Car Accidents

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

People injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of another person have a remedy under Georgia law. Atlanta car accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune can help you recover damages for the injuries you have suffered in an auto collision.

We Are Here To Help You

Even though distracted or drunk driving leads to thousands of injuries and deaths each year, people continue to do it. At any given moment in the United States there are 660,000 people driving while using a cell phone, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration. In Georgia, nearly one quarter of all highway fatalities involve alcohol-impaired driving. Fortunately, drivers who choose to endanger the well being of others can be held liable for their negligence.

Accident Victims Have a Remedy Under Georgia Law

Georgia law allows people injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another person to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries. The success of a negligence lawsuit is contingent upon the plaintiff proving four elements:

  • The existence of a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff;
  • The defendant’s breach of this duty;
  • Causation; and
  • Damages to the plaintiff.

A real world example of these elements can be found in any number of car accident scenarios. Every driver on the road owes other drivers a duty to drive as a reasonable person would. Following too closely, sending text messages while driving, or speeding are all ways in which a driver might breach this duty. If such a driver injures another person because of his careless actions, he can be held liable for negligence to the people he hurt, and the victim of the accident can file suit within two years of the accident.

Plaintiffs Can Seek Compensatory and Punitive Damages

Plaintiffs who bring a successful negligence claim are entitled to damages. Compensatory damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for his bodily, emotional, and financial injuries. These are things like hospital bills, damage to a car, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Some plaintiffs may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are designed to punish defendants who engage in exceptionally bad conduct. Georgia limits punitive damages in two ways. First, punitive damages are available only to plaintiffs who prove that the defendant’s conduct was willful, malicious, or done with a conscious disregard for the consequences. This must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher burden than the plaintiff usually faces.

Second, punitive damages are capped in most actions filed in Georgia. However, one important exception is incidents that involve the influence of drugs or alcohol — punitive damages are not capped in these cases.

Even if a car accident was partly caused by something the plaintiff did, so long as the accident was less than 50 percent attributable to the plaintiff, he can still collect a portion of the damages. If you have questions about the kinds of damages you may claim as a result from a car accident, contact an experienced lawyer.

Protect Your Rights

Georgia law gives car accident victims the right to seek compensation for their injuries. In practice since 1997, Atlanta car accident lawyer Terrence R. Bethune has helped countless Georgians who have been injured in accidents, and he can help you. Call our office at (404) 875-7800 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation.