If you have questions about what happens when you are at fault in a car accident, we encourage you to reach out to our firm. Even though you are at fault, the terms of your insurance policy could provide you with compensation for your injuries.
If you are responsible for causing a car accident due to your own negligence, you could be financially responsible for any damages that occur. This could include medical expenses, vehicle damage, and lost wages for the other drivers involved in the accident.
The Role Your Liability Insurance Coverage Plays
Liability coverage exists for when you get into an accident. Liability insurance is mandated for every Georgia driver by law.
Georgia is a “fault” state, which means that motorists injured in a vehicle collision could pursue legal action against the responsible party. Liability insurance is designed to protect you from claims from third parties. In other words, this insurance will pay the expenses of the other drivers in the accident you caused.
Uninsured or Underinsured Accidents
Despite the mandate under state law, not all drivers carry liability insurance. If you are at fault in a vehicle collision and lack liability insurance, you are not on your own. When it comes to paying for the damages caused to the other driver, you could have options. Even if the other driver has insurance coverage of their own, their provider could seek reimbursement from you.
There are also situations where insured drivers could face some liability for an accident they caused. Every liability insurance policy comes with limits. These limits are the maximum amount of money the insurance company is required to pay. Accidents can exceed minimum policy limits, though.
Insurance companies are only obligated to pay claims up to the maximum limits on the policy; everything owed beyond that is your responsibility. This could complicate your ability to resolve a personal injury case against you. However, the party that isn’t at fault could have uninsured and underinsured coverage. This would help if the other party doesn’t have any insurance or does not have enough coverage.
Compensation for Your Injuries
Even if you feel as though you were responsible for a car accident, it is important to remember that you might be entitled to compensation for your own injuries. This depends entirely on the language of your own auto insurance policy.
Many drivers opt to select coverage beyond the liability insurance mandated by law. Other types of policies will not only protect you from third-party liability claims but also cover your own losses as well. These insurance policies will pay out even if you were at fault for the accident.
There are different types of policies that could cover the losses of the policyholder. Collision insurance will pay for an at-fault driver’s vehicle repair costs. Medical payments – or MedPay – coverage provides for a driver’s medical expenses even if they were at fault for the crash.
When You Are Only Partially at Fault
Never assume that you are at fault for a car accident. Even if you believe the collision is your fault, remember that fault is a legal determination best made by an attorney. You could benefit from discussing your options with an attorney on our team before accepting fault.
Even if you bear some responsibility for causing an accident, you could be only partially responsible for a collision. In Georgia, sharing fault with the other driver could reduce some of your financial liability for causing the accident.
Contributory Negligence Could Help You
Georgia follows a legal theory known as contributory fault. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, an at-fault party injured in a motor vehicle accident could still recover compensation. This is possible as long as they are no more than 49 percent at fault. As the injured party’s share of fault increases, the compensation they are entitled to recover decreases.
This means that if the other driver shares some responsibility for causing the accident, you might not be liable for the full amount of their losses. If they were primarily at fault, you might not be on the hook for any damages at all.
How Your Lawyer Could Help You with Your Car Accident Case
Your injury attorney could do the following for you and your case:
- Evaluate the facts of your case
- Advise you on your potential liability
- Investigate the accident
- Recruit accident reconstructionists and expert medical witnesses
- Gathering evidence to support your case
- Protect your rights
- Handle the insurance negotiations
- Make your case in court, if necessary
- Keep you updated throughout the case
Discuss Your Options with Kaine Law Today
It is never in your best interest to assume what might happen if you are at fault in a car accident. In some situations, you might be surprised to learn that the law is in your favor.
If you have been injured in a car accident, Kaine Law might be able to help. For a free consultation, dial (404) 214-2001.