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Accident Attorneys In Georgia

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Jackson and Tucker, P.C.

2229 First Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203


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Langdale Vallotton, LLP

1007 N. Patterson Street
Valdosta, Georgia 31601


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Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident Laws and Safety Requirements

Although Georgia laws applicable to traffic accidents are roughly similar to the laws in other states, they do have some distinguishing features. Below is a summary of the most relevant legal provisions:

Statute of Limitations: You have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, and four years to file a lawsuit for property damage. A wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased victim can be filed within two years of the victim’s date of death.

Shared Liability: When the plaintiff shares fault with the defendant, Georgia applies a modified comparative fault standard – the plaintiff’s damages are reduced in proportion to his degree of fault – by 20 percent, for example. If the plaintiff is at least 50 percent at fault for the accident, he will recover nothing.

Fault/No Fault Rule: Georgia is a “fault” auto insurance state, meaning that an injured victim can file a lawsuit or a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance company.

Minimum Insurance Coverage: Georgia requires all drivers to carry vehicle accident liability insurance covering $25,000 for each injured victim, a total of $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers Coverage: Georgia law does not require drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured driver insurance.

Types of Damages Available: Full compensatory damages are available, including damages for intangible harms such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages require clear and convincing evidence of malice or other bad faith that indicates a conscious indifference to the consequences of the defendant’s act. Punitive damages are capped at $250,000 except for intentional torts (such as assault and battery) and product liability cases.

Product Liability for Defective Vehicles: Strict product liability is available. Punitive damages in product liability cases are not subject to a statutory cap, but 75 percent of the amount awarded goes to the state government

Suing the Government over Defective Roadways (Sovereign Immunity): To sue the State of Georgia under the State Tort Claims Act, you must file detailed notices with the state government before filing a lawsuit. You cannot file a lawsuit unless the state government either denies or ignores your claim. Even if this happens, your claim is likely to be thrown out of court unless you allege a manufacturing defect in the roadway rather than a design defect.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws: All Georgia motorcycle riders must wear helmets.

Seat Belt Laws: Minors from 8 to 17 years old must wear seat belts in both the front and back seats. Adults 18 years old or older must wear seat belts while sitting in the front seat. The maximum fine for a first offense is $15.

Dram Shop Laws: In Georgia, both licensed alcohol vendors and social hosts face liability to third parties who are injured when the vendor or host illegally provides alcohol to a minor (under 21 years old) who then proceeds to cause an accident. Both vendors and hosts face limited liability to third parties for serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated adults.

DUI/DWI Laws: The minimum BAC in Georgia is 0.08 percent (only 0.02 percent for minors under 21). Enhanced penalties kick in for drivers whose BAC reaches 0.15 percent. First-offense jail time ranges from 24 hours to one year; fines range from $300 to $1,000; and the offender’s driver’s license can be suspended for up to one year.

Distracted Driving (texting while driving, etc.): All drivers are banned from texting while driving. On-duty school bus drivers and drivers under 18 years old may not use cell phones while driving, regardless of whether or not they are hand-held.