The aftermath of a car accident in Tifton can be extremely stressful and confusing. You may be wondering when you’re able to work again, how you’ll pay for your medical bills, and who can take care of your family while you’re in the hospital or unable to do the things that you used to do.
All of these questions weigh heavy on your mind, and then the insurance company for the other driver may be pressuring you to settle your case too. It’s hard to know who to trust, where to get more information, or what you should be doing. Thankfully, a Tifton car accident lawyer can be a great resource in this difficult time.
At John Foy & Associates, we have had the pleasure of helping car accident victims get through this confusing process for over two decades. No one wants to deal with a car crash alone, and it helps to have someone by your side who knows the ropes and has your best interests at heart. We provide service and support that you can count on. Let us give you a free consultation to get started. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How Do I Deal with the Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
If you were in a car accident, especially a serious one, an insurance company will likely be involved in some capacity—whether it’s the other driver’s insurance company or your own. Insurance companies provide coverage for your damages after an accident, which often includes things like:
- Any property damage (including items inside your car in many cases)
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Payment for pain and suffering
- Some monetary amount for loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of wages while you recover and loss of earning capacity for any inability to work in the future
How you get these money damages will depend on the unique facts of your case.
Dealing with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
In many car accident cases, there are just two drivers involved. One is considered “at fault” or mostly at fault for the crash. The at-fault driver, under Georgia law, must reimburse the other driver for any damage or injuries that were caused because of their actions or inactions. If the other driver has insurance coverage (as is required by Georgia law), the insurance company will often cover all or most of your damages up to the total policy limits.
However, this coverage doesn’t mean an automatic payout. You have to prove your damages to the insurance company, sometimes by going to trial. Unfortunately, under most circumstances, you have to “front” the costs for all of your losses from the accident until that time.
Keep in mind that although the insurance adjuster who reaches out to you may seem friendly enough, they are not on your side. Instead, they may end up tricking you into accepting a much lower settlement than your case is worth or even saying something that you didn’t mean. It’s a good idea to avoid talking to the insurance company, other than to simply confirm that an accident took place, without talking to a Tifton car accident lawyer first.
Dealing with Your Insurance Company
The other driver is responsible for the damage that they caused, but you may still need to involve your own insurance company depending on the type of insurance that applies to your case.
Generally, there are three types of insurance coverage that would permit you to turn to your insurance company rather than the other driver’s insurance company for reimbursement for your damages:
- Collision coverage applies to help you pay for property damage to your vehicle.
- Medical pay benefits use your own insurance coverage to reimburse you for costs related to medical care that you need after the accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage applies when the other driver does not have insurance at all or does not have enough coverage to fully compensate you for your losses.
Although your insurance company is supposed to be on your side, they are still in the business of making money. That means if they can find a way to deny your claim or decrease the amount you should be paid, they will do that. When your insurance company isn’t covering what you think they should, you need to call in a car accident lawyer for help.
How Soon Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Georgia?
There are three “reports” that you must make after a car accident in Georgia. As a general rule, the sooner you do this, the better. But each type has its own deadline that you must follow.
In Georgia, you’re required to report an accident to the police if any of the following apply:
- The crash caused an injury or someone was killed
- Property damage is $500 or higher
- Your insurance company requires an accident report
- You are in a city that requires a report
Most accidents fit the reporting requirements in Georgia, and you must report the accident immediately. You are encouraged to call 911 to report the crash.
Insurance companies have their own internal reporting requirements that you must meet. That requirement will be listed in your policy, but it’s a good idea to report the incident as soon as you can. Some insurance carriers require immediate reporting, while others allow a few days to report.
Filing a Legal Case
Filing a lawsuit isn’t technically reporting an accident, but it’s the only way that you tell the court about the accident and your related damages. You generally have two years from the date of the accident to file your car accident lawsuit in Georgia.
Talk to a Tifton Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Healing and getting back on your feet after a car accident is stressful enough. Let the experienced legal team at John Foy & Associates handle the legal aspects of your claim. We know what you are going through, and we want to help. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.