Summer is finally here, which means more Georgia drivers will be hitting the road to enjoy family barbecues, trips to the beach and vacations. Unfortunately, an increase in traffic often leads to an increase in car accidents. It’s important to brush up on the state’s car accident compensation laws.
First of all, Georgia has a statute of limitations for car accident claims. Plaintiffs have two years to file a lawsuit over personal injuries and four years to file over property damage. It is also important to understand that the state employs at-fault rules for car accident suits. This means that drivers involved in car crashes must prove that the other driver was at fault in the accident in order to receive compensation. The state also uses a modified comparative negligence system, which means that a judge or jury calculates fault by percentages. Under this system, a driver cannot collect damages if they are more than 50 percent at fault. Likewise, a driver’s settlement is determined by his or her percentage of fault. For example, drivers who are deemed to be 30 percent at fault are eligible to collect 70 percent of their damages.
Typical damages sought in Georgia car accident lawsuits include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement, loss of companionship, the cost of rental vehicles and wrongful death. These types of damages are known as compensatory damages, and there is no limit on the amount that can be awarded for them in car accident cases. However, punitive damages, or damages that are intended to punish a driver for negligent behavior, are limited to $250,000.
Victims of car accidents may begin legal action by contacting a personal injury attorney. An attorney might help prove that the other driver was responsible for the crash and negotiate a settlement.
Source: Findlaw, “Georgia Car Accident Compensation Laws,” June 15, 2018