If you’ve recently moved to Georgia or you’re a new driver, you may be unfamiliar with how insurance claims work here. Since it’s likely that you’ll be involved in an accident at some point in your life, you need to know how you’ll be able to get compensation. Georgia is a fault state. This means that when an accident results in property damage or injury, the driver who is at fault must compensate the other. Typically, the driver’s insurance company foots the bills for medical expenses, car repairs, and other losses. If you suffer injuries in a crash, you’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible. You’ll also need to call a Georgia car accident lawyer for assistance.
Fault vs. No-Fault States
In a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter which driver was responsible for the accident. If you suffered losses, your insurance company would pay up to the limits of your policy. You would only be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurer in a few circumstances.
In Georgia and other fault states, you first need to establish which driver was at fault. Then, you can determine whether you should file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or your own. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, you can seek to recover all your damages from their insurance company.
Under this state’s laws, drivers are required to purchase bodily injury liability of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. they also need property damage liability of at least $25,000 per accident. This compensates the victim if you’re the driver responsible. However, it doesn’t cover your injuries or property damage. You would need health insurance or personal injury protection insurance.
Proving Fault in a Georgia Car Accident
If you get involved in a car accident, you need to contact the police so they respond to the scene and prepare a report. The report may include:
- A summary of what occurred
- The other driver’s insurance details
- Information on witnesses
- Statements from witnesses and the other driver
- A diagram of the crash scene
- The officer’s opinion on what caused the crash and who was at fault
- Details on any citations that were issued
Surveillance video from homes and businesses, photos, and additional eyewitness accounts can also be used to indicate who was at fault. In serious cases, your attorney may ask an accident reconstruction expert to investigate.
In some accidents, it’s clear who was at fault. For example, if you came to a stop at a red light and someone rear-ended you while you waited for the light to turn, it’s unlikely to be your fault. Similarly, if a driver runs a red light, speeds, or commits another traffic offense, it’ll be easier to hold them responsible.
Other accidents are more complicated. If both you and the other driver share blame, it can be hard to determine who was most at fault. In a fault state, this often makes it difficult to get compensation. A Georgia car accident attorney can make a big difference in such cases. They’ll investigate the crash and help you to get the compensation you deserve.
What Happens If You Were Partly at Fault
Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence system. Under this system, you can still recover damages if you are partly at fault for the accident. However, the amount you can claim is reduced by your share of fault. In addition, you won’t be able to get compensation if you are 50 percent or more to blame.
If you were 20 percent at fault, the other driver’s insurance carrier would only have to pay 80 percent of your damages. This means that if your losses amounted to $10,000, you would only be able to get $8,000. In accidents involving shared responsibility, you can be sure that the other driver’s insurer will try to put most of the blame on you. If they can prove that you were 50 percent or more at fault, they won’t have to pay anything. Your attorney will have to present evidence showing otherwise.
Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C to Discuss Your Case
If you were seriously injured in a Georgia car crash, you need to contact a lawyer. Determining liability can be difficult and if fault isn’t apportioned correctly, you’ll lose out on compensation. If you want to ensure you get the benefits you deserve, you’ll need a competent Georgia automobile accident attorney on your side. Call our firm today, book a free consultation, and learn more about how we can help you.