Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | August 26, 2021
Have you been involved in a car accident in Atlanta, GA? This experience may have left you with injuries that require costly medical treatment.
You might not have to cover these expenses yourself if another party’s negligence caused your accident. Georgia is an at-fault state. That means you can pursue compensation for your medical bills and related losses after an accident by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
Georgia law requires drivers to have insurance to compensate anyone harmed by accidents they cause. However, some drivers fail to obey the law. Sometimes they do so knowingly, and sometimes they’re simply unaware their insurance has lapsed.
It’s important to determine if the driver who caused your accident is insured. The following are ways in which you can do so:
Ask Them For Their Insurance Information After an Accident
It’s very easy to approach another driver in anger after being involved in an accident they caused. Resist this urge. After checking yourself for injuries and getting to a safe spot, calmly check to see if the other driver is unharmed or in need of assistance.
Remaining calm is important for several reasons. One, if you’re angry, you may not be fully aware of what you’re saying. You could end up making a statement that might negatively impact your ability to recover compensation later.
Two, if you maintain your composure, the other driver may be more inclined to cooperate when you ask for their contact information and insurance information. Simply exchanging insurance information at the scene of the accident is the easiest way to determine if a driver has insurance.
Contact the Police
In Georgia, drivers are required to report accidents that cause:
- Death, or
- Property damage of $500 or more.
Err on the side of caution and call the police to report your accident after checking on the other driver. Ask them to stay at the scene until the officer arrives. Take pictures of the scene to document it, photographing their vehicle first so you will have their license plate number if they do decide to flee.
The officer who investigates the scene will take down the insurance information of all those involved in the accident. Even if a negligent driver was unwilling to share this information with you, you may contact the police later to retrieve it.
Check With the DMV
Asking the DMV to provide the insurance information of a negligent driver is another option to consider. Just understand that the DMV will need you to show you have a valid reason to collect this information.
This is an option you might keep in mind if you were involved in a hit-and-run but managed to take down the license plate number of the other driver before they fled the scene. The DMV may be able to use their number to help you identify them and learn if they’re insured.
Contact the Insurance Company
It’s easy to make mistakes in the aftermath of a car accident. When exchanging information with another driver, you may have forgotten to ask for more details about their insurance policy. You might know the name of the company and the name of the driver, but you might not know their policy number.
In this case, you could potentially call the insurance company and ask for more information. If you have the name and contact information of the driver who caused your accident, they may be able to help you.
It’s also worth noting that Georgia allows drivers to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance can provide you with compensation if it turns out that the driver who caused your accident doesn’t have insurance. Consider buying it to avoid difficulties recovering compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver.
However, even if you do file a claim to collect from your own insurance instead of that of another driver, it’s still wise to enlist the help of an attorney. A lawyer will be qualified to negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf.
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