The average licensed adult in Georgia does not have enough in their personal savings account to cover all of the costs caused by a motor vehicle collision. They instead depend on insurance for compensation in many cases and occasionally on civil lawsuits against drivers who cause a crash.
Unfortunately, sometimes even drivers with an excellent personal record on the road could make a mistake in traffic that will lead to a crash. Can you receive any sort of compensation if you are to blame for a wreck?
Your insurance may help if you have robust coverage
Georgia technically only requires that drivers pay for liability insurance, which won’t pay your costs if you are to blame for the wreck. However, those who own their own vehicles may also be able to carry collision and comprehensive coverage.
While this extra coverage does cost quite a bit more, it can cover more than liability insurance would. You may be able to make a claim against your own policy for property damage losses and certain other crash costs when you have comprehensive coverage.
You could take the other driver to court.
There are many scenarios in which both of the drivers involved in a crash are to blame. The police officer who takes the initial report could make an error in judgment by declaring you to be the one primarily at fault. Drivers with proof that the other driver also made a mistake could leverage the state’s modified comparative fault statute and pursue a civil lawsuit.
If a judge decides that you are 49% or less to blame for the crash, you might be able to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver when they are technically the one to blame even though you made mistakes as well. In such cases, the amount the courts award you would end up reduced by the percentage of fault that they assign to you. It could be hard for someone to look into their options for compensation after a crash, especially if they have significant injuries.
It’s important that you don’t catastrophize your situation after a car crash. You need to remain calm and think about all of your options if you hope to reduce the damage the collision causes you. Talking to a lawyer might help you better evaluate your options following a motor vehicle collision for which you were at least partially responsible.