No one wakes up in the morning expecting to get into a car or truck accident. It makes sense to have a basic understanding of the laws that come into play in the event of an accident.
Two Georgia laws are particularly useful to understand: modified comparative negligence and the statute of limitations. A Marietta personal injury lawyer has the expertise to clarify the law and answer questions you may have about filing a claim for a car accident.
Comparative Fault in Georgia Car Accidents
According to a NOLO article, Georgia has specific laws regarding who is at fault in a car accident. While it sounds a little complicated, the legal term for Georgia law is called “modified comparative negligence.”
In Georgia personal injury lawsuits, you can recover damages against a person who is more at fault than you were. The amount you can recover will be reduced by a percentage that is related to your share of liability.
Let’s look at a hypothetical example to understand how this works.
Picture this example. You are in Cobb County, driving home from work at just a few miles over the speed limit. Another car makes an unexpected turn without warning. You rear-end the other car.
In this imaginary situation, you were speeding slightly and didn’t have enough time to stop. However, the other car is found to be 75% at fault. You were found to be 25% at fault for your actions in the accident. As a result, the insurance adjuster or the jury uses the modified comparative negligence principles to adjust your settlement.
If you were entitled to a $10,000 award, it would be reduced to $7,500 based on your 25% share of the fault.
Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule, if your share of fault is 50% or more, you will not be able to recover anything.
Does the Statute of Limitations Affect the Value of Awards?
The statute of limitations is the number of years you have to get a lawsuit filed. In the Peachtree State, this is typically two years from the date of the accident.
One thing to be aware of is the deadline of the statute of limitations.
Some insurance companies use this to offer lower settlements in what is termed a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer. This can force your hand in accepting an outcome that is below what your injury claim is truly worth.
Unique Nature of Personal Injury Cases
Every personal injury case is unique to the situation, the person, and the events.
The critical factors to consider include the following:
- The precise details of the accident
- The nature and extent of injuries
- The harm of non-injuries such as financial loss, loss of ability to work
- The post-accident experience such as pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment
- The willingness of parties to seek a fair resolution
It is helpful to remember that every case is different and unique. The seriousness of the accident and the severity of the ongoing impact may affect the value of awards.