Georgia Car Accident Settlement and Lawsuits
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From a fender bender to a serious crash, after any car accident in Georgia it helps to understand the different state laws that could affect any insurance claim or lawsuit that might be filed -- by you, another driver, or a passenger. This page serves as a guide to the Georgia-specific resources on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, including car accident laws and car insurance rules. We’ll also provide tips in when it may make sense to contact a Georgia lawyer for help with your car accident claim.
Georgia Car Accident Laws
After a car accident in Georgia, if you decide to file a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver, there are a few state laws to know about, starting with the time limit for getting a lawsuit started in Georgia’s civil court system (that means getting the initial complaint filed to start the case). This type of law is called a statute of limitations, and every state has one. There are different time limits for different kinds of cases.
In Georgia, you have:
- two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury (Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33)
- four years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit for property damage (i.e. damage to a vehicle) (Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-32).
What if you don’t get your complaint filed before the statutory deadline passes? It’s a safe bet that the court will refuse to hear your case at all. So it’s critical to follow the statute of limitations as it applies to your case.
Get details on other state laws that could impact your car accident case in our article Car Accident Laws in Georgia.
Georgia Car Insurance Requirements and Rules
If you’re making an injury or vehicle damage claim after a car accident in Georgia, car insurance coverage will almost certainly play a big role. Here is a brief overview of Georgia’s car insurance rules and requirements:
- Georgia is a “fault” or “tort” car insurance state, which means that after a car accident you are free to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. (A dozen or so states follow a no-fault system, but Georgia is not one.)
- The minimum car insurance coverage requirements for drivers in Georgia are: $25,000 for the injury or death of one person (yourself, a passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.), $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
- Georgia drivers are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage.
For more information on car insurance requirements for drivers in Georgia, check out our companion article Georgia Car Insurance Laws.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Georgia
You might not need to hire a lawyer if the other driver’s insurance carrier is admitting that its insured was at fault for the accident, and you didn’t suffer significant injuries in the crash. As long as you’re comfortable handling the claim yourself, it might make sense to do so.
But if the other driver’s insurer is pointing a finger squarely at you for causing the accident, or if you suffered significant injuries, things can get contentious and complicated very quickly. In that case, it might be a good idea to discuss your situation with a local car accident lawyer in Georgia. Remember that most car accident lawyers represent their clients on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay unless you receive a successful settlement or court award.
A good attorney knows how to handle the back-and-forth of settlement negotiations with car insurance adjusters, and will make sure your rights are protected at every stage in the claim process, including filing a car accident lawsuit in the Georgia civil court system if that is the best move.