Car accidents can happen in an instant, and before you know it your car is crushed and you are in severe pain. What do you do if you were not at fault for the collision?
Fortunately, the steps you take are the same as in any car accident—swap insurance information, call the police and collect evidence for your case. At our firm, we recommend that you get pictures of all damaged vehicles and any debris in the road or skid marks.
Below, we answer some of the more common questions we have received regarding car accidents that are not your fault.
Do Not At Fault Accidents Affect Insurance?
Georgia has a statute, § 33-9-40, which prohibits an insurer from raising your insurance rates if you were involved in an accident that was not your fault. The statute also says that an insurer cannot cancel your policy if you were in an accident that was not your fault.
If your insurer nevertheless tries to push through a premium hike, then you should file a complaint with the state’s insurance agency.
Should I Get an Attorney?
Yes. If you were injured, then you will need compensation to cover a range of economic and noneconomic losses, such as:
- The costs of medical care, including surgery, doctor visits, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and assistive devices. If your injuries are permanent, you can qualify for future medical care.
- The amount of lost wages, if your injuries kept you out of work
- Property damage to fix your car
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other noneconomic losses
You can make a claim with an insurer yourself, but you should not expect them to give you a favorable settlement. Instead, you might need to negotiate aggressively, which is where an attorney is helpful. An attorney can also prevent you from making a mistake that costs you money.
What To Expect Physically After A Car Accident
Car accident injuries vary. Some might be immediately life-threatening or cause you considerable pain. Other injuries could creep up on you over time. It is not unusual for some people to feel shaken but “okay” immediately after a crash. However, in a day or two, they suddenly feel pain in their neck or back or to have trouble sleeping or remembering things.
We receive many questions about how to find a doctor after a car accident. First, you should consider how you will pay. Even if you get a settlement, you will need to wait months before you receive money. But you need medical care now. If you have health insurance, it can cover the costs though you will need to reimburse your insurer from your settlement proceeds. You can meet with your regular doctor. If you have an unusual injury, then your doctor can make a referral to a specialist.
If you don’t have health insurance, you should talk to your attorney about how you will pay for medical care.
What Happens After A Fatal Car Accident?
We also receive questions about how to proceed after a car accident when someone dies. Generally, you can expect the police to be more involved since criminal charges are more likely when someone dies in a collision. Police might question you more than once to discuss your memories of what happened.
With respect to a civil lawsuit for money, you might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit depending on your relationship to the deceased. You can receive compensation for a variety of economic losses, such as loss of financial support from your loved one who died.
What Is A Fair Settlement After A Car Accident?
A fair settlement should fully compensate you for all your economic losses:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care if you have permanent injuries
- Lost wages or income
- Future reduced earnings capacity
- Property damage
Unless you were partially at fault for an accident, you should receive 100% of these expenses. In a not at fault accident, rental car costs also come into play. You should hold onto receipts showing how much you spent on a rental car while your car was being worked on.
A fair settlement should also cover your pain and suffering and emotional distress, which could be considerable depending on your injuries.
Contact MG Law Today
The fact that you were not at fault for an accident doesn’t mean that you don’t need a lawyer. Insurance companies aggressively defend claims, especially if you suffered serious injuries.
At MG Law, one of our attorneys will gladly meet with you. You can schedule your free consultation with us today.