September 29, 2020
Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby
What to Do After a Car Accident in Atlanta
If you are in a car crash on an Atlanta road or highway, you probably have a million thoughts racing through your head. Who will fix my car? What if I can’t work?
Deciding who is at-fault for a collision usually determines whose insurance policy should cover the damage to vehicles as well as medical costs. This can be a confusing process, but knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath and seeking proper legal help can make a huge difference in your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries or protect your assets. Here is a short guide to determining fault after a car accident in Georgia and what to do after one occurs.
Auto Insurance and Accident Claims
Georgia is one of the states that does not use the no-fault approach to auto accident liability.
In a no-fault system, generally, each driver must first file a claim with their personal injury protection (PIP) policy for the full amount of damages. Then, the driver who is not at fault or is less at fault can sue the at-fault driver only for damages the policy doesn’t cover.
Georgia does not use this approach. Instead, in Georgia, a person injured in an accident may sue the at-fault driver for the full amount of damages, regardless of their insurance coverage. These damages can include medical bills, personal property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others, depending on the circumstances. The key is proving that the other driver was negligent, you were damaged, and the negligence caused the damage. You generally can’t recover for pre-existing or unrelated issues.
Georgia’s Negligence Approach: Comparative Fault
Another issue that affects car accident liability is that Georgia follows the modified comparative fault rule for accident compensation. This rule prohibits a person found to be 50% or more at-fault in the collision from pursuing damages from the other driver. This means that establishing fault percentages after a collision can make all the difference. Even if the other driver was 50% at fault, if the injured party was 50% at fault, there is no recovery.
Establishing Fault and Seeking Compensation
Because of Georgia’s laws regarding damages and insurance liability, properly establishing fault is a key to an injured person receiving compensation. In many cases, proving fault can be challenging. There are multiple circumstances that can make what appears to be a straight forward rear-end car accident, for example, more challenging.
This is why it is important to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
An attorney can help you gather the right evidence to prove the other party’s liability, including pictures, police reports, medical bills, and other important documentation. They can also represent your interests in settlement negotiations or litigation against the other party and their insurance company. Even if you believe liability is a slam dunk, an experienced car accident attorney can review the facts and provide expert analysis. If you’re the injured party, there may be a fact you missed. If you’re the at fault driver, there may be a defense you didn’t see.
Contact Carr & Weatherby Today
At Carr and Weatherby, we proudly represent Georgians in a variety of personal injury matters, including wrongful death, catastrophic injury, truck accidents, class actions, and professional malpractice from our office in Atlanta. We specialize in catastrophic personal injury claims and offer high-quality legal representation backed by integrity, strength, and charm. We have extensive experience representing the seriously injured, as well as reputable businesses. This diverse experience gives you unique insight, experience, and credibility. We will make sure to put you in the best position possible under the circumstances. Contact our office via phone at (404-442-9000) or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.