Georgia, An ‘At-Fault’ State for Car Accidents – What That Means For Georgia Drivers
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The moment a car accident happens many questions are asked, stories are shared, and information is exchanged. If big enough the local authorities might intervene and declare the official story on a police report – attempting to give an idea of who was all at fault, and who were the victims. For some states knowing who was at-fault determines who’s insurance company is going to cover the bill, and for others it doesn’t matter at all who was at-fault for the accident. There are fifty states in America and twelve of them have decided to be ‘no-fault’ states. That leaves thirty-eight ‘at-fault’ states. The state of Georgia has decided to be one of the thirty-eight ‘at-fault’ states. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems that will be discussed.
The No-Fault States – Advantages and Disadvantages
When living in a no-fault state it’s important to understand that when you’re choosing your insurance coverage, you’re picking it for you. Meaning – it doesn’t matter who is at-fault for your accident the insurance company for each victim has to cover the bill for any of their injured clients, leaving the door wide open for scams. The policy that you choose will be the benefits you will receive after an accident. No-fault states aren’t focused on who was at-fault for many reasons, one being the fact that it frees up the local tort law court rooms. In extreme situations when victims were severely injured lawsuits can be filed but victims can only win up to a certain amount. Each state has a declared amount that a victim can win in the extreme cases, but it’s very limited. It’s referred to as the threshold, and your insurance company will most likely ask for you to file for it if you were severely hurt.
Another key advantage with the no-fault system is the rapid turn around for payment. This can obviously be a disadvantage as well. If you ended up being out of work for longer than expected or if more damage from the accident was discovered past the first few initial days following the accident you’ll most likely not get compensated for that. Insurance companies are known to pay the bill very fast so they can dodge those expenses hiding. Medical professionals have also been known to add on other services to build up the medical bill because they know insurance companies in no-fault states move quickly and don’t say much about the extra charges.
Another advantage of the no-fault system is that no-fault states usually require policy holders to carry a ‘Personal Injury Protection’ (PIP) policy which covers their client physically after any accident. This is always a great policy to have with your insurance because it covers you regardless of what type of accident you were in. This can also mean that you don’t have to worry about diving into your own medical insurance to cover the bill.
The History of No-Fault States: GA Car Accidents
The no-fault system began in the 1960’s and was designed specifically to speed up the financial recovery process that followed an accident, combined with eliminating all of the time and money that went into figuring out who was at fault. It’s not a new system, obviously since it has been around for more than fifty years.
The following thirteen states are considered no-fault states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
All of the states that are not mentioned are considered ‘at-fault’ states.
At-Fault States: Car AccidentsIf you got in a car accident last fall, you still have another year to file if you want too in Georgia. Now waiting a long period after a car accident to file a lawsuit doesn’t help your chances, you still want to file within a reasonable time period after the accident.At-fault states are very different from no-fault states, in-fact they’re very opposite. Most at-fault states have a ‘Statute-of-Limitations’ for car accident cases, meaning you have up to a specific time period to file a lawsuit, unlike no-fault states. Georgia has a two year statute of limitations.
With car accident cases in at-fault states there’s a focus on what drivers broke the law and even on what the victims could have done better to prevent getting hit. It is possible to be ‘partially at-fault’, which can lower the amount of compensation received. Once it’s discovered on who made the irresponsible driving decisions in the accident the focus then turns to the payout, and the value the payout should be set at. The payout is designed to completely help restore the victim from the car accident, and that is a key advantage that at-fault states hold.
Car accidents happen all of the time and they come in many shapes and sizes. The tort law system for at-fault states are set aside to deal with car accident cases. This can take longer than expected and it can keep the court rooms occupied but it protects the victims that have been wronged by drivers who made poor decisions.
With the lack of scams surrounding the at-fault system, it is also known to make the cost of insurance cheaper. If you were the victim of an accident in a no-fault state you would most likely see your rates go up, because it doesn’t matter who was at-fault. All that the insurance knows is that you’re an expensive client if you get in accidents and they have to pay your bill.
Another big advantage for the at-fault system is that the system naturally holds drivers more liable for their mistakes. The person breaking the law will pay. If someone was texting and driving and they hit you, they will pay. This is motivation for drivers to drive better or pay a price.
In a no-fault state if a distracted driver hit you it would be on the shoulders of your insurance company to cover the tab.
The at-fault system can cover all of the costs plus the long term physical and emotional damages. This key benefit is where victims of accidents are really protected. Accidents can bring on some serious long term damage and victims shouldn’t have to pay for that. The no-fault system only covers the immediate bills.
In Conclusion: GA Car Accident LawyersGeorgia drivers have a system set in place to protect them after an accident if they’re a victim of a car accident. The at-fault system that Georgia follows holds Georgia drivers and their insurance companies responsible for their actions out on the road. If you have been a victim of a car accident in the state of Georgia please be in touch, hiring the right attorneys to cover your car accident case can help get you the road to financial recovery.
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Car Accident Resources: After a Georgia Car Wreck