Georgia uses a traditional “fault-based system” system for car insurance. What is this term? It means that the person at fault for the accident is financially responsible for injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses.
In approximately 12 other states, a “no-fault” system is followed. This means that the driver’s insurance covers certain losses after a crash.
In Georgia, a simple way to understand it is: the at-fault driver’s insurance covers other people’s losses up to the limits of the driver’s liability coverage.
What are Damages?
After a Georgia car accident, you may encounter a lot of different words to describe an incident. It helps to understand the legal terms.
Losses are called “damages” in legal terms. Damages include accident losses such as medical treatment for injuries from the car accident. Damages may include pain and suffering that is the result of those injuries. Finally, damages can include lost income, economic impacts, and losses connected with the effect of an accident.
Talking with an experienced personal injury lawyer may be useful in identifying who is at fault and the compensations that you may be entitled to receive for damages.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
A Statute of Limitations is the legal term for a state law that defines the time within which a person has the right to bring a lawsuit. State law has specific deadlines for filing, depending on the kind of case you want to file and the kind of damages you have sustained.
In Georgia, this timeline is two years. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a car accident is typically the same as the one that applies to most personal injury cases. The clock starts ticking on the date of the accident. After the accident, an injury claim must be filed within two years to meet the Statute of Limitations.
The statute applies to any person filing a claim for being hurt due to the accident. This includes people such as drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, or electric scooter riders.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
If the car accident caused a death, and loved ones decide to bring a wrongful death suit, there are limits for filing this type of lawsuit.
The deadline for filing is two years from the date the person died. It is helpful to realize that this may be different from the exact date of the accident. For example, the date may be later if the individual was hospitalized after the accident.
Vehicle Damage Statute of Limitations
The Georgia Statute for filing a lawsuit about personal property, including vehicles, is slightly different. In the case of vehicle damage caused by an accident, you have four years to get the case started.
What if You Miss the Deadline in a Georgia Car Accident?
If you miss the Statute of Limitations deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case. The person you are trying to sue will emphasize that you’ve missed the deadline, and the court will agree.
By understanding the basics of the no-fault system, and the various statute of limitations, you can make smart decisions to keep all your options available.