Commonly, car accident claims are resolved through insurance in Georgia. An insurance company will pay for personal injury and damages or loss of property that resulted from the accident. However, if this does not happen, people do have the right to sue each other and seek compensation for expenses or losses on a personal basis. A car accident lawsuit is something you need to seek legal assistance with. If you are being sued, there are means to defend against a lawsuit or to get an insurance company to payout. Our car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the legal process.
When Can You Sue For A Car Accident In Georgia?
All drivers in Georgia are legally required to have auto insurance. The primary reason for this is to prevent the necessity for lawsuits in the first place. If you are at fault in an accident, the other party can claim from your insurance provider and you can claim compensation from their insurance if they caused the accident. This is a very neat and tidy way of taking care of expenses resulting from an accident but the system does not always work. If this process fails for any reason, a lawsuit is a legal recourse that can be taken to resolve the issue.
3 Common reasons when drivers may sue in the event of a car accident include:
1. No Insurance
If you or the other driver are not insured, there is no way for either party to seek compensation from an insurance company. The only option available to recover losses or expenses is through a personal, civil lawsuit.
2. Insufficient Insurance
The law only requires drivers to have limited liability insurance. In Georgia, these limits are $50,000 for bodily injury (with a sub-limit of $25,000 per person) and $25,000 for damage or loss of property. In most cases, the limit for loss of property is sufficient but personal injury claims can easily exceed the limit. Any expenses in excess of these limits will not be covered by insurance and could result in a lawsuit.
3. Slow Claims Process
Claiming from an insurance company is not a quick process and people often lose patience and sue for compensation instead. There are many reasons why a claim may be slow or delayed and there is a statute if limitations on car accident lawsuits. This means that car accident victims only have 2 years to file a lawsuit after an accident in Georgia. While the claims process should not take this long, people often feel the pressure of the deadline as well as bills piling up and sue before the insurance company has time to settle and end up suing.
These are certainly not the only reasons for car accident lawsuits. An insurance claim may be denied or a driver and their lawyer may simply be aggressive or vindictive in seeking to settle the matter quickly. Keep in mind that there are legal ways to defend against these types of lawsuits.
What to Do If You Get Sued For Causing a Car Accident?
Don’t panic! Car accident lawsuits are very common and often result in the insurance paying the claim or a personal settlement being reached that is affordable.
This doesn’t mean that it isn’t a serious matter. If you don’t respond quickly enough or understand the legal defenses you have, it could become a very costly process. Although it isn’t necessary, it is highly recommended to contact a lawyer specializing in car accident cases. It is not a good idea to face a lawsuit without sound legal advice and representation.
Your lawyer may advise one of several defense strategies to resolve the lawsuit in your favor:
1. Your Insurance
An insurance company has a legal obligation to its policyholders and if they are delaying payment or denying a claim, there are ways that a lawyer can pressurize them into approving and paying a claim. This is the ideal resolution as both you and the driver suing you win.
2. Alternative Insurance Options
A driver that does not have auto insurance may be covered by an uninsured motorist plan or to some extent by their medical or other types of insurance. Your lawyer will explore these alternative options in order to reach a settlement where you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket.
3. Determining Fault
First and foremost, never admit that you were at fault in a car accident. Car accidents are often a case of one driver’s word against another’s. A good lawyer will investigate the accident and either look for evidence of who was at fault or whether the fault should be shared. Even if the driver was only partially at fault, this could reduce the amount that you owe. If they were more than 50% responsible for causing the crash, you are not liable for any of their expenses. Determining fault in an accident is not an easy process and Georgia has its own car accident laws in place.
If you have been in a car accident, contact the Weinstein Firm for a free consultation with an experienced and reputable personal injury lawyer in Georgia. Simply go to our website and complete the form or call 770-HELP-NOW to make an appointment today.