According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA), car accidents happen literally every minute of everyday. As much as we like to have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality, you need to know what to do when it does happen to you or someone you love.
Below is a list of 8 steps you should take right after a car accident occurs.
1. Stay calm
2. Call the police
3. Don’t leave before you have a police report number
4. Take pictures
5. Exchange information with the other driver
6. Exchange information with any witnesses
7. Seek medical attention
8. Don’t talk to the other person’s insurance without first talking to The Scott Pryor Law Group!
1. Don’t post on social media
2. Don’t give the other insurance company a statement
3. Don’t admit fault
4. Don’t leave the scene of an accident before everything has been documented
5. Don’t tell the police you’re OK (often times you have delayed symptoms and are in shock)
The Georgia Statue of Limitations is the date within which you must file a suit. In Georgia, this date is two years from the date of injury. There are certain exceptions for minors and the mentally incompetent, but otherwise the rule is an absolute deadline for both the at-fault and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages.
There is no easy, one-size answer to this question. The value of your case depends on many different factors. Were you injured? What kind of injury did you sustain? What type of treatment will you need? How long will it take you to heal? Do you have a permanent injury? How much damage was there to the vehicles involved? How many other people were involved? How much insurance coverage does the at-fault driver have? Do you have uninsured/underinsured coverage? Do you have lost wages? And many, many more factors … You may have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and no uninsured/underinsured coverage, but the at-fault driver may only have $25,000 of coverage. In such a case, your case may only be worth $25,000. Dozens of factors must be examined and weighed to determine the value of every case.
Being asked to sign a release seems like a legitimate request, right? Wrong. Insurance companies in Georgia will use that release to collect every medical record from the previous five years, and they will not provide you with copies. The main purpose of the records is to try and establish that you had a pre-existing condition. You should never give a medical release to the insurance company as it can only hurt your case. If you have a serious injury, retain an experienced attorney before you take steps that cannot be undone.
First, understand that you have no duty whatsoever to provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company may send letters to you after a car crash, stating that they will “close their file” if you do not make contact and give a statement. You can ignore the letter because the file can be reopened at any time so long as you do not wait past the Georgia Statute of Limitations. You do not have to fall prey to these tactics by Atlanta car insurance companies. Adjusters are trained in how to get admissions out of you with trick questions that will make it less likely that their driver is to blame.
In the context of Georgia slip-and-fall cases, the main goal is to get the injured person to admit that they do not know what they fell on. When the litigation begins later, the adjusters will pin the insured with that statement and under Georgia slip-and-fall law, if the plaintiff cannot state what they fell on, then the restaurant or store is entitled to get out of the case on a Motion for Summary Judgment.
Med Pay is an additional type of coverage you may or may not carry on your auto insurance policy. In general, it covers you and whomever is in your car. In Georgia, medical payments coverage is not required as it is in some states. Most people do not even know it is available to them and generally will not be offered as part of an auto insurance quote unless you ask for it. Coverage amounts are usually limited to $5,000.00 or less, but the policy rates are very reasonable…often only a couple dollars per month in addition to your regular auto insurance policy. The amount of Med Pay coverage applies to each individual, so if there are multiple people in your vehicle with injuries, each person can make his or her own claim up to the value of the policy. Med Pay pays your medical bills up to the coverage amount after an accident. Some people are hesitant to use their Med Pay coverage because they think it will negatively impact their insurance premiums by making a claim. However, your insurance company already knows that you were in an accident, so utilizing Med Pay — coverage you pay for — will not increase any impact the accident has on your insurance premiums.
It may. Every year, insurance companies run a report on their drivers before policies are reissued. Even if you are not at fault in an accident, your insurance company will know that you were involved in an accident. Under every policy, there is an obligation to report it to your insurance company so don’t stress about your rate. Insurance is there to provide coverage when you need it, and the thousands of dollars your insurance company may pay after an accident far outweighs the few dollars your policy might increase.