Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys, DeKalb County, GA
Representing your best interests after a car crash in Atlanta and throughout Georgia
Car accidents can result in minor injuries, but many lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. After these tragedies, families are left reeling and unsure of where to turn. After a car accident in Atlanta, you must speak with an Atlanta car accident attorney to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Do not trust the insurance company to do their job because they are notorious for delaying or denying claims.
Harris Lowry Manton LLP has knowledgeable car accident lawyers in Atlanta who handle all communication between you and the insurance company so we can get you a rental car and adequate medical treatment for your injuries. We will fight to hold negligent parties responsible for your losses.
- What kinds of auto accidents do you handle?
- What do I do after an Atlanta car accident?
- What causes car accidents in Atlanta, GA?
- What kinds of injuries result from Atlanta car accidents?
- What are Georgia’s minimum car insurance requirements?
- How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in Atlanta?
- Do you have a car accident attorney near me?
This is the best lawyer we could have had for our family. Jed and Susan always kept us in the loop throughout the case and they always respected our decisions. Very friendly, honest, and professional team. I do not think I would have trusted anyone else to be our lawyer.
What kinds of auto accidents do you handle?
At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we have the skills, resources, and experience to handle all car accident claims. You can rely on us to help you after you sustain an injury in a collision involving:
- A car, truck, motorcycle, cyclist, Uber or Lyft vehicle
- A commercial truck or “common carrier,” such as a bus, train, or taxi
- Hit-and-run drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Construction zones
- Defective or malfunctioning auto parts
- Autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles
- Road defects and dangerous road design
If your loved one dies in a fatal car accident, we can help you file a survival action or wrongful death claim. Our knowledgeable Atlanta car accident lawyers understand the various complexities of these cases and have the experience to handle them successfully.
What do I do after an Atlanta car accident?
Regardless of the events that follow, gathering as much information as possible after the collision is imperative. To help you remember what is necessary, our accomplished Atlanta car accident lawyers have compiled a checklist. Place this list in your glove compartment for easy access:
- Call 911. You want them on the scene as quickly as possible, and you will need a police report if you're going to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit later.
- Request an ambulance from the 911 dispatcher, if you or any of your passengers are hurt.
- If it is safe, move your car to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic.
- Call your insurance company and report the collision. Do not admit to fault or apologize.
- Get the contact and insurance information from the other party involved in the collision.
- Take photos of the car, the scene of the accident, yourself, and any passengers in the vehicle.
If you opt not to call for an ambulance, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible-within two weeks after the accident is best. Your medical records will play an important role when you seek damages.
What causes car accidents in Atlanta, GA?
Whether traveling on I-20, I-75, I-85, I-95, or any of Georgia’s state, urban, or rural roads, you never know when another driver’s negligence could lead to injuries. Our Atlanta car crash lawyers have the skills, resources, and experience to help you with complex motor vehicle claims stemming from:
- Head-on crashes: When the front of two cars collide, it is a strong indicator that one of the drivers was either drunk, in the wrong lane, going the wrong way down a one-way street, or that the accident happened in an intersection. Head-on crashes are often deadly or cause catastrophic injuries.
- Rear-end collisions: These crashes usually happen because the driver in the rear of the first driver was not paying attention. The lack of attention can be due to driver distraction or just plain carelessness. The driver and passengers in the front car often sustain head and neck injuries.
- Sideswipe impacts: One car trying to pass another car may get too close and swipe the side of the other car. Sideswipes can also happen when two cars fail to merge properly. A big danger in sideswipe car collisions is that one of the cars can spin out of control.
- Vehicles that roll over: Rollovers can kill the occupants when the car's roof strikes the ground.
- Side-impact collisions: A T-bone crash happens when the front of one car strikes the side of another. The car with the damage to the front is almost always the one at fault. Our Atlanta car crash attorneys represent the drivers and passengers in the car with side damage who often suffer severe injuries.
- Single-car accidents. Passengers have the right to hold drivers responsible for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if the driver was negligent or failed to comply with any traffic law. Drivers can file a claim if a defective part caused the car crash or if the county or state failed to properly design or maintain the road.
- Multi-car crashes. Multi-car collisions are complex, because before liability can be determined, it is necessary to show which car started the accident and how each car then collided with each other. There are usually multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants. Multi-car crashes can occur in many different ways, such as a car crossing into another lane, an oil slick, or spilled cargo.
What you should know about road defect claims
There are a lot of roads in Georgia that are dangerous because of their bumper-to-bumper traffic, like I-285. Poor design and roadway maintenance, coupled with a large number of storms over the last decade, have also left a lot of our highways in poor condition – and the rural roads are far worse.
Road defects encompass any problems that contribute to the overall failure of a roadway. These failures can affect drivers’ safety, and/or the integrity of the road itself. Some of the more common road defects can include:
- Road depressions (sometimes called “bird baths”)
- Cracking throughout the asphalt
- Separation of the materials in the pavement, resulting in an eroded surface
- Drainage problems
- Uncleared debris littering the road
- Uneven pavement, sometimes as the result of unfinished milling
- Missing or faded lines
Design and maintenance related problems
- Overgrown vegetation
- Missing signs
- Broken or malfunctioning lights
- Broken or missing guardrails
- Poorly configured intersections
These problems are not unique to Georgia. In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) created an “infrastructure report card” for the country. In the category of “roads,” the country earned a D: “America’s roads are often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more dangerous. More than two out of every five miles of America’s urban interstates are congested and traffic delays cost the country $160 billion in wasted time and fuel.”
Per the ASCE, Georgia scores slightly higher than the national average, earning a C+ in the road category.
Sovereign immunity exemptions in road design claims
Under the Georgia Tort Claims Act, the state cannot be held liable for road defect claims if “[t]he plan or design for construction of or improvement to highways, roads, streets, bridges, or other public works where such plan or design is prepared in substantial compliance with generally accepted engineering or design standards in effect at the time of preparation of the plan or design.” GA Code § 50-21-24(10).
In other words, in order to show that the road design was flawed (and that the state should be liable), you may need to prove that there have been other problems with this particular road, and that the government did know, or should have known, about them. In this scenario, because the government is responsible for the maintenance of the roads, you could make a claim that Georgia was negligent in its duties.
You may also be able to make a claim for failure to warn about potential defects or conditions, such as icy roadways, or low visibility because of fog.
Causes of multi-car wrecks in Georgia
Most car crashes involve one vehicle (a driver hitting a solitary object) or two (one driver hitting another driver). When three or more cars are involved in a crash, it is not always easy to determine what caused the initial collision – especially if one of those cars is an autonomous vehicle. Multi-car crashes usually happen in the following ways:
- A chain reaction. For example, a third car may rear-end a second car, which may push the second car to rear-end the first car in front.
- A car can enter the wrong lane. When a car crosses a median strip or is going in the wrong direction, oncoming cars may either strike the wayward car or they may swerve into other cars or barriers in an attempt to avoid the oncoming car.
- A truck spill. If cargo spills from a truck, all the cars in the vicinity of the truck trying to suddenly screech to a halt or maneuver around the spill can collide with each other or flip over if they come into contact with the spill.
- Improper mergers. A failure of cars to merge properly can cause the merging cars to collide, which, in turn, can cause the cars around them to collide.
Our Atlanta multi-car pileup lawyers will review whether the roads were slippery or icy, whether there was construction going on that caused the cars to be closer to each other than normal, whether a driver was drunk, and a full range of other issues to determine who is liable for damages associated with the collision. Whether the accident happened on a federal, urban, or state road, such as Georgia Routes 3, 53, or 166, we can determine how the crash happened by working with investigators, the police, and traffic reconstruction experts.
What you should know about defective auto parts
Both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and businesses that design and build after-market auto parts earn a lot of money from the sale of those parts. These companies are in the best position to make certain their designs and products are safe, which is why they are held to a strict liability standard instead of a negligence standard. Auto manufacturers can also be sued when defective parts fail, on the basis that express or implied warranties were breached or that the company was indeed negligent.
The manufacturer of the part is not the only entity that can be liable. Distributors and retailers can also be held accountable for defective auto parts. If the car manufacturer made the part, they can be held liable. When car parts cause death, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, or any physical harm, our Atlanta car product liability attorneys work to prove the following critical elements:
- The part was defective
- The defect caused the injuries or death
- The part was properly used by the consumer
A car part is defective if the design is faulty, the part is made improperly, or there were no warnings or improper warnings about the risks involved with using the product. Cars can also be considered defective if they are not crashworthy.
OEM and after-market manufacturers have an additional duty to recall unsafe products if they fail to meet minimal safety standards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to issue car safety standards. If NHTSA issues a recall, the part makers and car manufacturers must inform the owners of the car that use that part.
Proving a product liability case requires having a network of professional relationships. Car engineers and safety experts are needed to prove that the defect existed at the time of the accident and that the defect caused the person’s injuries or a loved one’s death.
What kinds of injuries result from Atlanta car accidents?
An Atlanta car accident can cause catastrophic injuries, some of which may be life-altering. Harris Lowry Manton LLP represents clients throughout Georgia who suffered injuries such as
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Complex fractures
- Burn injuries
- Organ damage
- Limb loss/traumatic amputation
- Vision loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “There were approximately 223,135 TBI-related hospitalizations in 2019 and 64,362 TBI-related deaths in 2020.” Motor vehicle accidents account for about 17 percent of all TBI-related deaths.
While some are mild concussions, many TBIs are moderate and severe. Serious brain damage can cause cognitive disabilities, sensory loss, long-term physical pain, depression, and other psychological damage.
Motor vehicle collisions that lead to severe TBIs in drivers and passengers are often caused by:
- Crashes that happen at high rates of speed
- Drivers and passengers who are thrown about the car and into each other
- Objects, such as the dashboard, the windshield, the side doors, the backs of seats, and other car parts, colliding with an occupant’s skull
- Occupants who are ejected from the car onto the hard ground
A traumatic brain injury does not always require direct impact with an object. Sometimes, just the sheer force that causes the head to rotate or move out of its normal position can cause the brain to move about the skull. It is not necessary that there be visible bleeding for a TBI to have happened.
According to data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2020, 1,664 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia. The deaths included 581 car occupants, 483 occupants of SUVs and pickup trucks, 29 people who rode in large trucks, 192 motorcyclists, 279 pedestrians, and 32 bicyclists. Over half of these fatal accidents were single-car crashes, while 49% involved multiple-vehicle collisions.
At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we understand how tragic the loss of life is. We represent spouses, children, and other family members by demanding that the wrongdoers pay all the damages the law allows. Our Atlanta fatal car crash lawyers begin each case by immediately investigating how the car wreck occurred and who is responsible. We have obtained numerous six-, seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements in cases involving negligence, drunk driving, and product defects, all of which led to the wrongful death of someone involved:
- $40 million verdict against Ford
- $16.52 million verdict against Michelin
- $4.5 million verdict against Chrysler
Fatal car crashes happen for many different reasons. The cause of the crash dictates who can be held accountable. The following are some of the most common causes of fatal collisions in Georgia:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to merge properly
- Not stopping at a safe distance
- Driving recklessly
- Failing to obey any of Georgia’s traffic laws
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Product defects
- Governmental responsibility
What are Georgia’s minimum car insurance requirements?
- $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability for one person injured in one crash
- $50,000 worth of bodily injury liability for one crash
- $25,000 worth of property damage liability per one crash
Insurance rates continue to increase, with the latest being a 25% increase by Allstate. These increases may have led to people carrying only the bare minimum of insurance – or no insurance at all. The laws do not require you to carry uninsured motorist coverage, but we would strongly encourage you to purchase it anyway if it is within your means. If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, UM insurance will help you pay for your medical bills and/or property damage.
How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in Atlanta?
Generally speaking, you have two years to file a personal injury, product liability, or wrongful death claim for a car accident in Georgia. However, if your injuries result from a road defect, the statute of limitations is much shorter:
- Claims against the city or county government: 6 months
- Claims against the state of Georgia: one year
- Claims against the federal government: 2 years
Do you have a car accident lawyer near me?
Harris Lowry Manton LLP’s Atlanta office is located at 1418 Dresden Drive, in Brookhaven, Georgia (see map below), with plenty of local parking just a short walk away. We have an additional office in Savannah.
We serve clients throughout Georgia and offer other options for initial consultations if you cannot make it to one of these locations.
Contact a knowledgeable Georgia car accident attorney today in DeKalb County, GA
If you have been involved in a car accident; you deserve to be compensated by the responsible parties. With the help of the experienced Atlanta car wreck attorneys of HLM, you may be able to secure the appropriate damages. After a car accident, call us in Atlanta or Savannah to schedule a free consultation. You can also complete our contact form.
Related Auto Accident Articles
- Who Is Liable for a Car Accident?
- Georgia Teen Drivers Will Have to Take Road Tests After All
- What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Georgia?
Brookhaven, Dekalb County Office
1418 Dresden Dr NE
Brookhaven, Georgia 30319