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Georgia Car Accident Liability Laws

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Posted By Legal Team | August 7 2023 | Car Accidents

Unlike no-fault states requiring each accident victim to file claims against their own insurance policies, According to Georgia laws, it matters who causes an accident. The fault in a traffic accident usually lies with one of the drivers involved in the accident, but the liable party could also be a city road maintenance agency or a car parts manufacturer or repair company. When an accident investigation determines the party at fault for an accident, that person or business entity must provide compensation for damages, including the expenses related to personal injuries. The at-fault party’s liability policy on their car insurance typically pays out on a claim for damages according to each party’s percentage of fault in the accident.

What Does Comparative Negligence Mean in Georgia?

Georgia operates under a modified comparative negligence law that allows injury victims to claim damages after a car accident as long as they hold less than 50% of the fault for the accident. An injury victim can recover damages minus their percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if a damage claim includes $100,000 in compensation but you’re found to be 20% at fault for the accident, you can still recover $80,000. If you were equally responsible for the accident or more than 50% responsible you cannot recover damages but may owe the other party damages through your PIP auto insurance coverage.

Common examples of driver negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Violating traffic laws
  • Texting while driving 
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to replace broken headlights, tail lights, or brake lights

The police report, dash-cam or traffic cameral video, and eyewitness testimony all help to establish negligence after a car accident.

Proving Liability in Georgia Car Accidents

Proving liability in a Georgia car accident often takes the skills of an experienced car accident attorney. Insurance companies rarely write out checks happily. More often, they try to deny claims or appoint the injury victim a greater percentage of fault in the accident than is factual or fair. Proving liability requires gathering evidence to effectively demonstrate the following:

  • That the party at fault owed a duty of reasonable care toward others on the road to prevent injuries, such as a driver’s duty to follow traffic laws, or a car part manufacturer’s duty to produce safe, reliable parts
  • That the at-fault party breached this duty through an act of negligence or recklessness
  • That the negligent breach directly caused the injury
  • That the injury victim suffered significant economic and non-economic damages

Once a car accident attorney in Atlanta gathers ample evidence of liability, they can make a compelling claim for damages against the appropriate insurance party. Most claims settle out of court, but if the insurance company fails to offer an ample settlement, the injury victim can file a lawsuit within the state’s two-year statute of limitations for car accident claims.

What Damages are Available in a Georgia Car Accident Liability Claim?

Most car accident victims can recover compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages including the following:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses and any accident-related future medical expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages from missed workdays 
  • Diminished earning capacity in the event of a disabling injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other appropriate economic damages such as disfigurement, loss of pleasure in life, or loss of limb

An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help the car accident injury victim file a successful claim to recoup financial losses. While compensation for pain and suffering doesn’t erase pain, it’s the court’s way to offer redress to injury victims. 

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