Car Accident Laws in Georgia: Insurance Requirements, Liability & More

Georgia Auto Accident Laws

Car Accident Laws in Georgia: Insurance Requirements, Liability & More

If you have been in any kind of auto accident in Georgia that has resulted in an injury or significant property damage, you might want to explore your options of filing a claim and holding the at-fault driver financially responsible for your losses. Below, we will discuss the main Georgia auto accident laws that may pertain to your case.

Minimum Insurance Requirements in Georgia

To legally drive in Georgia, all drivers must meet the minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage. These are:

  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for uninsured motorist bodily injury

You can always verify your current coverage with your insurance carrier. Most insurance companies offer immediate policy upgrades if you need extra coverage. Keep in mind that teen drivers are required to adhere to additional policies.

Georgia Car Accident Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a state law that determines the time limit on a potential plaintiff’s right to file a lawsuit and get compensation. These limitations vary based on the type of case you want to file, as well as the kind of injury you suffered. For Georgia, the statute of limitations that applies to car accident lawsuits is two years. The clock starts ticking on the date of the auto accident. This means that if you have been hurt in an auto accident, either as a driver, passenger, bicyclist, motorcycle rider, electric scooter rider, or pedestrian, you have two years to file an injury claim. If you lost a member of your family in a car accident, you can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The deadline is two years, but they start counting after the victim’s death, which may be a different date than that of the accident.

The statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Georgia for vehicle damage is four years.


Comparative Negligence in Georgia Car Accident Cases

Comparative negligence or fault refers to a situation in which more than one party is at least partially responsible for an accident. In Georgia, you are allowed to get compensation from any party that was more “at-fault” in the accident than you were. However, your financial recovery will be reduced by a percentage that is equal to your share of liability. In other words, Georgia is a state with “modified comparative negligence.”

There is not a precise method to “calculate” the share of liability. Typically, the ultimate decision will depend on your ability to convince a judge or jury or to negotiate with an insurance claim adjuster. Keep that in mind when you are filing a car accident claim in Georgia.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine you are driving several miler-per-hour over the speed limit when another car suddenly makes a left turn in front of you. As a result, you collide with the other car because you do not have enough time to stop. If the other driver is found to be 80 percent at fault, the jury or insurance adjuster may decide that you were 20 percent at fault because you were speeding. That way, if you were entitled to a $10,000 award or settlement, you would actually get $8,000 after subtracting your 20 percent share of fault.

Keep in mind that you will not be able to get any compensation under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule if your share of fault meets or exceeds 50 percent.


Reporting a Car Accident in the state of Georgia

You are required to report any car accident in Georgia if:

  • It resulted in property damage of $500 or more
  • It resulted in the injury or death of a person

Who you report the accident to depends on where it happened. If it occurred within an incorporated city or town, you need to notify the local police department. If it happened outside a town or a city, you need to report the accident to the nearest state police station or sheriff’s office.

Curious to learn more about the Georgia auto accident laws? Whether you have a question about filing a claim or understanding the process of establishing share of liability, Legal Chiefs has a wide network of experienced lawyers ready to help!


Find An Auto Accident Attorney In Your Area




Auto Accident FAQ

Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation. There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver. Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include: ● Current and future medical bills ● Property damage ● Emotional duress ● Lost wages ● Loss of enjoyment of life ● Loss of future earnings potential On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.