuries and 1 in 3 child deaths across the US. Of those child injuries, 95% are head injuries. This can result in severe concussions, brain damage, permanent disabilities, and heavy medical expenses. SUVs and other large vehicles are likely to be involved in this type of collision. In fact, the presence of SUVs increased side impact collisions by 20% from 1981 to 2001.
Rollover accidents occur when impact causes a car to flip or roll, either on the road, over other vehicles, or into ditches. According to safecar.gov, rollovers cause more fatalities than any other type of car accident. To protect yourself and passengers from rollover damage, get frontal and side air bags for your car. Make sure side air bags work well since your children should be placed in the back seat. More than 10,000 people per year are killed in rollovers, and tall, narrow vehicles, including many standard passenger cars, are most at risk.
Multi-vehicle accidents are often the most complicated and tragic of all. How severe injuries and damages are will depend almost entirely on where you are located in the accident, what type of vehicle struck you, and where. Also called pile-ups, multi-vehicle accidents are more likely to occur in urban areas or on interstates, especially when drivers follow fellow motorists too closely or do not adjust to rapidly changing road conditions.
Heavy precipitation, especially snow and ice, is known to cause pile-ups. Large vehicles such as private and commercial trucks are most at risk for pile-up involvement. Keep in mind that in a multiple-vehicle collision, the person at the tail end of the accident will probably be assigned fault. However, every case is different and damages may be allocated differently depending on how many vehicles are in the accident, the injuries and vehicle damage sustained, road and weather conditions, and other factors.
What to Do if You’re in an Accident
No matter what type of accident you are in, there is specific protocol you should follow to protect yourself and passengers. Take photographs or written notes on all accident conditions if you are able. Contact the police right away, give your statement as calmly as possible, and don?t leave the scene without permission. Exchange insurance information with all other drivers. If you are severely injured, don’t try to exit the car yourself; wait for help from paramedics and other emergency personnel.
Make an appointment with our Alpharetta Car Accident Attorney today to understand your legal options after a severe accident. We will assist you in determining whether your case can be settled out of court and if not, how you can most quickly and easily win that case.
What to Do Immediately Following a Car Accident
It will happen to most of us at least once, but today it happened to you. You’ve been in a car accident, and minor as it may be, you’re scared and shaken. You may be injured, and your body and emotions are probably quite tense. A car accident can be a lot less traumatic if you know what to do immediately following it.
Even if you are injured, don’t panic. Don’t leave your vehicle; wait for emergency personnel to help you. If necessary, you can alert personnel by calling for help or banging on a window, but do not bend or twist your body, particularly if you feel broken bones or sprains. If your seatbelt is trapping you, do not try to take it off yourself.
If you are able, you will be asked to give a statement. Do so as calmly as possible. Do not speculate or assign fault, even if you think you know who is at fault or what happened. Finding fault should be left to professionals, especially in multi-vehicle collisions. Do not say or do anything that would cause you or other drivers to become more agitated. If you are not injured, but are able to help others, ask to do so. However, pay attention when professionals ask you to stay out of the way.
The more knowledge you have, the safer you’ll be and the faster you can recover from the accident. Exchange insurance and personal information with other drivers, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If another driver is uninsured or underinsured, make sure you have his or her personal information, as this may be their only form of contact. Write down descriptions of the accident scene or take photographs as much as you can. These can be used to prove fault in court and allocate the funds you may need for recovery.
Make note of key elements like weather and road conditions, the conditions of vehicles, and who is injured and how. If you suspect a fatality, contact emergency personnel immediately. Do not touch or move a dead or unconscious body. Talk to witnesses, including other drivers and passengers, to make sure they are okay. If everyone is stable, take notes from others. You may need their testimonies if you all file a cumulative claim.
Keep Track of Bills and Medical Treatment
Car accidents often result in injuries that range from minor bruises or sprains to broken bones, concussions, and semi-permanent or permanent disabilities. If you’ve been injured, keep all your medical information and bills on file and well-organized. If you are referred to a physical or occupational therapist, or other specialist, ask them for pertinent paperwork. This may be used as evidence in court, or your insurance company may use it to determine what percentage of your bills they can pay.
Use What You Have with You
Car accidents are less painful and stressful if you’re prepared ahead of time. Of course, no one can prepare 100% for an accident, but there are certain things you can have in your car that will help you. Every driver should have a safety and/or first aid kit in his or her car.
Carry plenty of water, as well as light foodstuffs such as granola bars, crackers, nuts, and fruit in your vehicle. Accident victims may need it, particularly if they are in shock. If you regularly take medication, keep a small supply in your vehicle. Car accidents can aggravate conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, muscle disorders, and so forth. Having your medication on hand and being able to communicate that you need it will keep you healthy and safe.
The car accident attorneys at Slover Law can help you with the difficult aftermath of a car accident. Our attorneys are highly qualified and familiar with each accident law in the state of Georgia. Make an appointment with us today.
Car Accident Recovery
If you were a victim of a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and will need the representation of an experienced car accident lawyer in Alpharetta. Georgia is a comparative negligence state, and therefore if you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the car accident, you are entitled to receive damages for the accident from the responsible party. However, if the accident was partially your fault and partially the fault of the other driver, you may need to investigate further to determine the scope of your liability.
If you were not the responsible party, you will be able to request damages to cover hospital visits, medical bills, lost wages, future earnings, and even non-economic damages such as mental anguish. Distracted drivers should be held responsible for their actions in order to curb the incidence of distracted driving on the roads. A personal injury attorney can help ensure that the driver will not drive in a distracted manner in the future and therefore will not injure another driver.
Slover Law | Alpharetta, Georgia Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident in Alpharetta, do not hesitate to contact car and truck accident attorney Sutton T. Slover. Sutton T. Slover is experienced in assisting clients bring claims in many different types of car accident cases. Distracted driving is not the only thing that can lead to car accidents, but also weather conditions, poor car maintenance, and failure to stop at a red light can lead to equally severe car accidents. Contact our office today for your initial free consultation.