Car Accidents -
Legal and Insurance Implications of Georgia Car Accidents
Most people who get in traffic accidents in Georgia don’t know what to do next. Understanding the legal and insurance implications involved in Georgia car accidents is important when you plan your next steps.
If you or any of your loved ones were injured in a crash, you need to know the role insurance plays and the laws regarding fault in car accidents. Read on to learn about the requirements for auto insurance in Georgia and your legal rights after a car accident.
Mandatory Requirements for Auto Insurance in Georgia
Every state has mandatory minimum requirements for auto insurance to provide coverage in the event of an auto accident. In Georgia, you are required to have liability insurance that meets the minimum threshold. You also have the option to purchase additional coverage, though most people tend to stick to the minimum as it is the most affordable.
Liability insurance in your auto policy is what helps to pay damages to others if you are the at-fault driver in a collision. This coverage also protects you if another driver tries to claim that you are the one at fault.
Georgia’s insurance laws require a minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident for bodily injury liability, and $25,5000 per incident for property damage liability. Having these basics can help but sometimes this coverage isn’t enough, especially with the fault-based laws in the state.
What to Know About Fault in Georgia Car Accident Cases
Some states follow a no-fault system when it comes to car insurance. This means that no matter who is at fault, you use your insurance. Georgia is not one of those states and follows the fault-based system instead.
With a fault-based system, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the victim’s damages. These damages typically include injuries and property damage, though they can include coverage for other expenses incurred in the wreck.
If someone crashes into your vehicle, then they are at fault and their auto insurer will be responsible for paying for your losses. However, your losses are only covered up to the driver’s liability coverage limits. This means if they have the minimum required coverage, it may not be enough to compensate you for your damages.
There’s also another wrinkle to understand, which involves comparative negligence. Depending on the factors of your car crash, it may detract from the amount you are awarded for your damages.
Factoring in Comparative Negligence for Auto Accidents in Georgia
Comparative negligence, or comparative fault, is when more than one party shares the blame in an accident. This is often the reason why injury victims in car accidents will work with a personal injury attorney.
In Georgia, you can still recover damages from a party who has the greater share of fault in the incident, though it will reduce that financial recovery by the percentage assigned for your share of liability. This is known as modified comparative negligence, and it applies when the factors of the collision are investigated.
Insurance adjusters make these decisions initially, but if you file a car accident lawsuit, it will ultimately come down to what the judge or jury decides. Since most motor vehicle accidents settle long before going to trial, it helps to have strong negotiation skills when working with the claims adjuster. This is why a car accident lawyer is advised to protect your rights and keep you from taking more of the blame in situations where you could be partly responsible.
When it comes to the percentage of fault, there is cause for concern in Georgia. Modified comparative negligence means that if your share of the fault in the crash meets or exceeds 50%, you will be prohibited from recovering any compensation for your damages.
What Losses Can You Seek Compensation for in a Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident?
Damages refer to the losses you’ve incurred in this personal injury matter, and if you are less than 50% at fault, you are within your rights to pursue them. These can include the medical care required following the crash, your lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other economic losses. It’s not an exhaustive list, and since every auto wreck has different variables, it is a good idea to discuss what is relevant in your specific case with an attorney who has experience representing car accident victims.
If you’re planning to seek compensation after your car accident because the other driver does not have any insurance or is underinsured, you will want to act quickly. Filing your car accident lawsuit must be done in a certain amount of time.
The Statute of Limitations For Car Accidents in Georgia
In circumstances where the at-fault party’s insurer denies your claim, accuses you of being at fault, the other driver lacks proper insurance, or the settlement you are offered is too low, you will want to file a lawsuit. This is different from filing a car accident claim. In an auto accident lawsuit, you are limited in the time you have to file.
For Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the accident occurred. You should file your car accident claim soon after the crash, but if the situation is not properly resolved and you’ve sustained serious injuries and damages, a lawsuit is the next logical step. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is ideal since they can be sure to gather proper evidence, file your lawsuit, and negotiate on your behalf within the statute of limitations.
Choosing an Experienced Accident Attorney in Georgia
Most victims in these scenarios don’t know where to turn when they need to file their car accident claims. T. Madden & Associates, P.C. is a law firm that cares about our local community. We are a black-owned business, and our car accident attorneys work to get you compensated for your damages to help you recover from your losses. Set up a consultation with us to discuss your case.Back to Blog