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Georgia Auto Insurance Claim Process

Unlike the handful of no-fault car accident insurance states, Georgia has a fault-based insurance system where it matters who causes an accident. To recover compensation for common car accident damages like the cost of auto repairs or replacement, medical expenses, and lost income, an accident victim must file an insurance claim against the party at fault for the accident. This isn’t always a simple process because it requires evidence of the policyholder’s liability in the accident. Insurance companies commonly protect their profits by disputing fault in car accident claims; however, there are steps that an accident victim can take during the process that help them obtain the best possible outcome.

What to Do Immediately After an Accident to Begin the Insurance Claim Process in Georgia

Georgia’s comparison negligence insurance system requires a full understanding of how an accident occurred so the insurance company can determine liability. Of course, some accidents are catastrophic, leaving the victims unable to do anything at the scene except wait for help; however, if a car accident victim can move safely or use their cell phone from their position, they can take steps to protect their best interests beginning at the accident scene. First, an accident victim should immediately call 911 to summon help to the scene. They should never say anything that could be construed as admitting fault. Instead, while waiting for help to arrive, they should use their phone’s camera to take photos of the accident scene before first responders move the vehicles to restore traffic flow. Photographing the damaged vehicles and any visible injuries preserves important evidence for the insurance claim.

It’s also important for accident victims to obtain the contact information of involved drivers and any eyewitnesses. It’s helpful to make notes of any nearby homes or businesses that could have surveillance cameras that captured the crash.

Accident victims should always go to the hospital for a full evaluation and treatment directly from the accident scene. The medical report becomes important evidence in the Georgia auto accident insurance claim process.

Filing a Claim After a Car Accident in Georgia

Car accident victims should always report an accident to their insurance companies even if they were not at fault for the accident. Insurance adjusters assigned to the case then investigate by examining the police report, any photographic or video evidence, and eyewitness statements. Once they complete their investigation, they determine the fault for the accident. Under Georgia’s modified comparison negligence insurance system, the insurance companies assign a percentage of fault to each driver in an accident. Even when one driver appears to be fully at fault—like a driver who ran a red light—the insurance companies sometimes assign a portion of fault to the other driver to protect their profits by reducing the amount of a payout to the victim by their assigned percentage of fault. For instance, a $100,000 claim lowers to $75,000 if the insurance company finds the other driver was exceeding the speed limit and this contributed to the accident by 25%.

How Can a Georgia Car Accident Attorney Help?

Georgia’s modified comparison negligence system benefits accident victims by allowing them to recover a portion of their compensation even if they were partly at fault for an accident as long as they weren’t more than 50% at fault. However, this system also incentivizes insurance companies to unfairly assign fault to injury victims with significant damages so they can reduce the amount they pay out on a claim. An experienced car accident lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia understands this system and defends clients by thoroughly investigating all aspects of the accident, documenting clear evidence of fault and liability, and protecting their client’s best interests throughout the process of negotiating the largest possible settlement. 

The attorneys at Piasta Walker Hagenbush, LLC, are ready to safeguard your rights and argue assertively for the maximum compensation available to you after a Georgia car accident. Call our Georgia car accident law firm today for a consultation so we can evaluate your case and take action on your behalf.

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