Georgia is an at-fault state. When a vehicle crash happens, the responding officer is almost always going to assign fault to one or both of the parties involved through a citation.
We know that most people do not spend time thinking about what they will do if they get into a vehicle accident – until a crash happens.
Getting into a crash is scary, and the aftermath is confusing. One of the first thing you think about if there are damages or injuries is who is going to be on the line to cover the expenses. To answer that, we need to answer the question – Is Georgia a no-fault state?
No, Georgia is not a no-fault state. Georgia is an at-fault state. Today, we want to look into what that means and what the implications are for you in the event of a vehicle crash.
Georgia traffic accident statistics
Traffic accidents are going to happen. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, we know there were nearly 400,000 vehicle crashes during the last full reporting year. Out of those crashes, there were:
- 1,430 fatalities
- 19,405 serious injuries
It is important to understand that damages and injuries can result in major expenses for crash injury victims and their families.
What is the difference between no-fault and at-fault?
No-fault means that drivers in vehicle crashes have insurance to cover their own injuries or damages. Their insurance would not be required to pay out to another person in a crash, regardless of who is at fault.
Like most other states in the US, Georgia is an at-fault state. When a vehicle crash happens, the responding officer is almost always going to assign fault to one or both of the parties involved through a citation. Please understand that Georgia law allows for there to be percentages of fault assigned in a traffic crash through what is called proportional comparative fault. This is important because there are times when both parties involved did something wrong. There could be a variety of scenarios:
- One driver is completely at fault
- Both drivers are equally responsible
- One driver is 80% at fault while the other is 20% at fault (or various combinations of percentages)
Insurance implications of Georgia being an at-fault state
In Georgia’s at-fault state, you can recover compensation for damages or injuries if the other person was mostly at fault. This will require you or your attorney filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Keep in mind that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will only pay up to the limits of their policy coverage. In Georgia, this could be as low as $25,000.
What if your expenses are for damages or injuries are higher than that?
The at-fault driver may have an additional liability insurance policy that could kick in, but that is unlikely. If the at-fault driver’s vehicle is a commercial vehicle, then that company will likely have additional insurance coverage.
In most cases, you will be looking at using what is called underinsured motorist or uninsured motorist (UM) insurance from your own policy or from the policy of someone who lives with you and is related to you.
What you can do after a Georgia vehicle accident
Just because we know how insurance is supposed to work does not mean it will be easy to secure the compensation you need. Even if the other driver is at fault in your vehicle accident, you may need to secure assistance from a Georgia car accident attorney.
Your attorney will work to investigate the incident by examining accident reports, talking to witnesses, and gathering evidence. Not only is this important for insurance and compensation purposes, but your attorney wants to make sure that you were not improperly assigned more fault in the incident that you should have been. Your attorney will not let you get taken advantage of by the insurance companies or other parties.