Frequently Asked Questions

The time immediately after a car accident is usually spent getting out of the vehicle and talking with the other driver while waiting for the police to show up. While you may not realize it, the actions and statements you make during this time can actually win or lose any lawsuit you are involved in after the accident. That’s why you must take a moment to compose yourself and make certain that you don’t make any of the mistakes discussed below.

Here are the Top 10 Mistakes NOT to Make after an Accident:
  • Don’t leave the scene of the accident.
  • Don’t admit fault. 
  • Don’t forget to document everything. 
  • Don’t get angry or argue with the other drivers.
  • Don’t be disrespectful to the police officer.
  • Don’t decline medical treatment. 
  • Don’t leave personal belongings behind.
  • Don’t post about the accident on social media. 
  • Don’t speak to the other driver’s insurance company without first talking to a lawyer.
  • Don't forget to report the accident to your insurance company.
For much more information on Car Accidents and what you should and shouldn’t do, visit our Car Accidents 101 page.
In Georgia, injury victims usually have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim before the statute of limitations runs. This means that in order to be eligible to pursue compensation your claim must be filed within this two-year window.
There are some exceptions to this rule that take into account the age of the injury victim and some extenuating circumstances. An Atlanta auto accident attorney from our firm will be able to let you know if you qualify for an extension to the statute of limitations.
Adjusters at insurance companies are trained to offer as little as possible to settle a case, or deny a claim outright. They know injured people are stressed and often unwilling to fight, making them more likely to accept any offer. That’s why we advise victims to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting any offers from an insurance company. Once you have hired us, Wood Craig Miller will speak with the insurance companies on your behalf so you don’t have to. That way you can focus on healing and recovering.
At Wood Craig Miller, we accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means our law firm does not receive our attorneys' fees unless we recover money for your injury claim. Therefore, you do not pay a retainer fee to hire us.

No! Insurance companies can use your own words against you – so, once you make a statement, it’s difficult to change. We tell our clients to never give any oral or written statement to an insurance company or accept any settlement offer, without first speaking with an attorney.

The best thing to tell an insurance adjuster is to contact your Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Insurance adjusters work to limit liability for claims. Therefore, they will deny your claim or undervalue your damages if possible.
Everything you say to an insurance adjuster could impact your case. The insurance adjuster might take your comments out of context. Talk with a personal injury lawyer in Georgia before agreeing to a recorded statement or signing a written statement.

The best thing to tell an insurance adjuster is to contact your Atlanta personal injury lawyer. We tell our clients to never give any oral, recorded, or written statement to an insurance company or accept any settlement offer, without first speaking with an attorney. Insurance adjusters are working to limit liability for claims, and they could take any statement you make out of context. 

Like most states, Georgia follows a “fault” system when it comes to car accident liability. This means the driver responsible for the accident is also responsible for any resulting damages, although it is almost always the at-fault driver’s insurance that will actually pay the bill. Many car accidents, however, have more than one driver at least partially at fault for an accident. In cases where more than one party is found to be at fault, the injured party can still pursue compensation as long as they are less than 50% at fault. This rule is called “modified comparative negligence.”
In these cases, the injured party is able to recover compensation for their injuries but whatever percentage of fault they are determined to be responsible for, will also be subtracted from their total compensation amount. For example, if a claimant is determined to bear 10% of the responsibility for an accident, their total compensation awarded to them will also be reduced by 10%. The auto accident attorneys in Atlanta from our firm will be able to let you know how Georgia’s automotive laws can affect your case.
For more information on Georgia’s At-Fault law, click here.
Yes, you can still file for compensation after an accident or injury that was partially your fault. However, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault under Georgia's comparative fault laws.
For example, if a jury awards you $300,000 for a car accident claim but finds you are 20% to blame for the cause of the crash, you will receive $240,000 ($300,000 less 20% or $60,000).
If you are more than 50% at fault for the cause of your injury, you are barred from recovering any money for a personal injury claim.

We’re glad you asked! Click here to for the Legal Claim Process page that will provide you with lots of useful information, to help guide you on this journey. 

Damages in a personal injury case include 3 types: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
  1. Economic damages are your financial losses, including:
    • Medical bills
    • Loss of income and benefits
    • Out-of-pocket expenses
    • Diminished earning capacity
    • Nursing care
    • Personal care
  2. Non-economic damages represent your "pain and suffering" caused by the accident and injury. You can recover compensation for your:
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Emotional distress
    • Permanent impairments and disabilities
    • Mental anguish
    • Diminished quality of life
    • Physical pain and discomfort
    • Scarring and disfigurement
  3. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate you for your losses. Instead, the award "punishes" the defendant for intentional, grossly negligent, or reckless behavior. Punitive damages are only awarded in a few personal injury cases.
The value of a personal injury claim depends on numerous factors, and every case is completely different. Factors that impact how much you can receive for a personal injury claim include:
  • The severity and type of injuries you sustained
  • The duration of your recovery
  • The total of your economic damages
  • Whether you contributed to the cause of your injury
  • The availability of insurance coverage
  • The parties involved in the claim
  • Whether the insurance company is willing to negotiate a fair settlement amount
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA, can improve your chances of receiving the money you deserve after an injury or accident. An insurance company will not pay the full value of your claim if avoidable. Therefore, accepting a settlement offer without talking to a lawyer could mean losing thousands of dollars you are entitled to recovery for an injury claim.

The legal proceedings could then take a few months to a year or longer to resolve a personal injury claim. We understand that your accident and injury might have caused financial hardship. Our personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will do everything possible to settle your claim quickly. One benefit of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA, is that you have someone monitoring your insurance claim to avoid unnecessary delays and bad faith practices by the insurance company that can delay settlement.

The single most important factor in determining how long it will take to settle your claim is your recovery time. Your doctor can’t tell if you’ve sustained permanent impairments or disabling conditions until you have reached the maximum medical improvement. Because victims often suffer financial hardships during recovery, insurance companies can seek to draw out the process, as a tool to force you to settle early, often for less than you deserve.  Once you’ve recovered, the legal proceedings can take a months to a few years or even longer. However, most personal injury cases settle without going to trial.

It is certainly less costly and quicker to settle claims without filing a lawsuit. The good news is that most personal injury claims and accident cases settle without filing a lawsuit. And most cases settle after filing a lawsuit but before going to trial.
The most common reason a case goes to trial is that the insurance company disputes liability for the claim or refuses to negotiate a settlement in good faith. Our personal injury attorneys at Wood Craig Miller are talented and experienced negotiators who aggressively fight to settle your claim without going to trial.
However, as skilled trial lawyers, our law firm does not hesitate to file a lawsuit and fight for your right to fair compensation in court when that is best to protect your best interests.

For much more information on verdicts, visit our “Case Results” page.

Most insurance companies include a clause in their settlement agreements that this amount in the settlement will be the only compensation given to the injury victim. So once you sign that agreement, it’s usually not possible to recover any more compensation, even if you discover your injuries are more severe than you initially realized. If you have already signed an agreement, however, there may still be options. Call our firm today to learn more.

If you have ever been involved in a car accident only to discover that the at-fault driver did not have enough insurance to cover your costs or did not have any insurance at all, you may wonder what uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in Georgia is and what it covers.

Many states in the U.S. make uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage a requirement under the law for all drivers. This type of coverage protects you in case a motorist without insurance is involved in a car accident with you. In the event of an accident with an uninsured driver, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage steps in to pay your accident-related expenses.

In Georgia, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is an option, not a requirement, that gives you additional coverage in the amounts of $25,000 for physical injuries for each person and up to $50,000 for physical injuries for each accident. Optional coverage of this kind can limit or erase your out of pocket expenses for a car accident.


Visit our Auto Insurance 101 page for much greater detail about Auto Insurance in Georgia.