When Do I Need to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?

May 4, 2020

Most car accidents in Georgia don’t lead to lawsuits, but some do. In most cases, insurance companies compensate victims for their losses. However, if the injuries and property damage are significant, victims are more likely to sue the at-fault party. It is your right to file a car accident lawsuit in Georgia if you suffer injuries and other losses because of someone’s negligence. You may want to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. You should contact an Albany, Georgia auto accident attorney to help you decide on the best course of action to take.

Most cases are settled out of court. After the crash, the victim’s attorney helps them to quantify their losses and they submit a claim to the at-fault party’s insurer. Attorneys try to negotiate for full compensation on behalf of their clients. However, insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying out claims. They will likely make a low initial offer that doesn’t cover all your losses. Some victims, especially those who don’t have legal counsel, accept this offer since they believe it is better than nothing. However, lawyers know what is fair. Unless you advise them otherwise, they will do everything they can to get you the compensation you really deserve.

When Lawyers Recommend Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia

If the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer and your lawyer believes you have a strong case, they will suggest filing a personal injury lawsuit. This doesn’t automatically mean your case will go before a judge and jury. Settlement negotiations can continue even after the lawsuit was filed. However, taking legal action shows the other party that you’re serious about getting fair compensation.

The Statutes of Limitations

It’s important to note that there’s a statute of limitations in place in Georgia for both personal injury and property damage claims.  You only have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. For property damage, you have four years within which to file your suit. If you wait too long to take legal action, the other party will ask the court to dismiss the case. That’s why you need to contact a Georgia auto accident attorney.

promptly after your accident. You need to give the individual time to attempt negotiation and then file a lawsuit if talks prove futile.

You shouldn’t take much comfort in the two-year or four-year time periods. It can take a long time to investigate a car accident and build a strong case. Your lawyer may need to interview witnesses, seek out experts, and get other documentation. Try to give them as much time as possible to do their work. If your injuries are severe, you want to do everything you can to ensure you get maximum compensation.

The Role of Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. This means you can recover damages as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the judge or jury may determine that you had a role to play. This affects the amount you’ll be able to claim in damages. Your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Let’s say you were entitled to $50,000 in damages. If you were deemed to be ten percent at fault for the crash, your damages would be reduced by $5,000.

You can expect that the other party will try to put as much blame as possible on you. That’s because they’ll want to pay as little as possible. Your attorney will do everything they can to minimize your share of fault. They will investigate and present evidence to show that you had little or no role to play in the crash. Be sure to share all the information you have on the crash with your lawyer, so they are fully aware of the situation.

Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. to Discuss Your Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia

After you get involved in a crash, your priorities should be calling the police and seeking medical attention. However, the next thing you need to do is call an auto accident law firm in Georgia. This is equally important if you want to secure full and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses. At Joe Durham Jr. P.C., we will do everything we can to help you recover damages. We’re skilled negotiators but if you need to file a car accident lawsuit in Georgia, we can battle it out in court.  Call us today to schedule a free consultation.