What You Should Know About Georgia Laws and Personal Injury

Georgia Statutes and Personal Injury lawsuits. Be informed on the time limits to file compensation, fault and liability regulations and more.

If you are injured in the state of Georgia and are interested in filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, it is wise to understand the laws and regulations that will affect your case. Here are a few highlights regarding Georgia personal injury laws

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Comparative Fault Laws & Georgia

Sometimes, when you file an injury suit or an insurance claim the other party will turn around and claim that you are the one who is at fault for the accident.

Depending on if you are found in whole or in part at fault for the accident will decide how much compensation you will be owed once the case is resolved.

In other words, Georgia’s modified comparative fault rule reduces or can even eliminate damages if you’re found to be partly or mostly at fault for an accident. Here is an example:

Let’s say you were going through an intersection and you were hit by a driver who ran a red light.

On your vehicle, your left headlight was out, and the accident happened after dusk, the driver that illegally ran the light could claim the faulty headlight was a partial cause of the accident.

It’s finally determined that the other driver was found 90 percent at fault for the accident, and you were 10 percent at fault.

Georgia’s modified comparative fault rule reduces your damages by an amount that is equal to the percent of fault assigned to you. Here, if your damages equal $10,000, you’ll receive $9,000, or $10,000 minus $1,000 representing the 10 percent of fault assigned to you.   

In the state of Georgia, when both parties are found at fault, the law requires the court to apply the comparative fault rule in injury cases. Likewise, it’s not uncommon for this rule to be applied by insurance companies in settlement negotiations.


Time Limits and Restrictions in Personal Injury Lawsuits

In the state of Georgia, a time limit or a “statute of limitations,” applies to all injury-related personal injury cases filed in a civil court system. In Georgia, you have two years to file a lawsuit in court. Typically, the date of the accident or whatever led to your injury initiates the legal deadline for filing an injury claim.

It’s pivotal to understand and abide by Georgia’s statute of limitations in injury cases, because if you miss the two-year window, there is a good chance your rights to file an injury claim will be barred and receiving financial compensation will be unsuccessful.

*For injury claims against the county or city, you have six months to file a formal claim. For claims against the state, you have two years.

Liability for Dog Bite/Attack Cases

In many states, dog owners are protected from injury liability the first time their dog injures someone if they had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous. This is known as the “one bite” rule.

However, in Georgia, a specific statute (Ga. Code Ann.§ 51-2-7) makes the owner “strictly liable,” meaning no matter the animal’s past behavior, the dog owner is responsible for a personal injury caused by his/her dog.

If the plaintiff can show that the dog should have been on a leash or “at heel,” but wasn’t, the dog owner is liable for a resulting injury.


Capping Damages in Georgia Personal Injury Cases

Some states have caps on damages in personal injury cases. These caps limit the number of damages an injured person or family can receive in certain types of cases, or for certain types of losses.

Presently Georgia doesn’t cap damages in medical malpractice or other kinds of personal injury cases. In 201, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that damages caps violate the right to a jury trial established in the state constitution.

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Auto Insurance Laws & Georgia

Georgia is an at “fault” state when it comes to auto insurance claims. This means those injured in Georgia car accidents have different options available for seeking compensation for losses. They may file a claim with their insurance company, file a third-party claim with the other person’s insurance company, or file a lawsuit in court.

If you need assistance filing an accident injury lawsuit or an insurance claim The Brown Firm can help. While these are just a few statutes applied to personal injury claims, there are numerous and complex legal guidelines that can affect the outcome of your case. Hiring a personal injury attorney can be critical to the resolution of your claim, contact The Brown Firm for the best legal help.

Want to learn more? Read our previous post How a confidentiality agreement can hurt your personal injury lawsuit

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