If you were involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver in Atlanta, there are some steps you can take to receive compensation for your injuries, property damage/vehicle damage, and other losses. There are also some things crash victims must avoid doing, to protect the integrity of their claim. By following the tips here, you can protect your claim and give your case the best chance of success
Top Tips for Handling an Uninsured Driver Accident in Atlanta
Auto accidents happen daily, but we never expect them to happen to us. When it does, an auto accident can completely turn your life upside down. When you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustain injuries and vehicle damage you expect to be compensated for your losses. However, if you end up in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, obtaining compensation for your losses can be a challenge.
In the moments following a collision with an uninsured driver, the accident victim must:
Contact the Police
Even if you were involved in a minor rear-end accident, Georgia law requires you to contact the authorities if a person was injured or there was vehicle or property damage exceeding $500. If no one was injured and there appears to be only minor vehicle damage, you should still contact law enforcement, since you may not know the true extent or value of vehicle damage involved. Contacting the authorities will protect you in the event there was significant vehicle damage that you were unaware of and also creates a legal document that includes important accident details.
When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will conduct a police investigation and take down your information, a description of your injuries and vehicle damage, and complete an accident report. The crash report includes the opinion of the reporting police officer, concerning which party they believe was the liable driver, in addition to other helpful information. A crash report is a crucial piece of evidence and you will need to obtain a copy of the police report once it’s available, for insurance purposes.
If you’re able to walk around the accident scene, use the camera on your phone to take photos of the crash site from a variety of angles. Take photos of all vehicles involved, your injuries, vehicle damage, and anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as debris on the road, potholes, broken or missing traffic signs and lights, obscured traffic signs, and inclement weather conditions. Write down other accident details, including anything the other driver did and said.
Seek Medical Care
Even if it may seem like you have only minor injuries or non-emergency injuries after the accident, you must be examined by a medical professional. Some types of injuries, such as a neck injury or a traumatic brain injury, can take days for symptoms to appear. The next morning, an injury victim may wake up with neck pain or another form of severe physical pain, unable to move or perform even the simplest task. Delaying medical treatment is one of the biggest mistakes people make, following an auto accident.
A medical professional must examine you. If you don’t want to go to the hospital by ambulance after the accident, you can have someone drive you or you can seek treatment from an urgent care facility or your primary care doctor. Additionally, after you have received initial treatment, you must make sure you continue to make your treatment appointments and receive the necessary medical treatment as directed by your physician.
Not only will receiving medical care ensure your injuries are treated, but it also establishes a connection between your injuries and the accident. Any delay in treatment can give an insurance company an opening to claim your injuries are not as severe as you say they are, that you had a previous injury, or that you sustained your severe injury at some point after the accident.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm
Putting off seeking legal counsel is another common mistake injury victims make after a motor vehicle accident.
Speak with an accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your accident claim. At a consultation, an experienced attorney can explain your legal rights and options and go over the vehicle accident claims process. During this time, you should provide any evidence you have, including the crash report, medical records, photos and video of the accident scene, and pay stubs if you missed work due to the injuries you sustained in the accident.
Pursuing Compensation in an Uninsured Auto Accident
If you find yourself involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver but you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can pursue compensation for your damages by filing an insurance claim against your own insurance company.
In Georgia, drivers are required to have liability insurance. Additionally, Georgia requires insurance companies to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage when a driver is purchasing a policy. If drivers do not want to pay for this type of insurance, they must state so in writing and give it to their insurance representative.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you file a claim against your insurance company to pursue compensation for the damages you suffered in the auto accident.
An experienced injury lawyer will handle all injury settlement negotiations with your insurance company. This can be a very long process. Your attorney will make an offer and the insurance adjuster will either accept the offer or make a counteroffer. It can go back and forth between your attorney and the insurance adjuster for several weeks or months, depending on many factors.
If your insurance company makes what it believes to be a fair settlement offer, your attorney will bring the offer to you and advise you to either accept it or reject it. If the insurance company offers only low accident settlement offers, your attorney may recommend pursuing compensation in court. An accident attorney will only recommend filing a personal injury accident lawsuit if they believe you will have a better chance of receiving fair compensation presenting your case in front of a judge and jury.
What If I Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your other option is to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the collision. You can discuss this option with your attorney. If you pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit and the other motorist does not have any valuable assets to cover the cost of your damages, you may end up with an unenforceable judgment. Your attorney can help you determine whether it’s worth it to pursue compensation from the other motorist.
In some cases, uninsured drivers may have simply forgotten to pay their insurance bill and let their coverage lapse or their coverage was canceled for nonpayment.
After looking into this option, if your attorney determines that it’s possible to recover compensation for your losses from the other driver, they can file a personal injury lawsuit. They can also attend mediation with you and the negligent driver if the driver wants to settle the case out of court.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Cambre & Associates
If you were involved in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist, contact the personal injury attorneys at Cambre and Associates as soon as possible to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can meet with a personal injury lawyer one-on-one to discuss your case, go over your legal rights and options, and ask any questions you may have. If you decide to work with us, our legal team can start an investigation right away and build a strong case to help you receive maximum compensation for your damages. Contact our law firm to discuss your auto injury claim today and learn how the legal team at Cambre and Associates can help.