Every year there are on average 5,400,000 car crashes in the United States, with 80 people on average being killed each day. In 2013, there were 35,244 fatal car crashes on US roads. In 2011, there were 1,223 traffic fatalities just in Georgia.
Common Causes of a Car Accident
Some of the most common causes of car accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Automotive defects
- Reckless driving
- Drowsy driving
- Bad weather
- Aggressive driving
In any situation in which another driver breaks the law or is unreasonably careless and so causes an injury they will be classified as negligent and so will be held responsible for any damages.
How car accident cases work
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still receive compensation from the other party, as long as you are no more than 50% liable. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of which you are at fault. For example, if you are 20% liable for the accident (your actions contributed to the accident, but did not cause it), then you can only recover 80% of what you would have received from the other party for damages. There is no defined rule for assigning this percentage; it is either negotiated with an insurance company or decided by a judge or jury.
The statute of limitations on a car accident is two (2) years for a personal injury lawsuit and four (4) years for property damage. These have no influence on an insurance claim, but it is better to start the insurance process as soon as you can in case you need to file a lawsuit later on. If the government was involved in any way then the incident claim needs to be filed with the correct agency, and quickly so that you don’t lose your right to compensation.
Georgia uses a fault system for liability and insurance coverage in regards to car accidents. This means that an at-fault driver is liable for damages after an accident, and his or her insurance policy will looked to to satisfy the liability.
Compensation for a party injured in a car accident can be found in three ways:
- the injured person files a claim with his or her own insurance company which then seeks compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer
- a claim is pursued with the at-fault driver’s insurer directly (third party claim)
- a personal injury lawsuit is filed in civil court (common if settlement negotiations did not work)