Lawsuit Info Center / Car Accident Settlement Guide / Georgia Auto Accident Settlements
Georgia Auto Accident Settlements
Georgia Car Accident Settlement Guide
Car accidents can have devastating consequences for those involved, resulting in serious personal injury and property damage. In the peach state, victims of car accidents are entitled to compensation for their losses by filing a Georgia car accident settlement.
- How Much Is Your Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
- How Much Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?
From Atlanta to Savannah, you can find thousands of miles of roads to explore in Georgia. The roads of this growing state are used by more than 9 million drivers who drive an average of 12,500 miles per year. Because of the rapid growth of Georgia, it is more likely you could get in a car accident when you drive here. It is important to know the basics about car accident laws, statistics and related driving information.
A lot of factors can contribute to the severity of car crash cases such as driving under the influence, high on drugs, and texting. While it’s possible to be involved in a car accident no matter how careful you are, there are laws that can protect your rights as a motorist. Georgia Car Accident Laws are there so you would know what to do and what to expect if you find yourself involved in a car accident in the Peach State.
What Should I Do After Getting Into a Car Accident in Georgia?
If you get into a car accident in Georgia, call the police and get medical treatment immediately. Document your symptoms, doctor’s reports, medical bills, and details of the accident, as you may need them when filing a claim for your losses. Take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information of witnesses at the accident scene.
It also helps to speak with a lawyer who’s experienced in Georgia car accident laws and claims. Filing car accident settlements can be complicated and time-sensitive, so having an experienced attorney can make a big difference. In addition, a good car accident lawyer will help you get an above average car accident settlement, negotiate with insurance companies and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Georgia?
The average settlement for a car accident in Georgia is typically around $15,000-$20,000. This average car accident settlement amount covers medical expenses, property damage, and other costs associated with the accident. However, settlement offers can vary depending on factors like the severity of your injuries, property damage, length of recovery time, and the strength of your case. You may also seek compensation for the pain and suffering you experience because of the accident.
A good car accident settlement in Georgia will cover all medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and other losses associated with the accident. In addition, the compensation should adequately compensate the victim for any pain and suffering they experienced because of the car accident. However, it is essential to note that settlement amounts may vary with each case.
How Much is my Georgia Car Accident Claim Worth?
The exact worth of your car accident claim depends on the facts of your case. There are many factors to consider when determining settlement value for a Georgia car accident injury claim. The settlement amount is based on the severity and permanency of the injuries sustained in the accident and any medical treatment, property damage, and other related expenses. In Georgia, several things affect your settlement amount.
Factors That Affect a Car Accident Settlement in Georgia
The first factor that affects settlement value is the amount of insurance available according to insurance policies. In Georgia, drivers are required to carry liability insurance that pays for damages caused by them in an accident. If the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses fully, your settlement offer may be limited.
The severity of the accident is also a critical factor in determining car accident settlement value in Georgia. More severe accidents, such as truck or motorcycle accident settlements often result in more serious injuries and higher settlement amounts than more minor ones. If you were injured soon after an accident, this will probably lead to a higher settlement offer since it would show that your injuries resulted from the incident.
The type and severity of your injuries also play a vital role in settlement negotiations. For example, if you suffered permanent or long-term disabilities due to your accident, this could significantly increase your settlement offer. Likewise, the amount of medical treatment you received for your injuries determines settlement value; if you had to undergo multiple treatments or surgeries following your accident, this could raise the settlement offer accordingly.
Finally, other related expenses, such as lost wages due to time off work while recovering from your injuries or property damage resulting from the crash, can also affect settlement value. That’s why it’s so important to document any economic losses you suffered due to the crash and related injuries…By doing so, you’ll ensure that they can be factored into the settlement offer when negotiating with an insurer or personal injury attorney.
How do you Negotiate a Higher Car Accident Settlement in Georgia?
In Georgia, if you are injured in a car accident, you may be able to get more money in compensation by filing a car accident claim. When negotiating your settlement offer, consider factors such as medical expenses and property damage caused by the accident. If you have medical bills or car repairs, include them in your settlement negotiations. The settlement offer that insurance companies give is usually much lower than what you are entitled to, so it’s crucial to not just accept the initial offer that insurance makes, as it’s often in their best interest but not yours.
You may get a settlement offer that covers all of your medical expenses and property damage from the accident. However, it is important to remember that settlement amounts vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the strength of your case.
How Much Can You Get for Pain & Suffering in a Georgia Car Accident Settlement?
The amount of money will depend on the severity of the injury. Most claims involve minor injuries, so the typical payout is under $15,000. However, if your injury is more severe and you can demonstrate that you have suffered significant pain and suffering, then you may be entitled to a greater amount. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Georgia, it’s important to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney who can help ensure that your pain and suffering damages are maximized. They will review your case and advise on the best course of action to get a fair settlement.
How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Georgia?
When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, personal injury laws in Georgia allow you to seek compensation for your damages. In addition to seeking compensation for economic damages, file a claim for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, lack of consortium, and other intangible damages.
Methods of Calculating Pain and Suffering in Georgia Car Accident Settlements
There are two common methods of calculating pain and suffering in a Georgia car accident settlement claim.
The Multiplier Method
The most common way of calculating pain and suffering is the multiplier method. The amount of economic damages is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 4 (depending on the severity of the injury). So, for example, if you have $50,000 in medical bills and lost income due to your injury, you could receive an additional non-economic damage award of up to $200,000.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method is another method. The amount depends on the severity of your injuries and the intensity of your pain and suffering. This amount is assigned to each day from the date of the accident till the day you recover. Then, the value of your settlement is calculated by multiplying the per diem by the number of days it took you to recover.
It is vital to remember that insurance companies will choose the method that will result in the least money for you.
How Long Do Car Accident Claims Take to Settle in Georgia?
Usually, it takes at least six months to settle a car accident claim in Georgia. If both sides cannot agree on a settlement, they may try to work out an agreement with the help of a mediator. If that fails, the case goes to trial. When a case reaches trial, it takes a longer time to settle. The time may stretch from months to even years; however, most cases settle before trial.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident in Georgia
For someone to be held responsible for a car accident in Georgia, you must prove that the other party was at fault. This means you must show that the other person breached their duty of care when driving and caused an accident. You can show evidence such as witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, pictures of car damage, police reports, or medical records. Insurance companies are always out to reduce your settlement amount; they do this by proving that their client did not cause the accident. The process of proving fault is tricky, so it’s usually a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney who’s had success in winning car accident claims in Georgia in the past.
Georgia Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations refers to the period of reporting a case when there is an injury or death. In The Georgia car accident statute of limitations is 2 years, and generally applicable to all cases with injuries and wrongful deaths, such as a car, motorcycle, or truck accidents. The two years starts on the day of the crash for personal injury, and on the day of death of the individual for a wrongful death action.
Statistics and Notable Georgia Car Accidents
If you are ever injured in a car accident in Georgia, you are just one of many. On average, every resident of this state will be in a car accident every decade. Statistics show that more than 1720 drivers are in car accidents in Georgia each day. This is more than 70 drivers per hour.
Below are more concerning statistics about car accidents in Georgia:
- Three pedestrians per week are killed in Georgia.
- Pedestrians are at least 30 times more likely to be killed in auto crashes than are auto occupants.
- One out of 16 pedestrians in Georgia car accidents are killed.
- Car accidents in Georgia are the top cause of death for children.
- Child safety seats will reduce the risk of injury by 71% for infants.
- The number of traffic accidents in 2008 in this state was 342,500.
- The number of traffic deaths in 2008 was 1703.
- Average crashes per day is 1198.
Top causes of car accidents in this state are:
- Driver lost control of the vehicle
- Unsafe speed
- Wrong side of the road
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
- Disregarded stop or turn signal
In the last few years, texting and driving has caused a major spike in auto accident deaths in Georgia. Such deaths increased by 33% from 2014 to 2016. This is the fifth highest increase in the US and is more than double the national average, according to recent data from the National Safety Council. This latest report found that 1504 people died in Georgia car accidents in 2018. It found that the top three killers in the state currently are distraction, speed and alcohol.
Safety advocates are uncertain why the state has outpaced the nation in rising distracted driving deaths. But there is no doubt that bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle deaths increased by 1/3 in Georgia in 2016. Also with a big increase was car accident deaths where the vehicle ran off the road. This is a sign that the driver may have been distracted.
National statistics also show that I-285 in Georgia had more fatal crashes per mile than any other interstate in 2013.
One of the worst accidents in recent years in Georgia involved a tractor trailer driver who was high on crack when he ran a red light and killed a woman in Augusta, Georgia in 2017. He was also speeding and fighting with his girlfriend when he ran the red light and hit the woman. He got a 14 year prison sentence. He was driving a tractor trailer on US 50 east of O’Fallon on Nov. 8, 2016 when he slammed his vehicle into several cars. Police said he was speeding when he hit the four vehicles. The driver of one of those cars was killed.
There has been a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the truck driver and the trucking company LF Xpress Inc.
Georgia Car Accident Settlement Calculator:
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident or otherwise injured in Georgia? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Car Accident Settlement Calculator.
Reporting a Car Accident in Georgia
According to Georgia Car Accident Laws, all parties involved in a car accident are required to report the incident immediately. You should be able to inform local law enforcement once you find out that there are injuries or deaths in the event. In case there are no injuries or deaths, property damage of more than $500 is enough to report the issue. On top of this, both parties need to exchange information as part of the process. Names, addresses, contact information, insurance information, and license numbers should be disclosed to each party.
As part of the state’s law, you are also required to get help when somebody is injured. You need to be at the scene of the accident until all the liabilities are settled. Else, you will be involved in more disputes or worst, lawsuits.
Calling 911 will automatically connect you to the nearest police station in the place of the accident. This is the first step in reporting a car accident in Georgia, especially if there are injuries or deaths. Once the police arrive at the scene and confirmed that there are injuries or fatalities or property damage of more than $500, they will automatically submit a copy of the crash report to the Department Public Safety (DPS). This department should receive the report within 10 days from the date of the accident. It is the responsibility of the parties involved to file the report with DPS in case the police are not able to do so.
Request a copy of the accident report
The police officer who was present at the scene should be able to give you his calling card so you can ask for a copy of the report. Reach him through the contact information written on the card and request a report copy. The police station can give you the copy directly but in the circumstance where it is not available, you will be transferred to DPS. To request a copy of the police report, you will need to pay a small amount.
Georgia Accident Settlement Taxes
So, the car accident settlement amount has been finalized and the numbers have come in. But you may be concerned about receiving a lump sum payment in Georgia because you are afraid of the state tax bill. Fortunately, for the most part, you do not usually have to pay state income taxes on the settlement. While the personal injury portion is not usually taxes, other parts can be.
For instance, if the judge determines that the car accident injuries you suffered was so outrageous that the person who did it should be financially punished, you will be awarded punitive damages. These damages are not for reimbursement of any expenses. They are just supposed to punish the person or entity that harmed you. Both the IRS and the state of Georgia will consider this as income and you will need to pay taxes on it.
Next, had you not been injured, you would have continued to work and earned a salary. This salary would naturally be taxed as income. So, if you are given a financial award for lost wages, this would be considered taxable income in Georgia. If you are working on commission and bonuses, the court will make an estimate of your lost wages, which would be taxed.
Compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress directly due to your injuries are taxable. But if you are entitled to such payment that are not due to your injuries, then it is taxable income in Georgia.
Georgia Negligence Laws
In some states, if you are one percent at fault for the accident, you cannot recover damages. But most states allow you to recover property and injury damages if you were partially at fault. Georgia is one of these as it is a modified comparative negligence state. You can recover damages if you were 49% or less at fault. If you were 50% more at fault, you may not recover damages. In this type of case, it is very important to have an effective attorney who can prove the other person was responsible for more than 50% of the crash.
So, if you were 40% responsible for the car accident, your potential recovery would be limited to 60% of the total damages.
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Car Insurance Requirements in Georgia
You are required to carry a minimum level of car insurance in Georgia. If you do not, you can face severe financial penalties and possibly jail time. The minimum amount of insurance you can carry in Georgia legally is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person per incident
- $50,000 bodily injury for all people in an accident
- $25,000 property damage liability
Georgia does not have a law requiring you to carry additional insurance, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist or personal liability insurance.
Other Georgia Driving Laws
Below are some new laws that affect drivers in Georgia:
- There is a ban on cell phone use entirely for novice drivers, including hand held and hands free
- There is a complete ban on texting and driving.
- Since 2012, all Georgia drivers who want to get a new or renewed driver’s license are required to provide three types of ID.
- Georgia drivers who are convicted of repeat drunk driving offenses must install and maintain an ignition interlock device.
Also, note that there is a cap on punitive damages of $250,000. This means if you are injured in an accident where the other driver is grossly negligent, your punitive damages will be limited to that amount. Punitive damages are commonly awarded by juries when the negligent driver’s behavior was especially wanton or reckless, such as a drunk driver who was well over the legal limit.
Is Georgia a ‘No-Fault’ State for Car Accident Settlements?
No. Georgia is an ‘at-fault’ state. This means that if you are injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses and other damages through car accident claims. You can bring a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, car repair costs, and other losses related to the car accident.
Third-party Liability Laws in Georgia
Third-party liability laws in Georgia revolve around car accident settlements. Instead of spending years over an argument, hiring a lawyer, and filing a car accident claim only to find out that one party is going to lose, most people who are involved in car accidents choose to settle first before they take the matter to court. A settlement is considered an informal solution to resolve a case and it is mutually agreed by both parties. The injured party can get compensation equivalent to how big the damages were. Although it is not required by Georgia to undergo a settlement proceeding first, you have it as an option.
The settlement coverage depends on many factors and the major one is the amount of damages. For instance, a mere scratch on a parked car will require a lesser settlement than a drunk driver who killed more than one individual in a car crash. There are considerations during a settlement. Included are the insurance coverage, car repairs, medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income from being away from work.
Insurance is a very essential matter under car accident laws. If in case the negligent driver has no capability to pay the damages out of his pocket, the insurance company can pay for the compensation instead. This is the reason why insurance is mandatory when driving in Georgia.
Where does Georgia rank in the list of best & worst drivers in the US?
Georgia has a high number of fatalities due to car accidents. The percentage of deaths due to automobile accidents was declining in 2006, however, it rose again in 2015 and 2016, bringing the case to 1,554 deaths. This was 8.5% higher than in 2015. 368 people were killed due to impaired driving, 476 were unrestrained fatalities, and 266 were related to speeding. This information was written in the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety 2017 Annual Report.
Meanwhile, in 2017, it reported 1,549 death due to auto accidents. Of this figure, 56% were drivers not wearing seatbelts while 17% were those who were involved in vehicle accidents and pedestrians. In 2018, the number decreased to 1,515, still, a high number compared to other states in the country. But in 2019, the number of fatalities was brought down to 487 as of the year-end.
Atlanta, as one of the major cities in Georgia, has ranked in 2020 America’s best and worst drivers and it was placed under the “worst.” This city was the 186th safest city among the 200 mentioned in the report. It was the 15th least safe city to drive in the U.S. Atlanta has 6.2 average years between claims, 24.3 “hard-barking events” for every 1,000 miles, and the 182nd in the 2017 overall national rank.
Compared to this city, other places in Georgia ranked higher when it comes to safety. Augusta was at rank 69, Macon at 70, Columbus at 78, and Savannah at 168.
Georgia Accident Resources
If you are in a car accident in Georgia, you should review the below resources to help you to deal with this stressful time in your life:
- If you were in an accident and need a copy of the police report, you can visit the Georgia Department of Public Safety and make a request.
- You are required to file a police report if the car accident involved property damage above $500, or involved a death or serious injury. It is recommended that you file a Personal Report of Accident form if you are in any type of accident. The form cannot be used against you if the claim goes to court.
Dealing with car accidents can be a stressful and daunting process, especially regarding settlement claims. To maximize your settlement amount, speak with a personal injury attorney. They can help ensure that all of your damages, including economic or non-economic damages, are considered during negotiations for the best possible outcome.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, seek medical attention first. Then, you may want to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the next steps to maximize your car accident settlement in Georgia.
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