In the state of Georgia, fault in a car accident is determined based on the principle of comparative negligence. This means that the degree of fault for an accident is assigned to each driver involved, and the amount of compensation each driver is entitled to receive is determined by the percentage of fault they are assigned.
It is sometimes difficult to determine fault in a car accident. The drivers involved may have very different opinions on what happened. There must be evidence to support the claims a driver has provided to the police and to their insurance company.
Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can help to build a case that supports your claim if not at fault. The experienced personal injury lawyers at SHElaw are here to help. Call us today at 470-378-1162 to schedule a free consultation.
What Are Some of the Causes of a Car Accident?
Car accidents can be caused by various factors such as:
- Speeding: Excessive speed can reduce reaction time and increase the likelihood of a crash.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving, such as texting or eating while driving, can increase the likelihood of a crash.
- Impairment: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair judgment, reaction time, and overall driving ability.
- Reckless driving: Engaging in reckless behaviors such as tailgating, illegal passing, or cutting off other drivers can increase the risk of a multi-car accident.
- Poor road conditions: Adverse weather conditions or poorly maintained roads can cause accidents.
- Mechanical failure: A vehicle malfunction, such as a tire blowout or engine failure, can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and collide with others.
- Inexperienced driving: Inexperienced or newly licensed drivers may lack the skills or judgment needed to navigate traffic safely, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
How is Liability, or Fault, Determined Following a Car Accident?
The process of determining fault typically begins with an investigation of the accident by law enforcement. This may include interviewing witnesses, inspecting the vehicles and the scene of the accident, and analyzing any available evidence such as traffic camera footage or data from the vehicles’ event data recorders.
Based on this investigation, the law enforcement officer will typically prepare a report that includes their findings and conclusions about the cause of the accident and who was at fault. This report can be used as evidence in court or in negotiations with insurance companies.
If the investigation does not provide a clear answer or if the parties disagree about who is at fault, the case may go to court. In court, a judge or jury will consider all of the evidence and testimony presented to determine the degree of fault for each driver.
It’s worth noting that in Georgia, the contributory negligence rule applies which means that if a driver is found to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, they will not be entitled to any compensation.
Which Insurance Company Pays Once Fault Has Been Determined?
After a car accident, the insurance of the driver at fault will typically pay for damages to the other driver’s vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, the other driver may have to file a claim with their own insurance company or take legal action to recover damages.
The process of determining fault in a car accident can be complex and may involve an investigation by insurance companies and law enforcement. Factors that may be considered when determining fault include:
- Traffic laws: Was one of the drivers breaking a traffic law at the time of the accident?
- Witness statements: Did any witnesses see what happened and can they provide testimony about the events leading up to the accident?
- Physical evidence: Was one of the vehicles damaged in a way that suggests it was the fault of its driver?
Can More Than One Driver Be Liable for the Car Crash?
Yes, in some cases, more than one driver can be liable in a car accident. This is known as shared fault or comparative negligence.
When multiple drivers are found to have contributed to a car accident, each driver’s degree of fault is determined and the insurance companies of each driver will then be responsible for paying damages based on their respective degrees of fault.
For example, if Driver A was texting while driving and ran a red light, causing a collision with Driver B who was speeding, both drivers may be found to be at fault. In this case, the insurance company of Driver A may be responsible for a certain percentage of the damages and the insurance company of Driver B may be responsible for the remaining percentage.
In cases of shared fault, it is important to work with experienced legal and insurance professionals to ensure that fault is determined fairly and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Get the Help of a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney in Georgia
Navigating the legal process can be tricky. And if you are trying to recover from a car accident, you should be focused on healing.
The right car accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights and obligations. They can also handle negotiations with insurance companies and represent you in court, if necessary.
The car accident attorneys at SHElaw have years of experience dealing with car accident cases. They will ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident.
Call our offices today at 470-378-1162 to schedule a free consultation regarding your car accident case. We can provide you with peace of mind and help you navigate the legal process so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track.