Determining Fault and Liability in Georgia Car Accidents

Written By: Darl Champion

Date Posted: 09.15.23

Category: Car Accident

When you are injured in a car accident, the liable party should compensate you for your damages. You shouldn’t face the cost alone when someone else’s reckless actions caused your losses.

You might think determining who is responsible for causing your injuries is obvious, but you must legally prove fault and liability to recover compensation following a Georgia car accident. With an attorney’s help, you can meet the necessary legal standards and secure what you are entitled to by law. Contact The Champion Firm at 404-596-8044 for a 100% free consultation about your case and who could be held accountable for your car accident injuries.

Fault in Georgia Car Accidents

Fault in Georgia car accidents refers to the party who is responsible for causing the collision. Drivers, pedestrians, or organizations could share responsibility, depending on the case. For example, drivers using their cell phones before a crash would be considered at fault.

Finding who is liable for an accident can be straightforward, or it can be challenging. An impaired driver that causes an accident should be apparent. But tracking down the at-fault party in crashes caused by a defective automobile could be challenging.

Municipalities could also share liability if they neglected to maintain road conditions. Suppose the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is doing substantial road work on I-75 or Georgia 402. If the contractors and road construction workers do not adequately secure the area with signage and barriers, GDOT could be held accountable if an accident occurs in that area. Other parties, like government contractors, subcontractors, independent contractors, and road construction workers, might also share liability.

A thorough investigation into your crash can reveal the parties responsible for causing the accident. Once you identify them, you can file an insurance claim for your losses.

Why Does Fault Matter?

Fault is important because the liable party, or individual responsible for causing your accident, can be ordered to compensate you for your damages. Georgia is a fault state for car accidents and insurance claims. This means the at-fault party must cover your damages and compensate you for the losses attributed to the accident.

This process often involves filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You might be able to file a claim with your own insurance company in some cases if you purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or no-fault coverage.

How Is Fault Determined in a Georgia Car Accident?

Fault can be determined at several points throughout the car accident investigation process. Law enforcement officials will first try to identify the at-fault parties when they investigate the crash and document their findings in official crash reports.

The insurance company and your car accident attorney will also conduct their investigations. The insurance company will look for reasons to reduce your settlement or deny your claim. Your personal injury lawyer will look at the facts of the case to determine how the accident occurred, who is responsible, and how you can be fairly compensated for your damages.

If the insurance company or liable party attempts to blame you or someone else for the collision, your attorney’s investigation will provide valuable evidence to support your liability claims.

Establishing Fault for a Car Accident

To establish fault, your car accident attorney will determine whether the elements of negligence have been met. These include:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Proof of damages

All drivers have a duty of care to drive safely without threatening harm to anyone else on the road. Any breach of that duty through negligence or recklessness could meet the elements of negligence if that breach caused the victim’s injuries.

You must also have suffered damages to have grounds for a claim. This means your injuries have impacted your life financially, emotionally, psychologically, or physically.

Evidence to Support Fault Claims

Successfully proving fault and liability requires evidence. For example, dashcam footage from the accident can give the judge, jury, and insurance company an idea of how the accident occurred. Your medical records are another valuable resource. They can show the extent your life has been affected by your injuries. These records also detail the impact your injuries might have on your future, showing the long-term implications of your car accident.

In addition, by working with accident reconstructionists and analyzing the police and crash reports, injury victims can re-create the incident, showing how the liable party is at fault.

Fault and Liability FAQs

Our dedicated Atlanta car accident attorneys at The Champion Firm are here for any of your unanswered questions regarding liability, fault, and the car accident claims process. Review these frequently asked questions or call our firm to schedule a free consultation.

What is comparative negligence?

Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule. You can still pursue compensation if you share fault for your crash. However, you cannot recover damages if your portion of blame is more significant than 49%. Your payout will also be reduced in proportion to the fault you share for the accident.

For instance, if you were distracted when struck by a driver running through a red light, the court could determine that you are 20% liable for your injuries. If the jury awarded you $1 million, your settlement would be reduced by 20%, leaving you with $800,000.

How should I handle the insurance company?

You should not have to handle the insurance company at all. Have your attorney take over these responsibilities. The last thing you want is to accidentally say something that might express guilt or lead the insurance company to believe you accept responsibility for causing the accident. Instead, direct the insurance company to your lawyer, who can protect you and assess your fault accurately.

How can a personal injury lawyer help?

A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process and explore your legal options. Your lawyer will evaluate fault, gather evidence to support your case, ensure your damages are accurately quantified, and advocate for your rights throughout your car accident insurance negotiations or trial.

If you have questions about who caused your car accident injuries or need direction to start your case, we can help. The Champion Firm’s dedicated Georgia car accident attorneys will guide you through the legal process of establishing fault and liability. Then, we’ll help secure maximum compensation. Contact us today for a no-cost, risk-free consultation.

Call 404-596-8044 or contact us online to get started.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.