How Fault is Determined in Georgia Car Crashes
Atlanta suffers from a heavy traffic issue. With millions of residents and almost 400,000 commuters on the road daily, each with an average commute of 35 minutes, car accidents are an unfortunate condition of road congestion. In fact, there are more than 330,000 car accidents per year in Georgia alone, with more than 1,500 of those accidents being fatal.
With so many collisions, it’s important to know how law enforcement and the courts determine who is at fault in a car accident. Continue reading below to learn more about Georgia accident liability from the experience car accident lawyers at Pope & Howard. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash that was not your fault, and you need the help of our top legal team, contact Pope & Howard today for a free consultation.
At-Fault Georgia Vehicle Accident Laws
Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning that if a driver’s negligent or reckless actions cause a car accident, the driver that is not at fault can receive compensation for the negligent driver’s actions. Because of the at-fault laws, there are a few basic ways that fault is determined in Georgia, including:
- If one car was improperly maintained and it can be proven that it caused the car crash, that driver is at fault. Examples of improper vehicle maintenance can include worn tires, broken brake light, turn signal not working, broken side mirror(s) and more.
- If one of the drivers was breaking a traffic law and the other driver was not, he or she can be considered at fault. For instance, if a driver failed to signal before changing lanes or didn’t stop at a stop sign and that action caused an accident, that driver is at fault.
- If a driver shows negligence like texting, eating, or putting on makeup while driving, they can be considered at fault for an accident.
- For fender-bender accidents or rear-end accidents, a driver can be at fault for following too closely. It is recommended that drivers keep 3-5 car lengths between themselves and the car in front to avoid rear-end accidents.
Georgia Process for Determining Fault in a Car Crash
Because fault isn’t always as clear cut as the at-fault laws listed above, especially when there aren’t other witnesses other than the drivers involved, it’s important to follow a specific process to help keep detailed records of an accident. These steps include:
- Contacting the police as soon as an accident happens and filing a police report.
- Take photos of both vehicles, the scene, the area, and take a note of the circumstances of the accident, as time can affect a person’s memory of accident details. Make sure you document any injuries as well.
- Get the information of the other driver, including their full name, contact information, a photo of their insurance information.
- If non-immediate medical care is necessary, it’s important to get care in the first 2-3 days following the accident and to keep the medical records, including injuries and costs.
- Do not admit fault. Keep your police statement to clear and simple facts including location of each driver, the circumstances of the accident, and if the other driver failed to follow a traffic law preceding the crash.
- Contact an experienced vehicle accident legal team.
Contact the Atlanta Car Crash Lawyers at Pope & Howard
The team at Pope & Howard has helped many Georgia residents get compensation for car accident injuries that were not their fault. We believe in compassionate representation and dedicate ourselves to helping our clients seek just compensation. If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident that was the fault of another driver, contact us at (404) 885-9999 for a free case consultation.