Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes. Most people will at one time or another cause a car accident or at least be partially responsible for a crash. Fortunately, in the state of Georgia, you may be able to recover money even if a portion of the accident was your fault.
There are two different kinds of insurance rules in the United States, fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person who is responsible for the accident is also responsible for paying its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company is responsible for paying their bills no matter who caused the accident.
Georgia is a fault state. more specifically it is a proportional comparative fault state. This means that a person will pay for the percentage of the accident that they caused. For instance, if one driver was going above the speed limit but the other driver failed to stop for a red light, they would both assume a portion of the blame for a crash. A person may not collect insurance money if they are over 50% responsible for the accident.
Whenever you are in a car accident, it is important to call the police and wait at the scene for them to arrive. Be sure to exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, take pictures if you are able to, and get the names of any witnesses that may have seen the accident.
You should never admit to fault at the scene, even if you believe the accident was your fault. People are often in a state of shock right after an accident and may unintentionally give misleading information.
Ask the officer at the scene for a copy of the accident report. You should go to the doctor even if you feel just fine. There are some medical conditions that may not be immediately apparent.
You should save all of your doctor bills and the receipts for any medication that you might take. Remember to save the bills for physical therapy and massages as well.
You should call your insurance company as soon as possible. They will ask you for the basic details of the accident. They may ask you if they can make a recording of the call, but you do not have to let them.
The case will be handed over to an insurance adjuster, who will look at the accident report, the medical bills, statements from all drivers involved, and statements from passengers, and witnesses. They may also review traffic video surveillance videos and other photographic evidence. They may ask to record your statement, but according to lawyer Pendergrass, you do not have to let them.
After they review the details of your accident, the insurance company will accept or deny your claim. If they accept your claim, they will offer you a settlement. Before you accept the settlement, you should talk to a personal injury attorney. They will be able to tell you if the amount of money you have been offered is fair. If it is not fair, they will have the necessary experience to advocate on your behalf.
Having an accident is always hard, but if you take the right steps and hire a good lawyer, you can get the money you need to get well and move forward.