One of the most common questions we hear from car accident victims is, “How much is my case worth?”
This is a difficult question to answer because every accident is different. Generally speaking, your Georgia car accident settlement will depend on the severity of your injuries, total medical bills, and available insurance coverage. Learn more about Georgia car accident settlements.
Statute of Limitations
Car accident injuries can be devastating. In addition to medical bills and time away from work, they can also lead to financial stress as creditors call to demand payment. If an injury victim waits too long to file a lawsuit, they may miss out on the opportunity to recover compensation altogether.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations gives injury victims two years to file a civil claim. However, exceptions can extend or shorten the deadline.
One example is if the crash victim becomes legally incompetent through a permanent and debilitating injury such as a coma, in which case the clock stops until the victim regains their mental faculties.
Other scenarios that might pause the statute of limitations include when the defendant fraudulently convinces the plaintiff not to file a lawsuit (another scenario that should prompt an injured victim to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible). The law also imposes limits on damages in some cases.
Car accident victims may pursue compensation from the liable driver’s insurance company to pay for their medical bills, lost wages and other losses. If the insurer offers a lowball settlement, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the negligent driver.
In Georgia, the courts use modified comparative negligence rules to determine how much of a victim’s damages they can recover. A jury will decide the degree of fault for both parties in a case, and your percentage of responsibility is used to calculate your compensation offer or demand. Anyone who is found to be 50% or more at fault will not be entitled to compensation at all.
A well-documented police report is a crucial source of evidence for proving liability in a car accident claim. A qualified lawyer can help you gather, preserve and document evidence to prove your losses. They can also negotiate with the insurer and prepare any necessary documents to file in court.
Car accident victims often seek compensation for injuries, property damage and other losses. Unlike many other types of insurance claims, personal injury cases usually settle out of court rather than going to trial. This allows all parties to remain private about their case and settlement terms. However, if parties are unable to reach an agreement on damages, they may need to go to trial with the help of their Georgia car accident lawyer.
The value of a car accident claim depends on numerous factors, including how severely injured you were. It also depends on how much insurance coverage is available for the crash.
If you were partially responsible for the collision, you can still recover damages – but your financial compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. In Georgia, this is known as modified comparative negligence law (O.C.G.A. SS 51-12-33). For example, if a jury finds you 20% responsible for the car accident, they will reduce your award by that amount.
While it is not always possible, car accident injury victims must take action within a certain period of time or else they will lose the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is called the statute of limitations.
In Georgia, this is two years for most personal injury claims. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, if an injury victim becomes disabled from their crash, the statute of limitations may be paused until they recover. This is also true if someone dies and their loved ones wish to bring a wrongful death claim.
Another important exception is that the statute of limitations can be tolled while law enforcement investigates a crime or acts of negligence. This can often be the case when a car accident involves drunk driving. It may take up to a year for these investigations to be completed. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.