Do I need an personal injury accident attorney?

Asked about 1 year ago - Dahlonega, GA

My husband was hit head on by man who was charged with DUI (he was on prescription drugs that were his wife's ) we believe it totaled the car as well. My husband he suffering from severe head and neck aches now.

Attorney answers (21)

  1. John Michael Phillips

    Contributor Level 19

    17

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Certainly hire a lawyer. They can help with steering you through the complicated hurdles insurance companies put up and punitive damages may be available against the drunk driver.



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  2. Fareesh S. Sarangi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . You should definitely retain an attorney because of the complicated situation DUI collisions create. You are entitled to special damages (called punitive damages) in many instances and those damages can be much greater than would otherwise be available. We settled a similar case recently, and the article I have linked to below outlines some of the essential steps in litigating a case involving a DUI collision. Do not talk to the insurance company until you have a lawyer, and make sure your husband gets proper medical treatment asap.

    For more information, contact us at Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always... more
  3. Norman Richard Miller

    Contributor Level 8

    15

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Yes, you certainly need a lawyer. As has been said, your husband may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages.

  4. Peter Jonathan Ross

    Contributor Level 9

    14

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Your husband has an excellent case case as he can recover compensatory damages for his injuries as well as punitive damages based on the fact that the Defendant was DUI.

  5. Kenneth Ray Bernard Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    14

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    Answered . Seek immediate medical attention; if practical, document anything you can regarding injuries, property damage, and witness statements (especially with pictures and written statements); seek a referral to a qualified personal injury attorney for a free initial case evaluation; and retain counsel before you speak with the insurance company representing the other side.

    This information is for general purposes and not intended to create the relationship of attorney-client. Readers... more
  6. C. Donald Briggs III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Yes you need an experienced GA personal injury lawyer. Even though the other driver caused the crash, his insurance company will not play fair with you unless you have an attorney to guide you through the process.

  7. Sam Louis Levine

    Contributor Level 14

    12

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . First of all, I am so sorry that this happened to you. I hope your husband is feeling better. Under the circumstances, yes, your husband should consult with an attorney. It's impossible at this point to know the full extent of your husband's injuries.

  8. Anthony Charles Kalka

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    12

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    Answered . We are currently handling a similar case to your husband's case right now and have previously represented folks with this very same fact pattern. While no two cases are identical I can tell you that based on experience you and your husband are in need of an attorney. Often times insurance companies exclude certain types of coverage when a DUI/narcotics are involved. A good lawyer can assist you and your husband with your case. My recommendation is to contact an experienced law firm that will give you a free consultation and case evaluation.

  9. Jarome Emile Gautreaux

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . Getting straight answers from an insurance company in serious cases like your husband's can be like trying to grab a handful of water. So, yes, I do recommend that you retain an experienced attorney who has actually tried cases. There are all sorts of issues that need to be dealt with in this kind of case - getting pictures and doing a complete investigation, identifying all applicable insurance coverage, and, most importantly, making sure that your husband gets good treatment for his injuries. Sometimes folks can have head injuries that may not be obvious at first and they need to be thoroughly evaluated by a qualified Neurologist or other specialist. There are more than enough issues that will arise in your case to justify speaking with an attorney. I wish the best for you and your husband.

  10. Kimberly Waters Grant

    Contributor Level 8

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Evidence must be gathered and preserved. Also, all potential insurers (including your own) should be put on notice as soon as possible. If you have not already done so, I would not recommend speaking to the defendant's insurance company, nor would I suggest your husband speak to the insurance company as statements you or your husband make could be misconstrued later in time.

    Kimberly W. Grant
    Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C.
    kgrant@waynegrant.com
    404-995-3953

  11. Andrew Lawrence Weitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    12

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    Answered . FIRST, get your husband to doctor or doctors immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. THEN, hire a lawyer by going to the find a lawyer tab on Avvo and looking for a personal injury lawyer and/or an automobile accident lawyer. Interview a couple of lawyers--this can be on the phone or in person.

    That said, exemplary damages, also called punitive damages, are almost always excluded from coverage in insurance policies (unless there is something in GA insurance law to the contrary, I would even feel comfortable saying they are always excluded). Please go into this soberly, with an eye toward what a realistic recovery might be. I have no stake in this--take my comments as coming from an outsider looking in. The liability in this case will go 100% against the defendant. Some carriers will seek to disclaim because the driver was DUI. Make sure your lawyer has dealt with this in the past. The next question is, how seriously injured is your husband? After that the question is, how much coverage does the defendant have and how much underinsured motorist coverage do you have? Does the defendant have assets that you would want to go after? Please don't delay in doing what needs to be done. I hope your husband feels better and I hope you find the right lawyer.

    I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer... more
    Fareesh S. Sarangi
    Fareesh S. Sarangi, Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Atlanta, GA
    Posted about 1 year ago.

    While many states and policies exclude punitive damages, because of how GA law is written, most policies actually cover them to the liability limits.

    Andrew Lawrence Weitz
    Andrew Lawrence Weitz, Personal Injury Lawyer - New York, NY
    Posted about 1 year ago.

    that's great! that's why I put in the parenthetical.

  12. Thomas Andrew Miller

    Contributor Level 12

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As my colleagues have said, it is recommended that you hire a car accident attorney who has knowledge and experience dealing with insurance companies. This will help in countless ways, whether it is advice as your husband's treatment progresses, whether to file a lawsuit or evaluation of your case from a settlement standpoint. Best of all, it costs you nothing unless there is a settlement and the attorney's office handles everything and does the talking for you, saving you time and trouble so you can focus on your husband's recovery and everything else you have going on. Hire an attorney soon and pass the work on to someone who's done this several times before with success.

    *Attorney Thomas Andrew Miller (678-907-3600) provided this Reply which is intended to be helpful to the Asker and... more
  13. Benjamin Whitaker Price

    Contributor Level 10

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should definitely retain an attorney immediately. Accidents involving DUI create several unique issues that affect the value of your case and the ability to hold the at-fault driver liable. If the at-fault driver was indeed DUI, it should entitle your husband to punitive damages. If the at-fault driver was insured, his policy may or may not cover punitive damages. If it does, then this could significantly increase the value of your case. Contact an attorney familiar with Georgia law.

  14. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Yes. Retain one of the distinguished personal injury lawyers in your state above.

  15. Burke Blackwell Johnson

    Contributor Level 7

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based upon this limited information, it sounds like this could be a very serious case, and I agree with the others who have responded that hiring a lawyer would be in your best interest in maximizing your husband's recovery in a case like this.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship with you or an offer to represent you. It is... more
  16. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You definitely need one immediately! Do not talk to the insurer, who will use every statement to try to deny or reduce teh value of the claim. Make sure your husband gets immediate medical care as delay in treatment is also used by insurers to deny or reduce a claim.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  17. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Absolutely, the sooner the better. Head injuries are not something to fool around with.

  18. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you do. Traumatic head injuries are what insurance companies call hard injuries and their case valuation go way up in determining damages. Get a PI lawyer ASAP. Best of luck,.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de... more
  19. Allen Rust Knox

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If he has not already done so, the first thing he needs to do is see a doctor. Thereafter, he certainly can hire a personal injury attorney to pursue his civil claim for damages as a result of this collision.

  20. Gerald R Stahl

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are receiving very good advice here. Contact a Georgia personal injury lawyer immediately. Also, your husband's health is the most important thing. He must go to the the doctor and thoroughly explain all his symptoms and his pain. Your attorney will deal with the insurance company.

  21. Michael Nathan Rubin

    Contributor Level 4

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. There are numerous advantages to hiring a lawyer who handles punitive damages cases. Make sure to ask if they know all the laws as it relates to your recovery of punitive damages. Also make sure that you inquire as to how many DUI cases they have handled and litigated.

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Related Topics

DUI: An overview

The definition, charges, and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary by state and depend on a number of factors.

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