Georgia is an at-fault state, and as such there is a higher rate of litigation than no-fault states. If you are a resident or a tourist it is important to understand the difference. In an at-fault state, if you are found at fault through charges or fines laid by enforcement officers or in a court of law you may also be subject to a civil litigation suit. Even if you are not charged by police you still may be subject to civil litigation depending on the situation. Hiring a personal injury lawyer, traffic attorney or car accident attorney may be your best option to reduce costs, points or penalties in connection to traffic offences.
Georgian Point System
Georgia keeps track of its drivers through a point-based system like many other states. Driving is considered a privilege in the state and not a right, and if you accumulate 15 or more demerit points within a 24 month period you can have your license suspended, revoked or cancelled. This can also happen in serious point-offences such as reckless driving depending on the circumstance.
The highest point offences include unlawfully passing a school bus, speeding more than 34 mph, and aggressive driving all worth 6 demerit points. If a driver is caught using a mobile communications device like a cell phone or tablet or texting while driving they lose only 1 point. For reckless driving and improper passing on a hill or curve; the lose 4 points.
Traffic Violations and Insurance Rates
When you commit a traffic violation you may see a subsequent rise in your insurance rate. This is why it may be more beneficial for you to pay a one-time cost to hire an attorney to fight on your behalf to lower traffic offences. Generally the higher the demerit points the higher you could expect your insurance rates to increase.
Yet do not expect this increase to necessarily happen immediately. Insurers generally check your driving record periodically and just before your renewal period. So if you are 2 weeks into a 6 month policy, you may wait almost 6 months before you notice an increase. However, if you get a traffic violation decreased or repealed from the efforts of an attorney, it can help your insurance rates in the long run.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
When you are involved in an accident, DUI violation or other traffic violations, in most moderate to severe cases you would be well advised to hire an attorney. If there was bodily injury caused or received a personal injury attorney will be your best option, or if the infraction only included traffic violations an attorney that specializes in moving violations will be your best choice.
Most attorneys in personal injury cases offer a free consultation, but ensure that is the case before you agree to a meeting. If you were the victim in a personal injury case involving a motor vehicle, often attorneys depending on the particulars of your case will agree to no upfront costs. This allows you to litigate and receive an award without the burden of an upfront payment. With the various costs associated included medical bills, hospital stays, funeral expenses, lost wages or in-home care you will need a settlement that can cover all your costs.
If you were the perpetrator of the personal injury or are involved in a DUI or moving violation case most likely you will be required to pay an upfront retainer and certain other costs to hire an attorney. Getting the fairest settlement or reduction in the charges is to your long term benefit.
Before you hire a personal attorney be sure of the full costs of their services and the exact percentage of any money awarded that they will keep for their fee. Be sure of the path you want to take, either settlement or through the court proceedings. Questions about the lawyer’s relevant experience, number of cases won and the time it will take to resolve your case is important as well.
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Georgia you may need to hire a car accident attorney to work for you. Be knowledgeable in your rights before the first consultation.