We all carry insurance, but we also hope never to have to use it. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and sometimes filing a Georgia insurance claim is a necessary evil. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with just how these claims work and with the Georgia-specific details.
If someone else’s negligence causes you to suffer an injury, you owe it to yourself to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The skilled legal team at Brauns Law Personal Injury Firm has the experience, knowledge, and dedication to aggressively advocate for your claim’s most advantageous resolution.
Your Accident: Your Insurance Claim
If you suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, insurance is going to play an important role in your financial recovery, and several aspects of Georgia personal injury law apply.
- Statute of limitations
- Comparative fault laws
- Georgia car insurance laws
- Damage caps
Georgia applies a two-year time limit or statute of limitations to all personal injury claims. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to make a claim. Furthermore, for a claim against a city or county in Georgia, you have only six months to bring a claim forward.
You’ve been in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence and that’s left you injured. It’s obviously a difficult time, but sometimes the negligent party will provide a narrative that puts all or some of the blame back on you. For such situations, Georgia employs a modified comparative fault rule that can reduce or even negate the compensation you’ll recover (if you are determined to be mostly or partially to blame for the accident that caused your injury).
For example, if you were speeding at the time of your car accident, an investigation could determine that you were 10 percent at fault for the accident that ensued. In such a case, Georgia’s comparative fault rule would reduce your compensation to 90 percent of your total damages.
Georgia’s courts apply the comparative fault rule in personal injury cases, and insurance companies typically follow suit.
When it comes to car accidents specifically, Georgia is a fault state in the sense that if someone else’s negligence causes your injury, you can seek compensation in several ways. You can file a claim with your own insurance company, you can file what’s known as a third-party claim with the negligent driver’s car insurance provider, or you can file a claim in court.
Although many states put limits or caps on the amount you can recover in a personal injury case, Georgia does not. The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that these caps aren’t in keeping with citizens’ constitutional rights.
Car Insurance Claims
Because many people are confused by the ins and outs of car insurance, it’s worth going into in more detail. Currently, drivers in Georgia must carry a minimum of $25,000 of bodily injury coverage and a minimum of $50,000 of coverage per occurrence or crash. Furthermore, motorists must carry a minimum of $25,000 in property damage liability. In other words, if a driver is at fault for another person’s injuries, that driver’s insurance will cover as much as $25,000 (the amount depends on the amount of coverage carried). Physical damage coverage is yet another form of car insurance that covers the physical damage to your property (your vehicle). Georgia doesn’t mandate this coverage, but most banks won’t finance a vehicle without it.
Your Georgia Coverage
With no-fault coverage, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence in a car accident, you would recover your damages through your own car insurance policy. You could collect as much as the limit of your personal injury protection (PIP), and you could only sue the negligent party if your damages exceeded the amount of your PIP coverage.
In Georgia, however, that’s not how it works. If someone else’s negligence causes your car accident injuries, you can sue the negligent party for the full amount of your financial damages. These damages can encompass your total medical costs (including necessary ongoing treatments), lost wages and earnings, the pain and suffering brought on by the accident, and any other expenses that are directly related to the car accident.
Georgia adopts the stance that both drivers probably share some of the blame for any accident that ensues. As such, Georgia employs a modified comparative fault rule, which decrees that any driver who is found to be more than 50 percent responsible (or 50 percent at fault) for an accident cannot sue the other driver for damages of any amount.
Accidents of any kind are difficult. When you’ve suffered an injury that someone else’s negligence caused, it can be more difficult still. Consult with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney.
After you establish the liability related to your accident, your claim will come down to your full and fair compensation. Insurance companies rarely offer settlements that fully address all of the damages suffered. It’s important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Don’t assume that an insurance company (even your own insurance company) is putting your best interests first.
A settlement offered in haste can’t possibly address all of the adverse implications of your accident, because an accident’s effects commonly blossom during time. Once you accept a settlement, you forfeit the right to seek additional compensation through the courts. Think before you sign—it’s always a good idea to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement.
If You Have a Personal Injury Claim, Consult with Brauns Law Today
If someone else’s negligence has left you injured, allow a skilled personal injury attorney to guide your claim toward its best possible resolution. Brauns Law Personal Injury Firm has the commitment, experience, and knowledge to advocate for your rights and your rightful compensation. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (404) 418-8244 for a free consultation today.