In 202, ​​more than 1,660 people were killed in car accidents in Georgia, while several thousand more were injured. Car accidents have the potential to be devastating for victims and for those who lose someone they love. 

The rights of accident victims after a crash, along with the responsibilities of everyone involved, are outlined in Georgia’s car accident laws.  

If you are involved in a Georgia car accident, you need to understand the state’s accident laws. Every accident is different, and every victim should avail themselves of the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to get the most out of their settlement. 

Our Georgia car accident attorneys have years of experience handling car accident cases arising from just about every type of negligent and reckless driving imaginable. When you work with a lawyer from Local Accident Reports, you can feel confident that we will secure the maximum settlement or jury verdict to cover your damages.  

Minimum Insurance Requirements in Georgia

Everything You Need to Know about Georgia Car Accident Laws 

Georgia drivers are required by law to carry auto insurance coverage in specified amounts. Expressly, all drivers must carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is what covers the damages you inflict on others should you be involved in an accident.  

Georgia insurance laws state that, for bodily injury liability, drivers must have: 

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident 

So, if an accident occurs, the insurance company will pay as much as $25,000 to each injured party, but will only pay a maximum of $50,000 in compensation to all injured parties. 

State law also requires all motorists to carry a minimum of $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage. This means the insurance company will pay no more than $25,000 in property damage if their policyholder causes an accident resulting in damage to property.

These are the minimum auto insurance requirements set forth by the state. Many drivers opt to purchase additional liability coverage in case they cause a collision that yields more severe, and therefore more costly, damages.

A lot of drivers also choose to purchase additional protections outside of the mandatory liability coverage, like collision coverage which would cover the cost of repairing or replacing their own vehicle if they are liable for an accident. 

Do I Have to Report My Georgia Car Accident to the Police?

Georgia police must be notified of your accident as soon as possible if one or more of the following occurred:

  • One or more people died
  • One or more people were injured
  • More than $500 worth of property damage occurred  

When you report your car accident to law enforcement, they will respond to the scene and conduct an investigation to determine its cause. The crash report written by the responding officers can be a valuable piece of evidence. If you intend to pursue a personal injury claim for damages, you will have to prove how the crash happened and who caused it, which the police report will help you do.

Is Georgia a Fault State for Car Accidents?

Yes, it is. What this means is that after any type of car accident, you are able to pursue a claim for damages, provided you were not the driver at fault for the collision. If you can successfully prove that the other driver’s wrongdoing or negligence led to the accident, you can hold them liable for damages.

Georgia also follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. While this legal phrase may sound complex, all it does is provide the guidelines for what happens if the other driver causes the accident, but you share in some of the liability. Under modified comparative negligence, as long as your percentage of liability does not exceed that of the other party, you will be able to file a claim for compensation.

In other words, you are entitled to receive damages from the other driver involved in the accident, but only if their own negligence was the primary cause. So, if you were found 30% liable for a car accident and incurred $10,000 in damages, you would be eligible to receive $70% of the total damages you incurred, which would be $7,000 in this example.

What is Georgia’s Civil Statute of Limitations?  

Georgia’s statute of limitations on personal injury matters, which include car accidents, is two years. Once you are involved in a Georgia traffic accident, you need to act quickly so you do not lose your right to financial compensation. If you put off pursuing a claim against the negligent driver, the two-year statute of limitations on your case will run out, and your claim will be time-barred.

Statutes of limitation are in place to make sure that extremely old cases are not brought to court after evidence has been deteriorated or lost and witnesses’ memories of the accident have faded.  

A skilled Georgia car accident attorney can ensure that you understand your rights and help you pursue a claim before the applicable deadline passes so you do not lose your chance to recover damages to which you would otherwise be entitled. 

What Damages Am I Eligible for After My Georgia Car Accident?

Entitlement following a traffic accident is determined by fault. If it is decided the accident was caused by the other driver’s negligence, then they will be considered at fault, meaning they are liable for your losses.   

So, if another driver caused the car accident that caused your injuries, you are most likely entitled to file a claim against them for your damages. 

The most common damages car accident victims are entitled to collect in Georgia include: 

Medical Expenses

Any medical expenses you incur due to the accident are considered damages. It is necessary to hang on to all of your medical bills and receipts so know exactly what needs to be included in your claim. Medical expenses typically include:

  • Bills, invoices, and receipts from medical treatments, hospital stays, and doctor appointments
  • Prescription medicines
  • Travel expenses for necessary medical appointments
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • Future medical costs expected to arise from accident-related injuries 

While the at-fault driver and their insurer are liable for your medical expenses, they don’t pay them individually every time you receive a bill. You will have to be fully recovered or reach maximum medical improvement in order to know what your overall medical expenses are. These costs will then be included in your insurance claim. Not only does this process take a lot longer than most people realize, but it can be tricky to figure out. To achieve the best possible outcome for your injury claim, you should hire a Georgia personal injury attorney who knows how to calculate your damages and ensure that you do not miss a single penny you are entitled to.   

Lost Income

Lost income usually includes: 

  • Basic earnings, which are your wages for the total amount of time at work you were forced to miss due to recovery. This includes any paid vacation days or sick days you took.
  • Loss of future earnings would apply if the accident left you disabled and you are no longer able to perform your job and/or would be ineligible for raises and promotions you otherwise expected because you can no longer do the work required of you.  
  • Missed commissions, opportunities, and other noteworthy sources of income. For instance, if your job is in sales and you earn commissions, then in addition to missing out on your regular base pay, you would have lost all of the commissions you would have otherwise earned, as well as any performance bonuses related to your job. A Georgia car accident attorney from Local Accident Reports can help with distinctive calculations such as these.

If you are injured in a Georgia car accident, odds are you are going to miss at least some work while you recover. If you have serious injuries that require multiple, invasive treatments and have long recovery periods, you could be out of work for a considerable length of time. An experienced lawyer will make sure that your total lost income is included in your claim.  

Vehicle Replacement or Repairs

In the event that your vehicle is totaled or damaged in the accident, you are eligible to claim for property damage. In a property damage claim, your two settlement possibilities are:

  • Total loss of the vehicle
  • Repair of the vehicle

If your car is able to be repaired, you will most likely be eligible for the repair costs and any diminution in value, which is the value lost by a vehicle due to significant crash damage. If your car is a total loss, you could be eligible for its fair market value. Gap insurance may be required to pay off a financed vehicle. Your finance company will be able to fill you in on the details. 

Pain and Suffering

Along with damages with fixed dollar amounts that are easy to calculate, such as those listed above, you could also be entitled to collect damages for pain and suffering. These have no fixed price or monetary value but instead will hinge on the facts of your individual accident.  

The term “pain and suffering” refers to the pain and discomfort you endured due to your accident-related injuries, including those you have already experienced and those you can expect to experience in the future. For instance, your injuries might make it impossible for you to participate in activities you once enjoyed. They could also leave you disfigured or with permanent scars that cause you emotional turmoil.  

Examples of types of pain and suffering include:

  • Mental trauma
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental issues
  • Uncontrollable anger
  • Phobias
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased quality of life

Since they vary so widely from case to case, most people benefit from the assistance of a Georgia car accident attorney when calculating what they are owed for pain and suffering.  

Wrongful Death

When someone is killed in a Georgia car accident, certain surviving family members are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. These claims usually include the damages listed above, as well as funeral and burial expenses, the deceased’s pain and suffering, and loss of fellowship.

Punitive Damages

In a small number of cases, you could be eligible for punitive damages. Georgia law states that punitive damages serve the singular purpose of penalizing the negligent driver for wantonness, malice, deliberate misconduct, or fraud. For example, the victim of a drunk driver could be entitled to receive punitive damages.  

Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a Georgia car accident that was not your fault, the nationwide auto accident lawyers at Local Accident Reports can make sure your right to compensation is protected.  

Call us at (888) 657-1460 to schedule a free case review and find out what legal approach our Georgia car accident lawyers recommend for you. 

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Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this accident.

Did you lose a loved one to a motor vehicle crash or get severely injured in a accident caused by another party? You may be entitled to compensation for your losses. You should get a copy of your accident report before filing your personal injury claim. Request your police report from us now for free! 

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Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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