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How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Georgia?

If you were hurt in a car crash in Georgia, O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 gives you two years to file a car accident claim against the at-fault driver. If you only suffered property damage, O.C.G.A. § 9-3-32 gives you four years to file your claim. 

The experienced team at Kevin A. Adamson, P.C. has the resources, skills, and insights to manage your case. We can investigate the accident, determine the losses you suffered, and handle the insurance negotiations on your behalf. To get started, contact us today for a free consultation with a Georgia car accident lawyer.

How Long Do I Have to File If the Accident Involved a Government Vehicle?

You may have even less time to pursue a car accident claim if the at-fault driver was in a government vehicle. Different filing periods apply depending on which government agency is liable for an accident. After an accident with a federal government vehicle, you would file your claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which sets a two-year deadline.

Different filing rules govern liability claims against local and state government entities in Georgia. Generally, you may have six months to file a claim for a city or county vehicle and one year to file for an accident involving a state vehicle.

What Evidence Do I Need to File a Car Accident Claim in Georgia?

A successful car accident claim requires strong evidence. You can begin at the scene by taking photos of the area, damage to the vehicles, and any injuries you suffered. You may also be able to request police or traffic camera photographs.

Other evidence that can be helpful includes the following:

  • Accident and police reports
  • Car repair estimates
  • Medical treatment records of your injuries
  • Documents showing lost wages

How Quickly Should I Contact My Insurance Company After the Accident?

According to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, you should inform your insurance company or agent immediately after the car accident. Just how long you have to report will depend on your specific policy.

How Much Might I Recover from My Car Accident Claim?

Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning the driver who causes an accident must compensate anyone they harmed. Depending on the specific losses you suffered, an experienced attorney can help you pursue money for the following:

  • Medical expenses, including current and future medical bills
  • Lost earnings and reduced future earnings
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Georgia law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance with the following minimums:

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

These minimums might not be enough to cover the cost of a severe accident, although the at-fault driver may have personal assets you can recover. And if other parties are also responsible for the collision, you could have additional sources of compensation to pursue. An experienced car accident attorney can investigate the situation to determine the best course of action.

What Does Georgia Law Require Me to Do After a Car Accident?

Section 11 of the Georgia Department of Driver Services Driver’s Manual outlines the actions you should take if you are involved in a crash, including:

  • Call 911 or notify the nearest law enforcement agency immediately if there is any injury, death, or property damage over $500.
  • Provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured by requesting emergency services as soon as possible.
  • Exchange names, addresses, license plate numbers, and driver’s license numbers with other drivers involved in the crash.
  • If an unattended vehicle is damaged, you must either locate the owner or leave your name, address, and the name of the owner of the vehicle you were driving in a conspicuous place easily found by the owner.
  • Move your vehicle from the roadway to a safe location along the shoulder, emergency lane, median, or any other safe place.

According to the manual, moving your vehicle under the circumstances presented would not cause you to be considered at fault or have failed to stop and provide information. It also would not interfere with your filing a police report. Be aware that according to the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Training Manual, the local police agency will file a Georgia motor vehicle crash report to provide data for the Georgia Electronic Crash Reporting System (GEARS).

What Are Some Causes of Car Accidents in Georgia?

Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Georgia include the following:

  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Distractions like phones and other media
  • Drunk or impaired driving
  • Fatigue and sleep deprivation
  • Failing to stop or yield
  • Speeding and driving too fast for conditions
  • Following too closely

Other factors, such as mechanical breakdowns or defective parts, could contribute to an accident – which could make the manufacturer of those components liable. An experienced attorney can investigate the crash to determine if this was the case.

What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe. Victims may be left facing a long road to recovery, burdened with considerable expenses and lower quality of life. Some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents include the following:

  • Back and neck injuries, including ruptured or herniated discs
  • Broken bones, especially the arms, legs, clavicle, hip, pelvis, and ribs
  • Strains, sprains, bruises, and other soft-tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Chest and abdominal injuries
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Burns
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Nerve damage
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychological trauma

Contact a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer

At Kevin A. Adamson, P.C., we want to help you pursue the money you deserve after a car accident that was someone else’s fault. Our services are on a contingency-fee-basis at no upfront cost to you. We won’t collect until we win your case. Call or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer.