Georgia’s loss of use rule dictates how accident victims can recover compensation while their vehicle is repaired after a crash. This rule specifies the expenses covered and how to calculate your loss.
If you use your car for work, your lost profits might be recoverable. You will want to talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer familiar with Georgia’s loss of use rule for commercial vehicles. Most provide free consultations for victims harmed in collisions.
What Is Georgia’s Loss of Use Rule?
According to Georgia’s loss of use rule, you can recover compensation for the time you could not use your vehicle after the crash while it was undergoing repairs. In general, this law accomplishes three things:
It Outlines the Recoverable Expenses
This limits the money you can recover to the actual expenses of hiring substitute transportation. For example, this often includes the cost of a rental car, such as daily charges, mileage, and taxes. It should cover the rental of a similar vehicle, although there are times policy limitations that make this impossible.
It Allows the Insurer to Apply Daily Limits
This law allows for policy limitations set by the insurance carrier, including daily expense limitations or overall coverage caps.
It Determines When You Can Demand Compensation
Your insurance company can limit how long it will pay for loss of use or a rental vehicle. Generally, this includes the period when the vehicle is under repair. If it is deemed a total loss, they may give you only a limited time following the offer to pay for the total loss.
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How Does This Apply to Commercial Vehicles? What If I Cannot Earn a Living?
When people think of commercial vehicles, they often think of tractor-trailers. Many commercial vehicle crashes in Georgia are not 18-wheeler truck accidents, however. Instead, they are individuals who use their vehicles for work and cannot earn a living without their vehicles.
When a crash victim needs their vehicle to make a living, they may be able to recover compensation for their lost income. This would likely only include a reasonable time to have the vehicle repaired or replaced. This is possible in Georgia under case law: Molly Pitcher Canning Co. v. Cent. of Ga. Ry. Co., 253 S.E.2d 392 (Ga. App. 1979).
This case law allows victims to recover lost income when their vehicle is unavailable after a crash. However, these damages are only available when the party can provide a “reasonably accurate” estimate for their lost profits. With help from a knowledgeable lawyer and strong financial records, this should not be difficult for most business owners.
What Other Damages Are Recoverable in a Commercial Vehicle Crash?
When someone is hurt in a Georgia car accident, state law allows them to recover compensation from the at-fault driver. They need to show the other driver caused the crash and their injuries, and they can seek a monetary payout to cover their expenses and losses.
However, this is not as easy as it may seem. Some damages are much more difficult to estimate and document than others. Recoverable damages could include future care costs, intangible losses, and lost profits due to the damage to your vehicle. Working with a personal injury lawyer is the best way to help you accurately value your case and fight for fair compensation.
Commonly recoverable damages in these cases include:
- Medical expenses and other treatment costs today and in the future
- Income lost when injuries prevented work
- Diminished earning ability for lasting injuries
- Car repair or replacement and other property damages
- Loss of use, rental car costs, or related expenses
- Miscellaneous expenses with receipts
- Pain and suffering damages
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How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me Recover Loss of Use Damages?
Our car accident lawyers in the greater Atlanta area fight to help victims and their families recover following a crash. When another party causes an accident, Georgia law allows the collision victims to hold that party legally accountable. The victim can recover compensation through a fair settlement with that party’s auto liability insurance provider or take the case to a jury trial and let the jury decide.
Our attorneys handle these cases regularly, seeking money for a wide range of expenses and losses. More and more, we see people using their vehicles to make a living. With their car off the road for repairs, they might have lost income and other profits even after they have healed and could return to work.
Working with a lawyer, you can feel confident:
- They will protect your right to sue and recover fair compensation.
- They will manage all communications about the case.
- They will identify, document, and assess the monetary value of your damages.
- They will negotiate with the insurance carrier on your behalf.
- They understand how much recovering a fair payout means to you.
- You have someone on your side protecting your interests throughout this process.
Most car accident lawyers provide free consultations for crash victims and work based on contingency when they represent them. You should not have to pay upfront charges or fees for a lawyer to discuss your case with a lawyer. Under O.C.G.A § 9-3-33, you likely have up to two years to sue. However, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible so we can build a strong case.
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Discuss Your Georgia Car Accident With Our Legal Team Today for Free
Kaine Law provides free consultations for crash victims in the greater Atlanta area and other parts of Georgia. If you were hurt in a crash and your vehicle suffered damage, our team can assess your legal options with you for free.
The car accident attorneys at our law firm understand Georgia’s loss of use rule and how it applies if you use your car for commercial purposes. Call us today online or via telephone to get started with your free consultation.