In a matter of seconds, a severe car accident can permanently change your life. You may suffer devastating injuries that leave you drowning in medical bills and unable to work. If another person caused your car accident, you might be eligible to collect compensation for your injuries. A car accident lawyer in Decatur, Georgia, can help you through the legal claims process as you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
Dealing with insurance companies is never an easy task, especially as you struggle with medical and financial issues. S. Burke Law can ease your experience by clarifying your options for legal recourse, answering your questions, and calming your concerns. Call (404) 842-7838 to get more information about how you can most effectively seek compensation for your car accident-related losses.
Compensation for Your Injuries in Car Accidents
In Georgia, drivers who cause car accidents are generally responsible for any property damages or personal injuries arising from those accidents. As a result, if you suffer injuries in a car accident, you may have multiple options for seeking compensation. A car accident lawyer in Decatur, Georgia, can present your options for legal relief and help you choose the option that is best for you.
Filing a Claim Against the Insurance Policy for the At-Fault Driver
According to the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, all drivers must carry minimum liability insurance amounts. This type of insurance pays for property damages and personal injuries to others if a driver is at fault for causing an accident. The minimum requirements for liability insurance that drivers must maintain under Georgia law are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident of bodily injury liability, and $25,000 per incident of property damage liability. Therefore, if another driver causes your accident, you can make a claim against the liability insurance policy that the other driver has in place at the time of the accident.
In many cases, however, the liability insurance that the other driver has in place may be insufficient to cover the total amount of your losses. Catastrophic injuries may easily require more than $25,000 in medical care. If the amount of liability insurance that the other driver has is insufficient to cover your losses, or if the other driver has no insurance, you may have other options for seeking compensation.
Filing a Claim Against Your Insurance Policy
For example, you may have additional coverage under your own motor vehicle insurance policy to compensate you following an accident. Many drivers purchase med-pay or personal injury protection insurance so that they have additional coverage in an accident that causes them severe injuries. Likewise, you may have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance along with your standard insurance policy, which can provide coverage following an accident in which you have suffered injuries.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the available insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your losses from the accident, or if there is a dispute about who is at fault for the accident, or you are unable to get a fair settlement from the insurance company, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in court. While most personal injury claims are resolved through the claims process outside the court system, filing a lawsuit is sometimes necessary, depending on the circumstances.
Call the team at S. Burke Law today at (404) 842-7838 for a free review of your case.
Comparative Fault Under Georgia Law
In some cases, liability may be disputed. The insurance company may claim that you were partially at fault for causing the accident that led to your injuries. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, you can still recover damages from other negligent drivers, even if you are partially at fault for the accident, in some circumstances. As long as you are less than 49% responsible for causing the accident, you still can seek compensation from the other driver. However, your damages may be limited if you are partially at fault for the accident. The total amount of compensation that you can seek would reduce proportionately according to your percentage of fault for the accident.
Deadlines for Filing Car Accident Claims in Georgia
All state laws contain deadlines for filing various types of legal claims. The amount of time that you have to file a personal injury claim varies widely by state. In Georgia, O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 states that injury victims only have two years from the date of their accident to file their claims for bodily injuries. If you fail to take action before this deadline expires, you may lose all opportunity to file a claim or hold the at-fault driver responsible for your accident.
There are some exceptions to this general filing deadline or statute of limitations. For example, if the at-fault driver was a city employee driving in the course of his or her employment, you may have a personal injury claim against the city. Under O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5, you must give notice of your claim to the appropriate city government official within six months of the date of the accident. Similar deadlines exist if you potentially have a claim against a state government office. As a result, seeking legal advice as quickly as possible following your accident may be the most effective means of ensuring that you meet all these deadlines.
Get Legal Advice Today
We know how stressful and overwhelming the aftermath of a car accident can be. You are likely to have many things on your mind, including how you will pay for your extensive medical bills and when you will be able to return to work.
A car accident lawyer in Decatur, Georgia, can help guide you through the insurance claims process and determine the strategy that is most likely to be effective in your case.
Although this journey may seem challenging, you are not alone. Count on S. Burke Law to provide you the assistance that you need during this difficult time. Call (404) 842-7838 today so that you can learn more about the services that we can offer you.