Car accidents can be traumatic for everyone involved, even if they seem minor. No one gets in their vehicle expecting to get hit by a negligent driver—but unfortunately, it happens every day. If you were involved in a car accident in Thomasville, you are likely facing medical bills, car repair costs, and more. To seek compensation for those costs, it’s best to contact a Thomasville car accident lawyer today.
Even if you had no fault in the accident, the insurance company will likely try to pay less than you deserve. Our experienced lawyers at John Foy & Associates can fight for your right to full financial recovery after your car accident—starting with a FREE consultation. Call us today for your free consultation at 404-400-4000.
Why Fault Matters in a Thomasville Car Accident
A personal injury accident is any incident where someone is hurt at the fault of another. In the state of Georgia, the keyword here is “fault.” Under Georgia law, the person or party whose negligence led to the accident is legally liable for all damages (costs or losses) resulting from the accident.
Car accidents are almost always caused by another driver being negligent or careless. Sometimes, the at-fault person can hold another role, such as a pedestrian or motorcyclist, but it’s often another car or truck driver. Regardless of who caused your crash, you will need to show that they are at fault.
How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident
To determine that a party is at fault for a car accident, you must be able to demonstrate the following.
1. There Was a Legal Duty
All Georgians have a legal duty to act in a way that does not harm others. If someone hits you, it’s likely they are breaking that legal duty of care. That means they were negligent.
2. The Duty Was Breached
You must also prove the other person breached their legal duty. For example, you may need to prove that the other driver was distracted by talking on their cell phone during the time of the accident. You will also need to show that their distracted driving led to your accident and your injuries.
3. You Have Damages from the Accident
Lastly, you must prove damages exist from your car accident. For example, you will need to show proof of your medical bills and other paperwork if you got a broken leg from the accident. Other damages from a car accident can include:
- Property damage to your vehicle, including repair costs
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Pain and suffering damages, such as emotional trauma
Keep in mind that someone can be at fault even if they did not intend for the accident to happen. Car accidents can certainly result from malicious intent, but most collisions are caused by another driver simply being careless.
What to Do If More Than One Driver is at Fault
If both drivers (or multiple drivers) are at fault, a judge or the jury may assign a percentage of the blame in court. Then, awarded damages will be reduced based on that percentage of fault. This is known as comparative negligence in Thomasville. If someone is 50% or more at fault for the car accident, they will not be able to recover any damages.
The other driver’s insurance company may try to pin more of the blame on you in hopes that they can pay you less (or nothing at all). A Thomasville car accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and advocate for your rights to compensation. If the two parties cannot agree on who is liable, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Costs You May Be Able to Recover in a Car Accident Claim
Fault is most important in demonstrating your right to full compensation, but your damages determine how much your car accident claim is worth.
Damages generally fall into two different categories:
- Special Damages: These are easily-calculable costs like car repair bills, medical bills, and lost earnings from missing work.
- General Damages: These damages do not have a clear dollar value and are more complicated to calculate. They are meant to account for physical or mental pain and suffering resulting from your injuries, such as mental disorders, lowered quality of life, and disfigurement.
You can usually seek financial compensation for both types of damages. A Thomasville car accident lawyer can help you determine which damages are involved in your case and ensure your claim accounts for all of them.
What to Do if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
Even though car insurance coverage is legally required in Thomasville, some drivers still operate vehicles without insurance. This is scary for a car accident victim because it’s typically the at-fault driver’s insurance that pays for damages.
If you were hit by an uninsured driver, there are things you can do to protect yourself. After the accident, you should call the police immediately. They can file an official report of what happened and get information from you and the other driver. While waiting for police to arrive, however, it’s also a good idea to gather some information yourself:
- Ask the other driver for their full name and phone number. Some drivers have insurance but just not enough. If they are underinsured, ask for their insurance information.
- Get a picture of their license plate number, and note the details of their car and physical appearance. Uninsured drivers are more likely to hit and run, so the more information you have, the better.
- Take pictures of the car accident scene. This includes the position of each vehicle, damage to your car, and any injuries you suffer.
- Talk to witnesses. If anyone else saw the accident happen, get their name and contact information.
If the uninsured driver tries to offer you money in exchange for calling the police, do not take it. They are hoping to avoid getting caught without insurance, but it means you probably will end up paying for damages you didn’t cause. Protect yourself first and always call the police. Then, contact a car accident lawyer who can ensure you pursue damages from the uninsured driver.
Call a Thomasville Car Accident Lawyer Today for Free
If you were involved in a car accident in Thomasville, John Foy & Associates is here to help. Working with us is risk-free because we never charge you unless we win you money. We have more than 20 years of experience helping car accident victims get the money they deserve. Call today for a FREE consultation at 404-400-4000.