Suppose you have had an accident and get injured due to the negligence of another driver. In that case, the law in Georgia entitles you to receive reimbursement for lost wages, property damages, and medical expenses that you may face as a direct result of the accident. However, obtaining compensation may not be an easy and straight process, and you may need the help of a personal injury attorney in Decatur, GA.
An accident can be a life-changing event and can force you out of work. However, if you or someone you know gets injured in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, the key issues you need to deal with fault are a liability. Thankfully, the law in Georgia tells the at-fault party to compensate the victim for their injuries and damages.
How Can You Prove Fault?
To receive compensation for your injuries, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault. For this, try to obtain a written police report, as it is considered an essential piece of evidence. If your case goes for trial, one of the responding officers may testify about the investigation. You will also need to record the testimony of eyewitnesses, videos of the accident scene, and any physical evidence that may indicate that the other driver was at fault. If the fault lies with both drivers, a legal doctrine known as modified comparative negligence comes into the picture.
Is Auto Insurance Required in Georgia?
In most no-fault auto insurance states, if you meet with an accident and sustain injuries, your automobile insurance will cover your medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages and compensate you for your pain and suffering. In most cases, it does not matter which driver was responsible for the accident. However, Georgia is a fault state which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy must cover the damages. Therefore, all motorists in Georgia must carry at least-
$25,000 of coverage for property damage
$25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, and $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?
Suppose you get injured due to another driver’s negligence. As per the law in Georgia, you will get compensation for your injuries and damage. However, a personal injury lawyer in Decatur must prove that the other driver was more than 50% at fault for the accident compared to you, which means you were less than 50% at fault.
According to the modified comparative fault rule, a motorist is liable only in proportion to the other driver’s percentage of fault. This means when an injured victim has either half or more responsibility for the collision, he cannot recover any damages.
Let us use an example to explain this. Say you are late to work and your speed is only six miles per hour above the speed limit. You are moving through a green light when you get hit by an impaired driver driving 30 miles above the speed limit, and you sustain damages that total $100,000.
The car accident attorney that you hire in Decatur will first try to resolve your case in an out-of-court negotiation and try to hammer out an arrangement in your favor. However, if a settlement is not reached and the case goes to court, the jury may decide that:
– The impaired motorist was 100 percent liable in the case and must pay the entire $100,000 of your damages.
– You were partly to blame for the collision. If the decision is that you were 15% at fault and the other motorist was at 85% fault, your compensation will reduce by 15%, and you will receive $85,000.
– You were more than 50% at fault. While this may not likely be the case as per the scenario mentioned above, you will not be awarded any compensation.
What Should You Do Soon After an Accident?
Most drivers are in a state of shock after an accident and fail to put together evidence that can help them receive rightful compensation. Remember that your attorney will not be at the crash site to give you advice. And, therefore, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to protect your interests.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Call the police and find out when and how you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
- Exchange not just auto insurance details but also personal contact details with the other driver.
- Document the time of the accident and any other important details that may have contributed to the accident, such as a broken road sign or a malfunctioning stoplight.
- Take photos of the damage done to both vehicles, the crash site, and also your injuries.
- Obtain the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses who saw the accident occur.
- Notify your automobile insurance provider about the accident.
It is essential to inform your insurance provider about the accident right away. However, do not feel obligated to make any formal statement or agree to a quick settlement before you speak with a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta.
How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta Help You?
Once a medical professional has examined your injuries, your next action step should be to consult a personal injury lawyer. You will have to give your attorney a recount of what happened so that he can give you honest legal advice.
Your attorney may recommend moving forward with a lawsuit once he has investigated the accident, compiled and reviewed the evidence. If no settlement can be reached with the other party, your attorney will take the case to court and represent it there so you can receive rightful compensation for your injuries. The first consultation with any personal injury attorney in Georgia is free. There is no obligation for you to hire an attorney if they do not have the expertise to represent you in court. Most injury attorneys in Georgia work on a contingency fee basis, which means, if your case goes to court, you do not have to pay an attorney fee unless you get compensation.
Why Should You Act Swiftly?
The statute of limitations in Georgia gives a motorist two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you must not wait for two years and attempt to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitation expires. The sooner you act, the more likely you will receive compensation. It is also important to remember that every personal injury claim is different. Many can be resolved in a matter of a few weeks without any unnecessary trials, while others may be complex. A conclusion may take several years or even require a trial. Hence, in your best interest, speak to an attorney soon after an accident to understand your options and to file for compensation.
If you or someone you love has been in an accident and sustained grievous injuries due to the negligence of another driver, waste no time, contact The Hurt 911 Injury Group at 1-800-522-2277. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive fair compensation for your losses.