Each year, thousands of drivers in Georgia get into car accidents. Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons but most of them result from some kind of negligence on one of the involved driver’s part, such as distracted driving, speeding or driving under the influence of illicit substances.
If you were injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligent actions, proving fault can be complicated. However, it’s a necessary step when you’re trying to recover compensation for your injuries. Are you wondering how to prove the other driver was at fault? You can learn about your options and chances by scheduling a consultation with a skilled car accident lawyer.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Georgia
Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning blame must be assigned to at least one driver (or potentially both drivers equally). In Georgia (and other at-fault states), injured drivers can pursue damages for their medical costs, lost waged and property damage by filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
If the insurance company refuses to recognize their policyholder’s culpability or isn’t willing to make a fair claim payment, you can seek reimbursement for your expenses by filing a personal injury civil lawsuit.
What Must You Prove to Establish Fault?
If you’re seeking compensation for your injury-related expenses, such as medical bills or lost wages, the burden of proof lies mostly with you, the plaintiff. In other words, it’s up to you to prove your case.
There are four things you must prove when claiming the other party is at fault for the accident and your subsequent injuries:
- The at-fault driver owed the injured passengers, drivers or pedestrians a duty of care: The driver had a responsibility and legal obligation to follow traffic laws, drive safely and attentively and refrain from actions that could hurt other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
- The driver breached the duty of care: Examples include distracted driving, speeding, disregarding traffic laws, road rage and drunk driving.
- The breach caused damages: The driver’s negligence resulted in the accident and your injuries.
- Proof of damages: You can prove your damages with concrete evidence like medical bills and written documentation from your employer showing lost income.
When you file a personal injury claim, an insurance adjuster is assigned to your case. Their job is to determine fault based on the accident report issued by the responding police officer as well as by conducting their own investigation. Any photographic evidence or video you took of the crash scene can be greatly beneficial, as can dashcam footage if you or another vehicle involved in the accident had a dashboard camera. The investigation typically includes reviewing vehicle damage, witness statements and medical documentation pertaining to your injuries.
What Is Proportional Comparative Fault?
When more than one driver shares fault in a car accident, compensation can be awarded based on proportional comparative fault.
Under this principle, it’s possible for drivers to share different degrees of fault. For instance, if an accident involved two drivers and one driver was speeding while the other one ran a stop sign, both drivers may be liable for the crash. To be eligible for monetary recovery, a driver must be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If both drivers are determined to be 50 percent at fault, neither one is entitled to compensation.
When fault is difficult to determine, an insurance company may employ their own investigator. Keep in mind, insurance companies aren’t unbiased and will typically try to deflect fault away from their clients to avoid large claim payouts. When this happens, you’ll need a skilled car accident lawyer on your side to help you gather compelling evidence and negotiate with the insurance company. If a fair settlement can’t be reached, your attorney should be prepared to take the insurance carrier to court.
Consult an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today
Were you hurt in a car accident? You have the right to compensation from the driver responsible for your injuries.
Contact the Dressie Law Firm to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our highly experienced and compassionate car accident lawyers.
Call (678) 909-1639 today.