Auto accidents are far too common, especially in Atlanta, Georgia and the greater metro-Atlanta area. There are more automobiles on the road than ever. The promises of ride share – reduced vehicles, less traffic, fewer wrecks – have not come to pass, at least not yet. By the same token, smarter cars cannot prevent most wrecks. In fact, they cause us to drive more distracted than ever – connecting with our devices to listen, engage, talk, text and even work instead of focusing on driving on our busy interstates and roads. With more cars on the road and more distractions, any one of us may become a victim of an automobile accident at any time.
If you or a family member is seriously injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, call The Baer Law Firm today at 404-THEBAER (404-843-2237). Atlanta car accident lawyer Bryan Baer will meet with you in a free consultation to answer your questions.
1. Stay calm and think safety
If you are in an automobile accident, first stay calm and focus on staying safe to minimize even greater harm. Many catastrophic and fatal wrecks in Atlanta, Georgia begin with a minor fender bender that another driver does not see which leads to a more severe collision. Move your vehicle to a safe place as soon as possible to avoid another collision or further harm. Do not get out of your vehicle until you are sure you are far away from other drivers. If you cannot move your vehicle, stay in your vehicle and put your flashers on. Do not try to get out of your car on a busy highway. Once you are in the safest place possible following the automobile accident, call 911.
2. Take Photographs
If you can do so safely, take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved from multiple angles and distances, including inside your vehicle (especially if airbags deploy). A picture is worth a thousand words. Good damage photos not only give an indication of the severity of the impact but also the mechanism of the collision which can be useful to prove the other driver was at fault.
3. Get contact information of witnesses
Get names and numbers of witnesses who saw the automobile accident, if any. Do not rely on the police officer who comes to the scene to get this information. Many times, they fail to take down names and numbers of even those witnesses who stop at the scene and talk to the officer.
4. Get drivers' license and insurance information of other drivers
Get drivers’ license and insurance information from the other drivers involved in the automobile accident. The police will typically obtain this as well, but it may be a week or longer before the police report is ready. And occasionally the police put incorrect policy numbers and insurance companies on the police report. Without information of the at-fault drivers’ insurance policy, you may be waiting even longer to get the claim started.
5. Notify your insurer
Notify your insurer that you were in a wreck. This does not mean that you are making a claim and will not cause your insurance rates to increase. You may need coverages that you have with your automobile insurer. Failing to provide timely notice of a wreck may jeopardize those coverages, leaving you financially responsible.
6. Do not take an ambulance unless you need to
If you are not suffering life threatening injuries, it is not necessary for your case to take an ambulance to the emergency room. Do not get in an ambulance and go to the emergency room just because you think that is needed to make a bodily injury claim. It will be the most expensive ride and doctor visit of your life. And one that the insurance company may not pay for, leaving you with the bill. That said, if you think you could have a serious back, neck or head injury, or the responding officer or paramedic recommends you take an ambulance to the emergency room, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Of course, if you are seriously injured in an automobile wreck - knocked unconscious, suffering from a broken bone, head injury, intense/debilitating pain in your neck or back rendering it difficult to stand or walk - it is not realistic for you to do the above. Get in an ambulance and go to the emergency room. Your health and safety are far more important.
If you are seriously injured in an automobile wreck in Atlanta, Georgia and/or the person who hit you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the collision, you need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. The Baer Law Firm is here to help you.
The insurance landscape is a labyrinth filled with landmines. You do not know what you do not know. Even if it clear that the other driver was at fault, the liability for a wreck is often murkier than you realize. The insurer of the at-fault car does not automatically pay your medical bills as they come due and will require you to sign a release stating that you cannot recover any more money before paying the first cent. Even if you have health insurance, your health insurer will likely deny paying (at least initially) on the basis that the wreck was “auto-related”. If health insurance does pay, they will request to be reimbursed, and their right to be reimbursed is often a complex issue of fact and law. Attorney Bryan Baer and The Baer Law Firm have the experience and know how to navigate the insurance landscape to get bills paid in a way that ultimately maximizes your recovery --- helping preserve money to compensate you for things like lost time from work, lost time and experiences with loved ones, loss of use, loss of enjoyment of life, as well as pain and suffering.
Atlanta car accident attorney Bryan Baer will meticulously capture and preserve evidence necessary to make your case. Most vehicles on the road today have some sort of event data recorder or “black box” that captures information such as speed, breaking time, etc. seconds or sometime longer before a crash. Depending on the details of your wreck, it may be necessary to get this information before the vehicle is salvaged or the data overridden. If liability is clear and injuries not too severe, it may not be cost effective to obtain this information. However, if injuries are severe, liability in question and/or if aggravating factors such as drugs or alcohol are at play, The Baer Law Firm will devote energy and resources to obtain the data recorder. Many lawyers fail to take the time and incur the expense to get this information even in serious injury cases.
Catastrophic injury or death following an automobile wreck may be due to a defect in the automobile causing the injuries to be more severe than they otherwise should have been. Experts are typically needed to make these claims and require access to the vehicle to evaluate the merits of a products liability case. Attorney Bryan Baer has investigated many auto defect cases and will look for possible products claims, assess their viability and preserve evidence necessary to make them.
Unfortunately, the legal system in Atlanta does not work automatically on behalf of people who are involved in devastating car accidents. Many variables are often at play that can complicate the legal case and make it difficult for victims to get the recovery they are entitled to receive. Automobile insurers are in the business of collecting premiums and paying the least amount of money possible in claims. Automobile insurers will find or fabricate as many holes as possible in your case to justify paying less money. You need a lawyer who will not only stand up for you, but who will also build your case from the ground up so there is less ability for the insurer to poke holes in the case. You need a lawyer who knows not only where the Courtroom is but has the courage to actually go to Court to try a case. Yes, most cases settle, but if you choose a lawyer who only settles cases, you will be settling for less money. Insurance companies know which lawyers will settle cases for less money to avoid going to Court.
Attorney Bryan Baer and The Baer Law Firm have years of personal injury experience to provide you with effective counsel and advice so that you are equipped to make good decisions involving your case. You are the ultimate decision maker, but The Baer Law Firm will be there and partner with you every step of the way.
Atlanta, Georgia car accident attorney Bryan Baer has handled hundreds of cases for people seriously injured in car accidents. Below are a few results which demonstrate the difference that courageous and compassionate representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer can make.
Attorney Bryan Baer’s client lost both of his legs after he was hit and pinned against his truck while collecting garbage as a sanitation worker. The driver who hit him had a minimal $25,000 policy. At first, that appeared to be all the money available for the catastrophically injured husband and father. However, attorney Bryan Baer discovered a $1,000,000 policy on the sanitation truck and then worked diligently to prove that this policy covered his client’s injuries even though his client was not in the truck at the time of the accident.
When attorney Bryan Baer met this client (who was hurt while driving for UBER), she was unable to walk and about to be evicted from an extended stay motel which would have left her homeless. She had previously been represented by two large volume lawyers who did not have time to understand the nature or gravity of her injuries. As a result, she was seeing a Podiatrist (not a medical doctor) for a complex orthopedic foot injury.
Attorney Bryan Baer took over her case and got her the proper medical treatment by one of the top foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons in Georgia who ultimately performed four surgeries on her foot. He also got her access to the best physical therapy so she could regain strength and mobility. Once his client recovered physically, attorney Bryan Baer helped her recover financially. He secured policy limits from the at-fault driver plus hundreds of thousands of dollars from UBER’s underinsured motorist carrier.
Attorney Bryan Baer’s client was stopped at a red light over the July 4 holiday weekend when another driver came careening through an intersection and struck him head on. The at-fault driver was very much intoxicated. However, he was driving someone else’s car. The owner of the vehicle claimed that the drunk driver did not have permission to drive his car. The police arrested the drunk driver for driving under the influence and theft by taking among other charges. As a result, the insurer initially denied the claim based on an exclusion in the policies when the vehicle is stolen.
Attorney Bryan Baer worked diligently to prove the owner had actually given the driver permission to drive the car. Attorney Bryan Baer subpoenaed phone records which demonstrated extensive communications between the owner and driver before the wreck. He was then able to prove permission through cross examination of the owner. In less than six months, attorney Bryan Baer took the case from one in which the insurer offered $0.00 to one where the insurer offered the maximum. He obtained $325,000 policy limits recovery for his client.
If you are seriously injured as a result of a car accident, contact attorney Bryan Baer at The Baer Law Firm. Attorney Bryan Baer has handled hundreds of cases for people seriously injured in car accidents and has the expertise to obtain results victims deserve. Call 404-THEBAER (404-843-2237) or fill out our online contact form so we may discuss your case in a free consultation.