After a car accident, you may feel like the world is against you. The other driver might not admit fault. Your insurance company may deny your claim or make an inadequate settlement offer. Medical bills are stacking up, and your employer is asking when you can return to work. In the aftermath of a bad car accident, you need someone representing your best interests while you heal – not those of an insurance company or major corporation. You need an Atlanta personal injury attorney. Come to Kaufman Law, P.C. for help with insurance settlements and liability claims.
It can feel rather impersonal to only look at the numbers when discussing car accidents in Georgia. However, tracking the rates of injurious and fatal car crashes in Georgia can give you an idea of just how often these incidents occur. You aren’t alone in dealing with a car accident claim. Hundreds of victims before you have gone up against big insurance companies and other parties in the pursuit of fair compensation. Here are some of the facts about Georgia and Atlanta:
Atlanta presents a significantly dangerous metropolitan area for drivers. Major highways, multiple lanes of traffic, and aggressive drivers increase the risk for car accidents. In a city that sees so many crashes, there are attorneys with significant experience handling these types of cases. Kaufman Law, P.C. is one such firm, with more than 40 years of representing car accident victims in insurance settlement negotiations and civil lawsuits. After a crash in Atlanta, come to our team for legal counsel.
Per 100,000 population, the U.S. recorded 10.92 fatalities in 2015. Atlanta’s rate of 10.7 falls just shy of this national average. In 2015, there were 35,092 fatal accidents throughout the United States. Here’s a breakdown of these deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
This data doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of crashes that resulted in serious, but not fatal injuries. Thousands of people around the country sustain broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, burns, and abrasions in car accidents every year. These victims deserve to receive financial recovery from at-fault parties. Bringing personal injury claims for car accidents in Atlanta and throughout the country can be the best way to receive just compensation for the myriad damages a typical car crash causes.
Teen drivers have always presented an increased crash risk from lack of experience behind the wheel. Today, however, teens are causing more wrecks than ever before. Cell phone use while driving is a common issue among teenagers and young adults. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are almost three times more likely to get into a fatal accident than those 20 and older. Male teen drivers are almost twice as likely to get into fatal crashes than their female counterparts.
Crash risk among teens is highest in the first months of receiving a driver’s license. Drivers who are 16 and 17 are three times more likely to crash than those who are 18 or 19. Driving with teenage passengers increases the chances of a teen driver getting into an accident. Unsupervised teen passengers can encourage distraction through talking, texting, or using social media apps. Teenagers are more likely to underestimate dangerous roadway situations. They are also more likely to do things that can increase the risk of accidents, such as drinking and driving.
Teenagers also have the lowest rates of seatbelt use among drivers. In 2015, only 61% of teens in a survey reported that they always wear their seatbelts as passengers. In 2014, 36% of male drivers ages 15 to 20 involved in fatal accidents were speeding at the time. Another 24% had been drinking alcohol. In a national survey, one-fifth (20%) of teens admitted to riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Preventing teen accidents involves spreading awareness of common causes, such as driver distraction. Seat belt enforcement and zero tolerance alcohol laws can also reduce the risk of teen crashes.
Drinking alcohol and driving is a leading cause of deadly car accidents around the country. Every day, an average of 28 people die in alcohol-related crashes. Although drunk driving accident rates have fallen by about 33% in the last 30 years, it remains a significant issue, taking about 13,000 lives every year. When someone drinks alcohol and drives, he or she does not have the coherency or reaction time to successfully prevent collisions. Alcohol affects thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. This combination can be deadly when operating a motor vehicle.
In Georgia, 366 alcohol-impaired drivers died in car accidents in 2015. These drivers all had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. For commercial drivers, this limit is 0.04%. Drivers under the age of 21 can face penalties for any amount of alcohol. In Georgia, a driver can be guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) even if he or she is below the legal limit. If the alcohol is enough to impair driving ability, police can issue a DUI charge. After involvement in a DUI crash, retain an attorney to pursue a civil claim against the offender and potentially third parties.
Driver distraction can come in three forms: visual, manual, and cognitive. A visual distraction, or anything that takes the driver’s eyes away from the road, can make it impossible to react to roadway hazards in time to prevent a collision. Reading a map, for example, can lead to a rear-end collision if the car in front of you stops at a red light without you noticing. Manual distractions remove the driver’s hands from the wheel, delaying reaction time and contributing to drivers losing control of vehicles. Cognitive distractions occur when the driver’s mind is elsewhere, instead of on the driving task. This can lead to poor judgment and slower reactions to hazards.
Distracted driving research from the National Safety Council shows that 20% of drivers aged 18 to 20 don’t believe that texting affects their driving. Almost 30% of drivers aged 21 to 34 reported the same. These drivers are under dangerous misconceptions, and may cause accidents in the future. Texting and driving fulfills all three forms of driver distraction, making it an extremely dangerous habit. The brain cannot read or write a text message and focus 100% on driving at the same time. The only way to avoid a distracted driving crash is to keep your eyes, hands, and mind on driving.
After a car accident, stay calm and don’t admit fault. Call the police if the crash resulted in injuries, deaths, or property damage that exceeds $500. Gather information such as the other driver’s name and insurance company. Take photos of property damage, injuries, and the scene of the crash, if possible. Go to the hospital as soon as possible to treat any injuries you may have sustained. Keep your medical bills and records in an organized file with the rest of your car accident information. Report the accident to your car insurance company. Then, call an attorney.
An Atlanta car accident attorney can make the insurance claims process more rewarding. The team at Kaufman Law, P.C. has gone up against major insurers to maximize coverage offers and settlement amounts. We can also file a claim with the civil courts if necessary. Our trial attorneys excel in and out of the courtroom in pursuit of fair compensation. When in doubt after a car crash, give us a call.