Following an car crash in Georgia, you may be wondering if you are entitled to compensation even though you were partially at fault for the accident. Fault laws vary widely from state to state, and we will discuss Georgia’s car accident laws in detail in this article.
At Dennis and King, our experienced car accident team has helped countless injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve in a timely manner. We will review your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy and ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward.
Don’t assume that being partially at fault for an accident means you are not entitled to recover compensation. Contact Dennis and King today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Is Georgia a No-Fault State?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Georgia, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws and how they will impact your ability to obtain compensation for injuries, or damage to your vehicle. When it comes to car accidents, states can follow no-fault or at-fault laws.
If you are injured in a no-fault state, all involved parties will need to file a claim with their own insurance, regardless of who caused the accident. After a crash in an at-fault state, on the other hand, police will assign fault to one or more parties, and only the at-fault party or parties will need to file a claim with their insurance. Georgia is an at-fault state.
As an at-fault state, Georgia allows car accident injury victims to recover compensation if the other party or parties were mostly at fault. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy will have a coverage limit on liability, however, which could be as low as $25,000.
If your damages are greater than the at-fault party’s insurance coverage limit, what do you do? This is where it is absolutely critical to have an experienced Georgia car accident attorney by your side. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to:
- File a claim against your own underinsured motorist or uninsured motorist (UM) insurance;
- Sue the at-fault driver’s employer if the vehicle was a commercial vehicle; or
- Sue the at-fault driver.
Keep in mind, however, that suing an at-fault driver who failed to carry liability coverage or carried the state minimum, may be fruitless as they likely have very limited financial resources. An experienced GA at-fault lawyer can help you determine how to proceed.
Understanding Georgia’s Comparative Fault Laws
As a modified comparative fault state, Georgia courts must apply the modified comparative fault rule to any car accidents in which two or more parties are at fault.
Following a car accident, Georgia law allows you to file a claim against the party or parties that were more at fault than you, even if you were partially at fault. However, the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if your total damages are $50,000 and you were found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, your total damage award will be reduced by that 20 percent (in this case, $10,000), and you will receive the remaining $40,000.
Even if only one driver is believed to be at fault, the other driver’s insurance company may try to argue that the claimant was also at fault, and demand that their policy holder’s liability be reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault. Unfortunately, there is no method to apportion fault exactly, so how such a scenario will play out with the insurance company is largely dependent on your (or your attorney’s) ability to negotiate.
Remember, the modified comparative fault rule allows a claimant who was partially responsible for the accident to recover compensation only if the claimant bore less responsibility for the accident than the other party or parties. If you are partially at fault for an accident, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. These cases are highly complex, and having a good car accident lawyer by your side is critical to a favorable outcome.
How an At-Fault Accident Lawyer Can Help
Following any type of injury car accident, legal counsel from an experienced at-fault car accident lawyer can make all the difference in the world. It is virtually impossible to know if you were at fault, or how much responsibility you share with the other party, after an accident. This is why it is crucial to avoid admitting fault or discussing the accident with anyone until you’ve spoken with your attorney.
A car accident attorney will evaluate your case, determine fault, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company. Your lawyer can also ensure that you file your claim for injury compensation within the two-year statute of limitations, and that you are able to obtain the maximum compensation available to you. Insurance companies are notorious for low-balling initial settlement offers, especially to claimants with no legal representation. Don’t make that mistake.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses, current and future;
- Lost income, current and future;
- Vehicle repair bills;
- Alternate transportation costs;
- Emotional pain and suffering; and
- Wrongful death.
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. In Georgia, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the surviving spouse. If there is no spouse, any surviving children can file, and if there are no children, surviving parents can file. When there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the estate of the deceased. As with most personal injury claims in GA, the statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death claim is two years.
Contact a GA Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured due to the reckless or negligent actions of another, the skilled legal team at Dennis and King can help. We have protected the rights of countless accident and injury victims in Georgia, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining substantial compensation for our clients in a timely manner. Even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, lost income, and emotional pain and suffering. Don’t go through this difficult time without legal help. Contact Dennis and King today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.