Dealing with a car accident in Georgia is tricky because the law operates under the modified comparative negligence theory. This means that accident victims cannot collect damages from the other party if they are 50% or greater responsible for the accident. Not all cases go to court, but regardless of how you want to proceed, you will need a car accident lawyer by your side. According to T. Madden & Associates P. C., the most essential elements in establishing who was at fault for a car accident are establishing who broke the law, was driving carelessly, and who maintained their vehicle correctly.
The good news is that if you were less than half to blame for an accident, you still could receive compensation for your damages even if you were partly at fault. Because of how these laws work, car accident victims must build a strong case to win in court and receive compensation for their damages.
Establishing Fault in Car Accidents Georgia
In many accident cases, the parties involved cannot deduce right away who is to blame for the accident fully. This is because of the shock and adrenaline of the crash. Drivers that were attentive during car crashes are more confident to pursue a case against the at-fault driver because they know they were wronged.
However, even if you were in a car accident case and are unsure of how much you are responsible for the crash, you should still take legal action because the other party will do so anyway, or the insurance company will shift the blame unto you to reduce the claim they have to pay.
You are still entitled to compensation if you are not more than 50% responsible for the crash. Since Georgia is an at-fault state, several circumstances regarding the accident are taken into account, such as:
- Which driver broke traffic laws, or if they both did.
- Which driver drove negligently. For example, if a driver was established as talking on the phone, or eating when the accident occurred, then that driver is most likely at fault.
- If one of the cars involved in the accident wasn’t properly maintained, such as having faulty brake lights, then the driver owning that car is more likely to be at fault.
- The driver behind in rear-ends accidents is often considered the at-fault driver as they are presumed to have driven too close to the other vehicle.
Determining Fault in Car Accidents Georgia
Determining fault is crucial in car accidents, especially in at-fault states. In the first stages, you will need to file a police report, and then an insurance company adjuster will come to investigate the case and share their opinion of who was at fault. They will look at:
- Police reports
- Examine drivers and witness statements
- Investigate the accident scene
- Review the damage to both cars
- Examining weather conditions when the crash occurred
These facts will be used to reconstruct the accident but might not necessarily be in your favor as insurance adjusters want to ensure their customers aren’t at fault. Instead, opt to work with a car accident lawyer to determine fault. They have your best interest in mind to prove fault and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Make sure to check out our custom car gallery for more great content.