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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Car Accident > 4 Things You Need to Know About Georgia Car Accident Claims

4 Things You Need to Know About Georgia Car Accident Claims


Given the vast amount of traffic in and around the Atlanta area, it sometimes seems inevitable that all of us will get into an accident at some point in our lives. While that may not be statistically true, it is important for all drivers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in the event of an accident. And if you do end up having to file a personal injury claim, you should at least know the basic process surrounding such cases.

Reporting a Car Accident

Under Georgia law, you must immediately report any traffic accident to local law enforcement if anyone is injured or killed, or if there appears to be more than $500 in property damage. You also need to stop and exchange basic information with the other drivers at the scene, including your name, telephone number, and license and insurance information. Remember, you need to remain at the accident scene and not leave until the police have arrived, taken an official report, and told you that you may leave.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

Georgia is an at-fault state. In simple terms, this means that if the other driver caused your accident, their insurance company is on the hook for your damages (up to the limits of the policy). It is therefore routine for the other driver’s insurance company to contact you shortly after an accident. The thing to keep in mind here is that you do not have to speak to the adjuster on your own.

You can–and should–retain a qualified Atlanta personal injury lawyer to represent you in these discussions. And in fact, this is often advisable, as the insurance adjuster is trained to look for ways to minimize their employer’s exposure for an accident. You do not want to inadvertently say something that might cause the insurer to undervalue their claim.

Settlement vs. Litigation

If you have sustained significant financial losses in an auto accident, you may fear that taking your case to court will only further delay your compensation. But the reality is that most auto accident claims are resolved through out-of-court settlements. Insurance companies are generally no more eager to take their chances in court than you are. You are, however, more likely to extract significant concessions from the insurer if you are represented by a qualified personal injury lawyer.

The Clock Is Ticking

You cannot wait forever to take legal action following a car accident. Georgia law imposes a 2-year statute of limitations in most personal injury cases. This means that from the date of your car accident, you have 2 years to file and serve a personal injury lawsuit on the responsible parties.

Two years may sound like more than enough time to build your case. But remember, the clock is ticking while you try to negotiate a settlement with the other driver and their insurance company. You do not want to put yourself in a position where they can “run out the clock.” So if you have recently been hurt in a car accident, contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.

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