Every year, thousands of people in Georgia get into some type of car accident. Many accident victims suffer from serious, debilitating, and/or permanent injuries as a result of vehicle accidents. This is not to mention the physical and emotional pain that accompanies a traumatic car accident. Sadly, it often doesn’t end there. In many cases, victims are left to deal with the burdensome financial consequences of the accident, including car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and the other economic costs that typically arise in the aftermath of an accident. Marietta car accident lawyer Norman Miller can provide you with the legal representation you need if you were injured in a crash.Common Causes of Car Accidents
While there are many different causes for car accidents, some of the most common contributing factors include:
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Running stop signs
- Running red lights
- Unsafe lane changes
- Tire blowouts or vehicle defects
In most instances, car accidents involve some type of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise reasonable care. Acting with reasonable care means acting how a reasonably prudent person would act in a similar situation or under similar circumstances. When it comes to car accidents, the duty to use reasonable care can mean avoiding risky behavior such as speeding, texting while driving, getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or some of the other avoidable causes of car accidents listed above.
In order to prevail in a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove the following four elements:
- The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving;
- The defendant breached his duty by failing to exercise reasonable care while driving;
- The defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care while driving caused the accident;
- The plaintiff sustained personal injuries or property damage as a result of the accident.
Ascertaining liability depends on the nature and circumstances of the case. In a two car collision, liability might be relatively simple to figure out. However, if there are multiple cars involved, then ascertaining liability can become more complicated. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify and seek damages from all responsible defendants.Automobile Insurance
Immediately after the accident, the responsible party’s insurance company launches an investigation into the accident. The insurance company will collect information such as statements from those involved in the accident, any police reports, medical reports, photographs, and accounts of the accidents by witnesses. The insurance company meticulously analyzes the accident in order to determine the amount of payment that the company will need to pay the injured party.
Georgia law requires individuals to maintain liability coverage for their automobiles. The minimum requirement for bodily injury in Georgia is $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. Georgia law also requires $25,000.00 for property damage. These amounts are often insufficient to cover the costs owed to the injured party, in which case the responsible party’s assets may be used to foot the bill. Before tapping into the responsible party’s personal assets, however, the responsible party will generally check to ensure he is not covered under some other insurance policy or under an “umbrella clause” of an existing policy.
It is important to note that Georgia law does not require individuals to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance protects the injured party from situations in which there is a hit and run, the responsible party doesn’t have any insurance, or the responsible party doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the injured party’s damages.Statute of Limitations to File a Civil Lawsuit
In some cases, if the injured party is unable to obtain their damages through the settlement route, then litigation may become necessary. Under Georgia law, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after a car accident is two years after the date of the car accident if the filing consists of a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations is four years after the date of the accident if the filing consists of a property damage claim.
It is important to remember that the state statute of limitations does not affect an individual’s ability to file a claim with their insurance company.Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Obtain Help Today
Although car accidents are everyday occurrences, analyzing the extent and nature of injuries, damages, and liability is a complicated process. If you’ve been in an automobile accident, it is best to contact a Marietta car accident attorney who regularly handles personal injury claims and isn’t afraid to initiate a lawsuit if necessary. Call us at 770-284-3727 or contact us online for a free, no obligation consultation today.
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Fatal Car Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bike Accidents
- DUI Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Failure to Yield Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Side-Impact Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Road Hazards
- Teen Driver Accidents
- Elderly Related Accidents
- Highway Accidents
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents
- Failure to Maintain Lane Accidents
- Single-Vehicle Accidents
- Aggressive Driving Accidents
- Work Zone Accidents