Is Georgia an At-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Georgia is considered an “at-fault” insurance state when it comes to car accidents. This means that every car crash is an at-fault accident in Georgia. If you are involved in a car accident, the at-fault party is responsible for paying compensation for any damages and injuries you suffered.
The following are the three ways a car accident victim in Georgia can seek compensation for damages:
- You can file a claim with your own insurer, who will then file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company
- You can file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurer
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court
What Is a No-Fault State?
On the other hand, a “no-fault” insurance state means that your auto insurance policy will cover some or all your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage – regardless of who caused the collision. Only a handful of states are considered no-fault states, but not Georgia.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Car Accident in Georgia?
To recover financial compensation from a car accident in Georgia, you must prove the at-fault party's negligence according to Georgia insurance law. Negligence is defined as the failure to act in a reasonable safe manner that anyone in the same situation would.
The following are the four elements required to prove negligence in Georgia:
- The at-fault driver (or defendant) had a duty of care to follow the traffic laws and operate his/her vehicle in a reasonably safe manner.
- The at-fault driver breached that duty of care by acting in a negligent manner (e.g., speeding, texting while driving, running a red light, failure to yield, etc.).
- The at-fault driver’s breach caused the accident and the victim (or plaintiff) suffered injuries.
- The victim suffered economic and non-economic damages as a result of the crash.
What Are the Auto Insurance Requirements for Drivers in Georgia?
Remember, all states require drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage for their vehicles. The minimum coverage for motorists under the Georgia car accident law includes at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance, as well as at least $25,000 per accident in property damage liability insurance.
Do I Have to Report a Crash to Police in Georgia?
Any driver who is involved in a car accident in Georgia that results in damage valued at over $500, an injury, or death must contact the police. However, it is wise to call law enforcement officials to the scene of a collision to obtain a police report – no matter how serious the accident is.
What If I Share Fault for Causing a Crash in Georgia?
The truth is that both or all drivers involved in a car accident in Georgia may be found at fault. The state follows a “modified comparative fault” rule, in which the damages you can recover from the at-fault party will be reduced by your share of fault.
For example, if you are awarded $50,000 in damages for the accident, but the jury says you are also 15 percent to blame for causing the collision, you will only be able to recover $42,500 or 85 percent of your total damages. However, if you are held at least 50 percent liable for causing the crash, you will not be able to recover anything under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Georgia?
According to the statute of limitations in Georgia, a car accident victim has two years from the date of the crash and injury to file a claim or lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, the other party may file a motion to dismiss the case. But the best thing to do is to file a claim or lawsuit as soon as possible with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.