Every state has different laws in regard to who is at fault after a car accident. Most drivers want to know who will pay for the damages caused by the accident as well as the injuries they sustained.
If you have been in a car accident in Georgia, you may be asking yourself: Who is to blame?
Georgia’s “At-Fault” Law
To determine liability after an auto accident in Georgia, Georgia operates as an “at-fault” state. This means, after an accident, the person who was negligent and caused the accident can be held liable for any property damage or injuries that the victims faced. After a car accident, make sure to call police officials to get a hold of an accident report as soon as possible. The accident report helps determine who is at fault and includes useful information from the scene of the accident. This includes:
- A statement from the drivers, witnesses, and passengers
- Insurance information of the drivers
- Any citations/charges issues
- Details of the crash and those involved
At-Fault Vs. No-Fault
In an at-fault state, a driver who directly caused the crash has the sole responsibility to compensate other drivers involved in the accident. Georgia is an at-fault state. According to Savannah accident attorneys at Bowen Painter Trial Lawyers, an insurance company will investigate the accident claim and hold one party at fault over the other. The at-fault party is then required to pay for damages to the injured victim. In Georgia and other at-fault states, you must gather evidence to prove that the other driver acted negligently.
All drivers in Georgia are required by law to carry liability insurance that meets the minimum limits. The minimum insurance requirements include:
- Property Damages Liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident
- Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per incident
In states with no-fault laws, all drivers must file a claim with their insurance company following the incident. The Insurance Information Institute reports that the no-fault system was put in place to decrease the cost of auto insurance by decreasing the number of small claims that entered the court system. Each insurance company will compensate the holder of the auto insurance policy for minor injuries, disregarding who really is at fault for the incident.
Damages Available After a Georgia Car Accident
After an accident, you may be left with serious injuries and property damage that could end up changing your life. In Georgia, victims are able to file an accident claim to seek compensation for their losses. Rather than doing this yourself, it is beneficial to hire an attorney. who can assist in putting documentation together so you can focus on healing. Common damages available to accident victims include:
- Medical Bills: This can include anything from hospital visits, prescription medicine, future medical bills, and permanent disability benefits.
- Lost Wages: If you are forced to take time off work for treatment, you may be compensated for these losses.
- Pain and Suffering: These types of damages are determined based on the future medical expenses linked with the injury, the seriousness of the injury, as well as mental and physical stress you have been put through due to the injury itself.
Georgia Comparative Fault Law
Georgia also operates under modified comparative negligence law. This means you may be eligible to recover compensation for injuries even if you were partially at fault, as long as the person claiming the damages was less than 50 percent at fault. If you are 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, you will not be eligible for financial compensation (O.C.G.A § 51-12-33).