Georgia residents who have been in a car accident should be aware that they will be interacting with insurance companies early on. The reason, of course, is that insurers want to get victims to accept less than they deserve in damages so as to avoid any further complications. This is where victims need to understand the laws regarding filing a third-party insurance claim.
The difference between no-fault and at-fault states
Most states are at-fault states and so allow crash victims to file against the other driver’s insurance company. Georgia is among these. On the other hand, no-fault states typically have victims file with their own insurance company and receive personal injury protection benefits, which cover medical expenses but not any lost wages or pain and suffering. Only those victims who qualify for a “serious injury” threshold could pursue a third-party claim.
The next piece to consider is a state’s negligence laws. Georgia, like many other states, recognizes comparative negligence and allows recovery of damages as long as a plaintiff’s degree of fault does not surpass the defendant’s.
Filing with your own insurance company
Victims may still pursue a claim with their own insurance company in some cases. For example, the responsible driver may be uninsured or underinsured. In any event, victims should report their accident as soon as possible to their insurance provider.
A lawyer for personal attention
Victims of motor vehicle accidents are encouraged to retain legal counsel so that they can learn more about the laws and determine how much they are eligible for in damages. You may want to schedule a case assessment with the lawyer. Once retained, the lawyer may give your case personal attention and strive for a reasonable out-of-court settlement while you focus on recovering.