Georgia has reported the fifth highest increase in the number of vehicle deaths from 2014 to 2016. The rate is twice that of the national average. In 2016, 1500 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the state. The top three reasons for a fatal car accident in Georgia are speed, alcohol and distracted driving.
Among all the major American interstates, Georgia’s I-285 reported the highest number of fatal accidents. The interstate surrounds Atlanta and reported 26 fatal accidents that resulted in 29 deaths in 2015. Georgia has also ranked the seventh-worst state in the country as far as fatal car accidents are concerned. The number of pedestrians hit by cars has also increased in Georgia. In 2014, 168 people died after being hit by a car, but this number increased to 206 in 2015.
Drunk Driving on Georgia Roads
Drunk driving is another major problem on the roads in Atlanta. That is probably why a new law was recently implemented in Georgia to protect people from drunk drivers. This is the first time that Georgia’s DIU law has been changed. Under the new legislation, the State of Georgia will be enforcing an ignition interlock law. As per this law, first-time drunk driving offenders will have to install an ignition interlock device. This device basically prevents a car from starting if the sensors detect that the driver’s alcohol level is above the legal limit.
This is a good step. Already, these ignition interlocks have saved nearly 2 million lives across the U.S. The new law will also change the sentencing for first-time offenders. Previously, these offenders only had their driving privileges restricted, but now the penalty will be much more severe.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Atlanta?
If you are involved in a car accident in Atlanta, GA, make sure that you pull over to a safe location and stay on the scene. Do not leave before the authorities give you clearance. If you are severely injured, seek medical attention immediately. If you or your passengers (if any) are able, you should exchange names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information for all the parties involved in the incident. Don’t get aggressive or reactive. Stay calm. There is no need to talk to the other driver or to admit fault or throw out accusations. Remember, anything you say at this point in time can be used against you in case the matter becomes complicated.
All drivers in Atlanta, GA have to carry liability auto insurance. This auto insurance policy must have this mandatory coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person;
- $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple people;
- $25,000 in property damage for the accident
Keep in mind that Georgia is an “at-fault” state. That means that if you are at fault, you will be held liable for any personal injury or property damage. If you do not carry the required insurance, you are going to suffer significant financial loss.
If you were not at fault and you want to seek damages for your loss, you can file a personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the car accident and a lawsuit for vehicle damage within four years from the date of the accident. Before you file any lawsuits, be sure that you were not at fault and that it was not due to any negligence on your part that the accident occurred.
The principle of negligence is at the core of most lawsuits related to car accidents. In Atlanta, the law follows the comparative negligence doctrine if multiple parties are involved in a car accident. This means that the court will look at each party’s level of fault and what role it played in the resultant injury (or death). Fault levels are assigned in terms of percentages and damages that each party has to be pay will be based on this percentage. For example, if you were 10% at fault, but you incurred damages of around $2000, you will be compensated for $1800 from the party who was found to be 90% at fault. However, if you were 50% at fault, you will not receive any damages.
The fact is that accident law can be fairly complicated. Many times people don’t realize how much they can claim or what their level of fault is in a certain scenario. They may settle for the first offer made by the other driver’s insurance company. This could be a big mistake. Unless and until the accident was clearly your fault and you do not want to go through any legal hassles in case the other driver sues you, it is in your interest to settle. But if you were not at fault or if your fault was a bare minimum compared to the other driver, you should not settle for anything less than the cost you have incurred. Car accidents can be mentally traumatic, and if the accident results in bodily injury to you or any of your passengers as well as damage to your vehicle, you are entitled to be compensated for this.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for a Consultation in Atlanta, Georgia
If you are unsure as to how you should proceed after being in a car accident in Atlanta, GA, call us now at Ted A. Greve & Associates. Our legal team will guide you in the right direction and will outline a legal strategy that will ensure you are compensated for your loss. Don’t be intimidated by insurance companies and don’t think that your interests are their interests. For them, the ultimate goal is to settle the matter as soon as possible and with as minimum financial loss as possible. For you, the goal is to be reimbursed for your financial loss. Our lawyers have handled a number of car accident cases quite successfully and have ensured that our clients are reimbursed for any damages. We are committed to doing the same for you. We will help you file your claim in time, and we will ensure we use the right defense to establish why you were not at fault and why you deserve to be compensated.