Georgia Fault Laws Applying to Car Accident Cases
Georgia is a “fault” state when it comes to auto insurance claims, which means when you get hurt in a car accident due to someone else's negligence, you have three options for seeking compensation for injuries and damages. You can file a claim with your own insurance company, file a claim directly with the other driver’s insurance company, or file a lawsuit in court.The Georgia “Fault” Car Insurance System
When it comes to issues like liability and insurance coverage after a car accident, Georgia follows a fault-based system. This means that an at-fault driver can be held be liable for any personal injuries and/or property damage resulting from the collision, and his or her insurance policy will be looked to first to cover these liabilities. Accordingly, a person injured in a car accident can seek compensation for damages in one of three ways:
- You can file a claim with your own insurance company, and it will seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- You can pursue a claim with the other driver’s insurance company directly.
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court.
Which option is the best for you can be explained by an experienced car accident lawyer.Georgia Comparative Fault Laws
Sometimes, when you file a lawsuit or insurance claim after sustaining an injury in a car accident, the other party or insurance company may respond by claiming that you were actually at fault (in whole or in part) for the accident. In this situation, Georgia’s modified comparative fault rule comes into play. This law can reduce or eliminate your damages if you are found to be partly or mostly at fault for causing the accident. In other words, while you may still be able to file a claim against the party that was more at-fault than you for causing the accident, your financial compensation will be reduced by the percentage share of your portion of liability.
Here is an example of how comparative fault works in Georgia:
- Jane was going through an intersection when she was hit by a driver who ran a stop sign.
- Jane was traveling 10 miles per hour above the speed limit at the time.
- It is eventually determined that the other driver was 90% at fault for the accident, and Jane was 10% at fault.
- Jane’s damages equal $20,000.
- She will receive $18,000 ($20,000 minus $2,000, or the 10% of fault assigned to her).
Georgia courts are required to apply the modified comparative fault rule in motor vehicle collisions in which both parties are found to be at fault. The issue can also come up in insurance negotiations when an insurance company is attempting to decrease a settlement offer.Call Us for Help After a Car Accident
If you have been hurt in a car accident, you want to make sure you have the best chance possible of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC help individuals and families get treated fairly by insurance companies and the legal system. Contact our team today at (404) 460-0101 for your free consultation.