When you are involved in an accident, it can be a devastating and stressful event, especially with you are at fault in this situation. In these cases, you may be responsible for not only the cost of injuries and damages you sustain, but also the potential expenses of the other involved party. However, this would then create questions about what to do after causing an accident and how this will impact your car insurance. In the aftermath of a crash you caused, the following steps are important:
- Observe the damages and injuries for both vehicles or the other driver involved in the accident. Document these with photographs if possible.
- Document the time and location of the accident, while also obtaining the contact or insurance information of the other driver involved.
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash.
- Call your car insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident.
Even if you are certain you caused the accident, never accept blame. Let the facts and evidence speak for themselves. In some cases, you may not have been the only party to blame, but more on that in a moment. Contact a Peachtree City car accident attorney as soon as you can to help you with the details of the accident.
Negligence laws in Georgia
In personal injury cases, one or more parties can be at-fault for an incident. This is often called comparative negligence or contributory negligence. This would be defined as the concept of a plaintiff’s actions or inaction contributing in some way to their own injuries. Most states have some sort of comparative negligence law in place, meaning that a person can recover compensation for their injuries even if they were partially at fault. However, in these cases, the amount of compensation awarded will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Specifically, the are two types of comparative negligence known as pure and modified approaches. With the modified comparative method used in Georgia, the damages of the plaintiff will be reduced by the percentage of what they were at fault for. However, the plaintiff can only secure damages if they are less than 50% at-fault for any injuries related to the incident. In Georgia, the modified comparative negligence method is used for car accident negligence.
Can you recover damages if you were at fault?
An individual can still recover damages due to comparative negligence if they adhere to the statute of limitations regulations. A statute of limitations places a limit on the possible time a plaintiff may have to file a lawsuit, which would depend on the type of harm you experienced.
With most personal injury cases, all states, including Georgia, have a similar statute of limitations that can be implied towards car accident lawsuits. Under Georgia law, any personal injury claim must be filed by the injury victim within two years from the date of the crash. These same regulations would apply for a wrongful death lawsuit for the same accident filed by the victim’s family.
However, if the accident requires you to file a lawsuit due to vehicle damage, the statute of limitations for these types of cases is limited to four years from the date the crash occurs.
Will my car insurance rate be affected?
With accidents, annual car insurance rates can certainly be affected by any car accident you are in. Your insurance premiums are even more likely to change if you are at fault for a crash. In some cases, your insurance carrier may even drop your coverage.
However, with accidents, the harm you can do towards your rates are greatly dependent on the state you are from and which company you have a policy with.