Car accidents can be a traumatic experience, and the aftermath can often be a complex process. You have the right to be compensated for any damages or expenses you have suffered as a result of a crash which is not your fault. Here is what you need to do in order to maximize your chances of getting a fair car accident settlement.
Immediately Following The Accident
There are a few steps you need to take in the aftermath of an accident, and your Atlanta car accident lawyer will help you navigate them.
Reporting the Accident
The first step after a car accident is to report it immediately to local law enforcement. This is required if there is an injury or death or if there is property damage greater than $500. You are also required to provide your name, contact information, and license and insurance information to the other parties involved in the accident.
Filing a Claim
After the accident, you’ll need to file a report with your insurer and file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Both sides will then start working on your claim, investigating the crash and examining other specific details, such as your injuries, damages, and any evidence that might explain what happened.
Medical Care and Records
If you’ve been injured, getting a diagnosis and obtaining appropriate medical care is crucial. Once your medical care is completed as fully as possible, you will get all the records from your doctor. This can take 45-60 days in some cases.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Once you have your medical records, you and your lawyer will file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company and wait for a response. The time limit (Statute of Limitations) for filing a car accident lawsuit in Georgia is two years from the date of the car accident for personal injury and four years for property damage.
The Settlement Process
The settlement process involves negotiation between your lawyer and the at-fault party’s insurance company. The goal is to reach an agreement on the amount of compensation you should receive for your injuries and damages. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial.
Navigating the car accident settlement process in Georgia can be complex, but understanding these steps can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Always consult with a legal professional to guide you through this process.
It’s important to note that Georgia is a fault state for traffic incidents. This implies the fact that you are entitled to file a claim for compensation for any material or physical losses if the other driver was at fault for the crash. If you can prove the other driver’s negligence or wrongdoing led to the collision, you can hold them accountable for damages.
In Georgia, most auto accident claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed. However, if the interested parties can’t agree on a settlement amount, or if they can’t agree on who’s at fault, then it’s likely that the plaintiff’s lawyer will file a lawsuit and let a jury decide the outcome of the case.
If a Car Accident Settlement Can’t Be Reached
The first step to filing a car accident lawsuit in Georgia, or any state, is to file what is called a “complaint” with the court. A complaint is how a plaintiff formally notifies a court that they have been wronged by the defendant and wishes to sue them for damages. Complaints will contain all of the important details about your car accident, such as the date it happened, how you were injured, what medical procedures you had to undergo, and much, much more.
After you file your case, the next step in filing a car accident lawsuit is called “service of process.” This is how the court lets defendants know that they are being sued. Usually, service of process happens through a certified third party and must follow the rules laid out in O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.
Contact Us for a Free Case Review
The car accident settlement process in Georgia involves several steps and can be complex. Our experienced legal professionals can ensure you navigate all the steps effectively. We will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and stand up for your rights.