To determine fault in a car accident, the insurers for both parties investigate the accident. Fault in a Georgia car accident is not always cut and dry. In some cases, one driver is completely at fault; in others, both drivers share fault.
However, you can be sure that both insurers are doing everything they can to place blame on the other side, often resorting to underhanded tactics to trick victims into admitting fault or handling their case alone. This is why you need a skilled lawyer to fight for your rights after a car accident.
Call the team at S. Burke Law before talking to the insurance company or anyone else involved in the crash. We will advise you of your rights and the best way to move forward. Call for a free consultation: 404-842-7838.
What criteria do insurers use to determine fault in a car accident?
Insurers consider several factors when assigning fault in a Georgia car accident:
Like every other state, Georgia has traffic laws that govern what a driver may and may not do on the road. These laws exist to protect the safety of everyone on the road, including motorists, pedestrians, and workers. When drivers apply for a Georgia license, they implicitly agree to uphold a duty of care to others on the road. When a driver violates a Georgia traffic law and causes an accident, they can be liable for any injuries that result.
If a driver in an accident was doing any of the following, an insurer might assign him partial or total fault for the accident:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Making an improper U-turn
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to yield right of way
- Reckless driving
- Failing to use due care and caution
This is only a partial list, as the number of traffic laws in Georgia is extensive. Just know that if officers find a driver in an accident violated the law, the driver will likely be liable for the collision.
Automatic Assumption of Liability
In some cases, the specific circumstances of a car accident result in one driver's assumed liability. The classic example is that of the rear-end collision. When an accident occurs because one driver strikes the back of another vehicle, people will almost always assume the driver in back is at fault.
But even this rule has exceptions. These include the driver in front:
- Backing up without warning.
- Neglecting to replace broken or burnt out brake lights.
- Cutting off the rear driver.
A skilled attorney at S. Burke Law can look at the circumstances of your car accident and determine if the insurer may have improperly assigned fault to you.
How do I prove that another driver was at fault in my car accident?
To receive compensation from another driver or their insurance company, you need evidence of liability. We can gather evidence on your behalf and build a strong case against the responsible party. Ultimately, the evidence needs to prove three things:
- The other driver violated a Georgia traffic law or was negligent in some way.
- The driver's negligence caused or contributed to the accident.
- The accident resulted in injury, property damage, or both.
The team at S. Burke Law seeks out extensive evidence to show liability. This evidence might include:
- Police reports
- Video surveillance
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness testimony
- Accident reconstruction
- Medical documentation
Without sufficient evidence, it is too easy for the insurance company to cast doubt on who was at fault in the crash or on the severity of your injuries.
How do I deal with the insurance company following a car accident?
The short answer is, you never want to speak to an insurance company after a car accident without speaking to an attorney first. You will probably start receiving calls from the insurance company within a day or two of the accident, and they might even entice you by offering a settlement right off the bat.
Remember, however, that the insurance company is not actually looking to help you, nor does it have your best interests at heart. I know this from experience. Before opening my law practice in Atlanta, I worked as an insurance adjuster and I know how insurers deal with accident victims. Ultimately, they have one goal — to pay as little as possible or, if they can get away with it, to not pay at all.
By speaking to the insurance company, you are giving it the opportunity to take your words and twist them to fit the narrative it created. Instead of taking the insurance company’s calls, send them to voicemail and call S. Burke Law. We will take over all correspondence on your behalf and make sure your settlement includes all the compensation you deserve.
Call S. Burke Law for Help After a Car Accident
A car accident is stressful enough. Do not make a bad situation worse by allowing the insurance company to push you around and dictate how much compensation you receive. The team at S. Burke Law fights for your rights with compassion and conviction. We know from experience how insurance companies take advantage of accident victims, and we will not let them hurt you. Call us for a free consultation: 404-842-7838.