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Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accidents
Car Crash Attorney Answers Common Questions
Car crashes are stressful, confusing and often painful experiences for those involved. After a wreck, you may have some idea what you should do, but you will probably have many questions, too. The lawyers at the McArthur Law Firm answer these kinds of questions every day. Below, our car crash attorney responds to some of the most frequently asked questions on auto wrecks.
Attorney Kathy McArthur at our personal injury law firm has been assisting car accident victims throughout Georgia and nationwide for 40 years. Our lawyers have 200 years of combined experience maximizing compensation for accident victims. We will take the time to alleviate your worries and any confusion you may have in a free consultation. Then, if it is in your best interest to hire an attorney, we will fight aggressively for your right to compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions on Car Crashes
- Should I move my car out of the road after a crash?
- What happens if the other driver had no insurance?
- What happens if I am hurt in a hit and run accident?
- Do I need a doctor if I have no injuries after a car crash?
- What happens if the accident was partly my fault?
- Can I just let the insurance company handle my claim?
- What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company calls me?
- How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit for a car crash in Georgia?
- How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?
- Where can I find an experienced car crash attorney?
Should I move my car out of the road after a crash?
In Georgia, you should move your car to the shoulder or out of the way of traffic if there are no serious injuries. Moving your vehicle for safety reasons will not harm your car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, if possible, you should get photos of the original accident scene before moving out of the road.
What happens if the other driver had no insurance?
State laws require all Georgia insurance companies to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for all policies. You may opt out of this coverage if you wish. However, if an uninsured driver causes a wreck, your UM/UIM coverage will save you from having to pay for the damage and medical bills yourself. You do have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, but he or she may have no assets with which to pay you, even if you get a successful verdict.
In short, you should invest in UM/UIM coverage, and use it if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver.
What happens if I am hurt in a hit and run accident?
If a driver hits your car and flees the scene, you do have options for recovering compensation. After the wreck, proceed as you would for any other accident: call the police and/or an ambulance, take photos and get witness statements. Then, you can file a claim with your own insurance company through your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.
Do I need a doctor if I have no injuries after a car crash?
Yes, you still need to see a doctor. Even if you think you are not hurt, you should still get a medical exam. Some injuries may take some time to develop, or the adrenaline of the crash may mask serious problems, like a concussion. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more likely the insurance company will be to claim that your injuries are not serious or did not result from the crash.
What happens if the accident was partly my fault?
In Georgia, you can still collect compensation for your injuries and damages after a car crash as long as you were less than 50 percent responsible for the collision. If you were mostly at-fault, you cannot collect from a car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If you were less than 50 percent responsible, you can file a claim. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage you were to blame. For example, if you were 15 percent responsible for a crash, your compensation will be reduced by 15 percent. Therefore, if your settlement is $10,000, you will only receive $8,500.
Can I just let the insurance company handle my claim?
Insurance companies are privately owned, for-profit businesses. This means that, when processing a claim, their main priority is protecting their own interests – even if you file a claim with your own provider! For this reason, you should always at least consult with a lawyer before proceeding with a claim. Many lawyers, including those at the McArthur Law Firm, offer free consultations about car crash cases. This means that you can get legal advice free of charge, which will help you even if you then file a claim on your own.
What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company calls me?
Often, insurance adjusters will call car crash victims as soon as they know about the wreck. You may even still be in the hospital when you get that first call. However, even though some insurance adjusters will push you to give a statement or discuss the crash right away, you have no legal obligation to do so.
If you get a call like this, politely refuse to discuss anything. One good thing to say is: “I do not want to make a statement until I talk to my lawyer”. Even better, say: “I will have my lawyer call you”. Then, when you are able, contact a car crash attorney, who can advise you on how to proceed.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit for a car crash in Georgia?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations on all personal injury matters is two years. However, the sooner you speak to a car crash lawyer and start the process of filing a claim, the better. Usually, you only need to file a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company denies your claim or will not agree to a fair settlement. Negotiations can take months, so you should ensure that you have enough time remaining to file a lawsuit if necessary.
How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?
Every car crash is different, so there is no way to generalize about how long it will take for you to get the compensation you deserve. Sometimes, insurance negotiations may take only a few weeks. Other times, months may pass. If you have to file a personal injury lawsuit, you may not get any money for a couple of years. A car crash lawyer can explain the details and difficulty of your case in a free initial consultation.
Where can I find an experienced car crash attorney?
At the McArthur Law Firm, our attorneys have been fighting for car crash victims throughout Georgia for years — our lawyers have 200 years of combined experience. We are all trial lawyers, which means that we never back down from a fight or accept a low settlement when going to trial is in your best interest. We offer free initial consultations from our Macon and Atlanta offices, and accept cases nationwide. Contact us online or call today to get legal advice free of charge.