Driving is an integral part of life for most residents of the Atlanta metro area. Each day
- Automobile Crashes
- Truck Crashes
- Motorcycle Crashes
- Pedestrian Collisions
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM) Claims
- Punitive Damage Claims Against Drunk Drivers
Automobile crashes are the most common causes of personal injuries in Georgia. They can range from small fender-benders to devastating head-on collisions with serious injuries or fatalities. Injuries that victims commonly suffer include neck and back sprains, spinal injuries, concussions, rotator cuff tears, abrasions, contusions, fractured ribs, broken or shattered bones, and internal organ damage. These injuries can have a significant impact on a victim’s life and require substantial medical treatment and recovery time. If you have been injured in a car wreck, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical Expenses: costs for immediate and future medical care
- Lost Earnings: lost income both now and in the future due to your injuries
- Pain and Suffering: for physical and mental pain and the disruption to your daily life
If you were injured in a car wreck that was not your fault, there are certain things you should do and things that you should avoid doing. If you have questions about your personal injury claim, please contact the Law Office of Paul Shimek for a free consultation.
Georgia serves as a gateway of interstate commerce for the Southeastern region, and Atlanta is a major hub for movement and distribution of freight. Commercial freight trucks can weigh over 80,000 pounds and average 70 feet in length. When a truck that size crashes into an average car, it creates an enormous impact, even at low speeds. The collision can be devastating, with serious injuries or even death to the occupants of the car. The most common causes of truck collisions in Georgia are:
- Driver Fatigue (caused by trucking companies setting unrealistic deadlines)
- Driver Negligence (distracted driving, aggressive driving, speeding, etc.)
- Improper Maintenance (of
brakingsystem, engine, lights, tires, hitch assemblies andstraps)
- Improper Loading (overloading, poorly secured load, unbalanced cargo)
- Inadequate Driver Training / Inexperienced Driver
- Drug or Alcohol Use, including stimulants such as methamphetamines
There are numerous
With more bikers on the road today, motorcycle crashes are becoming increasingly more common. These collisions are frequently caused by reckless or negligent motor vehicle drivers who fail to see motorcyclists or who engage in distracted driving, improper lane changes, driving under the influence, or other dangerous conduct. No matter what the reason, a motorcyclist with years of experience, who obeys the traffic laws, drives defensively and stays alert, can still be involved in a collision. Unlike drivers of cars and trucks, motorcyclists don’t have the benefit of being surrounded by a steel frame, airbags, or other automotive safety features. Because they lack these protections, motorcyclists are vulnerable to being seriously injured in a collision. Wearing protective gear in the form of pads and a helmet
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable to injury in a vehicle collision. A person on foot is no match against a
In these situations you would have a UM claim against your own company if your policy had this coverage. UM coverage is not required in Georgia, and it can be rejected in writing. UM insurance covers your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffer just like liability coverage. However, punitive damages are not recoverable in a UM claim. According to Georgia law, your insurance company cannot raise your premiums for filing a UM claim if the collision was not your fault. O.C.G.A. §33-9-40.
When a UM claim is made, your insurance company becomes your adversary. They will defend the at-fault driver and attempt to avoid paying you adequately for your injuries. If an Uninsured Motorist caused your personal injuries, please contact Paul Shimek for a free case evaluation.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
- Fleeing the scene (hit & run)
- Fleeing from police officers at a high rate of speed
- Drag racing
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving (road rage)
In Georgia there is no cap on the dollar amount that may be recovered for punitive damages where DUI is involved. For the other serious offenses the cap is $250,000. Punitive damages are not recoverable if the at-fault driver committed only minor traffic offenses.
Punitive damages are payable under the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage unless they are excluded. There must be an open claim for medical expenses in order to assert a claim for punitive damages. Settling a personal injury claim without including payment for punitive damages could result in a waiver of a potentially large punitive damage claim, which is why it is important to have an attorney involved early on. If a drunk driver caused your injuries, please contact the Law Office of Paul Shimek for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
“Paul has been in personal injury law specializing in motor vehicle collisions for over 30 years. Paul is a great advocate for those injured by drunk and distracted drivers…” — Jack T.