When you are involved in a car crash in Atlanta, you may have the chance of recovering damages with the help of an Atlanta car accident lawyer. However, that largely depends on fault.
What is Fault in a Car Crash?
‘Fault’ is simply a legal term that denotes the negligence of a party in an Atlanta car accident. When a party is found negligent and at fault, it is typically required to cover the losses of the other victims in a car crash. If you have suffered losses in an accident, it is possible that more than one party was to blame. For instance, if you were speeding at the time and the other driver ran a red light, a resulting crash involves the negligence of both.
Fault is a vital consideration because the outcome of a car crash claim depends on it. If the other driver is at fault, you have a clear way to seeking compensation. If more than one driver is at fault, and this can include you as well, then the things are not so straightforward. This is why it is important to understand how fault is proven in a car accident in Atlanta.
Georgia’s At-Fault Laws
Georgia is an at-fault state when it comes to personal injury cases. This means that you must prove the negligence of the at-fault driver in order to recover compensatory damages. This is in contrast to no-fault states where damages are recovered from one’s own insurer. Due to Georgia’s at-fault laws, it is all the more important to prove the fault of the liable driver.
Proving fault is one of the key parts of an Atlanta car accident claim. The success or failure of your claim hinges on this. You will need various kinds of evidence to support your version of the crash in which you blame the other driver for negligence. Such evidence can include:
- Video or photo evidence. You can snap videos or photos of the crash scene right after the accident if you are physically able to do so. Alternatively, you can get the footage of any nearby CCTV cameras. Such material will make forensic experts and other stakeholders understand precisely how the car crash occurred.
- Police reports. In most accidents, law enforcement officers arrive on the scene of the crash and file a report. This report contains the key facts of the crash. The report may also mention if a driver admitted blame at the time or if their fault was clear for any other reason. A police report is typically considered an authoritative document, so it can be used as an important piece of evidence.
- Medical records. A part of proving fault is to show that you suffered in the accident. If you incurred any injuries, a full record of these injuries will help the insurer see that your claim is substantiated. To this end, you should try to procure as much of the medical records as possible. These can include medical documentation from your treating physician, results of medical tests, medical bills and so on.
- Witness statements. It is generally recommended that when you suffer a car accident, you should tap any witnesses for their contact information. These witnesses can prove invaluable to your claim later on. Witness testimony is very useful in that it is a third-party endorsement of your claim. This is why it is very powerful in determining fault.
Georgia’s Contributory Negligence Laws
When more than one parties are at fault in a car crash, Georgia’s contributory negligence laws come into play. As per these laws, the fault is distributed as a percentage among all the negligent parties. If you are one of these parties, your amount of damages will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. However, you can still recover compensation as long as you are no more than 49% at fault in an accident. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, Georgia laws prohibit you from getting any compensation whatsoever.
Hiring an Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
When you suffer losses in an Atlanta crash, it is important to consult a good lawyer at the earliest. The lawyer will help you determine the fault and advise you on whether or not you are likely to receive any damages. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, our lawyers will work with you to gather the relevant evidence and seek witness statements to back up your claim. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.