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Understanding Georgia Automobile Accident Legal guidelines

Knowing the law can help you proceed with confidence in the aftermath of your car wreck.

The days after a car accident can be overwhelming. You may be seeking treatment for injuries, getting vehicle repairs, and mentally recovering from this unexpected event. 

You may have started thinking about filing a lawsuit or insurance claim to recover for your injuries and/or property damage. There are several Georgia car collision laws that you should be familiar with to successfully take action after your collision. As a victim of a wreck, knowing how car wreck laws will affect you can help you navigate the difficult time after your car crash. 

Georgia Car Collision Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for a personal injury suit in Georgia is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit for bodily injuries. 

To recover for vehicle damage, you have four years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit. If you are filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of someone who died as a result of a car crash, you have two years from the date of death to file your claim. 

You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible after your crash if you are considering filing a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations passes before you file, your claim will almost certainly be dismissed.

Fault in Georgia

Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. This means that as long as you were less than 50% at fault for your wreck, you may be able to recover damages. For example, if you failed to use your turn signal but another driver ran a red light and collided with your car, you can still recover as long as a judge or jury finds that the other driver has the majority of the responsibility for the crash. Talking to a Georgia car accident lawyer can help you determine whether you may be able to recover damages despite some contributing fault.

Two cars in an accident in an intersection; image by Shuets Udono, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

If you are partially at fault for a wreck, the court will reduce your final damages award by the percentage of fault that is your responsibility. For example, if a jury determines that you are 25% at fault for the wreck, they will reduce your award by 25%. Most personal injury cases settle before reaching a jury trial. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate an appropriate settlement, taking into account any fault you may have contributed. 

Insurance Requirements

Georgia requires drivers to maintain the following minimum auto insurance coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability insurance of $25,000 per person;
  • Bodily injury liability insurance of $50,000 per collision; and
  • Property damage liability insurance of $25,000 per collision.

These insurance limits help pay for damage and personal injuries that you cause. The bodily injury insurance will pay up to $25,000 to a single person that you injure in a collision. If the collision results in injuries to more than one person, your insurance will pay up to $50,000 to the injured parties under the per-crash limit. The insurance coverages listed above are the minimum that Georgia state law requires. If you took out a loan to purchase your vehicle, the lender may require additional insurance. 

Uninsured drivers may be fined up to $1,000, have their license suspended, or face other penalties. In addition, uninsured drivers are personally liable for injuries or damages that they cause. If you are injured by an uninsured driver, you may be able to seek compensation from their personal assets. Alternatively, if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company may reimburse you.

Understand How Georgia Car Wreck Laws Affect You

Knowing the law can help you proceed with confidence in the aftermath of your car wreck. An experienced car crash lawyer can tell you more about how these laws apply to the specific details of your auto collision. Talking to an attorney can help you determine your next steps during this stressful time.

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