Hasner Law | Car Accidents | November 9, 2022
As much as drivers take precautions to avoid crashes and collisions, traffic accidents are common throughout Georgia. Sadly, you can’t control how other drivers choose to operate their cars. Insurance companies, attorneys, and the courts may become involved whenever negligence leads to a traffic mishap.
If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident in Atlanta, there’s a chance you may be required to go to court.
Georgia Car Crash Claims
Under Georgia law, car crash claims revolve around fault and negligence. Generally, whenever a driver’s negligence causes an accident, the party is liable for paying out damages and expenses. Their insurance provider will usually accept some or all liability for the crash.
Negligent driving can take the following forms:
- Violating speed limits
- Reckless endangerment
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Unrepaired car components
Before you consider going to court, your attorney can conduct an initial investigation to determine how the accident occurred. Although police officers on the scene of a crash will write a report in some cases, police won’t get involved in less serious crashes. Insurance companies often rely on the parties and independent inquiries to make financial determinations.
However, going to court may be inevitable whenever a crash involves criminal negligence, when the other party doesn’t have insurance, or when you cannot settle a claim.
Car Crash Lawsuits
If you cannot settle a claim for damages, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit against the party at fault. Personal injury lawsuits involve many moving parts, and you’ll need sufficient evidence to prove your case.
Depending on the unique circumstances of your claim, this may involve any of the following:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Surveillance photos and videos
- Deposing involved parties
- Traffic accident experts
- Medical records
- Vehicle maintenance records
After a discovery period, a lawsuit will likely proceed to court-ordered mediation. A neutral third party will look to facilitate a resolution between the parties involved. Generally, this is done as a final attempt to avoid trial.
Whenever mediation fails, you may proceed to a jury trial, where witnesses will be cross-examined, and any relevant evidence will be presented.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits
When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, every state has different ways to enforce filing deadlines. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for most car crash claims is two years from the date of the accident.
Whenever you become involved in a dispute over damages, you’ll want to consult with an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.
Criminal Cases Involving Car Crashes
Typically, whenever you are hit or injured by an intoxicated driver, the courts will pursue criminal charges against the individual at fault. In Georgia, crashing a car while under the influence is a serious offense and is punishable by jail time, fines, and administrative penalties.
Should a driver charged with a DUI go to trial, you’ll most likely be summoned by the state as a witness. Any court subpoena is a serious matter and should never be ignored. Failure to respond to a subpoena or appear in court can result in severe consequences.
Avoiding Court After a Crash
For anyone looking to avoid court after a car accident, there are several steps you can take to help. Some of these include:
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Document injuries and property damage
- Consult with a medical professional as soon as possible
- Track all bills and receipts associated with the claim
- Keep a journal of how the accident has affected you
A seasoned personal injury lawyer will be your best resource in helping you recover your losses and holding the negligent party responsible. Contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer for help navigating your injury claim.
Contact the Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas: