Personal Injury Law Firm in Georgia
If you or a loved one have been injured by a negligent individual or due to the actions of a company or their employees, you may be able to hold them monetarily accountable for the injuries they caused. A personal injury attorney may be able to fight for you so you can receive compensation to pay for medical care and other costs that arose from your injury.
Personal Injury Laws and Statutes Specific to Georgia
Although Georgia personal injury laws are similar in some respects to neighboring states in the Southeast U.S., there are some noteworthy differences to keep in mind if you are considering filing a personal injury claim.
- In most cases the State of Georgia gives personal injury victims up to two years after their injury to file a personal injury claim. There are different requirements if the party responsible for the injury was a municipality or government worker. (9-3-33)
- Georgia is a comparative negligence state; meaning a personal injury claimants’ percentage of negligence reduces the verdict amount. For example, if you’re awarded $50,000.00 due to an injury, but are found 20% at-fault, your award is reduced to $40,000.00. Furthermore, if a claimant is found 50% or more at-fault, recovery is barred completely. (51-11-7; 46-8-291)
- Georgia is a fault auto-insurance claim state. This gives claimants the option of filing against their own insurance company, the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or the at-fault driver themselves.
- In 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court decided that medical malpractice damage caps were a constitutional violation of a person’s right to a jury decision on appropriate damages. Punitive damages are still capped at $250,000.00 for most personal injury or wrongful death cases, with some exceptions. (Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt); (51-12-5.1)
- Although there is no cap on punitive damages in product liability cases, 75 percent of the awarded punitive damages will be paid to the State rather than the claimant. (51-12-5.1 (e)(1)(2))
- There is no cap on punitive damages for intent to harm cases, and only the negligent individual is subjected to punitive damages. Intent to harm cases usually involve a defendant causing an injury or wrongful death while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (51-12-5.1 (f))
- If a bar recklessly continued to serve a drunk person who then hurt or killed someone while attempting to drive home, the bar cannot be forced to pay punitive damages, despite their shared fault, but they can be forced to pay other types of damages. (51-12-5.1 (b)) STATUTE SAYS THAT PERSON who knowingly sells, furnishes, or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is in a state of noticeable intoxication, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle, may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person when the sale, furnishing, or serving is the proximate cause of such injury or damage.
- Recovery in hit-and-run claims are difficult in Georgia, as the State treats these cases like an uninsured motorist accident. To successfully file a claim involving a hit-and-run, the State requires evidence of vehicle-on-vehicle contact. (33-7-11 (b)(2))
- Your insurance company can only recover your claim costs if the hit-and-run driver is located. Thus, your insurance company may deny or underpay accidents involving a hit-and-run or uninsured motorist. Therefore, it is advantageous for a hit-and-run victim to contact an experienced Georgia auto-accident attorney, who can assist in gathering evidence and necessary documentation to file a successful uninsured or hit-and-run insurance claim. (33-7-11 (f))
- The proliferation of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft introduced some new problems for auto accident insurance claims and injury cases. Are rideshare drivers required to carry commercial insurance? Whose insurance should pay for injuries? Georgia passed HB 225 in 2015, which mandated a rideshare policy minimum of one million dollars when a fare is in their vehicle. Things get more complicated if the driver hits and injures someone when they aren’t actively transporting a fare. Due to the high potential cost of these accidents, insurance companies often aggressively fight rideshare accident claims. If you were injured by an Uber or Lyft driver, it may be worth your time to consult with a Georgia Uber or Lyft accident attorney. (40-1-193 (c)(4))