With only the vehicle’s door to protect them, car passengers may be especially vulnerable to side-impact collisions. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there are about 3,000 of these accidents in Fulton County each year that result in some type of injury or death. Drivers who negligently hurt others in a collision can be held liable by victims in court. If you were injured in a side-impact accident near the Atlanta area, knowledgeable car crash lawyer Terrence R. Bethune may be able to help you pursue compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial harm.
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Damages You Can Recover After a Side Impact Collision in Atlanta
A person hurt in an accident caused by a negligent motorist has the right to seek compensation from the individual responsible. To do this, an injured person must prove:
- That the defendant owed the victim a certain level of care;
- That the defendant did not live up to this standard;
- That the victim’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligent behavior; and
- That quantifiable damages were incurred as a result.
Most drivers in Georgia owe the people around them a duty of reasonable care. This simply means avoiding unreasonable conduct that may foreseeably endanger those around them. Another way to put this is that drivers should operate their vehicles as a reasonable person would behave under similar circumstances.
In the context of car accidents, a person who drives distracted, runs a red light, or fails to yield has likely breached the duty of care. Any violation of a traffic rule usually will fall short of the appropriate standard, as will failing to take dangerous or unusual conditions into account when behind the wheel.
The victim also must prove the requirements of causation under Georgia law. First, he or she must show that the crash would not have occurred in the absence of the defendant’s negligent behavior. This is called factual causation. Next, the victim needs to establish legal causation by demonstrating that the injuries were a natural and probable consequence of the defendant’s careless actions. This might happen, for example, if a driver is focused on texting rather than the road and runs a red light, slamming into the side of another car.
Once these elements and the existence of actual damages are proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the victim has a right to seek compensation from any defendants held liable. These often reimburse an individual for financial losses stemming from the accident, such as lost income and medical expenses. They also can provide compensation for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other more subjective forms of harm.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you were hurt in a side impact collision, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of confronting the other driver, police, or insurance companies. To protect your rights, you should talk to an experienced attorney. Auto accident lawyer Terrence R. Bethune can help you protect your rights after an Atlanta crash by dealing with negligent motorists and insurers who want to limit their liability. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 800-INJURED or complete our online form.