If you were in a car accident in Georgia, your first reaction may be shock and pain as you try to figure out what just happened to you. As you realize that you were in a car crash, you might start to panic as you wonder how you’ll be able to afford your medical costs, car repairs, and lost income from missing work.
But keep in mind that this is why you and the other drivers on the road are supposed to have insurance. Depending on whether you or the other driver caused the crash, you can typically file a claim with insurance to get compensated for the costs of the accident. If you’re unsure how to do this or whose insurance provider to file a claim against, you should ask Fayette County car accident lawyers for legal advice. As you await your initial consultation, consider how car accident liability works in Georgia.
What Requirements Must Georgia Drivers Adhere To?
Drivers in Georgia are required to buy liability insurance at a minimum. This coverage is meant to pay for the losses the other driver suffers if you cause an accident. Your liability insurance must include:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
This is the minimum coverage required by law, but you can buy additional coverage. It’s often recommended that you do this if you want to protect yourself and others in a crash. This is because if you cause an accident that results in more than $50,000 in bodily injury for the victims or more than $25,000 in damage to the other car, you could be liable for paying the remaining costs once your coverage limit is reached.
Also, liability coverage only pays for the losses other people suffer in a crash, not your own. So, if you cause an accident that damages your car, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for repairs unless you have collision and comprehensive insurance. These types of insurance will cover your losses from a car crash, theft, fire, falling objects, and other unexpected incidents that could leave you without a working vehicle. For this reason, consider getting more than the minimum insurance coverage in Georgia.
Another law to keep in mind as a Georgia driver is whether you have to call the police after a crash. The answer depends on how much damage the crash caused. If the accident injured or killed someone, you must contact the police. In addition, if it caused $500 or more of property damage, you need to call the police. Note that having a police report to refer to could help support your car accident claim if you seek compensation.
How Do You Know If You Should Pursue Damages After an Accident?
It’s not always clear if you have a claim after an accident, but you might as well talk to a lawyer to find out. After all, initial consultations are free and can let you know if you should pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
In general, if you suffered losses, including damage to your car or injuries to yourself or your passengers, you meet one of the requirements for pursuing a claim. The other requirement is that the other driver was at fault for at least 51% of the crash. So, if you have expenses related to the crash and were not primarily at fault for it, you can pursue compensation.
If you’re worried about whether you somehow contributed to the crash, it might help to know Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means you can collect compensation even if you made a mistake that contributed to the crash. So, if you were speeding and this made you 20% at fault for the accident, you can still collect 80% of the damages you’re entitled to.
You can learn more about what compensation you can collect by talking to experienced Georgia car accident lawyers. They can review the details of your crash and let you know if it makes sense to pursue a claim from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Georgia?
Your safety is the most crucial element of any accident, so your first step should be to check for injuries. If you don’t need emergency medical care, check on your passengers and any other people involved in the crash to determine if anyone is critically hurt. Next, you should call 911 to request an ambulance if necessary and fill out a police report once the police arrive.
If you can safely remain at the scene, you should use your cell phone to take pictures of your injuries and the damage to your car. You can also take photos and videos of the scene to show any traffic signs or signals that the at-fault driver might have ignored, or to demonstrate if inclement weather could have contributed to the crash.
While you wait for the police to get to the scene, write down the contact information of any witnesses who saw the crash. You should also exchange insurance information with the other driver.
Once you return home from the accident, call your doctor so you can get an exam as soon as possible. You might assume you’re not injured, but some injuries take hours or days to appear and can worsen quickly.
After you’ve made a doctor’s appointment, call your insurance company to report the crash. Then, start looking for car accident lawyers serving your area. At Overman & Overman, LLC, we’ve helped numerous Fayette County accident victims collect generous settlements. Call 770-501-7425 to learn what kind of compensation you can get after a Georgia accident.