An Overview of Georgia Car Accident Law and Lawyers

An Overview of Georgia Car Accident Law and Lawyers

Even casual air travelers have likely set foot in Georgia thanks to many airline companies having a “hub” presence at the international airport in Atlanta. Atlanta is a sprawling metropolis with many modern amenities and employment opportunities. However, if you venture away from Atlanta and to other, smaller communities like Savannah you will see traces of Georgia’s southern heritage. A 2013 census revealed that 9.9 million individuals lived and worked in Georgia.

Just as the Atlanta airport can be busy and congested, so to Georgia’s roads across the state can be congested and busy. This helps create prime conditions for car accidents to occur. Some of these car accidents can result in fatalities or serious injuries like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and broken bones. After a car accident is not the time to educate yourself about your legal rights – learn what you should do after a Georgia car accident now.

Georgia Car Accident Facts

Georgia’s Department of Highway Safety records the number of crashes that occur each year in Georgia and then separates these collisions based upon whether the collision is fatal or nonfatal, what type of vehicles are involved, and what contributing factors are present. Data from 2013 shows that in that year:

  • A total of 1,179 people lost their lives in traffic accidents throughout the state;
  • Another 116,458 suffered some type of injury (whether minor or serious);
  • Alcohol played a role in 297 fatalities;
  • Speed was a factor in another 197 fatalities.

When considering causes of fatal and injury crashes (like alcohol consumption or excessive speed), it becomes clear that many of these “contributing factors” are within the ability of drivers to control. In other words, drivers can choose not to drink and then drive, just as they can choose to obey speed limits and keep their eyes and attention on their surroundings. It is tragic to think that more than a few traffic injury and fatality accidents in Georgia could be prevented if drivers simply exercised more care while driving.

Georgia is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State

Georgia residents who drive cars within the state must carry with them proof that they have purchased a valid and active fault-based insurance policy. This policy must pay certain minimum amounts of compensation to victims who are injured by the insured’s careless driving. In other words, if an insured motorist causes a crash his or her insurance company will pay the claim of the injured victim, up to the policy limits, so long as the insurance company is satisfied that the victim’s loss is covered by the insured’s policy and that the insured individual is responsible for causing the crash.

The insurance company may not always pay a victim’s claim. Alternatively, the compensation offered by the insurance company may not be sufficient to fully address all of the injury victim’s losses and expenses. If this occurs, the injury victim may decide to file a car crash lawsuit against the at-fault motorist and/or his or her insurance carrier. If this occurs, the victim’s degree of fault will be compared with the degree of fault of the allegedly “at-fault” driver. If the injury victim is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident’s occurrence, the injury victim will be able to recover some compensation (although the precise amount received will reflect the amount of fault attributable to the victim). If the victim is as responsible or even more responsible than the other motorist for the crash, the victim will not be entitled to recover any compensation.

Georgia’s Statute of Limitations

Injury lawsuits in Georgia must be filed within two years of the accident date. This limitation is contained in Georgia’s “statute of limitations.” This limitation is meant to prevent old lawsuits from being filed and occupying precious time on court calendars when the passage of time has made the case difficult to prove. Before filing a lawsuit, an injury victim will need to stabilize his or her health, decide whether to file a claim for compensation with an insurance company, calculate the extent of his or her damages and losses, investigate whether he or she has enough evidence or testimony to prove his or her case, and prepare the actual documents necessary to initiate a car crash case. This does not leave injury victims much time for simply sitting on their rights.

Call Stern Law, PLLC for Timely and Accessible Assistance

Stern Law, PLLC can help you take prompt and decisive action after a car accident. We will help you understand the nature of the compensation to which you may be entitled and how to assert your rights in order to have the best possible chance of obtaining full and fair compensation. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today by calling (844) 808-7529 and discuss your car accident case with us.

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