Car Accident Laws in Georgia

Car Accident Laws in Georgia

If you have been injured in a car accident in Georgia, after you seek immediate medical attention, you may be wondering what your legal options are to recover financial compensation for your hospital bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. Remember, you are required to report a car accident to law enforcement officials if the car accident results in injury, death, or more than $500 in property damage. 

First, you must know that Georgia is considered a “fault-based” car accident state. This means that a negligent driver who caused a collision—or his/her insurance company—is also responsible for covering a victim’s losses stemming from the crash. 

An injured victim in a car accident in Georgia can recover compensation for damages in the following three ways: 

  • The victim files a claim with his/her own insurance company, which will file a claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurer. 

  • The victim files a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

  • The victim files a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court. 

In contrast, a “no-fault” car insurance system means that injured drivers must file a claim with their own insurer to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, regardless of who is liable for causing the collision. If the victim suffers a serious or catastrophic injury, then he/she may step outside of the no-fault system and file a claim directly against the negligent motorist. 

When it comes to auto insurance in Georgia, the following is the minimum liability coverage all drivers are required to carry: 

  • $25,000 for injury or death per person 

  • $50,000 for injury or death per accident 

  • $25,000 for property damage per accident 

But what if the at-fault driver partially or completely blames the victim for causing or contributing to the crash? “Comparative fault” occurs when more than one party is somewhat liable for an accident. 

Georgia is considered a “modified comparative negligence” state, which means an injured victim can recover compensation against a party who is more responsible for causing an accident, but the victim’s damages will be reduced by his/her percentage of fault.  

For example, if a jury awards you with $100,000, but also finds you to be 35 percent liable for causing the crash, then your total award will be reduced to $65,000 because the other driver is 65 percent to blame. Keep in mind, if a victim is at least 50 percent at fault, then he/she will not be able to recover anything. 

The statute of limitations in Georgia for car accident injury lawsuits is two years to file a claim in civil court. Additionally, claims involving only property damage have a four-year time limit. 

Injured in a car accident in Hinesville or Hinesville, GA? Call Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC at (866) 580-3089 or fill out our online contact form today for a free case review. Serving clients in Coastal Georgia and military families worldwide!