Highway accidents often occur at high speeds, resulting in devastating crashes and catastrophic injuries or even a tragic death. Atlanta is at the crossroads of three intersecting interstate highways, and Georgia has 1,244 miles of interstates in total. Accidents on the highway may be the result of another driver's negligence, or they may be the result of a defect or road hazard created by the government that owns the highway. If you have been hurt on a highway in the Atlanta area, you may want to enlist car accident lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert to guide you through the process of seeking compensation.Pursuing Damages for a Highway Accident
In Georgia, you can potentially recover compensation from another driver if you prove that person’s negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. You can seek damages from a defendant to the extent that he or she is at fault for the accident, although your compensation may be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. A victim will be barred from receiving compensation if he or she is found to be 50% or more at fault. This means that an insurer for the defendant will try to protect its bottom line by getting you to admit fault or finding some way to allege that you were partly at fault.
In some cases, a highway accident may be caused by road hazards, such as potholes, overgrown foliage, a construction site with no warning signs posted, or inadequate drainage. Generally, the state, local, or federal government is responsible for maintaining highways. Due to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, you cannot sue the government, except to the extent that it has consented to be sued. However, lawsuits against the government for accidents resulting from poor road maintenance are permitted. Under the Georgia Tort Claims Act, damages for claims arising from a single accident are limited to $1 million. These must consist of only compensatory damages rather than including any punitive damages.
You have a narrow window of time within which to bring suit for a highway accident, but this time period may vary depending on the circumstances. Generally, you have two years after a car accident to file suit for personal injuries, but four years to file suit for damage to your vehicle. When an accident occurs due to a road hazard, however, you will need to provide the government with notice of your claim within a very short window of time. How many months you have to provide notice will depends on the specific entity that controls the highway.Discuss Your Car Crash Case with a Knowledgeable Atlanta Lawyer
Highway accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. In spite of the devastation wrought by their insured, however, insurance companies will look for ways in which an accident victim was at fault for his or her own harm. This is why it is important to enlist a motor vehicle collision attorney who is experienced in helping Atlanta residents assert their rights. If you have been hurt in a highway crash, Stephen M. Ozcomert can help you try to hold the responsible parties accountable. Call us at (404) 370-1000 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation. We also represent injured individuals in Decatur as well as other areas of DeKalb and Fulton Counties.