Steps to Take after a Car Accident in Georgia
Depending on the severity of the collision, you may lose consciousness or need to immediately go to the hospital. You should not hesitate to get emergency medical attention if your injuries are serious. If you are well enough to remain at the scene, there are several things you should do to protect your right to compensation. Even if you are hospitalized, you or a loved one should still do everything you can to preserve evidence and act quickly to put yourself in the best possible legal position.
After a car accident, you should make every effort to:
- Call 9-1-1. You are generally required to call the police and remain at the scene until they arrive after a collision. Tell the officer what happened in calm, objective terms. Their report could become an invaluable piece of evidence down the line.
- Avoid unnecessary conversation. While it is okay to see whether the other driver or their passengers need help after a crash, you should not engage in additional conversation before the police arrive. You may something that could be taken out of context and later distorted to weaken your case. Saying as little as possible is in your best interest.
- Gather evidence. Take photos or videos of your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and any elements that support your side of the story or may have contributed to the collision. This includes skid marks, weather conditions, and road conditions. Look out for traffic or security cameras that may have captured the accident.
- Get contact information. You need the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license information, and insurance information. Try to get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses, as well.
- See a doctor. If you did not go to the hospital immediately after the crash, see a medical professional as soon as possible and tell them you were in an accident. Have them perform a full evaluation and keep records of your visits and their diagnoses.
- Reach out to Morrison & Hughes. Our Georgia car accident attorneys can jump into action and start advocating on your behalf. That will include handling communications with the other driver and their insurance company. The sooner you get in touch, the better!
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Georgia
Many wrecks are the result of driver negligence. Every driver owes a legal duty of care to everyone else on the road, so when they engage in reckless or careless behavior that puts others in danger, they typically become liable for any injuries their actions cause.
Many car accidents in Georgia are caused by:
- Distracted driving (including texting while driving)
- Fatigued driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to follow traffic laws (including changing lanes without signaling and running red lights)
Types of Compensation You Can Recover after a Car Accident in Georgia
Can I Recover Compensation in Georgia If I Was Partially Responsible for a Car Accident?
Possibly. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning you may be able to recover partial compensation for damages if your share of the blame does not exceed 49%. If you are found to be equally at fault or primarily at fault, you will not be able to recover anything. Should you be only partially responsible, your damages will be reduced by what the court determines to be your percentage of fault. For example, if your damages total $100,000 and the court decides you are 20% responsible for the car accident, you would receive $80,000. Our firm can assess your potential level of fault and advise how it may impact your case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, you usually have up to two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit. If a loved one passed away due to fatal injuries sustained in a wreck, you will have two years from the date of their passing – not the date of the accident – to file a wrongful death claim. You will be unable to recover any damages if you miss the applicable deadline, so do not wait to discuss your case with a legal professional.