Can I sue someone personally after a car accident in Georgia?

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Yes -- you can sue someone personally following a car accident.  You have to file the lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the accident.  Additionally, you will be required to prove the following things:

  1. Breach of duty - Every driver has a duty to drive safely when operating a motor vehicle, so you have to prove that the other driver unsafely or negligently operated their vehicle.
  2. Causation - You have to prove the other driver was at-fault, or responsible for causing the accident due to their unsafe driving.
  3. Damages - In order to receive a judgement, or settlement, in your favor you must prove the amount of damage cause by the other drivers actions.  This includes the amount of property damage to your vehicle, as well as any personal injuries you may have suffered.

Proving causation in Georgia car accident

In order to prove the other driver was at-fault, you must show that the accident was due to their unsafe or negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Common causes of car accidents include:

  1. SpeedingIf the other driver was speeding at the time of the accident, it will likely be a partial cause of any accident.  Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous as it allows for less time for a driver to react to situations on the road.  Additionally, the faster a vehicle is travelling at the time of an impact, the greater the amount of damage will be.
  2. Driving Under the Influence - It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Georgia.  If an at-fault driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, it is assumed they were the cause of the accident.
  3. Failure to Obey Traffic Signals - Traffic lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals are placed to regulate the safe flow of traffic on the road.  When someone ignores a traffic signal which results in an accident, proving causation is generally easy.
  4. Distracted Driving - Given easy access to technology today it is easy for a driver to become distracted.  Whether it be using a cellphone or smart watch, or rambunctious children in the back seat, a distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
  5. Following too Closely/Tailgating - Following another vehicle too closely decreases reaction time and increases the chance of an accident.

Proving damages in Georgia car accident

In order to successfully sue someone following a motor vehicle accident, you must show that suffered damages.  These include property damage to your vehicle, as will as personal injury damages such as medical bills or lost wages.  Ways to prove damages include:

  1. Repair estimates Many times your insurance company, or the other driver's insurer, will obtain a repair estimate for damage to your vehicle.  If not, you will be responsible for obtaining an estimate from a repair shop to be used as evidence in court.
  2. Medical bills Any bills received for medical treatment should be saved and used as evidence in court.
  3. Lost wages - If you are forced to miss work due to a car accident, providing pay stubs, or a letter from your employer, will be important in establishing damage to your earnings.

Being the victim of a car accident can affect your life in countless ways. If you were injured in a collision caused by another party, let the attorneys at SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers handle all aspects of your case so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

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