Georgia uses a fault-based auto insurance system where at-fault drivers are responsible for injuries and damages they cause to others. So if you’re not at fault for the accident, you’ll likely recover compensation for your damages from the other driver’s insurance. But your own insurer may require you inform the company of the accident and may even play a role in helping you recover compensation.
Inform Your Insurer of the Accident Regardless of Fault
Under the terms of many insurance policies, policyholders must inform the insurer of all accidents. Regardless of who was responsible, your insurance company will want to know what happened, which parties were involved, if there are any injuries, and if there is any damage to the vehicles involved.
If you have certain types of coverage under your own auto policy, your insurance company may compensate you up to policy limits. This includes medical payments coverage that helps pay your medical bills regardless of fault. Collision coverage may help pay for auto repairs but this might require you meet a deductible first.
If your insurance company helps you pay for your damages after an accident for which you’re not at fault, it may then look to recover those costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, you may seek to recover compensation for your costs and losses from the at-fault driver’s insurance as well.
Your Insurer’s Role if the Other Party Has No Insurance
Another circumstance under which your own insurance company might get involved is if the driver responsible for the crash doesn’t carry insurance. Georgia has set minimum insurance requirements, but unfortunately not all drivers follow these laws. In this case, you may file a claim with your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage if you included it on your policy.
For instance, a driver runs a red light and crashes into your car, causing significant property damage and serious injuries. When the police respond, they discover the driver didn’t carry any insurance. You may then pursue compensation for your medical bills, vehicle damage, and more from your UM coverage.
UM coverage also applies if the at-fault driver flees the scene, as there is no at-fault driver’s insurance from which to recover compensation.
Evidence to Provide to Your Insurance Company
When you contact your insurance company, be sure to provide information about the basics of the accident:
- the other driver’s information;
- location of the accident; and
- the circumstances of the accident.
Substantiate the other party’s fault with proof. Although it’s important to describe what happened, negligence isn’t going to be based on someone’s word. The more evidence you provide, the stronger the case.
One example of evidence you should give to your insurance company is a copy of the police report. This can be very telling in what caused the crash and would also indicate if the other driver had received a citation.
If there are statements from witnesses then submit this information to the insurer as well. Photographs are also extremely helpful in an accident case. Anything else of relevance that could help prove the other driver was at fault for the accident can be useful to submit to your insurer.
Recovering Monies from the Other Driver’s Insurer
This evidence can be helpful as you look to recover from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which may resist accusations of its insured’s fault. In fact, as you make a claim against the other party’s insurance company, be sure you are aware of how to deal with adjusters and learn as much about the process as possible.
If you’re pursuing an accident claim, make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia: The Truth about Your Injury Case.