Having a car accident is a stressful experience and that stress is compounded if that accident involved injuries. It is not uncommon to go into shock after an accident and it can be difficult to keep a cool head. If you have a collision, there are a few steps you can take to make your recovery go smoothly.
It is important to stay at the scene of an accident until the police arrive. You should never admit to causing the crash, even if you think it was your fault. There may be factors that contributed to the accident of which you are unaware. Tell the officer at the scene everything you remember about the collision and request a copy of the accident report. Take pictures if you can and get the names of any witnesses. If you are taken to the emergency room, remember to get a copy of the bill and the medical report. You should always go to the doctor’s office after an accident even if you think you are okay. There may be some injuries that are not immediately apparent.
Insurance Law in Georgia
The state of Georgia, like most states requires drivers to carry a certain amount of insurance. A driver must carry $25,000 of insurance for personal injury or death of one person and $50,000 of insurance for injury or death to two people. A driver must also carry $25,000 of insurance for damages to property.
Different states have different types of auto insurance laws. Some states have a no-fault auto insurance rule which means that the driver’s own insurance company pays for a driver’s medical bills and repair to their vehicle, no matter who is at fault. Most states are at fault or tort states, which means that the driver who caused the crash is responsible for the expenses related to the accident and their insurance company must pay the bills. Georgia is a fault state.
There are several ways that you may go about filing an insurance claim in the state. The first way is to call your own insurance company. The insurance company will then contact the at fault driver’s insurance company. You can also call the at fault driver’s insurance company and report the accident directly. If the other driver’s insurance company refuses to pay, you may have to sue them.
What Information the Insurance Company Will Need
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions when you first call an insurance company. They will ask for every detail of the accident and they may try to trip you up. Tell them all the details you remember and do not let them pressure you into answering anything that you cannot recall. They may ask to tape record the conversation, but you can always say no. They will ask you to provide documentation of your expenses, so make sure to save every bill you have for doctor’s appointments, receipts for both prescription and nonprescription drugs and bills for any kind of personal assistance you may have required as a result of your accident. Be sure to have the HR department of your company document all the time you have missed off of work. Once you have provided your insurance company with the information, they will make you a settlement offer. You should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting a car accident attorney in Savannah.
Choosing an Attorney
The attorney you choose should be in good standing with the state bar, should have a membership with several professional organizations and have years of experience dealing with Georgia insurance law, such as Justin T. Jones. A good car accident lawyer in Savannah can negotiate with the insurance companies and help you get on with your life.