If you are involved in a car accident, you will normally have a lot of questions due to the fact that you don’t think about certain aspects of a car accident until it occurs. Due to this, we have listed some of the most common questions our client’s have after being involved in a car accident.
Should I Call the Police if I am Involved in an Accident?
Yes, you should always call the police if you are involved in a car accident, even a minor one. Contacting the police allows you to document the accident. Often, especially in minor accidents, a driver will try to convince you that you don’t need to get the police or your insurance company involved, but this can lead to driver’s denying that an accident occurred or simply trying to get out of compensating you for your injuries or for the damage to your vehicle.
Should I Get Evaluated by a Doctor After an Accident?
Yes, regardless of how serious your accident was, you should always get evaluated by a doctor if you have been involved in a car accident. Often, people injured in a car accident experience delayed symptoms. Meaning, they do not realize or feel that they are injured until days after the accident. This is common with injuries such as whiplash or a concussion.
Is Georgia a No-Fault State?
No, Georgia is an at-fault state, which means that drivers are required to carry liability insurance to compensate other drivers for damages caused by the policyholder. Due to this, many drivers will normally elect to carry collision insurance that covers damage to their own vehicle and med pay insurance to cover the cost of their own medical bills if they are the at-fault driver in an accident.
How Long After an Accident do I have to File a Claim in Georgia?
From a legal perspective, there is a two year statute of limitations for all personal injury claims, which would be claims to recoup damages for injuries sustained in a car accident, that is established under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, and there is a four year statute of limitations for property damage claims under O.C.G.A. §9-3-32. So, technically you have two year from the date the accident occured to file a claim for injuries you sustained in the accident, and you have four years to file a claim for damage to your vehicle.
From a practical perspective, as time passes, cases of all types become harder to prove due to things such as a loss of evidence, changing witness accounts, etc. So, you should always initiate a claim as soon as possible after an accident, because failing to do so could damage the credibility of your case.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement?
You should never give a recorded statement without an attorney being present, if you give one at all. Recorded statements are evidence that can and usually are used at trial. So, any inaccuracies in your statement could be used against you. Since you are under no legal obligation to give a recorded statement, you car accident attorney will normally advise against it.
If I was a Victim of a Hit and Run Accident, Can I Still File Claim?
If you were carrying uninsured motorist(UM) insurance at the time of the accident, yes, you can file a claim against your own insurance company through your uninsured motorist policy. Moreover, your UM coverage can be used if you were a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a hit and run accident or if you were a pedestrian involved in a hit and run accident.
Am I Required to Carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage by Law?
No, you are not required to carry UM coverage. However, your insurance company is required to offer you UM coverage. Moreover, in order to reject UM coverage, you have to do so in writing. So, if you are unsure whether or not you had UM coverage at the time of an accident, you should ask your insurance company to send you the proof of your rejection in writing. In some cases, drivers might have UM coverage and not realize it.