If you’re a new driver or you’ve never been involved in a car accident before you may not know exactly how insurance claims work. Whether someone recently struck your car, or you want to be prepared in the event that this happens, this blog post will help you. You need to know the circumstances under which you can get compensation.
Georgia is considered a fault state. This means that the person who is at fault for a crash must compensate the other person for any resulting injuries or property damage. Usually, that responsible driver’s insurance company covers medical bills, car repair or replacement costs, lost wages, and other damages. If you were injured in a car crash, you will need to prove the other driver or another party was responsible for your injuries.
Fault vs. No-Fault Explained
In Georgia and other states that practice a fault system, you need to gather evidence to show that someone else was at fault for your injuries. That way, you can file a claim with their insurer. If you were at-fault for the crash, you will have to turn to your auto insurance company.
Georgia requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage and at least $50,000 per accident. They are also required to carry property damage liability coverage of at least $25,000 per accident. This compensates victims if the driver causes a crash. However, if the at-fault driver suffers injuries, they would need to recover their damages through personal injury protection insurance or health insurance.
In contrast, fault doesn’t matter in a no-fault state. Regardless of who was responsible for the accident, the injured person will turn to their own insurer for compensation. They would be able to recover losses up the policy’s limits. It only under certain circumstances that a driver would be able to get compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
How to Prove Fault Following a Car Accident
If you become involved in a serious car accident in Macon or elsewhere in Georgia, you need to call the police so they can investigate and prepare a report. The report will include important information that may help to support your claim for compensation. Some of the things that officers are likely to record include:
- The other driver’s insurance information
- Statements from the driver and any eyewitnesses
- Contact information for witnesses
- The officer’s opinion of what caused the accident and who was responsible
- Any citations or charges that were issued
Video footage from homes and businesses and photos of the crash scene can also be instrumental in proving who was responsible for the accident. In complex cases, your Macon car accident attorney may retain an accident reconstruction expert to carry out further investigations.
Sometimes, it’s clear who is at fault. If you stopped at a stop sign and someone rear-ended you, it’s like to be the other driver’s fault. Similarly, if a driver breaks a traffic law and they were cited or charged, it will likely be easier to hold them liable. Other accidents are more complex and in some cases, multiple entities share responsibility. When this happens, it can be difficult for victims to get compensation. That’s why it’s so important to hire an attorney who can get to the bottom of what happened.
When You Were Partly at Fault for Your Accident
Georgia practices what is known as a modified comparative negligence system. Even if you are partially responsible for a car accident, you can still claim compensation. However, the amount you can recover will be reduced by your share of fault. If you were 30 percent at fault, you would only be able to get 70 percent of the damages to which you would otherwise be entitled.
If you were 50 percent or more responsible, you will be barred from recovering damages. Because of this system, it’s almost guaranteed that the other driver’s insurance company will try to blame you for the crash. Your attorney will have to present evidence showing that the other party was mostly at fault.
Contact the Calvin Smith Law Firm to Discuss Your Case
It can be difficult to determine liability and if you are unfairly blamed for the crash, you won’t get the damages to which you’re entitled. If you were involved in a serious accident, you need to contact the Macon car accident lawyers at the Calvin Smith Law Firm. We will investigate the case and guide you every step of the way. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.