In Georgia, plenty of car accident laws govern how liability and fault are distributed and how long you have to file a personal injury claim. Here is a fast, comprehensive guide to Georgia’s car accident laws:
The state of Georgia follows a fault-based system for car accidents. In this system, the party who is established as the at-fault entity for the accident is responsible for any resulting damages and injuries.
Statute of Limitations
In most cases, the statute of limitations in Georgia for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the accident date. This legal timeframe limits the amount of time you have to file a claim legally. Filing a claim after the statute of limitations has expired is only possible in extraordinary circumstances. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is crucial to determine if you can pursue a claim.
Comparative Fault Rule
Georgia uses the modified comparative system when it comes to car accidents. In this system, injured parties can still recover damages even if they are partially at-fault for the car accident. Yet, if a party is 50% or more at fault for the car accident, they are barred from seeking compensation.
Only parties that are 49% or less at fault for the accident can pursue compensation. Once fault is assigned, the percentage will be deducted from the final settlement amount. For example, if you were 10% responsible for an accident and your compensation was $100,000, you would only receive $90,000.
Minimum Insurance Requirements
In Georgia, drivers are required by law to carry minimum liability insurance coverage. They are as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 for property damage liability
Reporting an Accident
Drivers involved in car accidents in Georgia must report these accidents to the local police departments or the Georgia Department of Driver Services within 30 days of the accident’s occurrence. However, not all accidents must be reported. Only accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500 must be reported.
Seat Belt Laws
In Georgia, all vehicle occupants must wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. This includes both front and rear seat occupants. The no-seat belt defense can be used in Georgia but drivers excluded from wearing seatbelts, such as those suffering from medical conditions, for example, cannot be affected by it.
Georgia’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit for drivers is set at 0.08 percent. Legal BAC levels for drivers under the age of 21 or commercial drivers differ and are set at much lower levels, 0.02 and 0.04, respectively. DUI in Georgia is a serious offense, especially if it results in a car accident.
Like most states, Georgia has plenty of laws governing car accidents. However, Georgia’s car accident laws can be used to escape liability if the circumstances and evidence allow it. To ensure your rights are protected, receive help in negotiations with insurance companies, and have proper legal representation, consult a car accident lawyer in Georgia to strengthen your case.