When can you sue after a Georgia auto accident?

| Jan 22, 2021 | Firm News |

An auto accident injury can result in extensive medical care and long-term disability. In some cases, the injured person can sue the responsible driver for legal damages.

Review the factors that apply to this type of personal injury lawsuit in Georgia.

Auto insurance fault

Georgia follows fault laws for the purposes of auto insurance. Each driver must have liability insurance that covers the cost if he or she causes a crash. Drivers in Georgia must have a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance, but medical expenses and other costs of a debilitating injury can quickly exceed that amount.

An injured driver can file a claim with either his or her own insurance company or the responsible driver’s insurance company. This person can also decide to file a lawsuit against the driver directly instead of negotiating a settlement with the insurer.

Modified comparative fault

Even if a driver has some fault in an auto accident, he or she can still sue the other driver. The other driver must have at least 50% fault for the plaintiff to have a case.

If the lawsuit succeeds, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s damage amount by his or her determined percentage of fault. For example, if the defendant ran a red light but the plaintiff was 20% responsible because of a missing headlight, he or she might receive $8,000 in damages instead of $10,000.

The injured party can only file a lawsuit within two years of the accident date. After the statute of limitations expires, the court will dismiss even an otherwise valid personal injury case.